Interview: Maryland Based Rap Artist Jake Crawford

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Jake Crawford is a Maryland based rap artist whose cinematic music video "Don't Lie" is one of our favorite visuals of the moment. We connected with this talented emcee for a Q&A to find out how the video came together, what we can expect from his upcoming EP "Shades", his dream collaboration and much more.

After reading our exclusive interview with Jake, be sure to follow him on his social media streams to stay up to date on all things "Jake Crawford" and to know when the "Shades" EP will be released. 

We're really digging the visuals for your track "Don't Lie". Tell us about how the treatment for the video came together and how you connected with the director.

The videographer is great. Like really great.  His names Bradley Gillespie. Really cool down to earth guy.  He's done a lot of work for Choo Jackson who used to be on Mac Miller's Most Dope Label.  I trusted his eye and I told him what I was looking for and he helped me find a good spot that had a spooky enough vibe. It was a real honest feel to it that I don't think I could of got from anyone else at the time.  He had been wanting to shoot something with me since I dropped my song Road to Gold a few years ago. We just finally made it happen.

Tell us about your upcoming EP "Shades". How many songs besides "Don't Lie" will be included and is there an overlying theme to the project?

Shades is really my first "break out" project.  I had one a few years ago called "Change of Pace" that was really good but I don't think I has quite developed my own style at the time.  This project I've really gotten to bring out a lot of different parts of me. Hence the title being "Shades" representing the different shades of myself.  Overall I would say Shades has a darker theme to it. It definitely came from a darker place inside me that came out the last couple years of my life. Battling heartbreak with me and my daughter's mother splitting up.  Going through heavy drug addiction.  And my rehabilitation as well.  So it definitely holds a strong underlining meaning for me and I can not wait to show the world who I am and what I've been through.  I hope it helps other people grow in their times of grief and pain. 

How did you get your start rapping and who were some artists that influenced you?

I started writing music at a really young age. I always wanted to sing. I was inspired by Michael Jackson as a child.  But I think Eminem was a really big part of be making music.  He inspired me a lot.  My father is actually the first person that took strong notice and decided to record me. Him and his friends used to record in Montgomery County, MD  and he would bring me when I would visit.  One day I decided to show him what I had going on and ever since then he's believed in me. He's always been really supportive of my music. Even If he didn't enjoy all my songs.  He says I always keep it real with everyone and myself and people can relate to that heavy.  

Describe the music scene in your area of Maryland, specifically for Hip-Hop. Would you say that locals are supportive of native acts? 

The music scene where I'm from is small.  My good friend Wiley Flew whose life was recently taken, R.I.P., gave me and a lot of others our first shows. That man gave a lot of people opportunities to grow around Hagerstown, MD.  Dreadeye, the rap group in general helped a lot of people.  Me being from Boonsboro right outside of Hagerstown, it was hard to get heard. They definitely put me on and helped get my name out there.  They were the first to believe in me.

If you could collab with any artist of any genre on a song, who would you select and why? 

Right now if I could collab with anyone it would probably be Post Malone.  A lot of people tell me I remind them of him. I've never really listened to a lot of his music but I really enjoy what I have heard and I really think we could make something great together.  But my goal is to get that Drake feature on a project one day. I rep OVO forever.  Drake changed the way I viewed hiphop forever.  He opened the door for a lot of singer/rappers like me to to their thing. 

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