If you’re from where I’m from, this particular artist I chose to interview shouldn’t come as a surprise. As soon as his verse blares though the speakers, his whole tone and style is instantly recognizable. I may have drunkenly shmoney danced to his song Caravan one, two.. maybe three times. Although I’ve known him since high school days, I was excited to sit down and talk with him one on one to discuss the multiple components that have contributed to his local success. I finally got the opportunity to sit down with [CUT boy] Jimmy Bad to discuss his upbringing and influences, in addition to the style and sound choices of this Connecticut bred rapper. #AYYAAAA
Obviously you rep the 203 heavy. Can you tell me where exactly in CT you’re from?
You can tell from my lyrics that I always mention something about the water. I lived on the Waterside of Stamford up until I was 16 years old. From there, I moved to the West and I’ve lived there ever since.
What a lot of people don’t know is that when I say CUT boy, or use CUT boy in my music, I’m just taking the C U T out of Connecticut. That’s why I said, “In CT we some cut n*ggas” in the beginning of the Cut N*gga remix.
Mom Dukes is Jamaican. My dad is 100% Jamaican too! Basically I’m first generation, my entire family was born in Jamaica. Growing up, I would hear nothing but Jamaican music in my house especially living with my mom, grandma, and cousins. I definitely grew up listening to that heavy reggae. My cousin actually used to rap, but it was more Jamaican than American rap. That put me on to rapping off the gate. You can see in my music now how my culture has influenced my sound, especially in Roughneck. I tried to turn on the little Jamaican accent for that one. Roughneck definitely brought me back to that vibe.
When did you start rapping?
My cousin that I mentioned before definitely put me on to rapping when I was like 12 years old. I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was 21. I was putting out songs and a couple people started coming up to me and telling me that I’m actually nice. So, I just ran with it! At the time, I was just playing around with the songs so I thought where it might take me if I took it seriously.
So, your real name is Kingsley. Where did the name Jimmy Bad come from?
I have a cousin named Dondre, you know Dre. Well, we were in the house one day trying to give him a nickname. Someone came up with the name Jimmy for him and he looked at me and said, “No, YOU look like a Jimmy.” I looked in the mirror like, “Yeah, I kinda do look like a Jimmy!” It just stuck after that. The Bad comes from Boosie. I’ve always listened to him heavy.
What and who would you say influences your sound?
My music is definitely heavily Drake influenced. I specifically studied the Carter 3. Early 2000’s Wayne was the man. I would say my top three would be Wayne, Drake, and Biggie.
Three words to describe your sound?
Fun. Turn Up. Jiggy. It’s just feel good music.
Tell me a little about your studio vibe? Do you have a set routine when you make music?
I always need my friends around me in the studio, at least 5 people or more. I need people around me so I can hear different opinions about my music. That constructive criticism can’t just come from myself.
Talk a little bit about your video process? What was your first video?
My first video, which I think is still on Youtube, was Boss Shit. That first one was shot at my boy’s crib. It usually takes two days to shoot the video. It’s a four hour process each day. I watch a lot of movies and other music videos to get inspiration and different ideas, especially when it comes to camera angles. I also direct every single one of my videos. Each video is released at 2:03 PM.
What separates you from other artists coming out of CT?
When you look at me you can tell I’m not like anyone else. I dress different. I sound different. I give off a different aura. If I stand in a group of 20 people you can pull me out instantly. I’m just recognizable.
Who else would you like to work with?
Out of CT? I would have to say my boy, Mar90s. I would eventually want to work with Drake, Dej Loaf, Lil Boosie, Kendrick, and Elle Goulding.
I feel like CT supports me very heavily. I think I’m one of those people who can pop in town, but also go outside of town and still pop. I want to be to CT what Wiz is to Pittsburgh.
- Instagram: yucancallmejim
- Twitter: yucancallmejim
- Youtube: jimmy BAD
- Soundcloud: jimmyBAD
W.illiam A.nthony C.orprew
“Your alias?” I asked bashfully. “Malcolm Gammah. I noticed all of all of your social media accounts have the same username. You don’t have to explain to keep the cloud of mystery around it.” Without hesitation, he shared, “Malcolm Gammah was created by my close friend who happens to be an artist as well. It was an idea for a movie score and Malcolm Gammah was the character that the movie was based around.” Little did I know that this character Malcolm Gammah was fictionally constructed in the attempt of a woman trying to create the perfect man. She collected DNA, gathering all the good she found in the gentlemen she’d come across, and used their qualities to create the “perfect” man.
The second half of his name, Gammah, relates to the cosmos and cosmic energy. When looking up gamma ray, the definition reads: radiation of a kind arising from radioactive decay. The whole concept of building from destruction came to my mind instantly. He explained how, “gamma is a trigger word” in some instances. A word. A mantra. A super power. He explains, “it’s a fundamental concept of nature that from destruction new things are built.”
Essentially, destruction acts as a platform for creativity to flourish. In my eyes, Malcolm Gammah, whose government is actually William Anthony Corprew, is such an illuminating ball of creative energy.
