I just wanna give a different perspective, something that’s unique.Jamal Cristopher
Jamal Cristopher is one of the new voices for Los Angeles Hip-Hop. Hailing from Leimert Park, Cristopher has attempted to tell his version of what it’s like to grow up in south central Los Angeles and has gained success doing so; amassing Hundreds of thousands of plays on several streaming platforms and almost 40,000 followers on Instagram to date. The story Jamal attempts to tell is one that isn’t told often or as he tells it, “Not everybody who comes up in south center bang, it’s a lot that make us strong. Im just telling my side.” With his last release being a few years back, Cristopher is looking to return after a brief stint away, providing a sound that Los Angeles is missing. Jamal Cristopher’s new album is set to release this year and with that, a new perspective and story will be told.
HHW: For those who aren’t familiar, who is Jamal Cristopher?
Jamal: Jamal Cristopher is somebody who tries to do everything from the most honest and genuine perspective. Whether it’s influencing, music, trying to be a better friend, Im just someone who tries to grow everyday. I got a lot of improving to do though and I’m just working on being the best version of me.
HHW: When did you first fall in love with music, and how long have you been actively pursuing your dreams of becoming a music artist?
Jamal: Man since like…I was a kid really. I don’t know the exact age though. Growing up I was always hooping, trying to make it to the nba. But even then I used to have these notebooks filled with poems and raps, it’s always been a passion. And then, when Drake dropped So Far Gone and I was like damn, I wanna do that. For the first time for me, I heard somebody that was telling stories that I could relate to. And then my last year of high school I was messing around writing raps over instrumentals. I would read em to my homies and they told me I should take it serious and ever since then I just been wanting to see how far I can take it.
HHW: What differentiates you from other artists?
Jamal: I feel like it’s the stories and the concepts I tackle. Like, where I’m from in south central Los Angeles its always been a certain story told that describes that. And with me, I didn’t necessarily live that reality. Like yeah I grew up in the hood, and I grew up with homies who ended up bangin, I know people locked up right now, but I didn’t choose that route. Like it is kids from south central who go to college and get degrees feel me? so that’s what I try and do.
HHW: Are there any artists currently or before you that musically inspire you? If so, who and why?
Jamal: Drake is one for sure. I said this before but to me he’s like the peak rapper. The inflections, the flows, I feel like from 09 to now he’s just became such a better rapper, he just sounds so good on records. I study that. Dom Kennedy just being from Leimert and hearing how hard he pushed Leimert over the years it made me proud. Nip Hussle, Big Sean, J. Cole, those are all the ones. But I find inspiration from any and everything. I was just playing BlueBucksClan earlier they the wave I like them a lot. Bieber got a new record with Ariana that I like a lot. Inspiration all around.
HHW: What motivates Jamal both, in and out of the booth?
Jamal: In the both I think what motivates me is like, just trying to get my exact thoughts out and doing so in the most concise way I can. Sometimes you just have so much to say that it’s hard to get it all out without like, rapping 50 bars. I got a song like that on the album where I’m just rapping but some of the songs on the album aren’t the newest. But the new shit going forward I don’t got much of that. Outside the booth a lot of vanity. The typical. I got goals when it comes to cars, houses, I wanna do things for my fam. But I always wanted to be able to provide for myself. That’s not just a music thing that’s why I went to college and got my degree, got a career, like that’s a huge thing for me. To not depend on anybody.
HHW: What are three things about you that would shock the public?
Jamal: I tried out for X factor once. I think Simon Cowell was a judge, one of them shows. they wasn’t feeling me. When I was a kid I auditioned for Like Mike 2 and they wasn’t feeling me either. And in 10th grade I got dunked on by Demar Derozan. Had some tough moments growing up.
HHW: What do you feel you contribute to the culture as an artist, and what would you add to the industry?
Jamal: Kinda what I said earlier, like the culture right now sound a lot like just trap. Rappers who singing about like trap shit. And I love it, but I just feel like it’s always more to the story. It’s a lot to me that’s different. And like I actually rap. I love melody and I incorporate that too but like I’m not full blown singing like a lot of guys. I actually care about the bars.
HHW: How do you balance your career with your home life? Family?
Jamal: That’s not that hard at the moment. Cause I’m still on the come up. Like I’m not poppin yet. If I do get bigger it’ll get harder but as for now I’m still the same for the most part and still got the time to do what I typically do on a day to day. Hoop, Work, Movies, it’s not that hard to balance it. I always make time to perfect my craft but for now the balance is there. I actually dread the day a little where this gets so big that finding balance is hard and I can’t just up and go to the movies u know. If this does get big that balance is something Ima fight for.
HHW: So what’s next for Jamal Cristopher musically? 2020 Goals?
Jamal: Just this project, that’s it. Corona made everything murky. But yeah, I ain’t put out any music since like October 2018. I think that’s it. So it’ll feel real good to drop some new music again. The goal is to just continue to grow, get bigger, and get poppin so that the project can drop. I got a lot of it done. It’s just all the other stuff I gotta figure out. But yeah, Goals? Just get my name out there more, network and then hopefully drop the project. Thats the plan.
HHW: How can those looking to book you get in contact with you?
Check out a few tracks from Jamal below.