For one city, for one artist no one person has been more important than one producer. Nelly and St. Louis have but one person to thank for that St. Louis sound and that is Jayson “Jay E” Epperson. With several records notched under his belt including the bulk of superstar Nelly’s first two albums including such hits as “Country Grammar”, “Batter Up”, “Ride with Me”, “E.I.”, “Midwest Swing”, “Pimp Juice”, as well as records with upcoming records on Nelly’s new album Brass Knuckles and Plies The Real Testament. In so many words Jay E is one of the most known unknowns so in the words of the incomparable Shawn Carter “The only one making dough is Em, Pimp Juice, and Us”….Enter 25 time platinum producer and renown DJ….Jay E.Illroots.com: First off thanks for the interview family.
Jay: No problem any time.
Illroots.com: Who is Jay E?
Jay: Well you know I’m producer, produced a bunch of artists, bunch of hip-hop artists, I DJ around town like clubs and stuff like that, and party scenes, house parties and stuff like that as well.
Illroots.com: Who are your main influences?
Jay: Like hip-hop in general I’ve always been influenced, I love like all aspects of music. But as far as hip-hop wise you know the Jay-Z, the Biggie Smalls, Tupac, you know what I mean [I] grew up listening to all that stuff. You know Wu-Tang as well.
Illroots.com: As far as hip-hop right now where do you feel its going?
Jay: As far as hip-hop right now I feel its going into a brand new direction, you know the internet done took over the game so everybody’s doing new things, its hard to tell where its going you know what I mean.
Illroots.com: Since you crafted what Nelly’s first three records could you explain how you came up with that whole sound?
Jay: Well I mean it was basically just my sound you know, I made it in my mom’s basement just gave it to Nelly
Illroots.com: So you were living in St. Louis at the time?
Jay: Yep, St. Louis, Missouri
Illroots.com: What other artist have you worked with recently ?
Jay: Who have I worked with recently, well recently I worked with Plies, I did some stuff on Three Six’s record, right now I actually in the studio with Bubba Sparxxx.
Illroots.com: Okay, What would be the hardest track that you ever had to put together?
Jay: I mean none of them really there pretty much made in my studio you know what I mean then I submit them you know what I mean.
Illroots.com: If you could President of any nation which one and why?
Jay: President of any nation[laughs], huh, here I would guess you know because I was raised here in America and I’ve only been out of the country once to Hong Kong.
Illroots.com: What artist that isn’t necessarily hip-hop would you want to work with in the future ?
Jay: That isn’t necessarily hip-hop that I would want to work with in the future, that’s a good question hold on let me think,……you know I’m not really sure. Man, I honestly outside of hip-hop don’t know because there is so many good artists out there. You know I would like to work with Beth Givens from Portishead.
Illroots.com: What other ventures other than producing and djing would you want to get into?
Jay: I mean outside of DJing and Producing you know theres always the art aspect of it you know Painting and stuff like that.
Illroots.com: So you like painting and stuff like that, any favorites?
Jay: Well, my homeboy is Regot from the 7th Letter and Retina from the 7th Letter as well. Those are a couple favorites as well.
Illroots.com: Well, what would say is the best piece of advice for an upcoming producers?
Jay: Just basically stick with it, don’t get distracted and a lot of producers just get into it for the money and expect the shit to happen overnight, you gotta just pretty much lock yourself in a room with your equipment and just stay with it. You can’t worry about to much other bullshit, you got to create your own style, your own sound, theres no rules to the shit, I mean there is a blueprint to this but its very vague its what you make of it?
Illroots.com: What’s one piece of equipment you can’t live without in the studio?
Jay: I have to have my drum machine, I’ve got all the MPC’s, a 60, a 3000, 4000, 2000, I got the win drum, I collect a lot of gear as well.
Illroots.com: Since you collect, any favorites?
Jay: Any favorites, that I really really love, is my Memory Moog. Its like the first one where it saves patches
Illroots.com: Yea I do a little research, I loved SCRATCH MAG, but you know how it goes with the game and all.
Jay: Yea the whole hip-hop industry is taking a dip since the internets taken over.
Illroots.com: Since you said its taking a dip what do you think is critical aspect of the game that really isn’t out that would help bring it back to what it was?
Jay: I mean I definitely think that a lot of artists should get back to just making good songs and not just making pop and hip-hop songs with funky dances, just good hip-hop songs. You know now it seems like everybody’s used to Soulja Boy’s and the Walk it Out and stuff like that which is cool because that’s where hip-hops at right now but you know it also needs to level out.
Jay: Exactly, cuz right now it just seems like its just too much, I don’t want to say but I mean.
Illroots.com: Bullshit, I can say it. That’s with almost everything now, you say you’re a DJ, most under rated DJ of all-time who and why?
Jay: Are we look at like the art aspect where its like going back and forth or Club rockin, where its kind of like the dj really rocks the club, because theres a lot differences, you know what I mean. Where a dj goes back and forth and scratches won’t really get to much love in like dance type club you know what I mean where everybody’s just trying to get their groove on.
