“The best stories come from everyday life, and I intend to tell those stories,” is what Frank Matthews want us all to know. Although, his book Respect the Jux (frankmatthews.com) was released September 2010, it’s still a hot topic today with major rap artists. I bumped into Frank at the XXL Freshmen Concert at B.B. Kings and we had a discussion. —Coffey
Why should this generation’s hip-hop demographic be interested in your book?
Hip-hop actually derived from everything that is written. There [is] no such thing as any artist that isn’t getting their influence from the streets – something that is authentic, something that is real. We write these stories and what they translate it into [artist’s] rhymes. For example, when you have say 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. And you say Lloyd Banks first single on his second album, “[when] you party party with crooks you’ve gotta respect the jux”. “You’ve gotta respect the jux,” they got that from my book. There are so many artists that reference these books. Even the new artists like Vado and Jae Millz, they have a song out called “Respect the Jux”. It’s an honor to have them actually doing that.
How did you come up with Respect the Jux? What is the meaning behind it?
Respect the jux is actually an old underground term that has been used [and can be] tracked all the way back to as far as hip-hop is concerned Nas’ first album. When he says “I love a good jux and a sex”. It’s a word that derived from a Jamaican term to jix somebody. To jix somebody is to stick them [up], so we turned the word into jux, which is basically a stick up or a come up, or anything that helps the person go from one level to another level. Say you’re in the industry and you got a bad contract, you’ve been jux, you know.
Where do you see this going? Where’s the next level of your book taking you?
Since the book has been out I have been really blessed. I ended up with a deal with director F. Gary Gray, who did Law Abiding Citizen [and] Italian Job just to name [some] of his work. He read the book and loved [it] and basically flew me out to L.A. and wanted to turn this into a television series. We’re looking at Showtime, Starz, and HBO. We haven’t really decided which one we’re going to sign with yet, but it’s going to be a major series on television and after that we’re actually going to turn this into a film on the big screen directed by F. Gary Gray. I have other books in the pipeline. I have one to be released under Simon & Schuster. And because of hip-hop artists like 50 Cent, Ghostface Killah and all these other artists that reference the book, I didn’t end up with just a regular offer for someone who’s trying to hustle themselves on the streets. I ended up with a major deal with a major publisher. The hip-hop culture [definitely] helped me get to where I’m going by referencing my book in their music making it bigger than life. I’m going to start my own publishing company with a man by the name of Ed Woods. [It’s] going to be called One Window Publishing.