Hip Hop Headquarters sits down with
Pacific Northwest-based rapper/singer Jango
What made you decide to become a rapper?
Rap and RnB has always been a familiar sound in my house. I moved a lot so I never was limited to a certain sound. To be honest I feel like I got more of a global experience. It was my little brother that helped me decide to become a rapper though. I helped him get some of his equipment and used to watch him do it every day. Started messing around and a couple months later, I got my own equipment and the rest was history. I just took off writing and producing my own music. It wasn’t till very recently that I found my engineer Jimmy Hill who ended up producing “Alone By Choice”.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” is the first rap song I heard and remembered. My grandfather used to come home after working and he’d play Playstation games with us through the night. He had a surround sound system and he’d always play different music when we was chillin. One night he put on “Hard Knock Life” and I was hooked.
How did “Forbidden” come together?
With this song I wanted to swap it up. I wanted it to be more than just rap, because the lyrics were more than rap. The song tells a part of my story, and my struggles with woman, sex, god, and religion itself. The chorus goes, “can’t help myself / you more than wealth / I think you gone and you more than gold, shawty”. Basically, it’s saying that having that perfect woman means more to me than anything, and that I can’t help but look for her.
What’s the scene like in the Pacific Northwest? That’s not an area we normally hear from in hiphop.
The PNW has always been alive. I feel like eyes are just starting to finally look our way now that artists like Macklemore and Amine are up there nationally and can throw some real attention to the area. We got people like Dave B., Ill Chris and Brothers From Another all making moves and helping put the PNW on the map. It’s just a time game for us, and as soon as that spotlight hits we’re gonna be trending all through the United States. We got a lot of real rap MCs and real musicians out here – something the nation really needs right now.
How did your style evolve into both rapping and singing?
As far as what influenced the multiple styles I grew up on music from The Fugees, Musiq Soulchild, Jay-Z, Nas and all sorts of other types. I started out rapping and the singing started to fully develop in the studio. I brought my producer Jimmy Hill the “Forbidden” track and told him I just wanted to try it out. I started singing it and dudes eye’s lit up. He was in his chair with mad ideas to enhance what I’d done. The time we put into singing and developing the sound of this project doubled because suddenly we had a lot more depth and options to choose from. Jimmy helped me believe I could sing. For a long time I didn’t think I would be able to record anything decent enough to add to the rapping in the project. Everything worked out better than I could have ever expected and we ended up creating something special.
Pacific Northwest-based rapper/singer Jango presents “Forbidden”, his new single produced by Jimmy Hill of Amplified Wax, the production house responsible for a platinum record for Matthew Koma, as well as collaborations with Myles Kennedy and Eva Simons. “Forbidden” will appear on Alone By Choice, Jango ‘s forthcoming mixtape produced by Hill and co-produced by Jango. Born in Connecticut, Jango’s first mixtape was The Pursuit, and he has toured with Crooked I and Eazy E3. “Being originally born a Jehovah’s witness there’s a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to a significant other so as I grew older and farther away from the church my ideals and beliefs started to conflict,” Jango says about the song. “The love I’m singing and rapping about in ‘Forbidden’ is extremely forbidden in the church’s eyes. They consider this a sin. Throughout the song I knowingly am committing these sins but admit, ‘I just can’t help myself’ because the woman I’m describing is extremely seductive and has me caught up on her love. This song represents so much more to me that just a simple love song. It’s literally how I’ve experienced my love life. As a young kid I had this sweet ideal of love and how I’d be married before I had sex or became that intimate with a woman. Life however had its unexpected journeys and turns and I ended up committing sins I never thought I’d commit” Alone By Choice drops late March.