You Tube Star and Hip Hop Artist, J PEE, Discusses His Career Thus Far And What Have Been His Biggest Inspirations!
Posted On 20 Jul 2018
His ingeniously introspective single is called “To The Kids That I Might Never Have” and can be heard here- https://soundcloud.com/jpeemusic/to-the-kids-that-i-might-never-have
On this song, J Pee reflects honestly on the idea of having kids some day, and the tragedies and triumphs those kids will likely face. In this glimpse into the future, he remarks on the downfalls of our current social landscape, and the effect it could have on his potential kids. Passionate platitudes about over population and self righteousness create a clear view of a world that keeps building an over inflated sense of self into its children— allowing them free reign to continue with ideologies based in bigotry and hate. J Pee’s “To The Kids That I Might Never Have” is a truth bomb of a track you won’t be able to get out of your head.
The Los Angeles transplant has spent the past few years building a dedicated following on YouTube by creating dynamic music videos that incorporate his honesty and unparalleled comedic timing. Beneath all the wit and charm, J Pee showcases a poetic affinity for tackling tough issues like self-love, feminism, and toxic masculinity. On his new album, “Who Is J Pee?” he has crafted a unique mix of urban bangers and moments of thoughtful, synth-doused repose that speak volumes about the artist he is.
Connect With J Pee Here:
Instagram – jessepepe1111
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jpeemusic
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JessePepe1111
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/JPeeMusic
On J Pee’s debut album, “Who Is J Pee?,” the comedic hip hop artist creates a cohesive mix of the gleeful wit he’s known for and searingly honest reflections of what’s happening in the world. The record is an intensely fascinating glimpse into J Pee (also known as Jesse Pepe), an energetic, fanatical comedian that melds both hilarity and authenticity into every track. Throughout the album, he toggles from his Slim Shady-like alter ego to sociopolitical commentary with mic-drop precision. From the hilarious intro track, “Who Is J Pee?” to the faux-diss track “Can I Get On Your Diss Track,” not to mention his debut single, “To The Kids That I Might Never Have,” he remains both funny and truthful. Booming beats and synth rhythms pulsate beneath his tongue and cheek style, crafting an unforgettable album.
Learn more about J Pee in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Thank you for yours! I’m currently in DC for the first time, doing an east coast road trip with my dad and his girlfriend. We just checked into the Kimpton Hotel downtown and then heading out for dinner. I’m very excited to spend a few days here.
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
My favorite song this summer has been ‘Cocaine’ by Royce Da 5’9″…definitely not an uplifting summer song, but it’s the most vulnerability and honesty I’ve heard in a song so far this year. I’m pretty much moved to tears by it every time I hear it. His whole Book of Ryan album is incredible. I’m amazed it hasn’t gotten more attention.
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
2018 has been such a wonderful year for me. The beginning of this year marked a turning point for me, where I told myself I would commit myself entirely to music, which is something I’ve felt I’ve needed to do for a few years now. I have commitment issues. But we’re 7 months in and I’ve never been more fulfilled, or more challenged. My goal was to get this first album out, push the music to reach new ears, and release a second album by the end of this year. Just keep digging and exploring. I’d say we’re right on track.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience? How exactly did you first get into comedy hip hop?
It wasn’t actually. I didn’t really start digging into music till I was in my pre-teens, when I discovered Eminem. I was also a huge fan of N’SYNC, Brittney, Christina, Backstreet Boys. So I was a huge fan of pop, and an equally huge fan of the rapper who was out to destroy all things pop, which I think is pretty ironic. My first ever musical experience was my mom walking in on my when I was 11 singing Hit Me Baby One More Time. I was petrified. My mom smiled and told me she loved that song. That’s interesting that you call it comedy hip-hop. I don’t consider this album to be comedy in it’s sub-genre. It definitely has a lot of humor. I think because what I’m rapping about is so unconventional compared to mainstream, it can definitely be taken purely as comedy. But I think I’m just coming at the music from a very different place internally. It feels very honest to me. I think the comedy is a part of my instrument, but I’m not setting out to make comedy rap.
Anyway, I know I’m nitpicking at that. On the flip-side, I love Lonely Island and made a lot of music like that for my YouTube channel. I think I used the comedy to find something more personal. In a nutshell, thanks Lonely Island, for showing me how to give no fucks 🙂
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The most welcomed challenge has been how I literally have no idea what this is turning into. The art always seems to be a few steps ahead of me. Every time I think I have a plan, or I think I know what this thing I’m building is going to look like, I’m wrong. But it’s pretty amazing. It’s amazing to see that you’ve given life to something bigger than you, and this creation now has a mind of its own, feelings of its own. And my only job is to continue being a vessel for this thing. To keep digging deeper, and doing my best to get out of my own way.
How did you come up with your name? Was it difficult to come up with something that represented who you are as an artist?
My name is such a joke! My first music video was called I’m Not Gay, and I needed an alias, and I was like “How about JP?” And my director Ryan Turner (still one of my besties) was like “how about J P-E-E?” We thought it was so stupid, and it stuck. And I don’t want to change it, even as I get into more serious music. It’s a reminder to never take myself too seriously. People always called me Pee Pee as a kid (my last name is Pepe, so it wasn’t a stretch), and I always hated it. But now I’m using it to my advantage 🙂
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days?
