JT THE BIGGA FIGGA (October 2007) | Interview By:
Dubcnn recently sat down with a
true Bay Area pioneer and respected name across the industry for his
independent music. JT
The Bigga Figga took time out last month to speak to Dubcnn about his
alignment with Snoop Dogg and Doggystyle Records; of which he explains his
position as head of the Independent Division. JT details his various
enterprises including his CEO Manual, his independent music MySpace revolution
as well as giving aspiring artists some words of advice. We also talk about
his just released album
"Mr. Vice President", get the latest on his Mandatory Business
DVD and CD Soundtrack with Snoop Dogg and many more of his current projects.
As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to
check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
Interview was done in September 2007.
Questions Asked By :
JT The Bigga Figga Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :
Dubcnn: So the big news weíve been
hearing is that youíre now the Vice President of Doggystyle Records. Tell us
Actually, Iím not the vice president of Doggystyle Records, in the sense
of working for [Snoop.] Itís more [like,] whatever he needs up here in the Bay
Area, and whatever I can do for him down there in Los Angeles [is taken care
of.] Heís got his technical people who actually handle all of that. Ted Chung
and his wife [Shante Broadus] are the Vice Presidents. I run this underground
independent division. I push projects, and come up with different formulas and
marketing tactics. Thatís my division.
Dubcnn: Iím glad we cleared that up. Thereís a lot of moves being made on
your Myspace page, and it seems like youíre always a step ahead of the rap
game when it comes to business. When did you decide to make the switch to more
of an internet-based operation with your music?
I really didnít have a choice! The internet was growing very rapidly, and the
way that business formulas move, you could get the word out on the internet
just as fast as on the phone or on television. So a lot of people were hitting
me on Myspace [for] web-based business, and the thing that I liked about
[Myspace] was the easy setup. It was already ready-made for me to come in and
do what I do.
I think last year it really took off to phenomenal heights though, because the
more ideas I would put out on the net, nobody else was doing. Those are the
things I would try to capitalize on, being that nobody else was really focused
on bringing new ideas and products to the table.
Dubcnn: Yeah! I just saw on your page that you published an E-Book called
ďThe CEO Manual.Ē Tell us a little bit about thatÖ [available
for download here]
Yeah, I did ďThe CEO ManualĒ in 2002. That was something that came about when
I was doing the Black Wall Street movement on the underground, and when I
signed Game. That was how it all started. The manual represented the
information and the tactics that I was using at that time. A lot of people
didnít know about it, or they didnít get a chance to get it until the web game
kicked off. So now I can sell it like that, as a download, and it makes it
easier and more profitable. Every sale right now is 100% profit. I put out a
download link [on
Dubcnn.com, with the first] 73 pages. Itís 140 pages, but Iím giving away
half of the book for free right now. 73 pages, free from the homeboy JT The
Bigga Figga! Get your game on!
Dubcnn: So what made you decide to write a book like this? Did you just
want to share your knowledge with the young guys that want to make it in the
There was two parts to it. [The first part] is that I feel that Iíve done a
lot of things in the game that people have seen bits and pieces of, but nobody
would really know that I was doing that much work if I didnít put it all
together in one place. It started out like that, as me just letting the world
know what I did, and then it transformed into me sharing tactics and formulas
in the form of paragraphs and chapters, [and] informing the younger generation
that is on the way up.
Dubcnn: Youíre a role model for anybody that wants to sell their music
independently. Whatís one piece of advice you would give to someone whoís
trying to come up in the rap game?
I would say [to] get your products created the best you can. Network with
people that have the other tools and the pieces to your puzzle that you donít
have, because a lot of times, they donít have you! So, putting it all
together, youíll have a complete package! So, I would say, create your
product, and definitely donít wait for somebody to discover you. If you wait
to get discovered, youíre going to get left out.
Dubcnn: Thatís good advice. So, tell us a little bit about your album, ďMr.
The album was actually scheduled to come out in May, but we [made a deal] with
Koch to be a sub-distributor: to distribute other albums and other labels.
[Because of this,] I felt it was imperative that I hold my album back to give
the other [new sub] labels a chance. I [didnít want to] be focused on my album
while Iím trying to develop other labels. [Iím going to] push a button for
other independent labels, [and] open the door for those labels that have
finished albums [and] finished artwork. Iím trying to sew up that percentage
of the market.
