Almost three years ago the Bay Area lost a legend when the Pittsburgh born emcee and member of the Mob Figaz, The Jacka lost his life in East Oakland. When the friends, family, and collaborators left behind share their memories of him, there are a few common sentiments. As they tell it, he was one of the most genuine and charismatic personalities you would ever meet. He was down to Earth despite his success in hip-hop, he loved to smoke weed, and ultimately was a work-horse who stayed in the studio creating new music for his devoted fan base.
The Jacka created numerous albums with emcees whom he respected and had shared interests. His long list of accomplished collaborators includes Berner, Freeway, Andre Nickatina, and M Dot 80, the Seattle born rapper who shared a kinship with Jacka which produced two albums, Straight Drop and Risk Game.
M Dot 80, who rates authenticity high among his values, is preparing a new album called 90% Trap 10% Rap. The title referencing how he splits and prioritizes his time between money-making and music, the former taking the lion’s share. As we are less than a month away from the 3rd anniversary of The Jacka’s untimely and tragic passing, I spoke with M Dot 80 about his friendship and music with The Jacka as well as the album he has on the way. Check out our conversation below. (Promoted)
Thizzler: What was the first song you and Jacka recorded together?
M DOT 80: That “Chef Up” song me and him did, and from there we did “100 Rounds”.
T: How you decide that you were going to do project together?
M: We were at Carey Stacks house, outside smoking and shit. We was talking. I said “let’s do a project together”. That nigga was all the way with it. After that we just started working on it. We had tried to book a studio, but all the studios were booked up. So The Jacka said, “if you got like three bands then we can just go buy our own studio”. We put up the three bands and got the microphone and equipment. We worked on the next album right away after that.
T: You knocked out Straight Drop and Risk Game really close together. How was it making those?
M: Man that nigga would have us in the studio everyday pretty much, recording until 6 in the morning and would still want niggas to drink hella lean! How we going to be up until 6 in the morning and still drink hella lean?!
T: From all the records you and the Jacka worked on together, what was your favorite?
M: “Mislead The Youth” because it had such a deep message. When we dropped the video, I think we got a lot of controversy. A lot of people didn’t get the message and a lot of people did. We had a lot of fans explaining it to other fans. I feel like that record was huge.
T: What was it that drew you to The Jacka?
M: He was just a thorough nigga, no matter how big he was. He wasn’t big-headed. He would come to the crib and sleep on the floor. He wasn’t on that sidditty square shit that a lot of these rappers be on. He was hella thorough about what he believed in. If he was fucking with you, then he was fucking with you. That nigga stayed at my house for 3 months, stayed on my couch. Most niggas wouldn’t do that. He was pulling up in the heart of the hood and wasn’t worried about nothing. He knew he was good.
T: Do you remember where you were when you learned that he passed away?
M: Yeah. I was on the freeway [in Seattle]. My homie called like “did you hear what happened with Jack?”. I’m like what happened? He said he got shot. I’m thinking he going to bounce back, probably at the hospital and niggas will figure out what’s what. I got a call like 5 minutes later and they’re saying he died. I called Montana and he confirmed it. A couple of hours later we hopped in the whip and headed down there. It was crazy because he touched a lot of people.
T: That’s real. People only have nice things to say about him.
M: For real. And if they don’t have nothing nice to say about him, fuck them.
T: What have you been working on?
M: The name of the album is 90% Rap 10% Rap. It’s a solo project. There are a few features on there, but mainly niggas from my team. You really get a feel for my shit and how I’m rocking.
T: What can your fans expect to hear on it?
M: They’re going to hear exactly what the title is. They’re going to hear why people keep asking when’s the next album dropping, or when is the next video dropping. I’m fully activated with this shit. It’s really 90/10.
T: Why did you make this album?
M: I just been looking at the game and how niggas been playing it. I met a lot of them and I feel like a lot of these niggas are 100% rappers. Like they really ain’t on the blacktop like they be saying. They be scared to death. This is what I really be on. Anyone who knows me is going to say that identifies me. You can hear it in the raps. You can tell who’s thorough with this shit. A lot of it just sounds good. They don’t even have re-up money.
T: What records are you most excited for people to hear?
M: “I Need A Loner” and “Bust A Band”. “Bust A Band” go crazy. It’s got stupid slap and it’s got that message about what we really doing and where we come from. “I Need A Loner” has my artists on it, DBI and Young Dolce. Sometimes you might need a loaner when shit gets spunky you know?
T: What is a loaner?
M: A blappy. A sandwich. A ham sandwich as Jacka would say.
T: What do you have planned next?
M: I have an album with Beanie Sigel called Federal Property and I’m working on this album with my nigga from Kansas City, Jody Hus. The album name is Shipping A Handle. Those will be out by Summer for sure.
T: What do you want people to know about M Dot 80?
M: My name stands for everything. Making. Decisions. Off. Truth. Since the 80s.
You can hear all of M Dot 80’s music on Thizzler here. Follow him on Instagram here. Get his mixtape 90% Trap 10% Rap on iTunes.