Our latest exclusive interview is with the Vermont based emcee Jibba The Gent who just released one of the dopest albums of the year, "The Broccoli Tree". We connected with Jibba to discuss the album, the music scene in Vermont, his first experience with Hip-Hop and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Jibba The Gent, be sure to follow him on his social media streams, and definitely stream/download "The Broccoli Tree" below. You will not be disappointed; real Hip-Hop lives on this album.
What was your first experience with Hip-Hop? What attracted you to the music and do you remember the first song you wrote?
Hip-hop was the first genre of music that made me feel like I wanted to mimic. Growing up in Vermont, there was a lot of Rock, Classic Rock and Pop music playing on the radio so I didn't get a chance to hear a lot of hip-hop. I remember when I heard Warren G and Nate Dogg's Regulator's record, I was wowed. I couldn't get enough of the song and that got me started with buying records and diving into the culture of the music. I was attracted mostly to the storytelling, I had never heard or seen anything like it, it was raw and real and gritty. I loved it. When I first started writing I would mimic hit songs on the radio, but change the lyrics to tell my own story, sometimes just to be funny. I wrote my first real song in 2002 and went all the way to Oklahoma to record it. It was called "Where The Beers At", I recorded with my high school friends, Mike Wright and Brad Veysey. It was fun, but we weren't serious at all, we actually lost the recording at the first party we went to when we got back to Vermont haha. Great memories though.
Congrats on the release of "The Broccoli Tree" album. It's a very dope project. What are you most proud of with it?
Thank you very much, I'm proud of the project and very happy to have an official solo project out there. I've always been part of groups and pushed my own work to the side to make sure those projects were done right. So, this one is the best representation of me personally that I have put out to date.
Tell us about your tour. What stops have you made and what's been your best experience on the road thus far?
The tour caught some snags in July, with clubs losing entertainment licenses to cities, or scheduling conflicts. I had some bad luck really but I have been able to fill that void by being part of shows in Burlington Vermont, which is about 2 hours away from my hometown. This Month, I will finally be able to get back on track with shows at Hampton Beach, NH. Bow NH, and Biddeford, Maine and two festivals in Vermont. So, well the tour hasn't gained as much momentum as I'd like, I'm still working and things are looking good for the future.
How has your time as a member of several rap collectives like Causin' Effect prepared you as an artist who is now solo?
It was a lot of fun being part of collective's, getting together, laughing, joking, writing and recording. Performing on stage with each other, it's all memories I will cherish forever. That being said, I was always reaching for more. I wanted to be taken serious in the music industry and had a drive to learn the business side of things that usually had me working alone. In a collective, it's tough to get everyone on the same page, working as a team towards goals, it makes it a lot harder when you want to go for something but have to wait for others approval for the green light. Eventually, I found it was easier to depend on myself to get the work done and to push forward with new goals and opportunities with the freedom of never holding back. I would never change anything from the past, it all gave me more confidence in myself and prepared me for the amount of work it takes to make a career independently.
What's next for you musically after "The Broccoli Tree" album? Will you be headed back to the studio soon?
I am currently in the studio now with JGibbs Engineering, recording for my next album. The release date is yet to be determined, but I can tell you it will be out in early 2018 if not the end of this year. I'm really in a groove musically and have been able to produce content frequently with high quality that I am super proud of. At this point, I'm feeling like the only thing that can stop me is myself. Which reminds me, watch for my newest single to drop called "Self Destruct" featuring production from SkySplitterInk and member of arguably the best XXL Freshman Class to date, Mickey Factz.
Describe the music scene in Vermont, specifically for Hip-Hop. Are the locals in your area supportive of the homegrown talent?
2017 has been an excellent year for Vermont Hip-hop. Many promoters in the area, including myself have been able to hire famous Rappers to come to Vermont and play shows for years but this year we have seen our scene grow outside of Vermont. Act's like Krypto Man, Colby Stiltz, and Eyedos have recently hopped on a mini tour with Connecticuts own Underground powerhouse, Apathy. Jarv, an unbelievably talented Vermont choppa has been touring with RA The Rugged Man and A.F.R.O. Nationally. Bar None The Best recently released a music video on The Source with Boston rap vet Termanlogy and S.I.N.sizzle has been gaining mega recognition across the internet for his newest project "Winters in Vermont". Our producer's out here are also out of this world, Es-k just finished up a project with the legendary General Steele from Smif-n-Wessun and Boot Camp Clik called "Building Bridges". With so much happening this year for Vermont hip-hop you can see why I'm excited and honored to be part of the scene!