Hip Hop duo, Jae Mansa is up next.
Fresh off signing with Roc Nation the duo dropped their ‘Yung Kings’ Ep and will for-sure be here in the rap game for a very long time, making all the right moves. Having a very unique name they are Carolina products who signed an equity distribution deal with Roc Nation in November of last year. The two discuss how everything came about and how Lenny S approached them in a uber telling them how much he liked their music and from there it was history. Their name Jae Mansa stands for “Jae” (short for Jaelon) and “Mansa,” after emperor Mansa Musa, inspired from the leader of the Mali Empire during the 14th century and one of the richest men to ever live.
The two sat down with RESPECT Mag and spoke about the importance of pushing positive messages through music and for the culture, artist they would like to work with on upcoming projects in the future, the North Carolina rap scene at the moment, getting a co-sign from DJ drama, describing their sound, favorite track off the ‘Yung Kings EP’ + more.
Get into our exclusive interview below.
RESPECT.: How did you guys feel when Roc Nation reached out to you for a record deal?
B: We actually didn’t know about a distribution deal we was on our way to Lala’s Halloween party & we was almost in Jersey. My uncle had told us like you know y’all signed to Roc Nation. Which was shocking we ain’t know nothing about it, they kept it as a surprise from us. So we went to Lala’s party chilling in the uber and Lenny S jumped in the uber with us. He telling us like y’all music, y’all keep grinding but we got a surprise for y’all. We get out the uber we go in Jue Lan Kitchen and everybody was there DJ Self was in there, Jack Thriller was in there, Tahiry Jose was in there, Bre-Z from Empire was in there it was a lot of people, it was dope forreal man. I wouldn’t have expected that.
J: Yeah that’s it. We had a meeting with Tidal to and they kinda sent the word over to Lenny S this girl name Mercedes put it all together and then that’s what happened.
When did you guys meet?
We’re first cousins.
Being from North Carolina, how do you guys see the rap scene?
B: They way we grew up, we grew up on real hip-hop music. The scenery in North Carolina is like we in the middle of both generations. From the new sound to the old sound. With our style we found a way to combine the old style with the new style. That’s how our sound came about. Being from North Carolina we definitely stuck in the middle of two different types of music.
Who inspired to two of you to start rapping?
B: I didn’t have nobody that inspired me to start rapping. I used to play ball before I got caught up in the streets. When everything else failed I had to try something different. So I chose to rap because I had a story to tel,l so that’s how rapping came about.
J: I recorded my first track when I was like 16. I wasn’t even really taking it serious then, I just always wanted to do music. We grew up watching the lifestyle. I was always like yeah, but I didn’t really start taking it serious until four years ago. When I made my first track “New York, New York” and my cousin flew down from Atlanta. We just got together and we started doing demos. That’s how we came together.
Why the title ‘Yung Kings’ for the Ep?
J: We named it young kings because you know Jae Mansa stands for what it stands for. Mansa stands for Kings and Jae stands for young. We just trying to send a positive message, give them something that ain’t out there. You got the Cole’s you got the Kendrick’s but like we said, we gone try our best to change the world but it just seems like we need more of it. We not trying to preach to nobody (laughs) but we just trying to give another point of view to the world outside of money, clothes and all that material.
What’s you guys favorite track off the ‘Yung Kings’ Ep?
J: Success Like
Bo: Better days
Mixtape with DJ Drama, Called ‘Fuck Trump” why did you guys decide to drop that?
First of all, it came about when we was on the Cam’ron tour. Like the crowd wasn’t responding how we wanted them to respond because it was real hip-hop and they was used to just listening to that genre of music. So I just got on stage and was like if y’all feeling like I’m feeling “F Trump” and the crowd starting rocking with us. So from there on out we used that strategy throughout the whole tour. When we was coming out with the mix-tape we was trying to figure out a name for it and we just came up with “F Trump” and dropped it. Shout-out to DJ Drama.
How did you guys feel about the co-sign from DJ Drama?
Bo: That wasn’t are first time seeing him but that was our first time sitting down in the studio with him and him listening to our music and for him to say y’all know y’all up next, it’s like you ever felt something that brought tears to your eyes, it’s that type of experience. Speechless and meaningful when he said that. It just gave us a whole another drive. He said we up next so that’s what we got to do. We gotta be up next and we ain’t taking no for an answer.
How do you guys describe your sound?
We stuck in between two generations. Old school with a mix of new school. We still staying true to ourselves. That’s what makes us different and what makes us standout. On the “Yung Kings” EP we definitely got some influences from Nipsey Hussle, J. Cole, Pusha-T. The first song off the Ep was influenced by Nipsey Hussle. Blue laces on one of them tracks how the beat switch up yeah it was definitely an influence from Nipsey on that track and influence from Cole probably was “The Fate” and “I Swear” with the down south hook and staying true to our-self and really rapping. That’s how we came up with our sound.
Who are a few artist that you guys would like to work with?
Cole, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Fab, even would work with Drake. We want to work with the people that’s respected in the game. We want to be at one of them meetings with Jay-Z, Diddy and Meek Mill you know what we saying. Being respected by the Greats.
Grammy’s was last night and Drake gave an acceptance speech where he said a Grammy shouldn’t validate your contributions to music or success, what are you guys thoughts on that?
It’s a lot of artist that didn’t have any Grammy’s, we agree with him though. Those are heavy hitters Nas, Biggie, J. Cole that really don’t validate your success. I feel like everybody has their own idea of what success is I guess that’s what he meant by that. It’s alot of people that don’t got Grammy’s that deserve one, but honestly we don’t care about that. But if it comes, it comes. It comes with hard work as well, but the way we see our level of success is like being free, healthy, wealthy, that’s our level of success. Being able to give back to our people as well. The Grammy’s would be a plus but at the same time we just gone keep grinding and working.
Any new music?