One thing that Miami rapper Jacki-O can never be mistaken for being is a fake person. The female MC, who jumped onto the radar with her 2003 hit single "Nookie", has made a career on being honest with everyone from execs to fans. Since that breakthrough,a lot of things have happened and a lot has changed-- a release and dispute with her former label, beef with other female rappers, success at the independent level, and revelations about her past -- but she has never lost that "keep it real" at all costs mentality that has made her a standout among her peers in an industry where publicists are often a rapper's best friend.
While prepping for her latest mixtape Griselda Blanco and her second book, the Miami native has recently been involved in a one-sided war of words with DJ Khaled. Jacki-O took some time to sit down and discuss the latest controversy surrounding her and clear up the air.
BallerStatus.com: Everybody is buzzing about the remarks that you've been making lately about DJ Khaled, but what made you want to speak on him in the first place?
Jacki-O: What made me really want to speak on it is because, I mean, I had a lot of conversations with a lot of people whether its via Twitter, Facebook, email, or just a face to face, and it's been something that's been going on for a minute and nobody seems to say anything about it. I'm not the type of person to go behind somebody's back and say things and then when I see them it's something else. I think if I have a problem, I'm going to call you out about it or we're going to speak about it and at the end of the day, we could still have lunch. But, I'm going to call you out on it and that's the way it should be. There shouldn't be no feeling involved, I should be able to say what I want to say and you should respect my mind. I'm not disrespecting you, I'm not calling you f*** n**** this, and bitch n**** that, it's not like that. I'm just calling you out on how I feel that you could handle business a little differently and at the end of the day, just respect my mind. There's nothing disrespectful about speaking your mind, so I just wanted to kind of put that in the air and just let him know how I feel about it. Unfortunately it had to be publicized, but that's hip-hop.
BallerStatus.com: Have you spoken to him before or tried to reach out?
Jacki-O: I've had several conversations prior to this one, awhile back where I've asked him about my music and he tells me I've got to go holler at E-Class. I got to holler at another dude about his job, like come on dude, just be for real. It's like those conversations were private and I got nothing done, so sometimes you have to call the person out so that what I did.
BallerStatus.com: Do you think this is a personal thing against you in particular?
Jacki-O: It has to be personal, when I'm still getting booked to be in shows and I haven't had a mainstream album out since 2004. I've been able to take care of myself and family off shows, that should go to show somebody that I'm putting this music out in theses streets and these clubs are playing it and these people are loving her music, I need to be playing some of this music on the radio, but I'm not getting that with him. I don't have any of my music being played on the radio. What artist do you know that put an album out in 2004 -- and it's 2010 now -- and they're still getting booked for shows? Not a lot. Unless they're putting their music out in the streets and they got these DJs in the streets playing their music. I go hard in the streets and I get shows. So why isn't my music being played on your radio station? I got DJs all over the world playing music of mine and they're supporting me. Why aren't you supporting me and you're in my own backyard? That's crazy to me, so something has got to be said.
As far as this Miami movement that's going on and a lot of people were a part of, I was one of the first artists that are from Miami, if we want to go on that and start talking about that. I mean, of course, you got your Luke, you got your Trick, you got your Trina, and you got these artists. But when it comes to Poe Boy, Jacki-O is Poe Boy, you understand what I'm saying? That's Miami. Why am I not a part of this Miami movement? That's some personal stuff and where it's coming from, I don't know because the beef that we had with Poe Boy has been squashed. We've done records and all together, so I don't know if he knows that or not, or I don't know if he thinks he's going to get in trouble for playing my music with them or whatever, but that's been over with. Now what's the problem? Before you told me I need to holler at him about you playing my music, so now what's the problem? It's just crazy and I don't get it.
BallerStatus.com: So you reached out to him in private before, has he ever given you any type of explanation?
Jacki-O: No. I mean, before when I reached out to him, it was awhile ago and the response I got from him then, I knew where it was coming from back then, so I kind of fell back a little bit and let dudes get over their feelings because I don't know why business is being personal now. In business people are into their feelings and being emotional when it comes to business, but I fell back and let him have that. I never had words with him and I never
disrespected him. I never said anything about his kids, his family, nothing. Whatever would make a dude get emotional about playing music, I never did any of those things and then I waited awhile and things got squashed between me and the label or whatever, and you still not playing it. So now I'm thinking, well maybe he has a problem with me, so I really don't know nor do I honestly care. What I do care about is my city and continuing to reign in this hip-hop era because who knows how long it will last.
BallerStatus.com: Is this a singling out of you only or are there other artists who you think have been excluded from getting radio play?
Jacki-O: If you're in the position to play that music, you need to go hard for your city. Since this is your city and you're so hood, why you not repping your city? Why you repping people that you feel you have contractual ties to? That's the only people your repping when it comes to local artists. Whenever it comes to something with any other artists your playing them, but when it comes to playing the artists from Miami, if you ain;t got no contractual ties to them, you ain't playing them. Well, that's not considered "repping your city" because when you rep your city you rep every artist in Miami that's actually making a name for themselves and doing something. If that music is being played in the clubs and you that artist out there grinding, play the music. I just don't see him doing that. Not for me and not for a lot of artists, I just don't see that love and it kind of sickens me when I see people calling out my city and you not even really from Miami. I'm not going to understand why you don't have that passion that a DJ is supposed to have for your city. Honestly, you really don't have that passion because if you did you would let the emotional foolishness go and really rep for the city.
BallerStatus.com: Do you think this can get resolved or will egos get in the way?
Jacki-O: I think that's what got in the way in the beginning. All of this stuff that went on in Miami it was a just a bunch of egos being pushed around. I really think that if you were talking to people that really weren't about that stuff and were mature, I don't think so. This stuff wouldn't have gone on. It's just talking to people that got egos and are feeling themselves. You're talking about a DJ who was playing my music in the beginning, but now he's not playing my music.
BallerStatus.com: What about people out there who are saying this is all a marketing tool for you?
Jacki-O: I read somewhere that somebody was saying I'm doing this for a publicity stunt because I got a new album. This is a mixtape! I've dropped so many mixtapes in the street that it's ridiculous. This has nothing to do with me dropping a mixtape. For a matter of fact, this mixtape is being given away, it's downloadable, free music, it's not being sold. So this has nothing to do
with I'm trying to get publicity for him because if I'm going to get publicity it sure wouldn't be for him.
BallerStatus.com: So tell us about the mixtape?
Jacki-O: This is a mixtape that I wanted to do for the street and it's called Griselda Blanco. It's just me portraying the life of Griselda Blanco, who was a drug lord from the '80s who was an infamous figure. She just went hard in the streets and she was iconic when it came to the drug game. It's just me taking the name for this particular mixtape to just let people know the same way Griselda Blanco was, she took no prisoners and never held her tongue or said anything subliminal, she was that chick and that's what I'm doing on this mixtape.