Interview with Jin

You became known as a battle rapper. Do you enjoy battling or doing studio work more?

It’s 2 different mediums, totally. When I’m in a battle I’m in a certain zone and when I go in a lab to write and record it’s a totally different mindset. I respect both platform. Some people are better at one than another, but your goal ultimately is to be nice at both. I enjoy both. When you get older, you start feeling that that aspect, I mean battling, has gotten me so far but you can’t be doing it forever. I ain’t trying to be a 30 year-old battling a 17 year old. That shit just don’t make sense.

Supernatural, Serious Jones and such are moving away from battling. Will you always keep it a part of your routine or abandon it altogether?

Its finding a balance. I’m trying to establish myself as an artist and have my career expand in a certain manner, so I think what it is it’s not, ‘Yo, I’m done with the battling and that’s it’. You got to do more wisely and strategize it a little better. Let me put it like this: if I entertain every single person who’s like ‘Yo, I wanna battle you’, I wouldn’t be able to take a shit. So I think it’s me just being on a certain level. It’s not an arrogant thing. Like when you join the NBA and you’re Jordan, you’re not at the park playing every day. I’m sure he goes to the gym every now and then [with everyone else] thou. I feel the same way.

From a battling standpoint, who are your inspirations?

Right now? When I started, I followed people. There are cats like KRS-1 and whatnot that are famous for their specific battle records. You know what I’m saying? There is a whole other monster and the circuit. When I came into battle, I was 16, 17, and I followed that circuit. There are cats [here tonight] like that, you know?

You are of the Asian decent. How close do you keep to your Asian roots?

I think that my music speaks for a big part of it. I try to incorporate it into my music a lot obviously. I try to do it in a manner that seems authentic. I never fabricate nothing or make nothing up and that’s what it is.

You had an album that was all in Cantonese?

Yeah, I had an album all in Chinese that just dropped in 2007. February of this year, so it’s out now.

How much attention do you pay to production work?

I think that more recently I started getting more involved in it. Not necessarily making the beats myself but involved in it. I like being in it with the producer, cause sometimes it’ll be me coming out with an idea for a record and I will approach a producer, like ‘Yo, I got this idea, I hear these specific sounds’ and that’ll be the way to do it.

Now in New York there is a definite lack of new talented battle rappers. Why do you think that is?

I don’t think there is a lack of it, there is more than ever. As far as talent, they are out there, you just got to find ‘em. To me battling is like basketball. There are a lot of [players] out there. Some are real good, some are really horrible and it’s a matter of just encountering it.

Who are the acts in the present time that you look up to?

You mentioned Supernatural. I followed his battles a lot early in the game. I think my biggest inspiration was more than the actual dudes I think it was the sport of it. Going there and being a part of it, seeing first hand and being in the position when I’m going back and forth with somebody.

You and Serius Jones went back and forth for a while. Where are you now?

Basically the last of it was: we were at the same battle. I won. I offered an X amount of dollars, like let’s battle right now and it didn’t happen.

I remember at SOBs he turned you down?

Yeah, that was the second time. Basically after that point, I was like ‘I can’t chase this guy around, I got better things to do’.

What is in your immediate future?

Right now I’m working on a new album and it might drop this year or early next year. As far as shows, right now I have none in New York. That’s it. Check me out at www.jinspace.com. You know about MySpace, this is JinSpace!