Get to know LA Rapper 1TakeJay!
“There’s a lot of people that’s just a moment in music [and] I’m trying to be an artist,” says LA Rapper and comedic character 1TakeJay on why versatility is necessary in the game. Not only has the young rapper been delivering more female-centric music recently with projects like G.O.A.T. (Girls Over All Things), he’s gearing up to give his fans more of what they want in 2020: more visuals. 1TakeJay’s creative process is cerebral and organic as is the comedy interwoven into his lyrics. 1TakeJay likes to say “I don’t rap, I talk shit more than I rap” as a testament to how much his music mirrors his reality. Find out which underground rappers 1TakeJay is listening to and much more in our full interview with him below!
The Knocktunal: Can you tell us about what you’re pushing at the moment?
1TakeJay: So the project that I’m pushing right now really came about – it didn’t even come about – it just formed because, like, not even just me; me, Chike, Rucci, Kalen.FrFr, everybody coming up right now that’s in our circle, we call ourselves “The Winning Team.” Literally, it’s no sugar coating, we literally make so much music, all of us as a whole, and on our own, all of us make so much music – we’re not doing a project, we’re doing so much good music. We just going back through all the songs and putting together a project, you feel me? So that’s how the project came about, but really the project was done long before anyone really thought about it or knew about it.
The Knockturnal: The tracks on the project, did you make any of those records before 2019?
1TakeJay: For sure. At least one or two came before 2019. Even though you say 2019, that’s still before the time to me. The project dropped in December. All of those songs were made from January through March. Literally. I got receipts, you know how you go to the studio, make a song and the producer send it to you and you save it to your notes? Like I got the notes where all those songs are saved.
The Knockturnal: Can we talk about G.O.A.T., the title?
1TakeJay: A lot of people don’t realize, even though I’m a rapper, I’m real smart. I’m smart as fuck.
The Knockturnal: That shows in your lyricism.
1TakeJay: Yeah, it all goes together like hand in hand. GOAT came from – I knew people just hearing that name, and me being signed and being introduced to the music world for the first time, people were going to be like “Goat? Who the fuck he think he is? We got so many greats he not nobody.” But then I wanted that to get people talking about me, but it don’t even mean like greatest of all time. How can I explain this?
The Knockturnal: It’s controversial.
1TakeJay: My point exactly. I just wanted to get people talking or whatever. But the real meaning was, a lot of my music people could call it club music, turn up music, and shit like that. A lot of girls fuck with my music. If you can get girls to relate to what you doing, dudes is going to follow, so you already got a fan base. Goat really mean, “Girls Over All Things.” I don’t give a fuck what nobody say. I don’t care how many people say, men are in more power. Girls rule the world, for sure. For sure. There’s no world without girls. We wouldn’t be able to reproduce. Girls rule the world. Girls over all things of course girls going to be like, “oh he really fuck with us,” and they already fuck with my music, so that’s what I was going with it. I make West Coast music – I literally just start transferring over with a couple trap tracks and shit, and they doing real good. Girls over all things. Because girls like to shake they ass. And girls like to turn up.
The Knockturnal: Do all of the tracks have something to do with women or is that just an overarching theme?
1TakeJay: No I just wanted to push that forward, because for sure every track don’t have to do with girls. But a majority of my music, that’s how I gained the fan base. And I wanted to tap in with that side of my music because I feel like that’s what pushed me to the level I’m at now. First, I was making all West Coast music. But on this new project, I for sure got more trap sounds and more sounds for the men. That’s what I wanted it to be – versatile. But for sure the main style came from West Coast music and making music for girls. Honestly, me as a person, I really talk about what I go through. Me being from where I’m from, I go through hella struggle, but I have a lot of encounters with girls. I’m not cocky or nothing like that, and I’m humble, but I’ve been popular since I was in middle school. I’ve always had a lot of girls around me. So I can share or relate my music to a lot of experiences from girls. LA is known for ratchet music and turn up, club music, so it just naturally came up.
The Knockturnal: Moving on to the video you have premiering today, can you talk about the experience of shooting it?
1TakeJay: The song is called “Baby” featuring Kalan.frfr. This song is like straight to the point. A lot of my songs aren’t like slower and like geared – in this song, I’m talking good about women. In the other songs, I be talking about some real ratchet shit, just to be honest. In this song, it’s called “Baby,” I’m talking about me and a special girl that’s close to me.
The Knockturnal: It sounds like you’re very strategic with your music. What made you decide to do something that is more female-focused?
1TakeJay: Like I said before, whether you like it or not, girls rule the world. Let me just put this in perspective. We talking about clubs. Clubs break songs, right? I don’t give a fuck what city or what state you in. Clubs break songs. If the girls don’t like your song, your song is not going nowhere. With that being said, by me doing something that’s out of my element, like you said earlier being versatile – that just makes people like you more because that gets people thinking, “oh he takes this serious, he can do other stuff.” It just keep the mind going and keep people interested and sold on you, as a person, because they know you not just about one thing or you not just a moment in music. There’s a lot of people that’s just a moment in music. I’m trying to be an artist. You don’t want to be put in a box, like keep making the same stuff, because that get old real quick.
The Knockturnal: Who are you listening to right now?
1TakeJay: I listen to a lot of Roddy Rich. But look, my music don’t sound nothing like the music I listen to. I listen to Roddy Rich, NBA Young Boy, Ra Wave. That’s really the top three. I be listening to Burna Boy too. I like that “Ye.”
The Knockturnal: You’re in New York right now, you’re going to Vancouver after this. What are you currently planning on releasing, what are you working on?