It was a mild, Sunday afternoon as I sat in the confines of Will’s living room. I almost instantaneously recognized the originality and authentic flair of his interior design. Racks of dated records were stacked in the corner with a collection of paint, canvases and brushes almost exactly parallel to the records. I sat thinking how it’s been long overdue for me to to come and sit one on one with Will, who happens to be one of my eight first cousins on my maternal side. For as long as I could remember, I knew Will as such a different soul. Always on his own wave and expressing his creativity through his work, and even on a smaller scale, showing his eccentric flair in his day to day clothing choices.
Where did it all of begin for you?
Art was really early for me. Being an only child, I had a lot of time to myself and my mom always bought art supplies for me. Coming up with the neighborhood kids, I influenced them to draw a lot as well. I remember in 4th grade when I was living in North Carolina, I drew a caricature of Michael Jordan using color pencil. That’s when I noticed that I was a bit different at this. My mom especially took notice around the same time. Ironically, that year I wasn’t even accepted into the Artistically Talented program at my school.
How did my aunt feel about that?
She was doing a lot of cursing. It’s so funny bringing all of this up because so many of these details I completely forgot about. Saying all of this aloud brings back so much.
How about high school? I’ve always said you’ve been on your own wave for as long as I’ve known you. Everything you’ve been on all these years is suddenly trendy, and definitely favored upon in today’s culture. Back then, everything you were interested differed from your peers, correct?
A lot of it really came down to having the courage to be an oddball. A lot of people didn’t understand it at all. They see the dreads, beads, and hippy-like clothes and instantly have a perception of you before knowing a thing about you. All of that comes with a stigma. Much of the culture I was influenced by goes back to New York City. Aspects of the city, such as: the breaking scene, graffiti, hip-hop music all really shaped what we viewed as “our cool.”
In terms of high school itself, I actually failed art history. The actually gave me a pretty tough time. She saw the potential in me, but stressed that I needed to harness the basis of art concepts. She definitely noticed that I was doing something entirely different compared to what was popular at the moment. I ended up retaining a bunch of the information and even have the book to this day.
What about career wise? When did you consider doing art for a living?
Just the idea alone of hard work pushed me to explore my talent as an outlet to supplement working so hard. I recognized that I could utilize my talent to take care of my responsibilities. In 2001, I focused on exhibiting my work professionally and began building up my portfolio. I was 21 years old. I was working heavily with computer graphics at the time. The same teacher that failed me at Norwalk High was the same teacher to introduce me to graphic design. When I was taking classes at NCC, I was one of the first students at school to use photoshop in a classroom setting.
Can you talk a little bit about your creative process? Do you have a specific routine when you’re about to start a new piece?
There’s no set routine, or method I have when it comes to beginning a painting. It comes in waves. When I really focus, I lose a sense of reality and time. Time management alone is definitely not a strong suit of mine. I guess I would label myself an artist of chaos. In some cases, I do look back at certain pieces and find something I could’ve spent more time on. In most cases, ritualistically, music influences my work.
What are you listening to right now?
- Grover Washington Jr., on vinyl (vinyl collection passed down from father and grandfather)
- Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
- Earth Wind and Fire
- Jazz – Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock
- Funk – Parliament Funkadelic
What inspires you? What are some influences that are evident in your pieces?
Over the years, I’ve drawn a lot of influence from the impressionist era. Heavy on the strokes, both bold and subtle at the same time. It’s pretty evident in my work; the colors are very bold, without the presence of hard lines.
Do you channel any spiritual or religious energy when you work? How about in your life overall?
I believe in the sole idea of being kind to people. Be passionate and uplift one another. I try not to hold grudges, or be envious. Basically, just don’t be a hater. Honoring someone and seeing their reaction is so rewarding to me. To be able to see the beauty in something and honor it. That’s definitely a driving force.
What do you think your life would be without art? What does art mean to you?
Without art, I would be doing something related to helping people do something. Even if I didn’t ever do art, I would always appreciate and understand it. It’s one of the most important things in my life. I do realize though that it’s always the easiest thing focusing solely on your own work. Being preoccupied with you own thing, sometimes its easier to focus on others before trying to assist yourself. I guess you can say I’m the hair dresser that always has a messy head. I always long to do my own thing creatively. Right now, I’m just concentrating on how to make my own efforts controlled.
Lastly, what words would you share with other artists?
Catalog your work. Period. Document it any way you can. Create a log so you can track and reflect on your progress. Makes it easier for someone else to look at the progress you’ve made.
I’m ridiculously hyped to share my very first interview with you guys! I mentioned previously, one of the main purposes of Everything Ravey is to shed light on the artists right out of Fairfield County. Coming from the same town, my support and respect for this artist goes above and beyond. Its always dope to see someone from your hometown make power moves like this to put the city on the map. If we don’t take pride in the talent we have right here in the 203, who will? Very special shout out to the talented Duzzo Dave for allowing me to do this interview and more importantly premiere his brand new song, Everybody Knows. Listen // Follow // Share
How would you describe your sound?
