J-Bo of Active Ent.
12 June 2012
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Let's start off with some basics. Who's J-Bo? Where did you grow up and where do you live nowadays?
[ J-Bo ] : J-Bo is a 23 year old rap, marijuana and firearm addict to be honest, LOL. A lot of folks don't know I got my name in my hood from a C-Bo song called "357". I was a young chubby mothafucka about 13 walking up and down my hood with a 357. My name was Jacob and the homies kept callin' me Jbo. I hated the fucking name but it stuck to me so I couldn't shake it. I'm from North Visalia in the South Valley (559), born in San Jose, raised in Visalia and I'm still here to this day.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about Visalia rap scene. Is it mostly dominated by homeboy rap representatives or can you also find regular rap artists, like hip-hop or hyphy?
[ J-Bo ] : The Visalia rap scene is filled with a lot of raw undiscovered talent. We're a smaller city so we don't get as much exposure, but a lot of folks out here got gass like a mothafucka! On The Sneak Ent. is a hiphop gangsta rap group full of dope artists that are still really in the street. That's a big deal for me, I won't support an artist unless he's gone through the stuff he's talking about in his music. Also we have a whole lot of homeboy rappers from Visalia too that are breaking down doors in the game. 5filthy9 Muzic, Frankie Hood, Mr. G, Kino Locz, a large roster of talented rappers. But the Valley has never been on any hyphy shit. We used to knockout the Jcats at parties in my hood who were on that shit. We thought it was gay.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Point out a few most significant releases from Visalia scene?
[ J-Bo ] : A few releases that were big and sold well in my hood were Maniak (RIP) "Maniak Immortal", Mr. G "Networking Through My Area", J-Bo "Rappin & Jackin" Vol. 1 & 2 and Frankie Hood "All Day" were all albums that got a lot of play.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Give us some background on your music experiences. When did you first touch the microphone? Why did you choose to record rap?
[ J-Bo ] : The first time I've ever recorded something just messing around had to be in like 2000 on a karaoke machine, LOL. Low budget as fuck but it was me and my cousin messing around with it recording tapes on chronic 2001 beats takes me back though. I used to love battle rapping, so I'd be at house parties in my hood and there would be a circle full of people rappin' some of hood, some square, some who already had cds out and just liked to listen and watch the action. So I'd be battling back and forth and people were trippin' on the shit I was spittin'. They've never see a mothafucka from the V talkin' about choppers and mob shit and know WTF he's speakin' on.
A former friend of mine was the CEO of a rap group who were huge in Visalia at the time; they were called The Rival Killahz. He signed me to the label and opened up the studio for me when I needed it. The group started turning hip-hop and some members were off on their own trip so I left the label. I chose to record rap because I've always loved rap music all the way from Digital Underground to Young Lay.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Who's your biggest influences (both from music and non-music world)?
[ J-Bo ] : My biggest non-music influence is my family. My wife and daughter are my world and motivation to keep going everyday when it comes to them I'll put this music shit on hold at anytime. Family First!
But when it comes to my influences in music that would be my boy Maniak (RIP), Ben Davis (rip), Mr. G, Big Rhino, Kino Locz, shit there's a lot of people who influence me in this and have me wanting to drop more music for real homeboys. Maniak is the biggest influence though, because I feel as if I'm carrying the torch for the hood in this music shit and before me he was the man. When he got murdered I just felt the need to keep the legacy of Visalia Mob Music going.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Please elaborate on two parts of "Rappin' & Jackin'" series. What can fans hear on them?
[ J-Bo ] : You're gonna hear a lot of war stories, shit to sit back and smoke to, shit to go peel a mothafucka'z cap to and clowning on other weak rappers from the area, LOL. The first "Rappin & Jackin" was released over 5 years ago and did extremely well for being my first CD and part 2 did good as well. I even got a lot of copies distributed in the Bay Area.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's the story behind the latest "Turfology 101"?
