Spotlight: 4AM/Chef Jimmy

One of Chicago's best MCs, 4AM/Chef Jimmy, is giving everyone a run for their money with his dynamic sound and grand plans for the world. Determined to take everyone with him to the top, 4AM/Chef Jimmy is making all the right moves to make it happen. Don't believe me? You can take it up with him.

Arielle: What is the 4AM/Chef Jimmy sound?

4AM/Chef Jimmy: The 4AM sound is very complex. I'm definitely a very socially aware artist and that's reflected in my music. Chef Jimmy is my alter-ego; he definitely has a catchier, turn up type of sound. My music is a marriage between conscious rap and trap.

A: Who are your musical influences?

4/C: I have so many musical influences. There's so much great music in the world, beyond just hip hop, and I have always appreciated generally good music. I think that's what makes me such a versatile artist. My music is influenced primarily by life experience. My brothers in 339 inspire me every day. I'm also inspired by people like Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and Lil' B -- I know that's a weird list.

A: Where do you fit into the grand scheme of rap music?

4/C: Right now...nowhere. I'm working every day to solidify my place in the game. I would like for my name to be mentioned amongst the greats. However, it is my goal to be remembered as much more than a rapper. I would, ultimately, like to be remembered as someone who used their influence and their voice to change the world.

A: What is the most important hip hop song to ever be released?

4/C: That is an extremely tough question...I honestly cannot say any one song is THE greatest, so I'll go with one of my own tracks that I believe has an important message, "Everything Gucci". The song details the life of a struggling college student, living in a world where his life is at risk. He could die at the hands of those expected to protect him, and even if he doesn't die, he's expected to fail. It also pays homage to ATL legend, Gucci Mane. I don't want to give too much of the song away for those who haven't heard it yet. It's on the Age of Discovery EP on SoundCloud; check it out. 

A: How would you describe the current state of hip hop?

4/C: I would say hip hop is becoming more about sound rather than actual lyrics. Listeners now are more concerned with the production and the melodies, rather than the bars. I don't necessarily think that it's a bad thing though. Hip hop is evolving, so that makes it dope. 

A: If you could collaborate with one other artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

4/C: If I could work with any other artist, it would probably be Lauryn Hill. The honesty in her music has always inspired me. It would be an honor to collaborate with her. 

A: If your listeners take away anything from your music, what do you want it to be?

4/C: I want it to be my truth. I'm the most honest and open in my music because it gives me a platform to share my thoughts and opinions with the world...and I don't take that platform for granted.

Get with the winning team! Follow 4AM/Chef Jimmy on IG and Twitter.

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