1TakeJay: I’m just working on singles. Every time I do an interview, they ask me – what do you think will take you to the next level? But honestly, that’s a good question for me because when I first started rapping, when I first got hot, I just started releasing songs. I wasn’t releasing videos. So I feel like videos is what’s going to take me to the next level this year. Because if you look at my Instagram, like since day 1, from the bottom of my Instagram to the top, I always had a lot of views, a lot of character. I was always popular. So videos are for sure going to take me to the next level. What showed me that is that I just dropped a video three weeks ago to a song that’s a year and a half old, and it got a million views in two weeks, so that shows you that my character is a force in my career.
The Knockturnal: Do you conscientiously make comedic lyrics or videos?
1TakeJay: I don’t even try to do that, that’s literally me on a daily basis. I don’t rap, I talk shit more than I rap.
The Knockturnal: Have you ever thought of expanding your social media and doing more vlogs or skits?
1TakeJay: It’s crazy that you asked that because a lot of fans ask me “Why won’t you do Youtube? You would really go viral”. Maybe I will this year honestly because a lot of people have been saying that. And I see it, but I don’t know, I am so focused on making good music. Trying to make good music, I don’t even think about that. I don’t see myself as a comedian, I got notarized off making music. I feel like if you try to do it, you know, before I was even rapping I had a following just from being a character – just from being funny, from being myself, just doing what I do every day and just posting it. That’s what gave me a following, so I know it would work. I’m the type of person, if I tried to be funny it wouldn’t happen, if I got a camera, if I got someone just to record me every day all day, it would blow up on Youtube.
The Knockturnal: Az Chike and I were talking about how when he met TK, it was almost like divine intervention or fate, what are your thoughts on the experience?
1TakeJay: I feel like everything is, you live and you learn, everything comes with a life lesson whether it’s good or bad. I also believe in Karma a lot. I don’t talk about it, I broadcast everything and I don’t shame people for broadcasting the good things they do but I don’t broadcast anything. I mean: Christmas, Thanksgiving – I drive around giving out money, buying people food, taking them clothes. I’m always giving out free clothes cause I buy a lot of clothes. Even before I even had money I always gave away clothes that I don’t wear no more, and I always had good clothes. I don’t know, I feel like karma is real, I always got good karma.
The Knockturnal: Do you feel that as your success and celebrity grows, it’s important to be philanthropic?
1TakeJay: For sure. People keep helping you so why not help somebody else? Lowkey, I give money to homeless people, so much that it might be a problem. Even though I might be good, I feel obligated to give something to every homeless person. I feel like the couple of dollars I give or if I buy them food, like, I have way more than that. Yet, at the end of the day, if things go wrong for me, all of that could add up. Like the other day, there was a girl, she wasn’t homeless but she wasn’t well off, and she was buying groceries, and she was using her EBT card and she was $40 short. I was behind her and I just ended up paying for the rest of her groceries. I just feel like, why not? Good karma will come back to you.
The Knockturnal: You believe strongly in karma. Have you ever experienced bad karma?
1TakeJay: Instantly. I’m always pranking people. A homie would be spending the night at my house and I’ll pour water on him and then something will happen to me right after I do that. It’s usually instant karma like I’d do something to somebody right now and then five minutes later something will happen to me.
The Knockturnal: Do you feel that the success you’re having right now is because of some good karma?
1TakeJay: Probably. I don’t force anything. I never forced rap on myself, it just came naturally. I was never hard on myself or tried to push it, I was just having fun and it just happened. Good karma is a right place right time type of thing.
The Knockturnal: You’re on tour right now with AZ Chike. Can you tell us about being on tour with him and what else you have coming down the pipeline?
1TakeJay: Lowkey, it doesn’t matter who I’m on tour with, its gonna be lit regardless. Like I said, performance is the best part of me, and I’m always lit, so you never know what to expect. But, being on tour with people you know makes it better. Sometimes things get boring if you’re not with people you know on tour. Of course, I’d still go around and talk to people, but when you know people, it’s comfortable. Besides that, I’m excited about dropping new videos.
The Knockturnal: Are you very hands-on and particular with how the video is shot and who is directing it?
1TakeJay: Yeah. The last video I just shot is probably going to be the best video I’ve ever dropped. I co-directed it, I shot it with a young guy named Kerrington, he’s really good and I trust him. Me being the guy that I am, I come up with ideas just as much as the director. Like I said earlier, I’m a fan more than I’m a music person, so I know what people want to see. I know the type of character I bring to the table, so it all goes hand in hand.
The Knockturnal: Having that perspective as a spectator, do you have any desire, maybe later down the road, to have your own label or to creative direct or anything like that?
1TakeJay: I really don’t know, but I know I’ll be doing something positive because I’ve got so many ideas like I feel like my mind is unlimited. Even for other artists, like I have a friend that’s going up in LA too, Rucci, he sent me a song yesterday and asked me to think of the most viral video for this song. People wouldn’t be asking me that if they didn’t think I knew what I was doing.
The Knockturnal: Are there any other artists that you listen to that are underrated that you want to put on?
1TakeJay: I listen to Rucci, There’s a few artists from the neighborhood called the Thirties in LA, it’s a Crip neighborhood: Johnny Rose, King TU, and DMB Gotti. He’s got a song called “Peter Piper” that’s really going up right now. I listen to Kalan.frfr, SimxSantana, he lives in Chicago. I listen to Roddy Ricch a lot but I feel like everyone already knows about him. Also, Bino Rideaux, he’s got a lot of songs with Nipsey, and also the BlueBucksClan. I listen to a lot of underground stuff because I feel like mainstream is automatic, you’re gonna hear that on the radio.