[ J-Bo ] : I decided to name my CD "Turfology 101" because a lot of the music I was hearing sounded like radio garbage. Auto-tuned and upbeat hyphy sounding shit. So I decided I'm gonna take it back to the root of this shit! Back to the Turf. The theme of the CD was talking about being caught up in the game with no escape. Hustling to survive and mobbing on mothafuckaz before you became a victim. Just about real shit that goes on in my city. I've had the chance to experience how ugly the streets of the V can be so I decided to express it through that CD. Sort of schooling 'em on what we go through out here, so I named it "Turfology 101".
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How and when did you hook up with Active Entertainment?
[ J-Bo ] : Well I had been talking back and forth with Big Rhino for a good minute. Mr. G was a mutual friend and they'd both been chilling with each other pretty heavy since Mr. G signed with Active Ent. so him and G were mobbin' up and down Cali knockin' my "Turfology 101" CD and I guess Rhino liked what he heard. I hit him up and showed him more music, he hit Mr. G and the other members of their label discussed it and it went down. Next thing I know I'm shooting my first music video in less than a month after signing and working with a lot of established artists; It was amazing. It was an honor to be signed to the label.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Can you tell us about the label's recent squad?
[ J-Bo ] : I can honestly say I'm on the hardest homie rap label period! And not on any music shit everyone on the A-team (Active Ent.) is a fuckin' hogg and has stripes and respect in the city, the type of cats who don't give a fuck. Shout out to Negro, Mr. G, Big Rhino, Big Oso and Samantha B.; real shit tho nothing but love and respect.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I've heard you're planning to bring 3 more cds in the nearby future. Can you shed some light on this subject and share details with our readers?
[ J-Bo ] : Well I'm working on a CD right now called "Fully Loaded". It's gonna be another banged out CD just filled with G-shit. "Networking Through Our Area Vol. 2" with me and Mr. G and I've been kickin' around an idea about doing another "Rappin & Jackin'".
[ BayUndaground.com ] : As far as I'm concerned you'll be featured on the upcoming album from Mr. G, Gavino and N Lok called "Gangsta Rhythmz N Block Rhymez" - can you share some details on this one too?
[ J-Bo ] : All I can say is that this one will be a classic for sure. My boy N-Lok (Nono Brown) has put in a lot of work and time into his project, it's got a long list of features on there also. I recommend swoopin' up a copy.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's your opinion on homeboy rap scene as a whole? Do you think it's going in right direction right now?
[ J-Bo ] : Well it's going in the right direction for the most part; you see a lot of artists trying to be cholo'd out again as soon as hyphy died out. Shit's comedy but there is a lot of solid homeboy rappers bringing back real chicano rap music. Big Rhino is definitely one of them. We're pushing a hard line at Active Ent. bringing back good homeboy rap.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's behind homeboy society nowadays? Is it mostly a rap movement or more of a gang affiliation?
[ J-Bo ] : I can only answer so much of that question bro. As far as the rap or gang affiliation part, it's homeboys from all over the state and outta state coming together for something positive and promoting unity within our raza. The pigs may see it as were clicking up all over the state doing some large gang affiliation shit when it's far from that. We're just Chicanos from the north and central part of California who choose to fuck with our own kind and weed out the Jcats.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : You also have your own clothing line - tell us something more about it. What type of clothes are in it? Where can people buy it?
[ J-Bo ] : The name of the company is Active Clothing Co. For now we're selling Getactive & NorCali Blockstar T-shirts for men and women; we have a lot of new shirts being designed right now as well. You can buy the clothes through me through the mail or if your in the 559 I can meet you. The best way to reach me is my Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org; I can fill your order and have the shirts out within the week.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Any other specific goals for the second half of 2012?
[ J-Bo ] : I plan on wrapping up this "Fully Loaded" CD, finish the "Networkin Through My Area Vol. 2" and shooting a few more videos.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Anything else you'd like to add?
[ J-Bo ] : Well I just want to thank BayUndaground.com for showing me love and takin' the time to chop it up with me. Shout to everybody showin' me love on this music shit it means a whole lot to me!! Also a shout to my label mates! Negro, Samantha B, Mr. G, Big Oso Loc and Big Rhino. Much Love to the ones knockin' shit over and holdin' down their section. Stay solid and if you fuck with them suckaz u duck with them suckaz.
Visit J-Bo on Facebook and check Active Ent. BandCamp profile.