Interview by Ivory Moses
Do you remember where you were and what exactly you were doing when you first heard KURTIS BLOW’s classic song “The Breaks”? How difficult was it for you to memorize SLICK RICK The Ruler’s classic “Mona Lisa” lyrics? And how many of you were in a trance the very first time you heard the NOTORIOUS B.I.G’s classic “Hypnotize” and did LIL KIM’s “Crush” help you reveal your own crush? Now, what do each and every one of these artists have in common aside from the fact that they have left unforgettable legacies in HIP HOP history?
Their sounds were timeless and unfading in a genre of music where the style, beats, and flows were constantly changing and a new star was constantly being born. A star with more edge, and better bars than the one before him or her. It was a blessing and honor to interview an up and coming star. Especially in a time where the hip-hop industry, in my opinion, lacks consciousness and raw talent. The night sky of hip-hop has an abundance of artists and stars who constantly strive to continue to bring creativity to their fans. However, after speaking with this talented artist I’ve concluded she is indeed the brightest star in that night sky. Her smooth, flawless sounds are infectious and LV MAGAZINE is spreading it with a one on one exclusive interview with “Hip Hops Sirius” JENJER RICCI!!!!
Ivory: Let me start off by saying I just listen to five of your tracks on YouTube along with your music videos and I must admit I love your entire style! Your sound, your flow the way you style your locs. You are pure dopeness!
Jenjer Ricci: Wow, (laughter) Thank you so much.
Ivory: You’re welcome, just being one hundred percent honest. So tell us, where did you get the name “Jenjer Ricci”? Is it your birth name?
Jenjer Ricci: No it’s not. Jenjer is actually a nickname my mom gave me as a child. She nicknamed me gingerbread and I kind of just added on the Ricci.
Ivory: Awe, that’s so cute.
Jenjer Ricci: (laughter) Yea
Ivory: Tell me about your parents.What type of upbringing did you have? And where did you grow up?
Jenjer Ricci: Well I was born and raised in Irvington, NJ. I lived on section 8 in the projects. I didn’t meet my dad until I was 6 years old and seeing him was like seeing a shooting star. It was that rare and that seldom. I didn’t really start building a relationship with him until I was about 21 years old and I’m 28 now. It was cool but unfortunately, he was murdered on May 14, 2017.
Ivory: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that, my condolences.
Jenjer Ricci: Yes, thank you. As far as my mother, we have a great relationship. She was a single mom and I could speak to her about anything. She raised me to be respectful and stressed the importance of education, et cetera. My mom actually started me writing, like I was very quiet and I didn’t really like to discuss my feelings. So, my mother used to say write it down! ..it started off as poetry, just writing down how I feel and then it turned into lyrics (laughter) I don’t think my mom knew she was creating a rapper at the time.
Ivory: Wow that’s amazing that your mom would encourage you to channel those feelings through writing. As a poet and writer my self I definitely encourage using poetry as an expressive outlet, especially for the youth when you’re going through those growing pains. So that’s dope that you had your mother to encourage that
side of you.
Jenjer Ricci: Yea my mom is great and we still can talk about anything so, I definitely appreciate her.
Ivory: Beautiful …When did you discover your musical talents and what would you be doing with your life if you weren’t doing music?
Jenjer Ricci: (laughs) Oh wow, my cousins and I would play the Apollo. I would be Jermaine Dupri (laughs) and my uncle was actually the first person to ever hear me rap. So basically, family recognized my talent first. I remember being in the 8th grade battling boys on the basketball court and in school. And what would I be doing if I wasn’t doing music? Well, I would probably still be involved in music only in the back of scenes instead. I have a lot of talented people in my family musically. I have cousins who rap, sing, write et cetera. So, I would definitely still be doing music just not it the forefront. Sometimes you don’t have to be in the front of the scenes there’s also longevity in the back.
Ivory: Okay, was there a moment in your life where you wanted to give up and pursue something else other than music?
Jenjer Ricci: Yes! Several times I always loved music but I didn’t like what I was hearing on the radio. It wasn’t lyrical. People would just be rhyming and there were no topics nothing made any sense to me anymore. After the death of my father, it’s almost like I woke up from some sort of hypnosis. The tragedy of losing him just inspired me to go harder, it’s crazy.
Ivory: I hear you, sometimes a life-changing event can begin a spiritual transition.
