Electronic Jack, also known as the Suicide Poet is an alternative Hip-Hop MC, director, voice actor, producer, game programmer, revolutionist, self-proclaimed genius, artist, body-builder, writer and professional checkers player. Born in V.A., and raised in N.C., he is best known for being the founder of the alternative rap movement “Ultimate Mecha.” Check out the interview we did with Electronic Jack below!

Entertwine: You write, rap, and produce, as well as program video games, direct music videos, and record voiceovers; how are you able to find the motivation to work on so many crafts at once?

I just love staying busy. Haha. But I consider each  skill intertwined with one another. I was introduced  to hip hop and rap music through the soundtracks of  video games I pretty much grew up with such as The  Need for Speed, Tony Hawk, Fight Night and Grand Theft  Auto series. Luckily I was exposed to a vary of  different styles and that helped me develop my own  sonically.

I actually don’t know what I would be doing if I  didn’t love writing so much. I remember being in  Elementry School and writing fan fiction to N64 games  while I waited for everybody else to finish their  work. Telling a story with mainly words has always  intrigued me because I grew up with parents that  always pushed reading so much. At a point of my life,  I move on from novels to comic books because of the  visuals. That became my addiction along with gaming.

As far as recording voice overs are concerned, I’m a  big fan of cartoons. Even now you have some good ones  out there but they seem to be few and far between.  Seeing myself a part of an animation and voicing a  character just sounds fun, to be honest. I started off  doing Machinimas with a crappy ass headset microphone  when I was 14-15 and once I got into recording music  professionally I continued voice acting as a  profitable side gig.

This all leads into directing music videos because I’m  a big movie buff too. I’ve been called the “Quentin  Tarantino of Rap” because I take all of my influences  and showcase them in my visuals. I find it’s always  best to pay homage because as they say, “Everything is  a Remix”.

Could you tell us a bit about your musical background?

I’ve always said if it sounds good, I can jive to it. I love Hip  Hop, Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, Rock, Funk and even pop  music. However I chose to be a rapper, even though I  hate the term now, because it’s a platform that allows  me to express myself and can pretty much be mixed with  any type of genre to form something creative and new.

When I first started rapping, it was for fun, really,  but then I used it as a way to escape what was going  on in my life or to discuss it without flipping out as  I had anger issues in the past. I’ve had people  criticize my art without even trying to understand it  because of the exaggerated way I portray myself and  others in situations when I write my lyrics. I’ve come  under flack for speaking on a lot of different  subjects through dark humor or for mentioning events  that have make people uncomfortable.

In a way, I want that. I want people to be able to  discuss what’s being said. If a song doesn’t elicit  some type of emotion from the listener, whether  positive or negative and hits home while doing so, I’m  not doing my job. I truly believe I can teach others  from my own experiences, mindset and interests. I  don’t try to be right, wrong or politically correct. I  just want everyone not to be afraid of being who they  are and improving.

What is the significance of your monikers?

I call myself Electronic Jack because I’m what it  takes to make a mic work right. Haha. I use the alias  when I’m being crazy and nuts. When I’m writing as the  Suicide Poet, I typically take a step back, evaluate  my life it put it into words that can better connect  with those likeminded. Never in my life have I been  suicidal! Take a break from the daily routine? Sure,  but the Suicide Poet represents someone who’s not  afraid to speak what’s on his mind, even if others  will crucify him for his thoughts.

What experiences and events inspired the writing and recording of your debut album “Second Sight”? Could you walk us through each of the featured tracks?

Well this’ll be fun. The first track “Summary” was  just going to be me spitting about my life, revolving  around nostalgia and what not. That’s why you’ll hear  me mention Disney Channel and a few folks I used to  program games with back in the day. I wrote about 6  minutes, which I “summarized” into 3 which became just  one verse because I wanted to include a track with  Trozmizy and Ashep on the album. You’ll hear the Xbox  sound in the beginning since I wanted the feel of the  track to reminiscence when your homies would come  over, play video games and just freestyle about  themselves.

“Homegrown” was a track that I’m surprised a lot of  people liked. I hit TOTA up for a chorus on that one  because I liked her whole style. It’s unusual and  abstract like when I flow. We even shot a little video  for it as well. I’m happy the way it turned out but I  would have done things a bit differently now because I  have a bit more experience as far as producing music  movies.

“Neoh” was a bit of an experiment. I wanted to tell a  story over a semi west coast instrumental. I just  spazzed on the track and let the single sit until I  had another single that I could connect it to. Before  I put it out I sampled my friend Colton for the intro.  You can actually hear him listen to Eminem if you pay  close attention.

