When Jace agreed to do an interview with us, all sorts of questions I wanted to ask were rushing through my head, during the interview we cover his new project coming out 2/29/16 called JaceTape, violence in Atlanta and more, be sure to check it out all below.
Alright so first question, explain Retro Sushi. Where did the name originate from?
“Um Retro Sushi is a group within TWO9. It’s myself, the main rapper, and Ceej who raps, but also he’s the main producer.”
How long ago did you meet Ceej and how?
“I met Ceej 10 years ago. The way we became friends was when I was in a rap battle at high school, I was a sophomore and he was an upperclassman. I didn’t win the rap battle, but I did really well. He came up to me and told me he made beats, so I came by his crib and that’s just it.”
Did you guys start making music together right away?
“We definitely made music that day, but initially we just kicked it in his driveway and shot a basketball around. Then we just talked about who our influences were and that was about a two hour conversation. I’m not too sure that we recorded that day, but I know for sure he showed me some beats that I liked. But now looking back on it, they were absolutely complete shit compared to his [beats] now.”
So I talked to Cartier Dave not too long ago, and he said you had a house back in 2009, is that correct?
“Yeah, I had an apartment.”
Any crazy stories to tell?
“Aw yeah man hella crazy shit went down in that apartment. We used to have a lot of parties. I remember our first one was the day we got off the phone with a radio station, which was our first call with who eventually would become apart of TWO9. We dropped a mixtape that day, and it got over 1,000 downloads that day, and to us that was so deep– we didn’t even fucking know 1,000 people. We threw a party that night and that got really wild. It was like me, Curt, I think Dave came by, and that was really cool. Then a bunch of our friends started coming by, like friends from all parts of my life– high-school friends, college friends, my manager B Wright– and I ended up getting really drunk, passed out, then woke up at 2PM to throw up when everyone was kinda leaving. There was a mirror in my hallway and I thought it was the wall, so I put my hand on it and it just shattered. Then everyone was like “What the fuck!” so I went out in the back, threw up for like an hour, passed out, and woke up like “man what the fuck.” There was glass everywhere right outside the bathroom; my sister was pissed the fuck off. It was pretty crazy… the good times.”
When is Jace Tape coming out?
“Next Monday the 29th.”
Did you purposely make it on 2/29/16 because of TWO9?
“Yeah that was a cool thing we noticed; this year was a leap year. We dropped the TWO9 mixtape last year on February 9th, and we were initially gonna drop my project on February 9th. But Mike reminded me it was a leap year, so he said I should drop it on the 29th of February which made sense. I thought that was cool because there’s not many leap years. Also, the 29th is the 4 year anniversary of when my grandmother passed so I thought it was a sign.”
Any big names featuring on Jace Tape?
“Um, big names, yeah there are but it’s not in the way that you’d be thinking, but there are definitely a few big names on there production-wise. There’s a few pretty cool big ass features. They’re not probably going to be listed as features, so you might not even notice it’s them, but there are definitely a lot of cool people who helped on this tape and made it what it is.”
Other than Jace Tape, what else do you plan on doing in 2016?
“The TWO9 album is coming up, so we’re going to be dropping that. Ceej and I are still working. When In Tokyo is still very real, a lot realer than what people even know or would suspect. We got Ransom II dropping, that’s some Eardrum-Records shit. Then Sremmlife crew is making a mixtape, and I’m on there. Jimmy and Sway are making mixtapes too, and I’m on there. So you know, I’m gonna be everywhere. I got a lot of work.”
Any upcoming tours? Shows?
“I’m probably going to have a show for the release of my tape, but that’s going to be more of a TWO9 affair. I might do a couple shows with Rae Sremmurd when he’s on tour, whenever that is, but right now I’m just focusing on my tape trying to get ready for this to drop.”
What’s it like working with MikeWillMadeIt, Rae Sremmurd, and Wiz Khalifa?
“Mike is the homie. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a job with your friends, but imagine doing what you love to do for a living, but also doing it with a good friend of yours. Working wise, I call him a ‘genius’ all the time; he’s very calculating to the point where it seems evil, even though it’s not. He just comes up with unique ideas that nobody ever would have thought, like why was he thinking like that? But he’s very big on plans, and he likes setting stuff up which is really cool because I’m always over the place. That’s why I like working with the Rae Sremmurd so much because they’re very creative, very fearless when it comes to their art. They’re not concerned about anything outside of the studio. Working with Wiz man that’s the big homie, you know, he’s very chill and very cool. He has that vibe an aesthetic; he’s cool and he likes my music a lot which is a huge compliment. We’ve definitely kicked it outside of the studio. He’s an artist I’ve admired for the longest time so getting to work with him and kick it with him was pretty cool.”
How did you get introduced to both of them?
“My manager B Wright was doing digital media and marketing for Wiz, and he was also starting to get into the management for TWO9 so that’s kinda how we met Wiz. From there, B Wright’s work got noticed by MikeWillMadeIt, so B Wright worked on Mike’s marketing and digital stuff– that’s when he was fully managing TWO9. So B Wright introduced Mike to us, figuring we could make some hard shit. We developed a working relationship which blossomed into a friendship which is tight. Mike found out about Rae Sremmurd, and he played some of their stuff and asked us if we should work with them and we were down. From there, we met everybody. They came down to Atlanta, met us at the studio, and their just some young kids trying to make music so we vibed. It was definitely an instant kinda click when we all met. I met Wiz first, but we never worked till later.”
Growing up, did anyone in particular inspire you, or even today does anyone inspire you?
“My paps inspired me hella much; my dad is definitely one of my main sources of inspiration even as a person. I don’t know, I never had too many idols, but I’ve always wanted to be like my dad. To me, he’s the coolest guy ever in the world, and he’s just a stand-up guy. Everybody loves him, so I definitely try and model myself after him. He always said I could be whatever I wanted growing up. Being a rapper isn’t the biggest thing, but he’s definitely very proud I’m doing what I like.”
What are your thoughts on the mass violence in Atlanta?
“That’s funny me and MikeWillMadeIt were just talking about it. I don’t know whether it’s getting worse or not, but that’s what me and Mike were arguing about. I think it was always this bad but with social media and technology people are more cognitive and aware of it. Either way, I’m not a fan of it. There’s so much positivity going on in this city and people are trying to bring themselves up in the world but with all this violence, it’s definitely holding some people back.”
Did you try staying away from all the violence when you were growing up?
“Yeah, when I was younger I definitely wasn’t sheltered; violence was something that you can’t get away from. A lot of house parties were shot up. Growing up, I was living in the middle of two gangs– one local gang was on one side of my house and the rival gang was on another street– that’s why a lot of parties, when I was in high-school, would get shot up. But now being older and looking back at it from a different perspective, it seems more wrecked and crazier. However, at the time it’s not like I stayed away from violence like an old man. It was just shit that was around, you either got involved in it because you needed to or felt like it or you didn’t but heard of it or kept it moving.”
Interviewing Jace was a hell of an experience, he’s a cool guy and has a lot of talent, be sure to check out his new project JaceTape coming out on 2/29/2016.