Rhode Island-born MC Jesse James (not to be confused with the actor of the same name that you've met before) is doing his part to make people think a little differently. "I'd say I take a lot of pride in being very diverse and speaking on real issues," he told BFTV when we spoke to him recently. "I'm not afraid to go against the grain and make the unpopular decision."
To that end, Jesse's newest single "Outcast" speaks out against bullying. He told us the track comes from "somewhat personal experience. I come from a mixed background. My parents have a biracial marriage. I was always the minority in my neighborhood, so I was always kind of the outcast."
But it was the experience of a classmate that really struck a chord with him. "People were bullying her," he explained. "She was diagnosed with this disease and I saw the way they treated her. And that stuck with me for the rest of my entire life." Having had his own difficulties and witnessed those of others, Jesse decided that if he ever had the chance, he would use his music for something good.
You can check out the video for "Outcast" with this article.
So has his message been heard? "It's been getting great response," Jesse said of the track, telling us that he's heard from people not only in the United States, but as far as France and Germany.
Meaning is "absolutely" important in his music, but "At the same time, I'm a young guy so you're also going to find things about going out, having fun," he continued. "It's very diverse. It's being human. Hip-hop is a big contradiction in itself, because it's a voice for the youth, but at the same time, it follows trends as well."
Having relocated to Miami, Jesse is now hard at work in the studio on creating more music. "I actually own my own company, Timeless Records, and I take a lot of pride in that," he told us. "Being my own boss. Making my own decisions. Building my brand. I want to really further my company and get my own artists and my legacy."
Anyone who's prejudged hip-hop artists clearly hasn't met Jesse James. His songs are about more than just women and money. He's well-spoken and polite. His other interests include playing chess and world travel. And he's motivated not by fame or fortune, but by love.
"Love for hip-hop and the culture," Jesse told us. "And seeing my father. My father was a professional boxer, so seeing him achieve greatness - and being inspired by the great people that came before me like Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas. Hopefully, one day, I can be that voice in somebody's life."
Jesse's single "Outcast," featuring David Correy, is out now. You can also find out more about him by visiting his official website (timelessrecords.com) and following him on Twitter (@JesseJamesCorp).