I wanted “Shinanigans” to be a sequel to Neoh. The  protagonist is pretty much on the run but I infuse a  lot of references within the lines in order to paint a  vivid picture of what I wanted the listener to imagine  when they did their research. Makes me glad that  RapGenius.com exist.

I never knew “Fourth Echelon” would turn out to be such  a fantastic track. It’s mixed like a rock n’ roll song  but I’m a bit erratic during the verses because I did  each in one take. I consider it the polar opposite to  Shinanigans because of it’s style and the fact that  the lyrics don’t take itself to seriously.

I sampled a quote from John Woo’s “The Killer” and had  my friend Nea provide soft vocals for the chorus of the track “Dark Jedi”.  Jaygo hit me up for the second verse so it’s like a  reunion since we did PS3 in the Back and this is the  first track of mine Bee spit on. Her verse is actually  a very raw recording. I wanted to keep the essence of  the quality because it contributed to her overall  presence and charisma on the song.

Another insane track similar Fourth Echelon that I had in storage. I felt Bee would be perfect for it because  we both had that out-the-box style working for us on  beats such as this one. “ULTIMATE” takes a lot of breath control for me to perform live but DJs help out and so do the crowd.

“At the Drive-In” was something for the ladies… The  story details the protagonist taking his spoiled  girlfriend to the Drive-In. This is the only track  where I’m really singing on. Redd Horrocks provided  the voice of the female and a Family Guy skit was  sampled near the end of the song to bring together the  context of everything.

Once again, I utilize Redd Horrocks, and this time  it’s for the spoken word verse on this single titled  “Nosebleed”. I brought back my old New York battling  style so I could pull off some lines that many would  find tricky to do so.Electronic_Jack_sit_Pic1

Last but not least, my most critically acclaimed track on the album “Introvert Freestyle”. No chorus. Just me  spitting over an abstract beat and connecting words  together like a fiend. I sampled a fitting Genghis  Khan quote from one of my favorite movies “Blood and  Bone” for the beginning of this track. The rest is  history.

I would say just living and my extreme thoughts  inspired the album. You’ll find lines that are  callbacks to TV Shows, Movies, Cartoons and Video  Games that I’ve watched. Bits and pieces of stories  mixed with fiction in rhymes and braggadocious lyrics  keying in lessons from Hip Hop veterans.

What can you tell us about your “Ultimate Mecha” movement?

The Ultimate Mecha movement is just about being  yourself and allowing your mind to grow without  feeling pressured by peers, trends, and those that  wish to see you succumb due to their own lack of  security. We all have each other’s backs here.

Could you tell us about some of the music videos you’ve directed and done animation work for (including the videos for ‘Shinanigans’ and ‘Fourth Echelon’)?

Animatzione, an animated studio in India and I  worked very closely on the videos for Fourth Echelon  and Shinanigans. I consider them all in one universe.  A lot of music videos out today are pretty simplistic.  Guns, cars, drugs, girls, and jewels. That stuff bores  me and I compare videos like that to direct to dvd  flicks.

I aim to be creative and limitless with the influences  in each of my videos. Fourth Echelon takes us back to  the old school cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, Invader  Zim, etc. Shinanigans, I went a bit into the asian  action/adventure influenced territory with homage to  animes as well.

With Summary I actually just dug into a box of old PC  games, found a copy of ‘The Movies’, and edit scenes  from the gameplay to create a music video. For  Homegrown, TOTA and I shot our scenes separately and I  did the post production. Jean Grae’s Kill Screen was a  neat inspiration for how I approached it.

What does 2015 hold in store for Electronic Jack?

I’m working on a project titled “Liar’s Kiss”. I’m not sure whether it will be an EP or an album. I don’t like filler tracks so I’m planning it carefully. After that will definitely come an album under construction as “King Ghidorah”. All in all, plan for 2015 to be Ultmate Mecha’s year. We have a lot in store for the audience and we’re not just doing music anymore. No barriers. Haha.

Connect With Electronic Jack:
Twitter: Twitter.com/ElectronicJack
Youtube: Youtube.com/ElectronicJackTV
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheElectronicJack
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/electronic-jack

About The Author

Jacqueline Cassell

Jacqueline is the creator and founder of Entertwine.net. She finds thrill in discovering new artists and giving them the recognition the deserve, which is how Entertwine came to fruition. For more information about Jacqueline, please visit the About tab at the top of the page or visit her website www.JacquelineCassell.net!

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