Check out our latest Music Mondays featuring East Oakland native Jaye$.


College and music can be a difficult task to handle, but Jaye$, an East Oakland native, finds a way to remarkably do both. I recently had the opportunity to link up with him to discuss college life, comparisons to Dom Kennedy, and how he balances making beats and crafting his lyrics.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the East side of Oakland, Ca popularly known as the “Murder Dubbs”

How has growing up in Oakland shaped you as an artist?

Game, there are things I’ve learned from Oakland, good and bad, that I surely wouldn’t have learned anywhere else. Growing up through different diverse cultures that Oakland has to offer can ultimately shape you into something the rest of the world might not expose you to.

At what moment did you know you wanted to pursue a rap career?

Freshman year of High school, maybe around the time I lost my virginity to this Mexican chick I was dating, I felt like I wanted to tell stories and utilize my influence of poetry into my life at the moment cause I was in love and all that good shit.


You recently released your second project Twomps, how have you grown as an artist since your debut release?

Defining my production, That has always been something I intently focused on. Lyricism comes 2nd place to my production because I personally feel you can move someone without saying a word, however lyricism is still a very important part to the construction of a great song.

How do you balance college and a rap career?

That fucking shit is hard bruh. But then again nothing is really easy and if that was the case then it wouldn’t be fun. A Lot of people always assume that just because I’m a “Rapper”, which I don’t even consider myself as, that I won’t educate you on why Wall Street crashed in the early 2000’s or why Adolf Hitler invaded Poland or some shit like that. Overall I’m in school for Business-Marketing because I don’t want to be a dumb fool getting played in the industry later on in life, that’s another thing growing up in Oakland has taught me, don’t get played.


When I was listening to your album, I felt there was a Dom Kennedy influence to your music. Who are some of your musical influences?

Of course, Dom is a West Coast artist, we share many of the same influences. Dom’s music came to my attention around junior year in high school, around the same time I started smoking weed and listening to Curren$y. I’m also very open to a lot of different genres and I’ve binged listened to a lot of diverse music from many different countries.

On the production side of things, you also make beats, and you use a lot of heavy bass throughout Twomps which is reflective of that old Bay sound. How do you go about composing beats?

I honestly can’t say, it’s more of an emotional or in the mood type of thing. Depends on how I’m feeling that day determines what I make. I’m a Gemini, I go through bipolar ass moods.

This time next year, where do you hope to see yourself as an artist?

On a beach in Barcelona with a Black & German girl, sippin’ Sangria while we go through different material I want to put on my next project.




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