Over the last few months, standout rapper Jordan Jetson has released a pair of EPs in Black Aria and Black Aria 2, both of which serving as bricks to the foundation he’s continued to build as being one of Louisville’s finest emcees. As I’ve continued to watch him grow as an artist over the last few years, I’ve been more and more impressed with not only his clever ability as an emcee, but also his seemingly tireless work ethic as he relentlessly puts out quality music, none of it coming off as filler.
Listen my personal favorite track from his latest release, Black Aria 2 below via Spotify:
Never Nervous: How long have you been at it as an emcee? And what was the inspiration that led you to getting involved in Louisville’s hip hop community?
Jordan Jetson: I’ve been an Emcee since I was 11 years old, that’s when I recorded my first song so that’s when I considered myself a real rapper.
NN: Tell us about Black Aria 2. How is it different from the first Black Aria release, and what is the story behind the series?
JJ: The Black Aria series is a return to my roots. I’m from the west side of Louisville and trap music is a staple there. Since I’ve become a full fledged musician I’ve gotten away from my roots in trap and southern music. Black Aria allows me to “go back” to that influence, in a sense. The major difference is the producers, as the sounds are all molded around them for these tapes. Starlord had the majority of beats on Black Aria 1, which gave it a more pop-trap feel. Cash Gordon took charge for Black Aria 2, which gave it a more grunge-trap feel.
“The Black Aria series is a return to my roots.”
NN: Is there a track from Black Aria 1 or 2 that you’re particularly proud of? A song that you feel especially good about?
JJ: For Black Aria 1, “The Stars”. Produced by Malachi Mabson, mixed and mastered by DLe, the creation of the song was very special to me. We did it in a night. Black Aria 2 has “That Door”, which was produced by La Tray, who also did “The Sword” on Black Aria 1. Its about me facing my inner demons and besting them.
NN: You’ve been partnered up with Yons for a while now. How’d the two of you hook up? What brought you together?
JJ: We did a video together for a series that never came to fruition, called Cypher Sundays. He was the producer of the beat, a rapper on the song (and had top 3 verses) and the engineer who recorded me that day. In all three things he was top tier. You don’t let that kind of talent slip away. I told him he was great, destined for greatness, and I needed him on my team and would do whatever it took to have him. We’ve been brothers ever since.
NN: Are there any influences in particular that have shaped the way you write?
JJ: I’m a student of all the best lyricists. I draw heaviest from The Notorious, Pimp C, God rest their souls, Rakim the God MC and Eminem. And Freddy Mercury.
NN: How much has Louisville Hip Hop evolved in the past 5 years, and where do you see the local scene in 5 years from now?
JJ: It had blossomed in beautiful and very promising ways. Everyone is on their A Game and they have been for quite some time. It’s inspiring. In 5 more, myself and many other talented artists will have made this city a hub for music across the nation. Promise.
NN: If you could change anything about the hip hop community in Louisville, what would it be? And why?
JJ: Eh. I always hate these conversations. It is what it is. Would it be awesome if it was all kumbaya? Sure. Is it? Of course not. But nothing is perfect. We were given an excellent opportunity here to do great things. The more time we spend debating on how things should be, the less we have for making it what it can be. We can all be better. I am no exception. Far from the exception actually. If I could change anything, it would be myself.
“The more time we spend debating on how things should be, the less we have for making it what it can be.”
NN: How do you feel about hip hop acts that perform with full bands as opposed to utilizing a DJ? Is one approach better than the other?
JJ: I think it’s awesome. I do it myself sometimes. I’m a big fan of Emcee and DJ combos, it’s like the starting place for Hip Hop. I love the feeling it gives me. But having a band is awesome. I feel it works better when the building either has awesome acoustics or its an outside thing. But I’m no technical expert I just go by ear.
NN: What’s your deal with Twitter? Are you banned or something? I know you were on there a while ago, but haven’t seen you around in a long time. HAHAHA!
JJ: I was permabanned! So Twitter had a feature called Tweet deck, which basically allowed members to sync theirs retweets and likes. Long story short, we finessed them and their algorithm couldn’t handle it. Buuuuuut, I’m tryna get back on, despite Twitter not appreciating that idea. @strangequark502 . Don’t tell them.
NN: Do you believe anything that Rick Pitino says anymore? Or are you one of those “he didn’t do anything wrong” guys?
JJ: Haha. All I’ll say is Pitino has always reminded me of a made man. I’ll leave it at that.
NN: Before you go, tell us about your favorite record from 2018 thus far.
JJ: Super Tough. 4 way toss up: 1. Peter Wesley – Gimme The Ball and I’ll Do The Rest. 2. Rob Lee – Art of Flight 3. B Lee – 2 Cold 2 Care 4. Dom B – Oasis Bluegrass (Special mentions: Yons- Goddess Equation, coming soon) No particular order.