Jamaal Abiade is an emcee from the Midwest and graduate of Hampton University who recently released a visual for his single "Barbie", directed by himself and Chazz Field and shot in Washington DC's Chinatown. We connected with Jamaal to find out more about the "Barbie" video, how his time as a student at Hampton has influenced his music, whether we can expect a new EP or album soon, and much more.
After reading this exclusive Q&A, be sure to follow Jamaal on Twitter, IG, and Soundcloud and stay tuned for much more from this talented artist.
Congratulations on your graduation from Hampton; how did your experience as a student during your time at the university impact you as an artist?
Thank you I appreciate that! Graduating from college is deff one of my biggest accomplishments up to date. Hampton University made my style, slang, and cadence more unique as an artist. The DMV culture as a whole deff impacted my style, I'm always rapping about DC or Howard U women now. lol
Being from the Midwest, who have been some of the artists that you have looked toward as influences? And how do you stand apart from them on your own as an emcee?
Big Sean and Tee Grizzley are deff putting on for the Midwest/Detroit right now! I am honestly just try to be myself, not trying to hop on the "hit the folk" "lean" phase rap music is going through right now. Feel good music with some substance is my goal at the moment. Im excited because my best work has not been released yet.
Tell us about your visual for "Barbie". How did you come up with the treatment for the video and did you have to deal with anybody trying to disrupt the shooting?
We shot the video in Washington, D.C. in Chinatown. I've been trying to shoot a video in that location since 2014, I just did not have perfect song for it yet. I deff have to give a s/o to Chaz Ried (@chazreidfilms) he brought my visions to life! We chopped it up on the phone and knew we wanted a fun, energetic, and simplistic style video. Chaz and I deff have some more releases coming this summer. And anytime you shot a video in a public place your going to have many disruptions but nothing to serious.
Can we expect to hear "Barbie" on an upcoming EP or album this summer?
ABSOLUTELY! Barbie was a new style I've been playing with and the response from it has been phenomenal. I will be dropping an EP early this summer, right now it is untitled.
What do you enjoy most about being a rap artist? And what frustrates you the most?
Performing is the most amazing experience. I just opened up for Swift, Cardi B, and Young Dolph over the weekend in Virginia and somehow i ended rapping in the crowd haha. My music not being heard by the masses is very frustrating. I know I have the talent/product just not the promotion/reach at the moment.
Much love to you guys at "DOPECAUSEWESAID"!!! You guys are the first blog to post "Barbie", y'all lit!