It’s always good to catch up with the homies. Solo Jaxon was one of the first rappers to be featured on Black&Gifted when I was gearing things up in 2016 and I’ve been following his journey since the day we linked up. It’s only right to see what he’s up to now. He’s still the same ‘ol Solo; determined, humble, hard-working and hella talented.
Solo Jaxon is a rapper, performer and writer from Little Rock, Arkansas and it’s his time to shine. In 2015 Solo released “Keep Up” (prod. by Idle Kid) along with a visual. The following year he dropped “No Reason” (feat. Goon Des Garcons / prod. by Idle Kid). He didn’t stop there. Solo dropped heat consecutively and in 2017 he gave us “I’m The Man” (prod. by Idle Kid). Each track displays Solo’s skill when it comes to lyricism and delivery and it continues to get better with each new track. His lyrics are potent and his aggressive style of rapping reveals how raw his music is. He’s an artist worth paying attention to.
In this interview, I wanted to dig deep into the lyrics of a few of his top tracks and discuss being vulnerable in his music.
T: This interview is long overdue! Let’s jump right into it. Who is Solo Jaxon?
S: I’m a rapper and writer.
T: For those who don’t know, you made a move from Little Rock, Arkansas to Hollywood, California. Why Cali?
S: The homies and I have been coming out here for a year or two to work and take meetings so it just seemed like the right move.
T: That’s dope! It’s pretty motivating and inspiring to see someone you know take action in reaching their goals. You recently had a show at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood. How did that go? I was there in spirit!
S: That’s real. It went well, pretty crazy, it’s always fun performing, but in LA and in one of the most popping clubs, it was new and it felt great. A lot of people came out and were rocking with it so that’s a W.
T: Aye, put on for Arkansas! Listening to your music is one thing, but to see you perform live, it’s an experience. The last time I saw you perform you were on stage at the Rev Room. Fire ass show! What is it like for you as a performer, being on stage?
I rap to speak my truth, so I need you to really feel and see where I’m coming from in these songs when it’s show time.
S: ‘Preciate that, Rev Room is always a good time. It’s always a surreal situation. I kinda just forget everything and that’s the only focus. I rap to speak my truth, so I need you to really feel and see where I’m coming from in these songs when it’s show time. Get angry with me, get tired with me, have fun with me, rap with me. All that.
T: See, that’s why I said it’s an experience! It’s great that you can rap, perform AND write. The complete package. Now, let’s talk about some of your older tracks, specifically “I’m The Man” and “No Reason”, two of my favorites. Can you provide insight on those two tracks?
I had to give myself some credit and realize I’m in a good place, done some cool things, and I’m gonna keep going.
S: Ayyyy. So, “I’m The Man” was a declaration of my confidence. I struggled with it growing up and even now, sometimes I wake up and just don’t feel good, but I had to give myself some credit and realize I’m in a good place, done some cool things, and I’m gonna keep going. Been in a lot of different positions that could have gone completely left but they didn’t.
“No Reason” was an observation of the bullshit going on across our country. I feel like police, supremacists, even people in our own communities feel so passionately about their views that it drives them to do some crazy things. I’m of the opinion that talking things through don’t really do much in the grand scheme, so we do something about it; retaliate. Make them feel as small as they try to make us feel, make them go without just like we’ve had to go without our families, opportunities, etc. Anything that they value, take it and make sure they feel every moment. Goon’s verse was a pull back, the break so to speak of the narrative of a person that’s up and doing well. And in the third verse I bring it right back in with just a few questions to really make people weigh out what is “good” and “bad” and WHY they are what they are.
T: That’s the beautiful thing about music, you never really know what someone else is going through, but you provide insight on your life and the world around you. I even listen to “I’m The Man” like, shit..okay I got this! I’ve played the track various times to clear my head and get that reassurance that all is well and to keep it pushing.
You dropped “No Reason” like what? Two years ago? That track dropped at a vital time and the shit is STILL relevant. Although your perspective may be controversial to some, you provided a much needed dialogue. Some say protest peacefully while others are like, nah.
S: I wasn’t even trying to make it that, it just happened m, lol. I’m glad you take good things from the music.
Yea it’s been about two years. But yea sadly it is still relevant, but music to me is supposed to in some way reflect the times people live in. Does that make sense? And yea I’m not really with the back and forth when it comes to people not understanding what it means to NOT kill someone. I could go all day but yea definitely one of my most powerful songs, and one of my favorites.
Honestly, when people tell me their interpretations, it helps me understand the song better too. I wrote one of few things in mind and people take it in so many other directions but it’s all important.
T: That’s another thing that I think is really cool about music, the different perspectives when analyzing the lyrics. That’s dope that the different interpretations help you, the artist. It’s also cool that you’re open to hearing what others have to say about your music. Who is your go to for feedback? Be it your writing, performing, being in the booth, etc.?
All my music is aggressive and I like it that way but I know I can go in another direction and you’ll still be able to feel it the way I need you to.
S: I’ll get a mix done and I’ll play it for the homies to see how they feel about it, take from that what I need and move forward. I value the people’s opinions around me but ultimately it’s all my decision you know. They listen differently too though ’cause we’re all artists. But my other homies that don’t make music give me a different kinda feedback. Pretty much as a consumer. So I take from that what I will and move on.
As far as performing, I watch my homies and my favorite artists to see how they gain crowd control and how they interact with the people. I see and take the confidence they have and when I’m on stage I exude the same kind of confidence. As far as in the booth, I practice my songs hellas before I even make it to the studio. So I know what I want to say and how I want to say it. Nowadays it’s a little different, ’cause the studio is a little more accessible so my process switches up.
I’ve been working on my dynamics. All my music is aggressive and I like it that way but I know I can go in another direction and you’ll still be able to feel it the way I need you to.
T: That aggressiveness in your music is what I feel makes it YOU. It’s very raw, from the lyrics to the beats. Who are some of your rap influences?
S: Exactly! So that’s why I stick to myself when it comes things like that. I know how I want things to sound. But I listen to everything really. Kendrick and Cole of course. KRIT, Skeme, but I listen to up and comings too like IDK, Chaz French, Goldlink, all them. I love ALL kinds of music though.
T: I’ll have to check out some of the up and comings. I’m also a lover of all types of music. I also love a good visual. You recently released one to your track, “I’m Not Okay”. I had been anticipating the release and it turned out to be a dope project!
S: Thanks, lol. That was a fun one too. We did that whole thing in like an hour. Pulled up to a session that wasn’t even mine, and got it recorded.
That was a message to myself that it’s okay to not be okay and to anybody else for that matter, especially if it means you don’t do something else more drastic.
Even shooting the video was a cool experience ’cause I got to parallel a lot of what was going on back in Little Rock out here. And it resonated with people still.
T: What’s the overall message behind “I’m Not Okay”? Is it what you said, it’s okay to not be okay, or is it deeper than that?
S: I really wasn’t in a good place, man. It’s pretty literal. No ambiguous meanings or anything. Everything was just bad. But that was just me venting and allowing myself to “talk it out” kind of. And also to just anyone else that may have been feeling messed up. Something we can all just yell out together.
T: I’ll be on the lookout for your upcoming projects. I’m proud of you! Keep the good music coming. Since I’ve known you, you’ve always been grinding. Anything you want to say to the readers/potential fans?
S: That’s real thank you, lol. I’ll definitely keep you updated. And nah just do what y’all gotta do. When it gets hard, find a way to go even harder. Maintain your integrity and be patient.
Check out his latest track: “Villain”