Jacquees Plans to Follow ‘4275’ Album With Birdman and Chris Brown Collab Projects
It’s been 10 years since Jacquees stepped foot in the game. The last four have seen the Cash Money singer under the watchful eye of Birdman as he’s released a bevy of mixtapes, including his fan-favorite QueMix series.
Today (June 15), Jacquees releases his long-awaited debut studio album, 4275. The LP finds the 24-year-old reflecting on his Decatur, Ga. stomping grounds—a neighborhood that he says is plagued with “peace, love, money and violence”—over production from the likes of OG Parker and Donnell Jones. Luckily for Que, he emerged from the town unscathed, and has since gone on to work with the likes of T.I., Young Thug, Dej Loaf and Wale.
These days you can find Jacquees on Breezy’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon Tour with Rich The Kid, 6LACK and H.E.R. as he continues to bounce back and forth between studios, adding to a discography of over 1,000 unreleased tracks. Among those tracks sits an entire collab album with him and Brown. "It’s R&B; we just singing—we goin' in," he tells XXL. "It’s 14 tracks recorded, but I don’t know how many we’re throwing on there. Chris got all the records; I just let Chris control that."
XXL phoned Jacquees to speak about recording 4275, what’s it like being signed to one of the world’s most successful hip-hop labels, and how much it’ll cost you for a feature from the Cash Money crooner.
XXL: You’ve been dropping tracks here and there, then you gifted fans with This Time I’m Serious. How have your fans been responding to it all?
Jacquees: The response been real good. I don’t really count This Time I’m Serious as a project that I dropped ’cause it was never properly released. You know, it was just something that I put together real quick and I wanted to drop it ’cause I was so eager for my fans to hear my music. I knew my album was taking a long time to release.
And now 4275 is out.
This is the best thing I ever did in my life. Like, I’m real proud of it. I can stand on it with everything I got. I worked with some of the best producers; some of the best people in the game, period. We put together a masterpiece. This is definitely a classic.
Walk us through the process of creating this album.
Life, man. I’m 24 years old. I been in the game since I was 14 and I signed to Baby’s Cash Money when I was 19, 20. I’ve been going through a lot of different things in my life. So I talk about all of those things: being in love, being out of love, going through different experiences with life and the different experiences I had even before I signed to Cash Money. Growing up on Wesley Chapel, 4275. Telling you about how we live, you feel me?
How did being raised in Decatur, Ga. impact your life?
You gon' go through everything [there]—peace, love, money and violence. Growing up on that side, you gon' learn a lot. I learned how to really be a man. I learned the streets, how to move. I learned about women. I got smarter. Everything that happened over there, it shaped me to be who I am today.
What are some major differences you've noticed when making in the album in comparison to mixtapes and EPs?
My work process never really changes, but for this one we made sure that we went different places to record. I recorded a song in London that I wrote and I put it on the album. We recorded in Miami a lot; we recorded in Atlanta. You know, we just stretched it out. We went a lot of different places and tried to catch different vibes, and I think it worked. Every time we went to Miami, we caught another vibe. Every time we went to L.A. we caught another vibe. It was just different doing this one. And the difference with this one, too, was clearances. I didn’t know too much about clearances, ’cause I was always an artist that just dropped whenever I was ready. So the clearance game, that was something I learned. I’m glad I learned about it. Just making this whole album I learned a lot more about the business.
So you worked with Young Thug on "Studio."
Me and Thug, we got so many songs—we’ve been working since I was 19-20, so we got a slew of records. “Studio” was just really one of the records that I loved. I was like, Thug would sound perfect on this, so I just gave it to him.
And you linked up with Donnell Jones for "23." How did that song come about?
Shoutout to Donnell Jones. Donnell came down here and wanted to feel my vibe. We got in the studio, I played him the album and he loved it. He told me that he wanted to work with me. He liked my style and never met another young guy in the game that he felt like he wanted to really work with. He could feel where I come from when I sing. We got in the studio, Donnell made the beat and we both sat down, pen and paper, and wrote the record together.
Did your producer Nash B play a big part in the making of your debut?
Definitely. Nash B create the vibe. Nash B keep me confident, too. That’s my boy. Nash produced about half the album, if not more.
How about Birdman?
Stunna was a big motivator, not only for me but for all the producers and artists I brought down there, too. He told me from the jump I could be as big as I wanted to be. He just been there every step of the way. I like when he in the studio ’cause I know that I gotta go in.
Should fans expect another project with you and Stunna?
Oh yeah, Lost At Sea 2. It’s already done.
What else do you have in the works this year?
My label, Fresh Young Boys. We on Birdman['s Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story] album right now. We doin our thing. We got a collab project we working on. We tryna drop it in the fall.
And how about features? You’ve worked with over a handful of rappers this year alone.
Yeah, I ain’t stoppin. Send the money. $50k.
You've also hinted at making your acting debut soon.
Shoutout to Nick Cannon, I’ll be in She Ball. That’s a movie he got coming out about a young girl, she’s a baller. I’m like the little gangster with Birdman, you know? I’m just in the crew. I ain’t really talking or nothing. And then I got a big part at the end, so make sure you stay in the theater.
You and Quavo’s fans are always joking about the two of you looking like twins. Would you agree?
[Laughs] That nigga ugly, man. We grew up together, that’s my nigga. You know when the fans say that stuff it’s just makin us money. Ain’t nobody stressin it. Ain’t nobody tryna be like each other—niggas just drippin. They always say that about niggas with dreads, though, you feel me? We all look alike.
You've had some trouble with the law recently. What exactly went down during your incidents in Miami, Milwaukee and Atlanta?
None of that stuff was on me [in Miami]. The first two incidents not on me. I’m only taking full responsibility for the last incident... For the last one, I just wasn’t being a leader—the leader that I am. I know that I’m a leader. I lead, people follow. If I’m doing something, people gon' do it, so I just gotta be a leader. I’ma G, and I just be acting like the G that I am. Just gotta tighten up, that’s all.
Has police harassment always been an issue for you?
Yeah. Some of my family are police officers. One of my aunties, she’s been police her whole life. So I got love for officers—one of my best friends is a police officer. He work for Gwinnett County. But I don't know, sometimes officers just get a little like they just above the law. I see officers do all types of stuff. But it’s always been a problem with me and an officer since I was young. It is what it is.
Any last words for your fans?
To all my fans, I love y’all so much. I love y’all for supporting me. Team Jacquees. We did it, from the bottom to the top. We here now and we gon' stay here. Let’s get it. Make sure y’all go buy my album like three to four times. One that you never open, one that you put in the CD player, one that you give away. And just keep the other one.
See New Music Releases for June 2018