Ahhhhh….some clarity as to what’s poppin’ in the world of JD Era.
Noisey: What’s the situation with ICEH20? Do they still have a studio in Toronto?
JD Era: They never had a studio here. They have offices in Toronto, but I know they just set up a new studio in New Jersey. They’re trying to set up in a new location in Canada because they’re still pushing the Canada thing, but I’m the only Canadian artist on ICE20. But I’m signed on the Canadian side, it’s a different situation. With myself and Raekwon, we’ve always had our own situation, because at the end of the day – that’s the guy that put on for me. All of the years, no one really came and said “I’m gonna give you a shot” before Raekwon. He’s just gotta get his business together.
What do you mean?
It’s one thing to be a great rap artist, but it’s another to be a great business man. Being associated with Rae is a double-edged sword, because you get some new fans by association, but there’s a level of expectation that comes from those Wu fans supporting you. There was a point where I stopped and looked back on what I did with my Raekwon co-sign, and I wasn’t satisfied. I put in a lot of work, and I didn’t feel like it hit where it needed to hit. No Handouts did really well it terms of how it was received, but I still think the music could have been spread to a lot more people. My goal on Barz is to sit back and reevaluate this situation, and take certain things back into my own hands.
What kind of things would you like to see Raekwon do for you?
I need a push, a budget. In any dream situation for an artist, they want the budget to create, and they don’t want to do things that they had to do prior to getting signed. Just to be able to sustain a certain standard of living and to record. I respect Rae’s ear and his vision, I know what his thoughts are about everything, so that’s why I wasn’t surprised by those Breakfast Club comments. But I feel like if you’re in a position where you can get your message to people, and I’m your artist, then you should be speaking positively about me in public.
Raekwon’s a childhood hero, but there was a moment that happened where it forced me to reevaluate. No Handouts came out and we went on tour. We came back off the tour, which by the way we didn’t get paid for, and I’m in Rae’s office. I’m like “Yo we gotta print CDs cause we just came off the tour, so let’s promote!” He’s like “I’m not printing CDs.” I’m like “you’re not printing CDs? This is a record label, how are we gonna give people my music?” He’s just like “Yo you gotta figure that out, I’m not printing CDs.”
At the end of the day, people are not gonna make sacrifices for you just because you’re Raekwon.