Can We Get Some Love for Jackie Chain?

November 1, 2010

No, not Chan. Chain. This guy:

For the uninitiated, Jackie Chain is a rapper, and is a pretty important figure in what seems to be an explosion of talent in Huntsville, AL's rap scene. He's a local mixtape celebrity, a recent signee to Universal/Motown with a EP in the works for the end of the year, and perhaps most relevant to our interests here, of mixed white/Korean heritage:

(I'd recommend skipping the freestyle, it's not his best work.)

I haven't really seen any Asian American interest publications, print or otherwise, give this dude any coverage (if there is, somebody say something in the comments -- I don't read everything). Which is really a shame, but I guess can be attributed to a couple of things: first, he doesn't really seem to be courting Asian American publications for coverage, and second, he isn't exactly the most politically correct musician I've ever listened to.

Actually, you could say that his politics are sort of interesting in that he pretty much has none. His name actually came from a cellmate teasing him about his race, calling him "Jackie Chan" in an Alabama accent, and he thought it sounded good so he ran with it (he goes into the spelling of his name a little on one of the interludes on his Instant Classic mixtape, warning people not to mix his name up with Jackie Chan, whom he refers to as a "karate motherfucker," which I thought was sort of funny).

Also, there's nothing particularly "progressive" about his tracks. Most of them are about smoking ridiculous amounts of weed, eating lots of pills, or, well, females. His latest video is called Mack a Bitch, and your reaction to that title will probably determine whether you should click the link and watch it.

He's not exactly doing rocket science on the lyrical end, but he's not trying to. Jackie keeps his flows simple and controlled -- a little predictable, maybe, but he's very good at taking these bizarre beats, which he apparently hand-selects, and turning them into kinda brilliant tunes.

A perfect example of this would be the track he is probably best known for: the 2008 ecstasy anthem "Rollin."

This one was originally done with him and Jhi Ali, and has since been given the remix treatment by everyone from Rich Boy to Kid Cudi, but nobody has really matched the original.

I could post any number of videos or tracks here, but I'll instead just hit you with a link to download pretty much all of his mixtapes, and leave you to blow your entire afternoon listening to them. If this is your first time hearing of dude, take a late pass now and keep him on your radar -- you're probably going to be hearing him more in the near future.

Recommended tracks: "Poppin Bottles" on Rollin Wit Jackie Chain, any remix of "Rollin" you can get your hands on, especially this synthed-out cut that the Fader put up, and pretty much all of Fear the Future (especially "Blinded"; he sorta sonned Weezy on that sample).


Dexter Lee Thomas

Dexter Lee Thomas grew up in San Bernardino, California, and spent most of his time playing video games and listening to music. He is now a graduate student at some school on the East Coast and spends most of his time playing video games and listening to music.