Came across this great Jaz-O interview via Spine Magazine. This excerpt doesn’t do justice to the entire interview (or Jaz-O as he comes off a bit arrogant, but be assurred it is taken a bit out of context as the rest of the conversation builds to this moment) so make sure to check the whole thing. Link

*Before we go any further, can you give a 101 to those that don’t know on why you can say everything you are?*

Because I am Jaz-O, because I am the Originator. I’m the reason why there was subtitles on “Nigga What, Nigga Who (The Originator ’99).”That was my song and it was featuring Jay-Z. I started Jay-Z. I taught Jay-Z what a stanza was. I taught Jay-Z what bars were. I produced “Ain’t No Nigga” and “Rap Game, Crack Game” for Jay-Z. I produced the Lox’ demo for Bad Boy and one of the songs on that demo Puff took for himself and put it on the “No Way Out” album. I produced songs for M.O.P. like “World Famous.” I produced for Queen Latifah. I had a hit single with the O’Jays and I toured with the O’Jays. The list goes on.

I’ve been rhyming since I was 13 years-old. The reason why I have a right to say all of this is because I’m the originator of the triplet style. Nobody, not even in the Midwest, was rhyming fast like me. I was doing the shit in 1986. I got a song with Jay-Z and these other two kids from Long Island on it, and it’s called “HP Get’s Busy” and I’m rhyming fast on that. We did that in 1985. We put it on vinyl in 1986. I was still doing it before that. None of these niggas with the “I’m the supersonic electronic,” that wasn’t really fast rap, that was just some double-time shit. I was doing triplet shit. That’s why I got a right to say what I’m saying because all of these niggas that rhyme today understand who I am. It’s the public that doesn’t know. I’ve been featured on and I’ve produced platinum songs. I influenced these
motherfuckers, the ones people say is Top 5 of all-time.

Big Daddy Kane changed his whole style when he heard my shit. He tried to capitalize off my shit and it was the end of his career because he doing something outside of himself like an ass. He made an ass of himself. That’s when he started doing that shit with Patti Labelle and shit and nobody knew what the fuck he was doing. People who knew said he was trying to sound like Jaz, the people that didn’t know said he
sounded stupid. No disrespect to Kane, I got a lot of love for the nigga, but the truth is the truth. If niggas can’t handle the truth at this stage, then fuck them. I ain’t hear to make nobody happy. I’m not here to please niggas. The game owes me something, and that’s why I got the right to say what I want to say.

I’m the reason why these goons got security jobs out here. I’m the reason for slang out here, like “cheese” and “cheddar.” These niggas used to copy my shit all the time. Jay copied my shit “one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four,” he copied that in 2002. I’m the original nigga to come out of Marcy and I put Marcy on the map. Without selling millions of records, I put Marcy on the map. I put Marcy on the map. There was no Marcy to the music industry until I came out.

What gives me the right to say what I say is because I’m the original nigga to put a black panther on the album and LL bit and came behind me with the shit, and had the nerve to do a song “I’m Bad” where he used the same Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse bassline, which is the same bassline I used on “HP Gets Busy.” That’s what gives me a right to say this. They knew I was at a label that wouldn’t push me, and they were at Def Jam and Warner. The ones at EMI with good intentions didn’t have the power to bring it over. I’m the originator of the triplet style. I’m the first nigga to put an animal on my album cover. Before that, the only other big artist to do that was Janet Jackson. That’s what gives me the right to say what I say.

I had the biggest album budget ever in 1987-88. I had $275,000, which was three times more than what the highest advance that rap artists were getting at the time. The top niggas were getting $75,000. I saw Monie Love recently, and Monie Love was featured on my first album. I saw her a few months ago, and she was like, “I still be telling niggas about that apartment you had in London.” I did shit in Hip Hop that niggas weren’t even approaching at the time. Niggas talking all that ballin’ shit. My first album, we had big jewelry on. The record company didn’t buy that shit and we didn’t get that with the advance. We had that shit. That’s not really important, but I was just trying to look good.

Some of the kids know and it’s refreshing. I’ll go to Brooklyn and see a lot of kids that did their research, or their parents told them that if you fuck with the nigga Jay you’ve got to fuck with Jaz because he groomed him.

I always say that Jay always had talent. The nigga was nice when I met him but he had raw talent. He didn’t know how to make a song and I taught him poetic license. I taught him cadence and clarity, and these are the things that set him apart from these other niggas today. For a lot of years, I didn’t like to toot my own horn, but “beep beep.” Who else is going to do it if I don’t do it. Motherfuckers got to know. I would like them to know, so I go about it this way. That’s what I am. You ask any major rapper from Jadakiss to Ludacris, from Outkast to anybody that’s big that you could name, LL, all these niggas, they know who I am. In the rhyme ciphers, nobody would confront this dude. I was nicer than everybody, and that’s the truth. I hate to talk like this now, but I have to talk like this now because these niggas is cheating me out of what’s mine and I don’t have any other options. I can either talk this way or act like a Negro, go out and be on some bullshit. I’ll let anybody know, anybody want a dispute, old nigga or new nigga, come with your best. I’m 41 years-old. Name one more 41 year-old that’s spitting like me. Even Melle Mel turned it down.

There’s only a few other niggas out there that are doing it. There’s Whipper Whip from the Fantastic 5 and Grandmaster Caz, the man who made me take rap seriously. I hope I can be in that same vein…maintain my weight, stay in shape, don’t get all droopy in the face, and still be able to spit a 16. I love this shit. The niggas that love the shit stay in the game. They never stop pushing. Even if I have to work in a day-care center or A&P, you do the shit because you love this. I can’t work for nobody though. You can ask Caz and Whipper Whip and anyone from uptown, I was a young nigga in Brooklyn and word spread. “Who’s that young nigga in Brooklyn that nobody can fuck with?”

One day I was telling Caz, “you’re the reason I took rhyming seriously.” And he was like, “shit nigga, we were all talking about who’s this kid from Brooklyn that nobody can fuck with?” To me, when Grandmaster Caz said that shit, I was like, “I’ll accept that one.” To me, he’s the greatest that ever did it. And they still owe him for “Rapper’s Delight.” A lot of people got away with that shit back then. Niggas were getting away with samples and all that.