Jadakiss Reflects on 10-Year Anniversary of His Solo Debut LP

In 1995, The King of New York, The Notorious B.I.G., told his younger labelmate, Jadakiss, that he was one of the “nicest” in the game and all of sudden the switchboard went off in the Yonkers’ upstart’s brain. There was no looking back; Kiss could only forge forward with his deadly 16s. Jada has become a certified living legend stamped by peers such as Lil Wayne and Jay-Z as one of the best to ever spit on the mic.

In 2001, Kiss released his first solo LP, Kiss Tha Game Goodbye, and not only did he inflict his bars of death, but Jada proved he can make classic records. That year, Jada had to compete with other anticipated albums like Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, Fabolous’ debut Ghetto Fabolous and Nas’ comeback effort, Stillmatic. Here, The Lox member with the raspy voice talks about the competition back then, the making of his first album as well as how the economy has changed the way MCs record now. —As told to Shaheem Reid (@shaheemreid)

Back in 2001, you had to come out swinging. If you wasn’t a warrior, you could have gotten smothered. Everybody was turning it up. People were putting projects out rapidly. Then when Hov puts out a project, it shuts down all the slots at retail and the radio. If you ain’t a heavyweight, you gotta fall back and wait for the Wrath of Khan to go by. My whole thing is if I can get across to enough of them that my project is coming, I don’t care who else is coming out. It was never about sales. I’m just trying to please you with the music. For me to always stay in the race with dudes like Nas and Hov at that time, I was good. But you definitely was on your toes though back then. You was listening to the [Funkmaster] Flexes, the [DJ] Clues, the mixtapes, or you would have gotten swept. You would have got caught in that tsunami. I call that “The Tsunami Era” in hip-hop.

It was a lot of pressure to make my first solo album, but at the same time, it wasn’t really pressure. I was blessed to have people feeling me as lyricist; being down with Bad Boy and Diddy then going to Ruff Ryders. I was blessed to be in a good position. So they always took good care of me. Interscope did a hell of job promoting that first album. I was Ruff Ryders’ little baby, so they wasn’t gonna let nothing happen to me but the best. I felt good. I felt like a King or Prince, you couldn’t tell me nothing. I was just a kid out of Yonkers rapping.

The biggest difference from making my new album Top Five Dead or Alive and my first album Kiss Tha Game Goodbye is everything is independent now. Everything is dumb downed. The budgets! My first album, we were in one of Al Capone’s old cribs on South Beach, beating the budget up, as opposed to now just working in my own studio. The luxury of moving around and renting a house for a few months ain’t there no more. The money ain’t there. The economy in the game is down, which is cool, but these new cats ain’t never gonna get a chance to experience that; a few million dollar videos and all that stuff.

  • Decatur ATL BOI

    “There’s a lot of artists that’s scorching hot right now, that won’t have a five year career, or 10 years, nothing. At the end of the day I just feel blessed to be here.” Kiss is absolutley correct, there are a artist that are on fire right now but in 2013 they will be missing in action, all the so called fame will be gone, the recognition will dry up and all you have is you and your craft…I feel sorry for those that don’t even have a craft to begin with , they just talked crap on a record. Wack A Flack, Gucci Mane, …need I say more?

    • CaponeMOB

      KISS is my nigga,i still remember when i bought this CD around august of 2001,the funny thing about it,is that i FIRST originally bought the “st lunatics” album….hahhahah yall bealive that shit? then i came to my senses and went BACK to the store and told’em i wanted the KISS album. the bitch looked at me like i was crazy,and she started inspecting the cd to make sure i dint opened it or some shit,bitch took a while inspecting it,and she finally just gave up and gave me the kiss album. and its funny how kiss is talking about how some niggaz is scorching hot right now but in 5yrs niggaz is goin to be gone,thats exaclty what happend to the st lunatics,where them niggaz at? and thats what i keep telling these DICK riders about there idols wocka flocka,meek mills,rick ross,nicky manaj. them niggaz is hot right now but that shit aint goin to last. INCLUDING the garbage producers like LEX LUGER. this is the generation of dick riders,what ever its on the radio is hot i dont care if they could rap or NOT…SMH im glad i grew in a diffrent time.

      • Afi K. James

        Rick Ross is gonna be in the game.

  • land lord

    I remember when dat cd dropped. Alotta good times & memories. We had da bootleg for a min.too lol. Still copped it though cause Kiss had da streets on smash. He was killin da Clue mixtapes back then

  • Sosa

    Kiss is a legend
    I never heard a wack verse from him

  • Pingback: Jadakiss Can’t Kiss The Game Goodbye, “There’s A Lot Of Artists Scorching Hot Right Now, That Won’t Have A 5-Year Career”

  • alderman j

    RAKIM
    BIG DADDY KANE
    TUPAC
    SCARFACE
    JADAKISS

  • slient-j

    your right theres a few arists that the first or second person said it ain’t gonna last i came from the 80′s im 25 where the LL,nwa,ice-t,salt-pepa,big,pac,nas,jay-z,puffy,az in which to me is one of the most underrated along with devin the dude thats out there when young artists talk about their idols they must ustudy the artist that built it from the ground up yes the game has dumb down and it might not be the same just theres new artists i like j cole, big krit(this generations pimp c),drake etc jada is a great lyrist never heard a wack rhyme i have all the albums i love the first two he made the third its aight but tell me something heres my top 10 artists of all time and let me know if you agree
    PAC
    AZ
    NAS
    BIGGIE
    JAYZ
    BEANIE SIGEL
    JADAKISS
    ICE CUBE
    RAKIM
    EMINEM
    no particular order

  • protoman

    handful of great songs but overall, album was meh. his sophomore was dope though