Q&A With Santa Barbara, CA Based Rapper Jordan D. Mitchell

Bro Jordan D. Mitchell!!! I would personally like to thank you for rocking with our website and most importantly pushing dope independent Hip Hop! Let me ask you how long have you been a Hip Hop artist?

Officially as a hip-hop artist, I would say about five year ago. I started off seven years ago as a boom-bap instrumental producer which was released as a beat tape in 2019 called After We Study (Shukudai) a compilation of beats from 2012 – 2019. I didn’t start rapping until my sophomore year of high school in 2013 but I was just messing around. I didn’t take any of it seriously until my senior year. 2017 was my official release as a hip-hop artist.

Also, how did you get your emcee name?

I didn’t want to be extra or on some B.S., and I enjoy my actual name so I just went with what my mama gave me at birth Jordan D. Mitchell.

Let’s get right into it, your latest album “I’ll Apologize Later.” Please breakdown the creative process behind it?

I wanted to make Don’t Touch My Danimals II but I realized i’ve grown past that and I didn’t want to be comical. Like yeah, I wanted to be serious and discuss my transition to college and my last year in college. I wanted to treat this as a very sequential film, while it was hard to pull it off I purposely decided to omit chorus from most of the songs and treat everything like scenes to a film. I made sure not to listen to hip-hop or any new music for that matter, kinda forced myself into musical isolation so I would be forced to create something different. All instruments and samples were created by me, I sampled my own orchestra from my senior recital, I played guitars, piano, vihuela and guitarron for the songs

We notice your style is super original and very creative. Let us know how your style is different than all the rap artists out there!

For me, I pull from everything. I am a classically trained composer, a jazz bassist/guitarist, and a mariachi. I think my music has a big focus on escapism, like a common literary tool I use. I like to create music that forces the listener to escape reality through in some ways addressing it in a very exaggerated form. I don’t consider myself a rapper, I consider myself a musician/composer, the process of how I make beats and rap songs is the same process I use to write orchestra pieces and symphonies. There ain’t a rapper out there that can say they do what I do, I can sit down and notate my beats and do lead sheets for.

musicians to play on my stuff, I have guitar solos on my beats, reverse my own samples etc.

Any upcoming shows to look forward to? Are you planning on touring any time soon?

COVID19 stopped all that, honestly the last time I performed was when I opened for SABA in 2018 and at that moment I really started popping. I think I would have fasholy been opening and touring after I got my masters done at USC Thorton School of Music. I tour all over California as a Mariachi and travel the US to teach music technology to students of color in lower socioeconomic areas

How have you been staying busy during the complete worldwide Covid-19 Corona Virus lockdown? Has it interfered with your music career?

COVID-19 is probably how I’ll Apologize Later was made, I had a lot of time to self-reflect and process my life. I think it was a good time to process trauma and where I see myself. COVID-19 forced my musicianship and made me appreciate learning, I spent so much time learning new music and developing my musician skills and reading.

How is social media playing a role in your success? How are fans/supporters helping your movement?

A lot of my supporters and fans are from the college town of Isla Vista and my hometown Stockton, CA. I think they have been extremely supportive of this rebrand, I went from being satirical and comical to being extremely serious and many of my fans were taken back. Like “Thursday Nights” is this turnt, lazy song in the first half. I intended for it to be ignorant and then by the middle of the song the entire mood flips. I’m rapping with an orchestra about my depression, about love, and about commitment (lack of).

With this being IndieHipHop.com, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of true “independent hip hop”?

Freedom. Hip-hop is originally independent, founded by the people, an unfiltered projection of art. There’s no box, there are no rich white people telling you what your art is and isn’t. It’s just you, music and the fans that listen.

Any shout outs?

Shoutout to my recently passed aunt Mary Elizabeth Johnson whom this album is dedicated too. As well as Keith Budford, Avonte Tisdale, Lil E, Ernesto, who all died way too early due to drugs, gun violence, and things out of their control. Also, shoutout to my Mama for helping me navigate this album.