Montreal emcee and producer Jai Nitai Lotus is about to release one of the most interesting hip-hop albums of 2012, Something You Feel. Raw, gritty, and heartfelt, Something You Feel is rare in part because the music comes across authentic, Jai, unaffected. The record has a few guest features, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins being two on the track called “Hard Times & Blessed.” From hip-hop vet to newbie, Dudley asked Jai a few questions about his album and the state of black music and as always, it got interesting fast.
DP: What is your definition of true music?
Jai: Ahhh man, true music is sacred to me. Everyone will have there personal definition of what it is. To me it’s an honest creation, when you allow the creator to speak through you musically. Not easy to achieve, you got to feel it and believe it first.
DP: Do you think spiritual music can heal nations? If yes, how do you think this is possible?
Jai: It definitely can. That vibration is potent and almost indescribable. But to truly hear it, I think we need to have an open heart and be somehow humble enough to accept a power that is higher and greater then us, and realize we are all connected by this. Worldwide, universe-wide.
DP: Why do you think black music has become so dark and ignorant in the past ten years?
Jai: I don’t think its limited solely to black music, but to most music nowadays. It’s a complex system, that is rooted in our society in general. I think part of it has to do with the standard the music industry set, promoting mostly what is ignorant. Because of this a lot of people feel they have to play that role in order to become successful. I believe that the mass-mediums tend to exploit the people’s struggles, for profit and gain instead of using them to inform and create change. This is a form of oppression and creates a dangerous cycle for everyone.
DP: Do you believe it’s true that most ignorant black rap music is allowed only because it fuels private-owned prisons?
Jai: I wouldn’t look past that playing a part, given the history of racism. That in combination with some prisons being ran as private businesses that profit off majority black youth being incarcerated. Shit is straight twisted.