Much respect for reppin Ocala Florida!! Is Jared Schappert your real name or is it your stage name? How long have you been rapping? Also, what made you want to become a Hip Hop artist?
I go by my name at this point, after years of silly pseudonyms I settled on what my mom intended me to be called. IÔÇÖve been rapping since about age 12, it all started as a joke with my brother and I rapping and tweaking our voices on garageband, I just never stopped that shit. I simply am in love with hip hop, and that love budded into an ability to rap and connect with people.
How has Ocala, Florida treated your Hip Hop music so far. It sounds like a small town compared to other cities out there. To clarify, how has the local community supported your Hip Hop? Any fans in that city?
Ocala has literally no music scene whatsoever. When I grew up, it was all punk or hardcore bands that were coming out the city, never once hip hop. ItÔÇÖs a very ÔÇ£southernÔÇØ and ÔÇ£evangelicalÔÇØ city, so hip hop was never taken to kindly. And yes, it is exactly how it sounds, small as hell; but itÔÇÖs my city, and IÔÇÖll rep it till I die. We have a small pocket of kids, really from all backgrounds, who now adore hip hop and I always wanted to give them a voice. They have rallied around me after this tape and IÔÇÖm so blessed that my town has some of the dopest kids I know in it.
Wow!! Your new EP blew us away for realz!! Please breakdown the creative process of your latest EP “Sauga SagaÔÇÖs”. Also tell us a little bit about the dope EP cover art.
I made christian music, including christian hip hop, my entire life, I thought it was just what I was supposed to do. Long story short, I finally realized other peopleÔÇÖs opinions of me are not my reality, and if IÔÇÖm to be happy I need to care about what Jared thinks, not the world. So from being locked in a career I hated, and engaged to be married to the wrong girl, I had my fuck it moment; and it was time to make a move. A friend of mine had family in Mississauga Canada, and the ideas fell into place from there. ÔÇÿFuck everyone here, fuck all this fake shit and fake people, I need to make music.ÔÇÖ
So within 2 weeks of planning it, we packed up my car and drove from Ocala to Canada. We spent a few days tooling around the city, I wanted to absorb the feel, get into that mindset. I had a few of the beats picked out that I wanted, but the majority was made in my friends uncleÔÇÖs basement, inspired by twenty-two years of frustration and a fuck ton of weed. It honestly was very outer body and just kind of happened, not too much to explain, it was just magic for the moment.
Who were you influenced by when it comes to your Hip Hop music?
First rap song I ever heard was ÔÇÿSorry Mrs. JacksonÔÇÖ by Outkast, and I wish I could say that changed my life forever, but it took a few years for hip hop to sink its hooks into me. I credit my ability to rap, back to when I first got a car, and Kanye West. Early high school days, I would make mix tapes of my favorite Kanye songs, and without even thinking, my goal was to memorize the rap but try to mimic EXACTLY how he sounded. I credit the 4 years of imitating Kanye (and many others) to not only my ability to rap, but my love for the entity that is hip hop.
Any plans on pushing a video or two from the EP “Sauga SagaÔÇÖs”.
I dropped the video for ÔÇÿMountyÔÇÖ which we filmed while in Canada, but as of right now I don’t have any plans for a new video. I always felt Fruit nÔÇÖ Coffee could have some dope visuals to it.
How often do you perform live?
When I was performing in churches, that’s where I learned how to command a stage, and I mustÔÇÖve done over a hundred shows in that realm. IÔÇÖve only done a few select clubs and parties since for SaugaÔÇÖs, I really want to develop an amazing live show before I go out and just fuck around on a stage for a few minutes. So I do perform often, just not as much lately.
What is your end goal when it comes to this Underground Hip Hop culture?
I want to be in the conversation of best rapper out. I wont even lie, I do want to be the best. However, there are a few billion people in the world, IÔÇÖm betting I got at least a couple hundred million exactly like me, and they deserve a voice. I want that voice to be mine.
Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Underground hip hop is trusting your natural talent and not giving a fuck who hears.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.
Lastly, and shout out?
My family has put up with my bullshit for 22 years, they deserve a couple dozen Grammy speeches. Mom and dad supported me with everything since day 1, and IÔÇÖm blessed and grateful to have that, and them in my life. And for once in my life, SHOUT OUT TO JARED FUCKING SCHAPPERT FOR MAKING A DOPE ASS TAPE, thanks.
Q&A With Ocala FloridaÔÇÖs Rising Artist Jared Schappert : Underground Hip Hop Blog