Author: William Ketchum III
With TVT Records' Jacki-O (neé Angela Kohn), it looks like Trina isn't the only femcee representing the Liberty City. Though she gained mainstream attention with the erotic single "Nookie," she's earning respect in the industry as well—she landed a notable cameo on Ghostface's Pretty Toney Album, has a blazing mixtape featuring collaborations with Freeway and Wyclef Jean, and her upcoming album has production from heavyweights including Timbaland, Jazze Pha, and Red Spyda. Jacki talks to RapReviews.com about the sexual nature of her hit single, sticking out among established female MCs, and naming herself after a late first lady.
WK3: How long have you been rapping, and when did you decide to pursue it as a career?
Jacki-O: I've been rapping and writing since junior high school, just having fun with it as a hobby. Then I got signed to a label Poe Boy Entertainment four years ago, I started taking it serious about a year and a half, two years ago. I got serious when I got a check for the "Nookie" song, we had booked a show. The first show I'd ever done, I got a $3,500 check. Then I started looking at it like, ‘this could be a full-time job.'
WK3: What was going through your mind when you wrote "Pussy?" What was the meaning behind the track?
Jacki-O: I just wanted to do something that would get peoples' attention. And not only that, but get my foot in the door and be creative. I wanted to do something that was empowering to women, as well as get peoples' attention.
WK3: Who would you list as influences, both to music and your whole style?
Jacki-O: I've always liked Queen Latifah, for her longevity, and just being able to take it to a whole nother level as far as her acting and endorsements. I've always liked people like Jay-Z, and I grew up listening to Trick Daddy, and JT Money. I've always been fond of people that come out of Miami.
WK3: What separates you from other female MC's like Lil Kim, Foxy, and Eve? You've also got some Miami competition with Trina too…
Jacki-O: The fact that I'm hungry. I've been doing this so long…and don't get me wrong, they have too, they've pushed a lot of units. But the longer they've been in the game, people tend to feel like they—well I won't say they (the female MC's), I'll say artists—sometimes feel content. But I don't feel like I've made it. I feel like I have a long road ahead of me. I'm hungry, I've always been motivated, I've always been a hard worker. I'm a writer, everything on my album I wrote. I've been acting…I'm singing on the album, so that alone separates me from a lot of female artists.
WK3: On the intro to your mixtape, you have a guy trying to bring you down, saying "you're black, you're skinny," etc. How much of an impact have comments like this had you in the past? And how did you go from being teased to being so confident about your sexuality?
Jacki-O: That was a skit from "The Color Purple," which is my favorite movie. So I thought I would do something crazy like that at the beginning of the song. You didn't get that?
WK3: (Embarrassed) Nope I hadn't even seen it, being honest with you.
Jacki-O: Oh…no, that's just a skit from my favorite movie.
WK3: Do you find it hard to be taken seriously in the industry as a female?
Jacki-O: No. At first I did, because I wasn't focused, and people that I was around knew that. But now they know I'm serious. People actually want to work with me.
WK3: Tell me about your name, Jacki-O. How'd you come up with it?
Jacki-O: The dead president's wife, Jacqueline Onassis. She's very smart, intelligent. Always wore the nicest gear, strong-minded, and well respected. I just liked her style
WK3: What's the craziest thing that a fan—or groupie—has ever done to get your attention?
Jacki-O: I've never had a problem with that. I've never had a problem with someone saying "yeah you're pretty, but you can't rap." In fact, I've heard things about other artists, opposed to me. To make a long story short, I've never had a problem with that. My skills speak for themselves.
WK3: What's the craziest thing that a fan—or a groupie—has done to get your attention?
Jacki-O: Come to my hotel room, and stalking the hallways. Get a hotel room next to mine, to call and stalk me. That was about the craziest thing.
WK3: Now you were in the August Playboy (magazine) right?
Jacki-O: I'm featured in August Playboy, but I'm just featured as an artist to watch out for, that's all. That was a rumor that I was posing. I've just did an interview with Playboy. I went out to LA and did a show, I performed ("Nookie") on Playboy. I've done a couple parties. But as far as posing, no.
WK3: Tell me about the new album—who you've got producing, guest appearing, and what you think of the album.
Jacki-O: The album's got Scott Storch, Jazze Pha, Cool and Dre (from Terror Squad), Timbaland, Gorilla Tek, Red Spyda, Young Hollywood. I've got Trick Daddy on the album, Betty Wright, Ying Yang Twins, oh Smurf is a producer on the album, he's done a lot of work with Ying Yang Twins. Jazze Pha's singing on the next single, "Break You Off." Jazze Pha's singing along with me, and he did the track for. The album is just ready—it shows maturity, it shows a lot of me on the album. And I'm just getting ready to drop it in August.
WK3: You've worked with Timbaland, you've shown chemistry with Freeway, and the Ghostface joint was bananas.
Jacki-O: Thank you.
WK3: So who would you want to work with in the future?
Jacki-O: I wanna work with Jay-Z, R. Kelly, I just want to make beautiful music. Usher…I have a lot of people that I would like to work with, it's not just like two or three people. A lot of people, I respect their work. Beyoncé, she gets respect. They just do hard work with their business.
WK3: The album drops August 24. What's up next for Jacki-O, Poe Boy and TVT?
Jacki-O: I plan on touring, I'm shooting right now for a movie. I play a starring role. I play Sandra Boykins, a young girl that's involved with a guy…It's a role that I feel very comfortable playing, seeing as that I can relate to the role. It's about three guys who get real deep in the streets, they meet up with a politician played by Clinton Powell. Clinton Powell gets my boyfriend in the movie to get rid of his opponent, and he promises him that if he does it, he'll be untouchable in the streets. (The politician said) ‘You can do whatever you want to in the streets, and I'll make sure authorities don't mess with you.' But he uses him, and he gets sent up the road, and I wound up having to take care of that. So it's a hot movie, very hot movie.
WK3: Alright, here's the deal. I say a name, you say what comes to mind.
WK3: Kobe Bryant.
WK3: George Bush.
Jacki-O: No comment.
WK3: Kanye West.
Jacki-O: Aw man…it's so many words…creative.
WK3: Best female MC of all time.
Jacki-O: Queen Latifah.
Jacki-O: My heart.
WK3: That's about it; anything else you want to say to the readers?
Jacki-O: Yeah, pick up the album, Poe Little Rich Girl when it drops. The money will be well-invested.
Originally posted: July 13, 2004