Me and Snoop [are] doing [that] with Mandatory Business through Koch. Snoop
opened the door for me and put me in the position - thatís where the whole
Vice President thing comes from. Heís the big dog on the West, in terms of the
artists. For him to work with me on an underground level - Iím 100 percent
independent on everything that I do - thatís a good sign for all the other
[new] independent [labels.] They can network with other tycoons, network with
guys like myself, and create that movement thatís bigger than one person -
[something] thatís pushing for the same cause. Itís not a coast thing, itís a
Dubcnn: Tell us more about the Mandatory Business Distribution programÖ
The program is set up in a way where we can do regional, national, and
international products and distribution. A lot of times, guys donít have
enough momentum to be distributed nationwide. [This] makes it a little harder
to actually spend money on a brand new artist that might sound good, but
doesnít have [any] pre-orders, [and the public] doesnít know [of.] So we have
set up a system to give a guy a chance to sell that first 2,000-10,000 pieces
in their region, and then go on from there to a national level. Theyíve got to
put the work in [though.] Thatís the other good part about it, they really are
a label. They have to be a label, even if it starts small and grows, they have
to be that, so that when they achieve the success that they chase after, they
actually earned it and worked for it. [For them, we will be] just a platform Ė
we were just a doorway, we were a conduit for them to be able to achieve the
success they were looking for.
Dubcnn: That sounds like a very good opportunity for anybody that wants to
get into the rap game. So you guys just distribute the album, and they act as
an independent label?
Right. We provide a jump-start budget [for] the initial posters, the initial
flyers, [and] the initial shelf space that they need. [This way,] on the back
end they have a bigger margin in terms of the profit share, because theyíre
actually doing the work. They have to get out there and make it happen for
themselves. We provide the tools, and theyíve got to provide the work. We do
it on a low-number scale so that we can provide more [opportunities] to more
labels. So if somebody feels like theyíre worth more budget, and they want to
go somewhere else, theyíve got to shop for that. If they want a short
opportunity, thatís what weíre bringing to the table, as long as they meet our
Dubcnn: If any up-and-coming rapper wants to inquire about signing to your
distribution company, how can they get a hold of you?
They can get at me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can call direct at
415-424-9293. They can [also] come to
Dubcnn: Tell us a little bit about the sound behind ďMr. Vice President.Ē
Is this a typical JT album, or are you trying to do something different with
it? [hear our Online Listening Party of the new album
I think the only thing different Iíve incorporated is heavy 808, because
thatís the sound of today. Typically, I like 909s. Iíve never been a
sample-oriented dude in terms of production. I think in terms of the overall
message of the album, Iím the voice of independency and Iím really pushing for
that. The album is not about JT; the album is about ďweĒ and ďus.Ē Iím pushing
game-oriented music that educates and entertains with the JT style, the JT
beats: the JT everything!
Itís a conceptual album. I want a person to be able to finish the album and
study the album. I think rap fans will like the album because rap fans want to
be educated on how they can become more than just a fan. Fans [are] the feet
of the game, which is very important, but a lot of times the feet donít get
treated well. The feet get worn out off the same shit and then the feet walk
away. So what I bring to the table is the enjoyment of listening to hard music
and good concepts. The outcome that I want to achieve for every song is in
I got a song called ďDonít Get Me Wrong,Ē the remix [is] with T.I. I did [that
track] because I wanted to get my full respect, and really just show the world
that I bring that heat and I deliver that product that people want to hear.
Iím not just your normal rapper. On my album, I donít do fake drive-bys and
shit. I donít do fake ass shit that I ainít out here really trying to do. Iím
talking about making money, taking trips, [and] making business moves. Iím
creating new patterns in the game that ainít nobody else [coming] up with,
[all] over unique beats. Iím really having fun with my music, man. Iím not a
complicated dude, Iím simple. ďMr. Vice PresidentĒ is heavy on the politics,
letís say that!
Dubcnn: So weíre going to learn more about your business side, and how to
get into the game after hearing the album?
Yep! Youíre going to learn exactly how to get into the game by listening to
this album. If youíve never been to school before, never had nobody stand up
for you before, ride for you and represent for you, this album is gonna do
that because it represents for the regular people. It represents for the
people thatís trying to make a way for themselves in the game: [those that]
take care of [their] family and children [and are] responsible individuals.
Dubcnn: That sounds like itís something uniqueÖ
Definitely man, and thatís my selling point. Iím not gonna try to hype you up
on which producers and [guests are] on the album Ė fuck all of that! Iím
hyping you up on all the game youíre gonna get! Youíre really gonna be able to
say, ďI got some real game fucking with JT! Heís really on there with real
math numbers, real transaction numbers, real ballers that are real
motherfuckers in this shit, that can really make a living off it.Ē
Dubcnn: We also saw something about a ďMandatory BusinessĒ documentary
movie thatís coming out. Is that still coming?
