Birdie Jackson, a Louisiana native, is a rising rap artist, who always brings differentiating elements. Listening to his album, Life Through The Eyes Of A Gentleman, I could not help but to feel that music has left an indelible footprint on his life. The music that he creates combines creativity and a passion for innovation. I interviewed him recently and here is what he had to say:
> Jody: 1. Birdie Jackson. Tell us about the man behind this name. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
> Birdie: Birdie is a name I’ve had for years so it’s kind of my real name nowadays and Jackson is my birth name so I’m just me. I’m seen as quiet but I would say im just reserved and personal. I’m definitely an introvert. I stick to those things I know well.
> Jody: 2: Where did you grow up? Listening to your music I could not help but to feel that there has to be something that has influenced your style. What are your musical influences and what inspires you?
> Birdie: I’m from Houma, Louisiana. I grew up listening to all different genres of music so I guess that’s why my style is all over the place. I like so much I can’t just do one thing.
> Jody: 3: Can you explain who specifically has been influential in your life? How did you become passionate about music along with this idea of seeking differentiation or separation from the rest of the pack?
> Birdie: I don’t think any one person made me love music. I think it’s just my destiny to be involved in the music process. It comes so natural to me to express my emotions in a poetic form that it has to be a divine purpose to my talent. I don’t try to be different; well I do but the way I do is I just do what is good music to me. I think we all have unique opinions and if we just express ourselves without care of others opinions we would be ok.
> Jody: 4. What kind of identity or image do you want followers of your music to think of when they see you perform?
> Birdie: If anything I would want them to see I’m passionate and I love what I do. This is not a hustle for me. This is love. This is life. I’m honest in my words so I hope they appreciate the game I give them. If they catch it.
> Jody: 5. Was there ever a time that you might have been discouraged or you did not want to be involved in music because you came across a hurdle? Is it always smooth sailing?
> Birdie: Lol actually before the “Life Through the Eyes..” mixtape I said that was my last cd and I was going do something else with my life. Not that I came across any hurdles it’s just after awhile of having nobody truly believe in you and seeing no progress it gets tiresome. I just can’t seem to let it go though. Making a living from music is hard and even harder when people don’t respect it as a “job” because we don’t clock in to work and get a paycheck.
> Jody: 6. What makes Birdie Jackson tick? What are some things you really feel passionate about? What is a repetitive theme you echo in most of your songs?
> Birdie: I want to wake the youth up and make them understand that the world will be theirs in 30 years and what they do today will effect their lives in 30 years. I don’t think people nowadays understand cause and effect to well. It’s like we think we can live forever and drink and drug and have no connection with right and wrong or just morals. When you know better you do better and its not that we don’t know better it’s like we don’t care. Unity. That’s what I’m about. No matter race nor creed. We in this together.
> Jody: 7. Todays music is about colabrations what “hot” rapper out now, you would love to work with on a project?
> Birdie: Nobody actually. If someone wants to work with me I’m all for it but I don’t want my success to springboard off another’s name. I want to gain my respect on my own and if I collab with a “hot” artist I want to be bringing my own steam to the track.
> Jody: 8. Where do you place yourself within the larger world of hip-hop? I’m curious about your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop and the ways in which you are adding new insights to the business.
> Birdie: I place myself as the diamond under the dirt. Once my time come I’m going to be an easy person to spot but in God’s time. Hip hop right now is looking for something to follow. For years Jay Z was kind of the goal line you can say but now that he is on his way out it’s like we looking for the next guy to tell us what is the industry standard of excellence. Just tell them give me some time to get up there. Lol.. but serious.
> Jody: 9. In your opinion, how can hip-hop artists be better role models to the communities that they serve?
> Birdie: They can start by being honest with these kids and let them know they aren’t who they rap to be. These kids grow up wanting to be their favorite rapper unknowing their favorite rapper PROBABLY isn’t who they say they are. They can let kids know violence and drugs really aren’t cool. Education is cool. Being a stand up person is cool. Taking care of your family is cool. Having a job is cool. Everybody is not a ‘hustler’. Pull your pants up. Fix yourself up. Get some manners and make something positive out if yourself. There are enough examples in jail and the graveyard to see the streets aren’t the way out.
> Jody: 10. Are there any current or up and coming projects you are working on? If so please tell us about them.
> Birdie: Yeah I have an album on iTunes dropping this fall/winter entitled ‘Double Cup Memoirs’ Manekinenekopro Records produced fully by DJ Black Panther out of Brooklyn, NY and a mixtape before that called ‘Screwed Scriptures’ hosted by DJ Tru-Blu of The Faculty DJs out of Houston, Texas. These feature B. Nicole, Knowledge Da King and F. Bizzle from the PaceSetta camp, Fame The Ruler, Shomari aka DJ Shamrock from The Faculty DJs, JRocThaPistol, Meredith DiMenna from the band ‘Tomorrow Tomorrow’ and Dorian Phibian from the band ‘Reading’. This is hopefully a busy year for me.
Be sure to support this young man. Follow him and appreciate his talent.