“I feel like Louisville can be a positive place for music for any musician in the world. It’s really hard for people who are really good at it to be behind the people who are really dump at it and making it. It’s really hard for people like me, who are lyricist. So, when it comes to me, as a person, I make sure to follow everybody’s music. I don’t down anybody for nothing. I may give you tips here and there to help make your music better, but at the same time, I just like to tell them to keep working at it and keep doing them. All of my people’s are musicians, we all do music all day. I think that if you’re going to be a musician, learn the background, no matter what genre. I listen to every single genre, I don’t leave one out. It’s not a passion, if you’re just coming out of nowhere, thinking that you’re going to get rich off of that. It’s not like that! You can’t get rich off knowing something, you have to understand the mentality, putting in work and making it something that you want to create. That’s the way I envision it. I just don’t understand those that say, out the blue, ‘Oh, I want to be rapper!’. That’s one of our problems. That’s why we can’t make it in the big leagues. Only record labels are going to choose a few people.
I’ve been doing this since I was 7 years old. I rap. It’s not all the cussing and the negative, I like to bring some positivity. I don’t like rapping about all of the shooting and the guns. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I do bring it up. At the same time, there are songs where I express my feelings and I use metaphors. I don’t know if you heard of XXXtentacion, but that’s my inspiration. Before him, I didn’t have a rapper that inspired me.
I’m most creative when I’m by myself. I can’t have nobody around me. I love to perform around a lot of people but when I’m creating, I’m best by myself. I keep a lot of people out of my music and just drop it and then they mess with this.
I think that the West End needs more studios and places to make music. We have a place called Amped, that you have to sign up for, but we need more places like that. There’s not a lot of places in the West End for people to create and express themselves musically. It’s downtown or out there. I’m sure people get tired of waking up and knowing that music is their passion but they have to go all the way out there, when it could be right here in our neighborhood.
The West doesn’t need anymore guns. I’m tired of guns, they’re killing off my family. They just killed my cousin a few days ago. We’re all getting tired.
We also need more positivity because there’s so much negativity in the West. Everybody got some type of ego and it’s kind of weird. People are beefing over the smallest things. You can breathe wrong and you can get shot off that. It’s dumb.
I want everybody to learn their chill. Find where you can go. If you feel like you are about to shoot somebody, find your chill and walk away. If you learn your chill, things won’t be that bad. I had to learn that. Learn your chill or talk to God. “- James, Shawnee