Jehst - Infinite Jehst
One of the UK’s finest hip hop exports Jehst will soon be arriving on Australian shores to play The Main Ingredients at The Gaelic Club. 3D’s Fat Tony caught up with him to find out what’s been keeping him occupied since his last album dropped, and what we can expect from his performance.
Your last album, Nuke Proof Suit, dropped in 2005. Can you fill us in on what you've been working on since then-
Well, last year I dropped The Mengi Bus Mixtape just to let the fans know that I’m still here! That was really me saying, ‘Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you!’ Basically I’ve been doing a lot of production, remixes, gigging and a lot of behind the scenes work with my label, YNR Productions.
What's going on with YNR-
We’ve been taking time out to re-organise as a business and also to spend time developing artists and albums creatively and also in terms of live performance, press and promotion. Everything it takes to be a well-rounded, thick-skinned artist that can survive in a fickle industry. This year we’ve released two albums, Kashmere’s Raiders Of The Lost Archives and Sir Smurf Lil’s A New Bloodline and we’ve got at least four albums lined up for next year, including my next album and albums from Jyager and Micall Parknsun. 2009 is gonna be a big year for us.
What's your UK touring schedule like- Where have you been playing lately-
We’ve been pretty busy considering that we’re not out pushing an album right now. But in the last month or so we’ve been to Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton, and done a few London dates. Plus we’ve been to France and Croatia! I’m knackered!
Your name makes me think you paint walls as well as rap-
In the days of my youth I dabbled! Ha! I’ve got black books for days, but I never really took it to the streets. When I used to paint it was mainly Hall’s Of Fame where it wasn’t too hot and I could take time over my piece. Do some characters and whatever. I was more about the art than the bombing. But don’t get me wrong, I know my history. I love graffiti!
Who were your early hip hop influences whilst growing up-
Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL, Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, De La Soul, Blade, MC Mell’O, Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, Krispy, BDP, Ice T, Public Enemy, KMD… too many other names to mention!
Who's pushing your buttons as far as the UK hip hop scene goes-
Kyza, Triple Darkness, Roots Manuva, Chesta P, Blak Twang, Stig & Syntax, Jack Flash, Dubbledge, Joker Starr, Ghetto, T Bear, producers like LG, Chemo, Ghosttown, Apa-Tight, Jaisu, Kelakovski and of course all my YNR affiliates! There’s a lot of talent out here.
What contribution do you feel UK hip hop should be making to the country's culture - a culture that's reportedly under strain from all angles-
A big contribution. We already do make a big contribution, both positive and negative, but it’s mainly the negative that’s recognised. I feel we should be encouraged to make an even bigger contribution because in all truth we’ve got more of an understanding of the problems facing the youth than any of these script-reading politicians. Forget the recession, we’ve got to reach the youth before we isolate them completely. It’s pretty ugly out here right now.
When do you do your best writing-
When I’m relaxed and pressure-free.
What sort of shows will you be bringing to Australia-
I always try to give my all when I perform so I’ll bring as much energy as I can muster! After this tour I want to come back with Kashmere and Micall Parknsun so expect bigger and better things every time!
WHAT: Playing The Main Ingredients at the Gaelic Club
WHEN: Saturday 15 November