MONDAY JULY 24, 2017
 
Blog TALKING TO
TALKING TO J-ROC
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With Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day set to open in theatres, we sat down with J-Roc, a popular character during the mockumentary TV show´s seven-year run. Countdown to Liquor Day, the second feature film based on the iconic Canadian series marks the end of the road for the franchise, so what comes next for Sunnyvale´s hip-hop success story? According to J-Roc, his career is just beginning.

Read our review: Countdown to Liquor Day
Talking To: Mike Clattenburg

Q: How do you feel now that the Trailer Park Boys saga is over?
A: Sometimes the end of something good can be the start of something great, knowwhatimsayin’? And this whole chapter has been nice, it’s been good to be involved with those three mah-fuckers, help them find they legs, help them discover and meet people, but for me it’s just another brick in my wall of gold, dog.

Q: Just another chapter in your ongoing story?
A: Yeah. For them hustlers, it’s Chapter 11, ’cause they bankrupt. But for me, it’s just the forward in my book.

Q: Did it take some convincing for you to get back in front of the cameras one last time? You seemed a bit fed up, in the film, with their antics.
A: My problem is this, dog: I am a brand unto myself. Rapping is one thing that I do, acting is one thing that I do, I’ve got a fragrance coming out. I got a line of quilts. So if it appeals to my schedule, I’ll appear in the film, but it’s more like a favour to Clattenburg. Even though I am wearing a brick of gold (a solid brick of “bling” hangs from his neck), I never forget where I came from. Even though I moved away from there and never called home.

Q: Do you resent Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles for getting you into trouble so many times?
A: I bless ‘em, knowwhatimsayin’? They ain’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, so they gotta get some low-rent schemes going to try and get some cake. But let me ask you somethin’: Julian trying to get Success Auto Body going? Ain’t no Famous Mechanics, dog. I had to keep my eyes on the prize, and I knew that the rap game was gonna be my ticket to the finals.

Q: In the movie, Julian tries and fails to get his own repair shop off the ground. No customers show up, despite your help. He fucked up. You wouldn’t put on a rap show if you weren’t sure people were going to come, right?
A: That’s right. They asked me to do favours like that all the time. But I do Video Dances for $30 a night. I don’t need to do no opening for Success Auto Body, with two hustlers. As in proven in the film, I believed in myself through 14 unreleased albums, and I made it. You can dream, dog.

Q: What is the availability of your music now, for the public?
A: My new joint, “Can’t Not Be Feelin’ This”, is available on iTunes now. That’s a double-negative, dog, you can be feelin’ it. You can’t not be feelin’ it.

Q: Have you given up the petty crime, the luggage stealing, dope dealing, etc.?
A: Stealing luggage was a lesson in thug-er-ich. Rap is a way of life. It ain’t like Taylor Swift, who sing songs then does yoga or some shit. I live rap, it is me. My rhymes are just an extension of how I thug every day, in and out.

Q: Do you remember how you got involved with the show?
A: Back in the day, Julian hired some mah’fs to follow him around with a camera, ‘cause he thought he was dyin’. And flame to the paper; camera was the flame, I was the paper. “Julian’s alright, but look at that mah’f in the background, that’s interesting shit!” The camera found me like a magnet, and that shit don’t let me go, dog.

Q: Do you remember when you first found rap?
A: Rap found me, dog. I remember having a set of Fisher Price turntables, and I just started scratching on them. I remember I wrote this joint, called “Christ-Ms. Independent” about this ho’, sittin’ under a Christmas tree. That was when I was four.

Q: Have you moved your rap headquarters to Toronto, from the East Coast?
A: My HQ is all over the planet Errfs. I’m a global activity now, spreadin’ through the airwaves and on the internets. Do you have a computer, Jesse?

Q: Yeah, I work on a Mac all day.
A: I used to have one of them. Then I got rich. I got this thing from Russia, I can’t even pronounce it. I don’t even have to tell it what to do, it just computes itself.

Q: Does J-Roc have beef with anyone?
A: I ain’t sayin’ I’m not down with Eminem, but I am sayin’ it at the same time, knowwhatimsayin’? I’m sayin’ that there are two paths to go. At the fork in the road where we both found ourselves in the rap game, he went down Sellout Street, and I took Keepin’ It Real Avenue. We still intersect at the same point, but there’s a cool way to do it and a whack way to do it, I’m not sayin’ he did it in a way that was whack, but I am sayin’ I did it in a way that was cool.

Q: What rappers do you take inspiration from?
A: (contemplative)What rappers take inspiration from me...that’s a good question. There are a lot of them hustlers out there, ‘cause I get emails all the time from people. Like Drake, callin’ me: “You got some rhymes? I got a show!” Kanye callin’: “Do you think I should do this Taylor Swift thing?” They callin’ me for advice, which is nice. Not once, but twice, sometimes thrice. See? I just spit shit, knowwhatimsayin’?

Q: What city has the best ho’s, in Canada?
A: Have you ever been to The Pas, Manitoba? ‘Cause it ain’t there, dog! Them ho’s are whack! That’s right, I said it out loud, too. I’m feelin’ Halifax ho’s, Dartmouth, Sackville, New Glas-g-ho’s. They’re all tight.

When I start my new album, it’s gonna be called “Ho-lifax”. It’s gonna be a shout-out to all the tighties that push up on me when I’m in the club. I’m talkin’ Boys and Girls Club, and other clubs I belong to. I belong to a chess club.

Q: What’s up with your boy T? (J-Roc’s confidante Tyrone is sent to jail in the movie, taking the fall for a group scheme to break into the local SPCA.)
A: My boy is doing a little bit of time. He’s in transition, from being “in” jail, to being “out of” jail. But when he’s on the outside, he’ll taste the champagne with me.

Q: What kind of time does a guy get for breaking into the SPCA?
A: I think it was about six months. Five months and three weeks for OK behaviour. He kinda got caught up in some shit on the inside. It was supposed to be four months but the parole board wasn’t havin’ it. I’m not gonna say it’s racism, but I’m not gonna say it’s not.

Q: Is he eventually going to appear in vocal form on your music?
A: T is learning how to spit some shit, but he at like a Dr. Seuss level right now, rhyming words like ho’s, mo’s, bizzo’s. Words that don’t even make sense.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I am working with the Canadian Camper’s Association on a line of tents. I want to bring it not just street, but rural-country-street. I want to be the first hip-hop artist to portage a canoe through the North-West Passage. If an MC drops in the woods, does any mah-fucker hear it?

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day is in theatres now.

Staff writer Jesse Skinner tackles anything and everything thrown his way but has a natural bent for film, music and current events.

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