Yes sir, yes sir! The ďMandatory BusinessĒ [is] a film that me and Snoop put
together, and thatís also the name of our company. The [film] is a brand-new,
fresh approach. This film is about going back to the hood, showing love to the
hood, in a way thatís up close and personal. In no way are we looking to get
credit or press behind it. Weíre going in there, dealing with real-life
issues, and talking with people thatís really affected by the music that we
make, the communities that we live in, [and] the environment that we help
create through the music. Weíre really trying to show that love back to them,
to help them further themselves and see that we do care out here, that we do
have common sense, [and] that we do have the ability to use our talent to
create a positive change in the world! This film is the first one of that
Dubcnn: ďMandatory BusinessĒ is also going to be an albumÖ
Itís a soundtrack. Snoop is going to be on 3 or 4 songs, Iím on like ten of
the songs at least. Itís definitely an incredible project. Weíve got Daz and
Kurupt on there of course, weíve got Gucci Mane coming in from the South,
weíve got Young Buck, San Quinn, E-40, and weíve got a bunch of up-and-coming
Dubcnn: You recently signed Hood Surgeon to Get Low. Tell us whatís going
on with thatÖ
We signed him and we dropped him all at the same time man! His [tendency] to
not focus in is one of the things that caused us to have to depart ways with
him. We were excited about it originally, but you know, you canít be a gimmick
rapper. Youíve got to really be who you say you are. If youíre gonna talk all
that murder-ass killiní shit on your albums, you better be ready to stand up
to a motherfuckiní CEO, a manager, or somebody whoís in the way of your
career. Youíre talking all that stuff on albums, but youíre not living up to
it. [Thatís] not to say that youíve got to be killing anybody, because thatís
false, even though in some cases people really live that lifestyle.
In terms of the level of publicity and the level of eyes that were on us for
the project, we wouldnít want to be seen as promoting something thatís not
real. So we had to gracefully bow out on that one, and wish him much success
to whatever he can do in the world. Youíveí got be real, [and] youíve got be
who you say you are. Thatís really what it boils down to. We wish him much
success out there, in terms of him trying to find a way for himself. Itís a
hard game man, and being the son of a tycoon, itís rough man. Heís got some
big shoes to fill! We was ready to ride it out for him, but he wasnít ready to
ride out for us, so we canít fuck with no cats like that. I want him to hear
that loud and clear. If you canít stand up for yourself, we canít stand up for
you. Thatís a fact, and that comes from me and the whole Bay.
Dubcnn: Besides everything you just mentioned, what else is going on with
Get Low Entertainment?
Weíve got San Quinn dropping a double CD called ďExtreme Danger.Ē Itís a CD
featuring all the classics I produced and all the material that we did
together. So itís definitely gonna be a jewel for all the San Quinn fans. We
have a JT and Outlawz record that we put together - me, Noble and Edi - called
ďGhetto Monopoly.Ē Iím excited about that.
Dubcnn: That sounds pretty good!
Yeah, thatís [coming] out of left field. Nobody was expecting that! The number
one thing that I want everyone to be on about me is focusing in on this
distribution, this marketing, and on these creative products that weíre doing.
People can participate further than just [being] a fan. They can participate
[through] some type of interaction [and] they can get a better benefit than
just riding around listening to the music.
We want business people to lock in with us. We want graphic designers, web
designers - people that have talents thatís looking to make a way in the game.
Thatís [who] weíre looking to network with. That email, email@example.com,
is where you can send all the samples to. Thatís where Iím taking all the
songs, the artwork, the messages, or they can call live and direct Ė itís all
Dubcnn: Is there anything else you want to say to everyone on Dubcnn?
Yeah, keep your eyes tuned to JT The Bigga Figga. You just never know. Thank
yíall for all your support. You went against the odds, even when it didnít
look like it was cool to support me. It looked like it was a movement against
me, but in reality, thatís the resistance thatís comes with anybody trying to
do great things. So I just want to say ďone loveĒ to all my folks that
supported me through all the trials and tribulations of the game that Iíve
been through, and that I prepare myself to continue to go through. Itís always
an up-hill climb, so I just want to let my folks know that I appreciate that
love, and I want to give something back in the form of these quality products
that Iím delivering.
JT The Bigga Figga Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :