Artistpreneur Spotlight – Jeck Da General, Rapper | Artist | Producer | Entrepreneur
I’m an artist, producer, and entertainment owner that has invested a great number of years of being dedicated to the brand of quality Hip Hop music as an artist, and urban music as a producer.
I got my start in school rhyming in ciphers and participating in talent competitions. I have always been musically inclined playing both the keyboard and alto saxophone. I am usually classified as an underground artist, but I stand alone as just an eclectic one if you ask me. I embody the craft and would rather be respected for my music than to become wealthy from it.
1.) For the folks out there who aren’t familiar with Jeck Da General, can you tell them a bit more about yourself, the origin behind your name and what made you want to become a rapper?
Ah man, the story behind the name. Well, my late grandmother used to call me Dr. Jekyll because I was good one minute and bad as hell the next. I ran with Doc Jeck first because of that.
I actually had a different name for each different style and voice for a while because I embellished the craft so much. I dubbed them to be my alter egos. I settled with Da General due to the fact that my father’s real name is General and I symbolized it from that. I grew up around music. I loved it. My step dad spun records, as did an uncle of mine and another uncle spat, so I absolutely wanted in. I was a true 80’s hip hop baby. I ended up rapping by the time I was around 8 years old and it’s been on ever since.
2.) What are some things that most people don’t know about being in the music industry?
The game is super cold. There is no trust unless, it is outside of the money. The labels are only seeking out artists that they believe in, NO MATTER HOW DOPE YOU ARE. They pretty much rather have a completely packaged artist than to deal with artist development. Most artists ARE NOT as lucrative as they may seem. After their dues are paid, most of them make a decent job’s salary. Successful indie artists tend to make the most along with the mega stars. P.S. there is a lot of created images for artists as well. It’s the image which is for sale after all.
3.) What can you tell all the people out there who want to get into the music industry (or want to pursue their goals and dreams, period)?
This business isn’t for EVERYONE. Make sure that you have a back up plan nevertheless. A lot of folks make the huge mistake of thinking that they are going to walk into this industry and become famous. Be smart about your reality before blindly chasing your dreams. You can achieve much more by having the capitol to invest in yourself.
4.) As an artist, being original is tough. Music-wise, what separates you from other rappers?
I consider myself as being a intelligent, realistic, and an artistic street rapper in transition to being a better man. I include all of my listeners in this so that we are growing together.
5.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don’t get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?
Getting noticed is up to what level of notoriety one seeks. For me, I plan on using a grassroots campaign which helps you to achieve an almost cult following from your fans. Any other means requires a substantial amount of capitol and an elaborate marketing plan.
6.) What made you want to branch out and become more of an entrepreneur instead of just being a rapper?
I have always been a businessman. Whether it was the streets, buy/sell/trade of goods, or negotiating deals of some sort. I have owned a couple of businesses up until this point and currently still own three. This is how you prevent becoming a starving artist. I have used one hand to wash the other so to speak. You have to build your own backing to depend on if you truly wish to impact this game.
7.) How important is it that rappers (and music artists in general) understand the business side of the music?
This business of music is just that, a business. You can not rely on the homie system to get you by or in. Understanding that is the difference between sinking and swimming ultimately.
8.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?
I don’t think that the traditional way that the industry is ran is over, just modified to where most of the work is placed on the artist instead of them investing it.
9.) Social media is obviously an extremely important element in today’s world, especially when it comes to business, branding, marketing, etc. With that being said, do you think an artist will be able to survive in today’s music industry if they’re not social media savvy?
One word answer…. NO.
10.) What were some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered as a musician in today’s world putting your work out there?
Time has been a challenge. Being able to balance being a man, an artist, entrepreneur, father, etc. is tiring. You have schedule everything in order to maintain it all and to have balance. Early on it used to be finding producers, studios, and venues, now its overstated. Standing out is probably the biggest obstacle for most artists now.
11.) Professionally, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Easy answer, successful. The steps are being taken now to ensure that.
12.) As creative professionals, we always have a project or two that we’re working on. What are you currently working on? What should we look forward to from you in the future?
I’ve been working heavily on a huge project titled, “The Plantation”. It comes in two parts, “Willy Lynch Is Dead”, and “Free From What”. I have years of work dedicated to this and I’m rebranding myself with this as well. Be in the lookout soon on my soundcloud for some newer tracks from it as there are a few there now. www.soundcloud.com/jeck_da_supplya
There will be merchandise available as well soon.