SBRBN was able to catch up with Local Rapper Jayo Cortez who grew up in Cerritos CA. Check out the full conversation down below to find out all about his growth as an LA artist.
*THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN MODIFIED FOR EASIER READING*
Who are you & where you are from?
I live in Cerritos this is where I went to school and everything. I actually went to Gahr High school. Way before I used to rap I played basketball. My senior year after I finished hooping is when I got into music. I was always into writing raps and stuff but I just never decided to take it seriously.
So what really made you get serious?
Man, I used to rap all my verses to my teammates. They never believed it was me though. Around that time, I would constantly write I had like 100 verses just ready so once I quit playing basketball I began evaluating what I wanted to do. I told my dad I think I wanted to rap and he took me to the studio. That day I laid a track down in one take. That’s when I knew…this music stuff was what I was supposed to be doing.
so what’s your creative process look like?
Me personally I like to write my stuff down and I make all of my own beats. So, for instance, my process usually starts with a beat. I’ll pick about 80 beats and narrow that down to about 20 beats or whatever. Then I take the next two weeks or so just writing to those beats. I like to practice my verses so when I hit the studio I can get in there and really knock them out.
like a machine….hahaha.
I feel like it’s coming back to a place where LA is back to number one as far as music is concerned.
So tell me, who do you speak for?
I like to look at myself as somebody who is a true hustler. So that’s really who I’m speaking too cause that’s really what I know. I remember selling candy in school and upgrading to selling designer belts and shoes. I can take it back to seventh grade when I was selling sidekicks so you know I’ve always had that hustler mentality; I’ve always wanted to get out and make some money so I feeling like I’m speaking to all the people that are out there hustling and that doesn’t just mean with the money. As long as you’re on your grind and hustling you’re who I’m speaking to.
Talk to me about G.I.A.N.T.S records. That’s your record company right?
Yes, sir! So G.I.A.N.T.S is something I started my senior year after I dropped my first mixtape. You know I always looked to people like Jay Z, Diddy & Master P. These guys had their own record labels and so I knew one day I wanted one. The name Giants is actually an acronym for God Is Always Needed To Succeed. I’m the only artist under the label at the moment but we’ve got a whole team behind it. It’s me, Mark Green, De’Jah and the homie, Hakeem. We are all apart of the Giants records team. T
ogether we are focused on building me so that one day I’ll be able to build other artists.
So how did you go about building your team?
Thankfully it happened so organic man. All of those guys are my brothers. Before we made it official I was already going to them for advice so it was really a no brainer. The main thing is I know I can trust and rely on them. I know these guys don’t want to see me do anything stupid, they really have my best interest at heart. I knew these guys could help me build this label.
I credit God for everything I have and where I am. Even the lessons I’ve had to learn I’m thankful for it all.
Okay, so let’s talk about music. How do you feel about the current state of Los Angeles Rap?
Man for a minute things slowed down for underground artists in LA. But you know we always had guys like schoolboy, K dot and a few others representing but as far as underground it was slow motion. It’s picking up again and I feel like it’s coming back to a place where LA is back to number one as far as music is concerned. The Kalan’s, 1Take’s, Rucci’s, Sean Ev’s and myself are doing it big. I personally want to restore that 2011 feeling LA once had. That’s when Dom K, Casey Veggies, Nip and the city were all working together making good music.
I’m just trying to restore that feeling and you know get back to that because sometimes rappers may not want to work with people in the city cause they have that crab in a barrel mentality. I;, really on some when I’m on ima out you on type of shit. I want to see everybody win.
So you speak about money over fame quite a lot. I’m just curious to know. No part of you wants to be famous?
Ummmmm I mean it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I can get this money and take care of my people that’s all that really matters to me. Cause you know the fame isn’t really what it seems. A lot of the time fame comes with a lot of negativity. You got all the cameras on you and people are waiting for you to mess up. Don’t get me wrong some people want to see you succeed but there is just so much negativity that comes with the fame that I don’t even care about it. As long as I can get my money right that’s all that important to me.
I hear a lot of talk about god from you. Are you super religious?
I grew up in the church since I could remember I was going ever to church every Sunday. My grandpa is a deacon and he taught Sunday school so that’s really where I got my word. My whole family is pretty religious so it’s in me. I credit God for everything I have and where I am. Even the lessons I’ve had to learn I’m thankful for it all. I don’t go as much but cause I’m just hustling these days but I always find some time to get in the atmosphere. I’m a fortunate man, even to have woken up this morning. I’m Blessed.
Can you speak on the importance of role models coming from LA?
It’s so important. Especially for the youth. They are the future and they need to see some positive role models. If not they’re going to be influenced by the wrong things. Speaking for myself I looked up to guys like Nipsey and Kendrick. You never hear about anything they did that was foul. The way they moved with business and made power moves were always inspiring. So yes having the right figures is necessary and it inspires that next generation. If we don’t lead the future and teach the youth it’s going to be all bad. Right now there’s a lot of sick things going on in the world so we need as many positive figures as we can get.
I want to see everybody win
So what’s next for you? What can we expect going into the next decade?
Man. So right now working on a project. I have been collaborating with other artist and I have a partnership with a studio so it’s just about putting out music and great visuals. Really I want to get this project out so right now we’re just perfecting it. Besides that, it’s all about broadening my fan base. I feel like 2020 is really the year that people start knowing who I am. Overall I’m excited. 2020 is the year for me. I’m speaking that into existence. It’s going to be big.
Make sure to follow Jayo Cortez on instagram and check out some of his music down below.