Chase: “All right everybody, this is Chase March. Daddy J is on the boards, and we have JC Poppe on the telephone all the way from Milwaukee. You can download this interview for free, stream it with the player below, or continue reading. Welcome to DOPEfm.”
JC Poppe: “What’s up? How you guys doing?”
Chase: “We’re doing good pretty good. It’s nice to finally get you on the show. I know we’ve been trying to make this pop for a little while and talk about your two albums that just came out recently, Tea Party and Shadowlands. How are those doing for you?”
JC Poppe: “Well, they’re doing all right. The people have been receiving the music pretty well. The thing I’ve noticed about these records is the fact that people really, really love them or they really, really don’t like them at all. It’s been a very interesting process after I came out with my first record in 2009, to people say either, ‘Yeah, you got a lot better,’ or, ‘These are the most horrible things that I’ve ever heard, never rap again.’
It’s been a very interesting process to see how people react. The people who do like them, I get tweets about it, facebook messages, emails, or texts, especially the tracks on Shadowlands, they say, ‘Hey, this track really touched me. This track really helped me get through something.’ That is fantastic.
It’s great to hear as a songwriter that the music that I am letting go from myself, even though it’s personal, somebody can still find something in it to hold on to. With Tea Party, which is much more a thought and belief album, rather than personal experience, some people really do gravitate to that as well.
So , yeah, it’s been a mixed bag of reactions from people.”
Chase: “Well, I know I was a little confused when I first got it, like, ‘Why do you have two albums?’ and ‘What’s the deal there?’ Perhaps you can explain why you split them up into two shorter albums instead of one longer one.”
JC Poppe: “When I was writing the records or the music, I found that my thought patterns were going to two very specific places. One, either being very personal to who I am and my life story. And the other, based on the thoughts I have on politics or things of that nature.
When I started weaving those tracks in and out of each other, trying to find a proper balance and sequence, I found that it wasn’t working. It wasn’t coming to life the way that I wanted it to. I figured the best way to bring it to life and convey the message that I wanted to, was to split them up and make two different albums.
That is what you get with Shadowlands and Tea Party. They are two completely different albums but they’re, I would say, equally as intense, just in different ways.”
Chase: “Yeah, ’cause you tend to get really personal with your lyrics. I know a lot of rappers do that, while others put on a total persona. We can see that you don’t have a manufactured persona. You are being pretty open and raw in a lot of your lyrics here.”
JC Poppe: “I’ve always been a fan of just hip-hop and well-written music. Two of the most influential emcees for me are Chuck D and Black Thought. While Black Thought doesn’t get super-emotional, he leaks out tinges of emotion into his lyrics about the personal struggle that they’ve all gone through, that he’s gone through, to give it that personal flavour. And Chuck D has so much power in his message and his voice. And so, those are two guys who are very influential on what I do and who I want to be as an MC. I’m not as gifted as either of them, but those are the people I aspire to be like.
Chase: “Good influences right there. Definitely. I know in one of your other songs, Audio, you say, ‘If you don’t know Eric B and Rakim, but you love Young Money, your light’s a little too dim.”
JC Poppe: “That’s kind of how I feel. I’m out here making conceptual music that is extremely personal and if you just want that facade of sex, money, drugs, alcohol, that kind of stuff, that’s not what I’m going to deliver to you. I’m going to give you ‘the real.’ I’m going to give you who I am and what’s going on in my world and in my head.
Sometimes I have fun, like in ‘Audio’ or the song ‘Mess Around.’ So, yeah, life is not all this party and BS that people are portraying out there. It’s just not that. And that’s a vicious cycle, people get caught up into believing that it is and they wonder why their lives are terrible, why are they so unhappy. Well, maybe, it’s because they bought into these lies that all you need for happiness is to get out get drunk and have random sex with all sorts of people, or taking drugs or whatever, and that;s not it.”
Chase: “One of the things that I admire about you is that you break the stereotypes of a rapper. I remember probably a year ago, you tweeted something to the effect, ‘Yeah I’m a rapper and I got a wife and I love her and I’d never cheat on her,’ and you had a couple tweets like that in a row. ‘Yeah, I’m a rapper, but . . .’ and just breaking what many people have as an image of a rapper. I thought that was really cool to see.”
JC Poppe: “That’s the thing. So many people out there don’t want you to know that they have an education. I think that was one of them that I put out there, like, ‘Yes, I have a college degree.’ Why is that so bad to put out there that you’re an educated person?
A lot of rappers do have a higher education, so why be ashamed of that? A lot of rappers do have wives and children, so why can’t they talk about that and say, ‘I love my wife. I love my children. I’m a family man.’
Chase: “That’s really cool. I definitely like that message that you’re sending out. It’s about time we play one of your tracks right now so people can hear what you are about. I want to play ‘Foundation of a Moment’ which is a really nice track. It’s got a really nice beat and there’s also a video to it which I will embed below.
So this is ‘Foundation of a Moment’ from the album ‘Shadowlands’ by JC Poppe. Daddy J is gonna drop that track and we’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up this interview. If you don’t want to wait, you can download the entire show to listen to right now, or keep listening with the streaming player below.