If you’re a fan of Hip-Hop, you are definitely familiar with Tommy Boy Music. Known for pioneering the “Golden Age of Hip-Hop” through the 80s and 90s, Tommy Boy has continued to stay relevant within their 37-year journey. Their roster is filled with legends like Afrika Bambaataa, Coolio and Queen Latifah; and collectives like De La Soul, Naughty by Nature and House of Pain. The labels catalogue is filled with classics that have profoundly pushed the Hip-Hop culture needle forward.
Within the last few years, Tommy Boy has continued to provide the people with heat. They put out solo projects for Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Sheek Louch; rereleased De La Soul’s 1993 “Buhloone Mindsate” on vinyl; and assembled their new fleet of talent. One new artist of the roster that grabbed my attention is JaeO Draftpick.
JaeO Draftpick is a Long Island native who has been creating a buzz in the world of rap. He has been championed for being an authentic lyricist and a voice for Hip-Hop heads in the Nassau/Suffolk County communities. In 2017, JaeO released his joint “51631 (feat. Reek da Villian),” where he raps about his come up on the Island. He also dropped “Last One,” where he talks about his flex and being better than his next chicks’ man. Both of these tracks have that East Coast pulse that gets your head boppin’.
I recently had the opportunity to see JaeO Draftpick open for Abhi The Nomad at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. His performance was cool, calm and collected. JaeO was going in on is flow and looked comfortable doing so. He had the crowd feeling some type of way when he performed his latest single “Blessings.” People were listening and feeling his force, as he rapped from one side of the venue to the next. In this track, JaeO spits about giving thanks and parse to where he’s at in his 10-year career. The lyrics are real, from the heart and resonated with the heads who were at the venue.
Being one of those heads, I wanted to learn more about the artist and his story, so I asked him a few questions.
Hamilton: Can you explain the significance of your name?
JaeO Draftpick: Well my real name is Jonathan. In high school I didn’t wear nothing but Jordan’s and everybody called me Jo. Changed the spelling and voila! JAEO, is an acronym, (J)ust (A)bout (E)verything (O)utstanding.
H: When did you start rapping?
J: Naturally, fell in love with music the first time I was introduced to it. I’ve been on my grind for the last decade.
H: What motivated you to become an artist?
J: MiMS “This Is Why I’m Hot.” I opened up for him when I was in group called Draftpicks All Over Long Island. I Knew somebody personally that made it, so why not take it seriously and do same.
H: You’re a Tommy Boy artist now. How does it feel to be a part of such a legendary label?
J: Amazing! Some of best Hip-Hop acts to this day were on TB. One of first albums I heard was N.O.R.E who happened to be on Tommy Boy. God works in the best ways.
H: Walk me through your writing/creative process.
J: Beats, homies, my engineer and some good smoke. I just let the tempo and beat it talk to me.
H: What was the motivation behind your single “Blessings?”
J: “Blessings” was actually recorded over year ago. It was originated as a trap record but we decided to switched vibe and beat. It was just how I was feeling at the time. Been though a lot, just happy to be here.
H: Where’s the studio?
J: Shouts out GIANTS Studios in Bellmore, Long Island.
H: Who produced the track?
J: Shane Doe met through the label. Good guy!
H: What were your thoughts on your mercury lounge performance?
J: Mercury lounge was dope AF. Exceeded my expectations. I honestly didn’t know what type crowd was going to be but I must say they came out heavy! Shouts out to the boy Abhi. It was a pleasure to open up!
H: What’s your plans for the remainder of the year?
J: One more single, couple of videos. I’m preparing for 2019. It’s going to be a flood!
H: What was the last song downloaded on your phone?
J: All my shit!!
H: What can you pass on to the next generation of rappers and kids on the Island?
J: Be yourself! Stay focused, have patience and never give up. Some get on in a couple of months and for others, it might take years. If you work hard, you’ll reach your goals, especially with social media expanding.
My conversation with JaeO Draftpick showed me how passionate he is about his motive, image and art. He is set to release his music video for “Blessings” on November 1st, so stay tuned. The genre of Hip-Hop is insanely competitive and filled with posers. My man JaeO is legit and he’s just making a splash. Be ready for the flood!
Twitter – @Jaeodraftpick
Instagram – @Jaeodraftpick
Facebook – @Jaeodraftpick
YouTube – @Draftpicksmusic
Merch – The51631.bigcartel.com