I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I grew up with a liberal/atheist mother. Most of my friends are conservative Mormons. So I think I have a lot of counter-culture in me as a result of that. I would always push the envelope a bit, since I always felt like a black sheep. I guess I just started embracing my role. Even in LA I still feel like I’m a bit of a counter-culture thinker. As for the music scene in Utah, I have no idea actually. But there are SO many brilliantly talented artists there. I can’t speak highly enough about the talent from that state.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first starting making music? What has remained the same?
I think it’s been a pretty simple journey. I’d love to make it complicated and interesting, but it really is just me finding more of myself. Finding more honesty. I started making music in college and it was very similar to Usher and Ne-Yo and JT: songs about women and love and sex. I wrote songs that I thought people wanted to hear. And as I’ve kept doing it I’m no longer writing for other people. I’m doing it because it really has become the most authentic way I can express myself. And I know that If I feel it, someone else out there is probably feeling it too. So I need to write it for them because it might be helpful. It sure is helpful to me. I don’t know how I’d survive without an outlet like this. I’d be really fucked up otherwise.
What was the inspiration for your newest single “To The Kids That I Might Never Have”? Can you talk about it went from just being an idea in your head to a full-fledged song?
It was literally an argument with myself for an afternoon. I’m just glad I was writing it all down. Most of my songs come from that place. I have a lot of voices in my head at once, and when I’m in tune with all of them that’s when the fun starts. I chose a topic, in this case it was me having kids, and it turns out I had a lot to say. In general I do feel like every major issue happening on our planet can be traced back to population. We spay and neuter our pets because we’re highly aware that if left to their own devices they’ll breed uncontrollably and it will become an environmental issue. It’s fascinating that we can have that sense of awareness with our dogs and cats but not with ourselves. Where are our own checks and balances? Where’s our own biological restraint?
How do you think this track compares with the rest of your debut album, “Who Is J Pee”? What are some of your favorite songs on this collection?
This is the last song on the album. It definitely ends on a darker note. The album gets more serious as it goes. This is one of my favorites, just because it’s so polarizing. A lot of my friends love it. A lot of them vehemently disagree with me. I love both sides of the argument. All I want is to spark conversation. I think the conversation is important. Meditation is another one of my favorites. It’s a 10 minute song documenting what my mind goes through when I’m meditating. I also love Quintessential Rap Song. It’s a nice banger.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows this summer?
I’m so bad with shows. I need to make it a point to see more. I do remember seeing Ed Sheeran recently and thinking I’ve never seen anything like it. He was making the beats/loops right in front of us. I was so blown away. I’m going to start doing shows this fall/winter around LA. Then hopefully a tour by the end of the year.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate? Do you find that at your shows you have to say something about the political climate?
I absolutely am influenced. I’m trying to dig for self love in a time where there’s a lot of hate. I’m trying to dig for compassion in a time where there is so much judgement. I’m trying to dig for vulnerability in a time where masculinity feel so toxic. Key-word, trying. It’s a challenge. And I’m trying to create music that documents my findings. I’ll keep digging into myself as far as I can, and sharing what I find.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
Honestly? I hate it. If left to my own devices I wouldn’t post anything except on my YouTube channel, and occasionally Instagram. But I really don’t like doing it. It makes me feel competitive and inadequate and makes me forget why I’m doing what I’m doing. Am I doing this for fame? For money? For validation? YES! Wait, FUCK NO. So I’m monitoring that! I also know it’s a part of my job, so I’m finding ways to make it fun.
Where can our readers connect with you?
Connect with me on all of those social media platforms!! Bwhahaha. My YouTube channel is the best way (youtube.com/jpeemusic). My instagram is also pretty fun (jessepepe1111). I don’t use twitter a lot but I’m working on it (@jessepepe1111), occasionally I’ll say something funny…or vent about NBA basketball. Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – the more personal, the better
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
2Pac, Eminem, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Lil Dicky, Weird Al, Lonely Island, Allen Stone, Ernie Halter, Alterbridge, Jingle Cats (yes, that’s a thing, look it up and prepare to have your mind blown). I’d love to work with Kanye in the future. Agree with him or not, that dude is one hell of a free thinker. I love that about him. I think he brings out some amazing shit from the artists he works with. His work on Pusha and Kid Kudi’s albums were so so good. If I ever get the chance, I’d be fucking elated.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
A didgeridoo. Because it might take me my whole life to figure out how to play one of those fucking things.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I’d love to have one of my songs play on a CW show. Only accidentally. Like Riverdale or Supergirl. And while they’re choosing music for an episode, one of the assistants puts in one of my songs as a placeholder just for laughs. And for some reason they don’t catch the mistake and air the episode. And millions of moms and kids watching this beautiful show with beautiful people, and it’s so clean and PC and polished, and then you hear a verse from Quintessential Rap song where I’m talking about fucking your own mother…And that assistant gets fired immediately and finds me and tells me about it and we get super high and laugh our asses off. And he cries a bit because he’s out of a job. But he hated CW anyway and always wanted to do music for Lars Von Trier-type shit. And he comes away from the whole experience feeling like he found a new life purpose.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
The thoughts that you’re afraid to say, the emotions you’re afraid to show. Say them. Share them. Dig for honesty. It’s the scariest thing you’ll ever do. It’s the most alive you’ll ever feel. I’m on the journey with you.
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