I’d say my sound is pretty clean as far as how it sounds. I’m very flow-driven. I’m heavy into making my emotion apparent in my music and showing my personality because I think that says a lot, sometimes even more than what you are actually literally saying. Not sure what else to say. Defining my sound is hard, I really just make whatever is my idea of good music.
A lot of things influence me. From the people I’m around to where I’m at to what I just saw on Youtube the other day. A lot of these things subconsciously influence me as they do everyone. Music wise, I’d have to say a lot of early 2000’s Hip Hop really has influenced me. Like that is the best era of Hip Hop for me personally. I love it. Ja Rule shit, 50 cent, The Game, that R&B shit. Dipset also influenced me a lot. And like old Fab and old Cassidy and old Jadakiss. I’m influenced by a lot of new shit also, from people like Goldlink to Mick Jenkins to Hodgy Beats. And also like living in Connecticut influences me, growing up in a Colombian home, and life experiences in general.
What do you listen to? What/who inspires you musically?
I pretty much answered that up there. Right now, though, I’m listening to Goldlink, SBTRKT, Mick Jenkins, and just a whole bunch of cool shit that I find on Soundcloud. Sango I fuck with him heavy. I also fuck with the Celestics. Kaytranada. Soundcloud is jumpin right now honestly. Shout out to eu-IV, gotta give him a shout out because that’s the Soundcloud plug right there.
Your opinion of the current state of Connecticut/Tri-state hip-hop?/What other artists do you like out of CT?
It’s cool. It’s getting better for sure. More people are doing shit around here. For the most part though the main problem with the state of hip hop in Connecticut is that people are scared to help each other out. Everybody wants to do their own thing and with doing that they kind of shut the other people off. I mean there’s not a lot of people in CT doing this music/art shit to begin with. Because if we all helping each other out the whole scene grows as a whole. It’s more of an ego problem here. Not to say everyone is like that but you know what I’m saying. I really fuck with Ari, Barry Love, Wasionkey, Netta, Rey Mula, Alex Ruffin. As far as big artists like Chris Webby and OnCue I think they’re doing their thing for sure but there’s still this void that needs to be filled for Connecticut as far as really influencing the Hip Hop Culture. One of my goals as an artist is to eventually do that.
What is your newest project? Upcoming release dates?
I got a project coming out soon called the pretty boy dave EP. This is cool because I pretty much just officially announced it here. I didn’t put the name out anywhere. But it’s produced by my man Najee who is based out of Charlotte, NC. I’m done recording it now so it’s just a matter of getting the cover art done and getting it mixed and figuring out how to promote it. Might drop an EP with producer from New York named Jachary Beats if he stops wallin. And another EP with the homie Neenok. But really I’m just trying to make the dopest shit that I possibly can.
Who would you like to work with on your next project?
As far as local people go, I think me and Rey Mula can do some dope shit. Also, Trepound what’s good let’s do something. These are two artists that come to mind off rip just in terms of what makes sense to me with regards to the creative space that I’m in right now. But like people in the industry, I really wanna work with Sango. And Kaytranada. And Goldlink. And MoRuf. And like Adele lol. Ohhhh and Doja Cat, she is dope. And Kent from Overdoz is dope as fuck I would love to work with him. And Eric Arc Elliott. More artists are coming to mind as I’m listing but I’ll stop there.
Thanks for interviewing me I’m glad you share an interest enough to holla at me. Thanks to everyone that’s been showing me love. 50 washington. Thrift Lift. Jolie Records. Whatever.
My very first 203 feature is on the beautiful, Omisha Elliot! It’s so funny; the two of us became cool a couple years ago because so many people told us we looked alike. She’s obviously the hotter, model twin, which leads me to the reason why I’ve decided to feature her on Everything Ravey. If you follow her on Instagram, you’re familiar with her glamour shots and flawless selfies; looking like a model that just got a check. (#MileyVoice) Her grind is unparalleled and that is something that I’ve noticed and admired about her. Although she was previously signed, Omi is now a free agent focusing on building her portfolio, finding her own work with the assistance of fashion representatives, and eventually getting signed to a fashion agency!
Get To Know Omi:
1. Full Name: Omisha Kayana Elliott
2. Favorite Clothing Line: Nike
3. Style Inspiration: Kim Kardashian
4. Favorite Netflix Series: Gossip Girl
5. What did you want to be when you were younger: A teacher
6. Pet Peeve: When people don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”
7. Height: 5’11
8. Something people would never guess about you: I’ve always been extremely insecure up until a year ago. I was often teased because I didn’t have the “look” that everyone wanted. I was always extremely dark and tall which I believed resulted in me being unwanted. Now, “ya can’t tell me nothing” (Yeezy’s voice)
9. Best Friend: My sister, Roshaun Alexander.
10. Favorite Model: Jourdan Dunn
11. Instagram Name: omishaelliott
12. Favorite Restaurant: Carmine’s
13. Favorite Place to Vacation: London
14. Celebrity Crush: Kendall Jenner
15. Greatest Fear: Death