My name Jesse James Scott III. Born and raised in New York more specifically Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and The Bronx.

Over time I developed a strong love and passion for music and creating. Over the past 3 years I’ve grown immensely as an artist from my music all the way to my photography and videography.

Since the beginning of my journey I have had a ton of set backs just like anyone else chasing down their dream. But recently I have taken all of my fears and doubts and have faced them head on.

With this plan off attack and action I have only seen progress and affirmations that I am leading myself down the right path. It took me a long time to reach where I’m at and there’ still a ton of work to be done.

I couldn’t do this without the love of my family and the Mob Third and Ninth Records. Shout out to my brother and business partners – Marv & Len.

1) Talk to me about the making of your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?

A : The Finisher which is my latest single release came about though the shear process of everyday recording and creating. I had been working on building a body of work over the last year. Mainly looking to put together my debut album.

By the end of that process I had well over 30 records. From there I decided instead of an album to release all of the work I had been sitting on in a very strategic manner.

Following that I worked up the visual and since then the record has taken on a life of its own, and placed numbers on the board which I expected and intended for.

So I could easily say the inspiration behind this record came out of me wanted to create something new everyday.

2) With the music industry tanking and record sales falling, how do you currently make money as an independent hip-hop artist?

The music industry isn’t tanking in my opinion, a lot of folks have an obscured view of the industry do to the media and mainstream artist.

It truly is up to what your perspective of a successful artist is. There are tons of ways to make money off of content and creations. You have to do the foot work, learn the business and apply it. I have found other ways to funnel in money opposed to just being a “rapper”.

Such as merchandise, streaming services (digital, mechanical and physical), engineering, production, shows, photography, videography and much more.

That’s why I always implore an artist of any kind or anyone for that matter looking to building financial freedom or be your own boss is to know more than one aspect of your career. In other words be able to wear more than one hat.

You can not be one dimensional in this day an age no matter what you’re into.

3) From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?

There is a list of individuals that I could name.

Of course the late and great Nipsey without a doubt. I have to place him there for obvious reasons in addition to the fact that he truly empowered himself and the folks around him, through knowledge and resources.

In addition to Nip I would have to say (in no particular order) Chance The Rapper, J.Cole, Jayden Smith, 50 Cent, ASAP Rocky, and Dave East.

I’ve always seen these individuals use there voice to make a major mark in addition to making business moves outside of music that speaks on their true character as person outside of being a rapper.

4) What business lessons have you learnt from the music industry so far?

There is a ton of lessons that I have learned since I embarked on this journey almost 10 years ago.

Two things that I have learned to ring true in any circumstance when it comes to the music industry. One being always trust your gut and never be swayed by a ” good talk or opportunity”. I always want to encourage people especially artist to take risk and break out of your comfortably.

But on the contrary we must be mindful of how lucrative and conniving this industry can be. There are people out here who will simply prey on your ambition, hopefulness and eagerness to go further in your career.

Secondly which is very important as well. You must invest in yourself and take it serious. I know way too many artist that are not willing to put up the necessary money let alone sacrifices needed to place yourself in better positions to further your career.

If you’re afraid and or unwilling to spend your own money on your talent and skills, then ask yourself why would anyone else want to invest in you. You should never feel comfortable spending someone else’s money for your own gain . You have to make it happen yourself fir the long game.

5) What do you love about hip-hop music?

There’s too much to love about Hip Hop, but mainly I love that fact that it simply brings people together. And in my experience it brings people together better than any other genre. Hip Hop is like water, it molds to where if you put it take shape and lives.

6) What still surprises you about hip-hop?

Nothing really surprises me about Hip Hop Black folk have always been creative and will continue to be. We will continue to inspire and influence, there’s no surprised there.

7) If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists – what would it be?

To be honest I would supply artist with more information and a guided list plus mandates of what it takes to truly create with an intention and purpose.

Most artist just want to “Rappers” and don’t think longevity. They need to realize this is a career and a means to survive, build and create opportunities for yourself, your family and children.

Information is more important than being popping on instagram. The game can’t be played if you don’t know the rules.

8) Who do you think are top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?

  1. J. Cole.
  2. Dave East
  3. Travis Scott

9) So what are your plans for the future?

To learn and acquire more business/partners. Have larger capital to invest. Create a large catalog of visuals. Do an official tour and more shows.

Establish a passive income and have that be funneled into a long term plan for entrepreneurship. And most important of all have fun and enjoy the journey.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.