Illroots.com: True, True, I mean just in general.
Jay: I mean I’ve always been a fan of Qbert.
Illroots.com: West coast guy
Jay: Yea, Yea, just Qbert’s the man, he pretty much sets the standard for the new sound of scratching stuff.
Illroots.com: What new artist should we look for up and coming?
Jay: New artists, you know I’m not really sure, oh wait whats that Shawty Lo joint I forgot who they is, that’s the new joint, oh yea Shawty Lo – Dey Know. I also like that Playaz Circle joint
Illroots.com: Yea “Supply and Demand”
Jay: Yea you heard it all the way through yet?
Illroots.com: You know honestly like its okay, I review tapes but I would probably give it like 2 out of 5. I big fan of people who create there sound.
Jay: Yea that’s what its about theres a lot of like nut riders, and then theres people who do there own shit, those are the people who stand out, those are the guys who have longevity in the game. You just gotta stay in your lane and don’t let nobody get into it, and if they do you gotta outshine them.
Illroots.com: Yea I’m a big fan of Timbalands.
Jay: Yea Timbaland’s the man though he has his own lane and he always comes out different. Every time he comes back out its never the same.
Illroots.com: I dig for samples big time, what’s one record that you think that was like the best samples you’ve heard.
Jay: It was the Bullet Soundtrack, you gotta get it, like everybody sampled off of it, if your into soul and funk jazz. Its almost like a hip hop record with no vocals. The beats are almost like hip hop but its back in the 70’s
Illroots.com: So your talking like “The Mack”, Willie Hutch type stuff?
Jay: Yea but this guy’s, I forget what the actual name of this guy is but the soundtrack is just phenomenal a must have in your collection. Its called Bullet, the original motion picture soundtrack. It’s a hard come up, I think the record is actually like 200 bucks online but you can find it.
Illroots.com: Thanks for everything big homie, we definitely appreciate you.
Jay: No thank you, keep doing everything, you guys are on good track for success.
illroots.com Family Check the Discography.....Wow....
DISCOGRAPHY: Nelly "Country Grammar" (2000 Universal Records) 8X Platinum: "St. Louie", "Country Grammar", "Steal The Show", "Ride Wit Me" (Feat. City Spud), " E.I.", "For My" (feat. Lil Wayne), "Utha Side", "Tho Dem Wrappas", " Wrap Sumden", "Batter Up" (feat. Murphy and Ali) O-Town (2000 J Records) Platinum: "Favorite Girl" Cujo "Game Pieces" (2001 Bent Records) "Let Me At Em", " Why Would I Do That", "I Know What You Thinkin" Bait Soundtrack (2001 Ruff Nation Records) Nelly "Icey" Ms. Toi (2001 Universal Records) "Be Like Me" Rasheeda (2001 Motown Records) "We Ridin" St. Lunatics "Free City" (2001 Universal Records) Platinum: "Just For You", "S.T.L.", "Okay", "Summer In The City", "Midwest Swing", "Show Em What They Won", "Let Me In Now", "Groovin Tonight" (co produced with City Spud), "Jang A Lang", "Real Niggaz", "Here We Come", "Love You So" Training Day Soundtrack (2002 Capitol Records) Gold: King Jacob "Let Us Go" Ali "Heavy Starch" (2002 Universal Records) "Intro", "Crucial", "Ohh E Ohh E Ohh", "No", "Boughetto", "360", "Wiggle Wiggle", "Drop Top", "Collection Plate", "Passin Me By", (feat. Toya) "Cool As Hell", "Walk Away" VI3 (2002 MCA) "Oh No", "Hottie Wit A Body" Nelly "Nellyville" (2002 Universal Records) 6X Platinum: "Dem Boyz", "Oh Nelly", "Pimp Juice", "On The Grind", "Splurge", "Work It", "CG2", "Say Now" Murphy Lee "Murphy's Law" (2003 Universal Records) Gold: "Be Myself", "Grandpa Gametight", "Cool Wit It", "This Goes Out", "Red Hot Riplets", "Regular Guy" Nelly "Deerty Versions" (2003 Universal Records) "Country Grammar" (RMX), "Ride Wit Me" (RMX), "Batter Up" (RMX), "Hot In Herre" (RMX), "Kings Highway", "Pimp Juice" (RMX) Nelly "Sweat / Suit" (2004 Universal Records) "Boy" feat. Lil Flip and Big Gipp, "Let A Grand Hang Out" feat. Jung Tru, Fat Joe, and Remy Martin Plies "The Real Testament" (2007 Warner Bros. Records) "You" ft.Tank Ali and Gipp "Kinfolk" (2007 Universal Records) "That's Me"
For More Jay E Check Out www.myspace.com/jayebeats . Shouts to Jon Kim...good Lookin big Homie....