Jenjer Ricci: Exactly, that’s what happened to me.
Ivory: Jenjer, Do you admire any artist as far as sound and flow?
Jenjer Ricci: Yes definitely, as far as flow Little Kim and Foxy. Kim was more of a lifestyle rapper. She told you where to go what to wear. Foxy was more of a lyricist so, I admire them both. As far as Style Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz were talented and had
Ivory: How do you feel about the direction that hip-hop has taken?
Jenjer Ricci: I don’t have any ill feelings. Most of the rappers have a s0outhern sound, but I feel hip-hop has stages so I think the sound that we’re hearing now is temporary. I mean you need multiple sounds to feed different people. Hip-hop is a movement and the movement is always changing.
Ivory: Absolutely, I agree. So with that being said, the hip-hop industry is extremely competitive and as you just stated, fans are always constantly in need of fresh sounds. There are albums and artist who can withstand the test of time. If you play their albums today you can still get a crowd moving. Bobbing their heads and singing along with the lyrics. Jenjer, where do you see yourself in the next four to six years? Do you feel that your sound and your style can withstand the test of time and why?
Jenjer Ricci: I think that I am the flow of time, my flow is timeless. Wherever hip hop goes I’ll flow with the times. I mean, I want to design my own sunglasses it’s not just about music, I want to work with Donatella Versace. I’ve done Improv and I have a great stage presence so even if I’m not doing music, I will be doing something within the field of entertainment. My flow is timeless people don’t want to see the same thing.
Ivory: Great answer! If you could collaborate with any artist, present or past, who would you choose and why would you choose them?
Jenjer Ricci: Wow(laughter) you caught me off guard with that one.
Ivory & Jenjer Ricci(laughter)
Jenjer Ricci: I can’t tell you an artist because there are so many artists, so many talented artists that I would like to collaborate with but I can tell you the producer that I would love to work with. Definitely music producer J DILLA. He produced “ The Light” by Common. Yes, I would have loved to work with him.
Ivory: Now let’s discuss the album Bordello what inspired you to name the album Bordello?
Jenjer Ricci: Bordello is a synonym for the word brothel. When you hear the word brothel, you think prostitution but it’s not about that. A brothel is a place where you can be adventurous, live out your fetishes. I just happen to like the word Bordello better. Matter of fact “Madame Ricci“ is one of my aliases. I visited France before and in France, they refer to women as Madam. It just sounds fancy.
Ivory: Wow brothels and Madams OKAY! Now that’s a whole different interview!
Ivory & Jenjer Ricci : (laughter)
Jenjer Ricci:( Laughter) It just an alias that’s sounds fancy.
Ivory: Cool. So my favorite track that I heard so far on Bordello was ”Real things vs. Dreams” I love the Lil Kim tribute. I also loved Medusa. A matter of fact I’m going to make Medusa my ringtone once the album drops. What as your favorite track from
the album and why?
Jenjer Ricci: It would have to be ”Beg for it”. It was fun writing the song. My cousin sent me the track and he said it was for me and it was just the easiest track to write to. He was right. It was like my words just flowed with it. “Real things vs dreams” was personal. It
was so personal I wasn’t really sure how it would be received. So I was kind of hesitant about releasing it but everything worked out alright.
Ivory: Who are some of the people who helped you with the production of the album?
Jenjer Ricci: I worked with alvie the skywalker. He actually produced every song except for Medusa. Darryl J was featured on some tracks, he provided amazing vocals, and Savvy The Savior produced Medusa. I was blessed to have a talented and creative team.
Ivory: Yes indeed that was definitely a blessing. Jenjer this has been a fantastic interview you are so talented and I just can’t wait to see your shine brighter than ever. Is there any message you would like to leave with the readers of LV MAGAZINE?
Jenjer Ricci: Just stay on top of your dreams. If you want to pursue music what you write depends on what you feel. I think people should just write what they feel, just express yourself. As long as you know your intentions are good, go for it and trust your vibe.
For those of you who don’t know. A Sirius also called Alpha Canis, Majoris or the Dog Star is the brightest star in the night sky. It outshines the thousands of stars surrounding it. Jenjer Ricci is definitely a force. Her talent and positive energy will pave the way for a promising, successful career. It was my pleasure to speak with her and on behalf of LV MAGAZINE, we send her blessings on all of her life and musical endeavors.