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HomeEntertainment(HEAT EXCLUSIVE) King EGO, Hollygrove artist on the rise

(HEAT EXCLUSIVE) King EGO, Hollygrove artist on the rise

King EGO

Warrior: a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier;
a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.

New Orleans‘ infamous 17th Ward neighborhood Hollygrove has birthed many a musical legend. And it touts some of the most resilient, unique, talented, and beautiful people that can be found anywhere in the world. Hollygrove is indeed a glistening one-of-a-kind diamond in the rough.

Meet King EGO, another one of Hollygrove’s hidden gems. A fiercely intellectual and artistic leader with the heart of a lion, this warrior leaves no stone unturned in his quest for making some of the dopest music around.

King EGO is one of those artists that never ceases to amaze. From his endless vocabulary to his quick wit and epic storytelling ability, he makes sure to leave his mark on every track he graces.

We caught up with him this weekend and learned a lot of about King EGO. Check out his interview:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell the readers a little about yourself.

KING EGO: My name is Jermaine “King Ego” Jackson (not related …LAUGHS). I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana – born and bred. I grew up in the Uptown area, 17th ward, Holly Grove, to be specific. The same neighborhood as artists such as Lil Wayne, Fiend, UTP Skip, etc… I went through most of your average growing pains. My father died when I was young, single mother, one sister, one brother, made a choice to jump into the street life at an early age. That lead to guns, drugs, violence, and incarceration.

I also wrestled with heroin and alcohol addiction. But before all that I was a high achiever in school, A+ to B student which garnered me a lot of awards and acknowledgements. Then came music, which in a lot of ways saved me. It gave me an outlet to vent and speak on subjects and matters that I would usually keep bottled up. Like the deaths of close friends and family members, struggles I fought with inside myself and things I saw going on in the world around me. My story isn’t unlike most young men growing up in any other hood. My experiences pretty much help me to relate to other people who’ve had to live through, or have chosen the lifestyle that I survived.

I’m a true artist, through and through. I indulge in all forms of art, no matter what aspect it may be delivered. Whatever form it takes I’m pretty much drawn to it like a moth to flame. I draw, rap, write poems and stories, and am currently teaching myself to paint. I’ve posted some of my artwork on my Instagram page if anyone is interested. I’m also a HUGE comic and anime geek also, so there’s that part. (LAUGHS)

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: How did you get into music?

KING EGO: I was always surrounded by music. From the time I was born it was just everywhere. Whether it was being babysat at the bar where my aunt worked, sitting around the card games she would give, my parents having their friends over for parties that would last the entire weekend, or singing in the choir at my family church, I was heavy into hip hop though. When I was a kid my cousins, Tiny and Joe Joe, would spin instrumentals and make me freestyle to them to entertain them and their friends. I would rap for my friends when we were chilling. I would go with Mack Maine to the Xavier University campus and join their battles and freestyle cyphers.

I would pretty much rap for anybody who asked. That lead me to J-Dawg of Black Menace when I was around 15, I think. Big Boy records was a big thing in the city around that time and it was pretty huge for me to get an opportunity to let him hear me. That impromptu encounter lead me to Kareem (Reem of 0017th) and Hasheem (Hasheem Amin) who had a group named Recon and were making a name for themselves around the city also. They put me and my brother on our first professionally recorded song.

King EGO with the legendary J-Dawg of Black Menace

After that I kind of went back and forth between the streets and music. It seemed like every time I got close to something happening musically, I would find myself in jail, and I would rap in there to pass time, or charge to rap on Friday and Saturdays to keep extra commissary. Hot Boy Turk actually taught me how to write bars and format songs while I was down in H.O.D. once.

During that phase I found myself with a friend of mine named E-Fly (R.I.P. bro) who introduced me to Dutch and J-Butter who in turn helped me to develop my craft, and have been in my corner ever since. After E-Fly died while I was incarcerated and Dutch caught a stretch, I gave up on music for a while. Then one of my close friends, B-Love (R.I.P. brother), started working with me until he lost a 2 year battle with cancer, and my process started over again. And it was up and down like that for years, until recently when I collaborated with my homie S.T. (0017th A&R) and settled my life down. Now I’m focused and ready to go…

King EGO with the late great Hollygrove legend B-Luv

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: That’s quite a story – and an interesting one at that. So who were your musical influences?

KING EGO: This was a pretty tough one. There were quite a few actually. I’m not a person that has boundaries musically so my taste generally drift toward whatever suits my taste at the moment. I gotta start with the home team and my number one pick BLACK MENACE! Lol, J-Dawg is my all time favorite. Then Juvenile, Fiend, Mystikal, Johnny Cash, Nickelback, Phil Collins, The Temptations, The O’Jays, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Gil Scott Heron, NWA, Run DMC, LL Cool J, 2Pac, Twista, Bone Thugs and Harmony, DMX, Rakim, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Creed, Biggie Smalls, Mos Def, Talib Qweli, Jay-Z, T.I., Young Jeezy, and Curtis Mayfield. I have to stop there, because this list could go on forever.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Growing up, what one person influenced you the most & why?

KING EGO: It may seem cliche, but my Mother, Margie Jackson. There is no bigger inspiration to my life. No matter what the situation was, I watched her bounce back and push forward. We knew she was going through struggles, but she never let us see how hard it affected her. She always found a way to make things possible. She’s the toughest person I know. She’s my biggest fan and a constant motivator. I Love my Moms.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What do you have coming up in terms of musical projects?

KING EGO: I’ve been working on multiple projects. There’s the “Dark Music” collaboration with CoA (Free Cass). I have a project coming with my lil homie Davo Westside that’s slated for release near the Summer. I have a solo project entitled “Heart of the Monster” that’s gonna piggyback the project with Davo. I also have a collab with my brother E.B.B. Gunna in the works. And a slew of features on other endeavors. I’m open to work with anyone that’s interested.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What’s in the future for your career?

KING EGO: Well, after all my experiences I don’t really make plans that far, which is pretty exciting, because my supporters can actually grow with me as I progress. But I do have some pretty big irons in the fire. All I can say is stay tuned (LAUGHS).

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What other avenues are you involved in as far as music goes?

KING EGO: We have our label EBB Ent. that we’re building as we speak. I’ve always been into the engineering side also. I’m kind of venturing into some artist development through helping people that are just starting out. I enjoy that part a lot.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: If you had one piece of advice for a younger you, what would that be?

KING EGO: I can’t say much because a lot of my experiences made me who I am and I’m quite fond of this person. Soooo… What I would say would probably be… Focus. Slow down and dedicate yourself to your music. It’s gonna pay off.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Where do you see your career in the next 2, 5 and 10 years?

KING EGO: I honestly don’t know (LAUGHS). And I’m intrigued by that aspect of not knowing. Some people can draw up blueprints and follow that design to the letter… I’m not one of those people. Things work better for me when I just do it. When I want to achieve something, I just go for it in the moment and let the plan come together as I move, if that makes sense. I’m most comfortable and successful developing and capitalizing on opportunities as I see them manifest. I indulge more in the journey than the destination, creating the road as I ride it. So I could say, “I wanna be here, by then.” But my focus may shift to something completely different by then, so I just let the universe guide me and we can see where I’ll be together.

Follow King EGO on social media:

Instagram @godkingego.ebb

Facebook Jermaine Postup Jackson

Snapchat kingego.17

EDITOR’S NOTE: King EGO is one of the rawest, most incredible lyricists we have had the pleasure of interviewing. His lyrics are real just like his personality. As they say, “He’s a problem”, but we mean that in the most positive of ways!

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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