Producer, Jahbariii, On His Dancehall-Renditioned Beats
The internet is a breeding ground for scouting undiscovered talent and Caribbean creatives have been using social media platforms to share their art and creations with the rest of the world. In between endless scrolling you most likely stumbled upon one of Jahbariii’s iconic beat renditions. In all of two minutes he’s managed to show how famous hip hop beats such as Drake’s “Nice For What”, A$AP Fergs’ “Plain Jane” and Kendrick Lamar’s “King’s Dead” were made. His most viewed video to-date on Twitter is his creation of a dancehall riddim sampling the Spongebob Squarepants theme song.
23-year-old Jabari Robinson is a self-taught producer hailing from Portmore who migrated to Massachusetts at the age of 14. At 18 he gained a a new found love for hip hop which created the inspiration behind his passion for producing music.
BASHY spoke with Jabariii about going viral, how he started producing and what he has planned for the future regarding music.
BASHY: What hip hop artists inspired you to start making music?
Jabari Robinson: I would probably say Kendrick Lamar when I eventually started listening to his music and J.Cole, people like that. Artists like them that produce for themselves, also just the influence around me—everybody enjoys hip hop music—it was always new to me and interesting because growing up around reggae and dancehall, it was a whole new world that I enjoyed. Eventually I learned to produce from using YouTube and things like that. It’s funny because my mom always used to buy me music equipment, my father tried to put me in guitar classes...but I never really cared. I always rejected it but I somehow ended up doing it year[s] later.
Your parents always encouraged you to do something with music. How do they feel about you producing now?
They pretty much want the best for me. [They’re] mainly my biggest support. It’s surprising to them that I got into it now, [rather than] when I was younger, but it is what it is. Time is time.
What was the first beat rendition you did for Twitter and why did you start making them?
I think the first rendition I did was “Nonstop” off of Drake’s new album Scorpion and everyone loved it so I didn’t stop.. I always get messages from people like “Yo, do [this] song”, so every other day I always have a new request. I just pick the best one and do it.
Did you expect for it to blow up the way it did?
No, not at all. I was just REALLY having fun and out of nowhere people started to view it and really started to entertain it, especially the [people online from the] Caribbean community. They enjoyed the Hip op.. I’m just humbled by it and that's why I keep putting out content consistently.
What do you to show those who have aspirations to produce, especially those growing up in Jamaica?
I just want to show people that it doesn’t take a lot to make these songs. I don’t have like a big studio. I’m just in my apartment with a small keyboard and just having fun. I just want to show anybody anywhere, especially the people back in Jamaica, that it doesn’t matter. You can just get one of these keyboards too and figure it out. It’s just always about having fun and making it simple.
What do you have planned next with your new found internet fame?
The next step now would probably be starting a YouTube channel or something of that sort. I’d show people tutorials or even re-post the videos [from Twitter] to make it easier. Twitter isn’t a “video” place [in the same way that YouTube is] but it did help with the two-minute ideas that I’ve had. I really do appreciate everybody. My timeline is always for supporting everyone's ventures because they appreciate me so I always try to spread the same thing, you know? I didn’t expect this at all. The approach from everyone is very helpful.
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