Many things have been said about Birdman and Cash Money Records in recent years. Still, one thing that is completely undeniable is their knack for consistently discovering creating new talent and churning out hit records. So when the label and their mogul boss began to make it clear that singer Jacquees was the future of the label, there should have been no questioning it. Several mixtapes later and it’s become abundantly clear that Jacquees is not only talented, but he’s also more than capable to stand in the same booth as some of the hit makers that have come before him to rock a Cash Money chain. No one expects him to fill the void left by a legend, but it’s safe to say that he will continue to build on the legacy that is Cash Money.
2017 proved to be the best year yet for Jacquees, spawning the hit single “B.E.D.” along with the remix, both of which climbed the charts and helped secure some serious attention from fans and fellow artists. One quick conversation with him and it’s clear that there’s no one left that he needs to prove anything to. His own biggest critic, he’s prepared himself for this point in his career. Now he only has to meet his own high expectations, along with the high standards of Birdman and Slim, of course.
We caught up with Jacquees to talk about his much anticipated debut album, 4275, the success of “B.E.D.”, his friendship with Dej Loaf and much more.
Parlé Mag: Talk to me about how you developed your passion for music and what made you pursue it as a career.
Jacquees: It all came from what i saw, watching The Temptations and The Jackson 5. I already liked it before I knew I could sing. When I found out that I could sing, my mind went straight to that… like damn I could do this. The Temptations, you see them boys in high school, even with The Jacksons, you see them in the house doing it. So if I keep working hard I could do it. That’s how I got my start.
Parlé Mag: How’d you discover your talent to begin with?
Jacquees: I would be at my Aunty Red house just fooling around. I used to be the first one up. I just used to sing, looking in the mirror and shit, and it would sound good. My cousins used to be like, Quees it’s too early! And then I got in a talent show and I won. That’s when I really knew I could do it. I was in the fourth grade, nine years old.
Parlé Mag: At that point did you know this was the career path for you?
Jacquees: I knew out the gate. You know when you young, when you in school, you can say whatever, yeah I want to be a singer… and then shit get real. So I was working in a barbershop, sweeping hair off the floor. I was still doing talent shows every year—I didn’t do it in the 5th grade, but I won in 6th grade. So I was sweeping hair in middle school and one of my partners, his dad knew a dude at the studio and he was like, I’ma take you to the studio. He was like my first little manager, his name was Zo. He brought me to this dude, we recorded a song. I think one of the dudes from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was there. I did a record, I was 12. That’s when I knew. I was like, I’m in the studio. My teachers was with it and everything. One of my teachers, Mr. Hill, he introduced me to one of my producers that I was working with at the time. My eighth grade teacher was his cousin. His name was Kyrie.
Parlé Mag: I feel like connections was a big part of your journey—
Jacquees: Yeah they are.
Parlé Mag: Talk to me about how you’ve been able to build those connections.
Jacquees: I think how I developed a lot of these connections—well I grew up with a lot of people in the industry now too—some of the biggest stars, I really grew up with. I feel like I am just myself, I’m really approachable. I’m not stuck in my ways, especially with the fans and the people that support me, because those the people that got me here. In this game you need connections, that’s all that this game is, a connection. Everything that’s going on, somebody knows somebody. Just to have you on that big stage, it could be one call. You could never have met this dude in your life, but he could put you on the biggest stage tomorrow. He could have you on stage at The Grammys off a phone call. You can win awards off a phone call. That’s how this game is. This game is connected, don’t burn no bridges.
Parlé Mag: Let’s talk about some music, you been putting out a lot in recent months. Starting with the Dej Loaf collaboration project, F*ck A Friend Zone, how did that even come about?
Jacquees: Dej Loaf is my friend. I met her at the BET Awards in 2015 and I told her I wanted to work with her. I had already remixed her record, “Me, Hennessy and You”, I did “Me, Patron and You”. She told me that she loved the record and that she listened to it everyday. She was in Atlanta and we was in the same studio, coincidentally. She came down and we did a song. That song is actually going to be on my album, the first song we ever did will be on my album. After we did that record, she came back to Atlanta and she did a record for Lost at Sea. And after that we did “Set It Off”. After that we just kept the shit going. We was in the studio everyday and we became friends. That’s one of my closest friends.
Parlé Mag: Nice. That Mood project might be your breakout project—
Jacquees: Mood was a big project, “B.E.D.” originally came off the Mood project. We worked hard on the project. Mood was when I knew I gotta give them something real. I remember when we did the photoshoot and everything. It came out perfect. Big shout out to everyone that helped with the project. I remember when I did the record with Kevin Gates. When I first met him, I told him I had a record. He was like ‘let’s do it right now! I fuck with you’. We did the song right on the spot. Mood was a big project. I went on a 27 city tour off of Mood and sold out 25 of the cities. Now “B.E.D.” is gold. That’s history. And “B.E.D.” is going to be on 4725, the original and the remix.
Parlé Mag: Speaking of the track, talk to me about creating it. What inspired the record?
Jacquees: Well everybody gotta know Avant, if you don’t, give it up to the homie Avant. He had a record called “Read Your Mind” and the part in the record towards the end, we took that part. After my producer did the beat, I immediately heard that song.
Parlé Mag: Talk to me about the original Avant record, can you remember hearing that song while it was buzzing in the radio back in the day?
Jacquees: I was a young boy. When I was a young boy I used to listen to the radio all the time. We had a jeep, my sister and them used to record the songs from the radio and we would play the songs in the jeep. We used to record everything. My sister recorded every BET Awards… just to see, damn my brother on their now!
Parlé Mag: Now the album, you mentioned it earlier. Why the title, 4275?
Jacquees: 4275 is the address where I grew up. I just wanted to show you how it shaped me, how where I’m from made me who I am today. You will be like, 4275, what’s that? Oh that’s his address. That’s where he came from? Oh, that’s why he act like that. That’s that East side shit… you know what I’m saying.
Parlé Mag: What do you have in store for the album?
Jacquees: From the album, you can expect a classic album. I took my time with it. I been working on my album for over three years. You can expect some great music. It’s the Jacquees you want to hear. I’m singing, using my vocal ability. I’m having fun! I’m speaking about how I am as a 23 year old single man that got money, that take care of his family and do a lot.
Parlé Mag: I know you mentioned Dej is on the project, you also got the “B.E.D.” Remix with Ty Dolla $ign and Quavo. Any other surprises on the project?
Jacquees: Trey Songz is on my next single, shout out to Trey, he showed me a lot of love. Chris Brown showed me a lot of love. He on the album. Chris Brown been showing me love since I was 18. I used to live with Chris. I stayed with him for like 2 months. Some of the best times of my life, experiences I will never forget. I got Donell Jones on there too. Jermaine Dupri and a couple more people like Young Thug.
Jacquees Talks Signing with Cash Money