Interview: Jamie Kennedy


Best known for his work in The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, the Scream movies and Malibu’s Most Wanted, actor Jamie Kennedy is now trying to add Professional Rapper to his resume. In his new reality show, Blowin’ Up (which premieres May 16 on MTV), Kennedy and friend Stu Stone (a.k.a., “Stu the Jew”) will try to convince everyone – from veteran members of the hip-hop community to Jamie’s agents and even his parents – that they have what it takes to be rappers. I sat down with Jamie to discuss Blowin’ Up and his quest to get a record deal and release a “quadruple triple platinum album.” 

JG: What made you decide to pursue a career in the rap game?
JK: I’ve always wanted to do rap. After I finished my show [The Jamie Kennedy Experiment]…things were happening in my life that were, you know, kinda’ funny… and people were like, ‘you [and Stu] should just film what you do.’ And I was like, ‘that’s interesting,’ and it just became a thing.

JG: What are some of your influences in music?
JK: I love Wu-Tang, obviously; earlier hip-hop like EPMD, Run DMC, LL Cool J – that’s what I grew up on.

JG: Are your own songs mostly freestyles or written raps?
JK: Some are freestyle, off the cuff, and other ones we have and we just do out loud again. In terms of who does what, it’s pretty much like Stu…usually does the music and writes half the lyrics, and I write the other half of the lyrics. I was never into sampling, ‘cause I always thought you should try to do your own thing…and to be quite honest, you can’t really sample and have a show on MTV, because you have to pay all these royalties, so it actually forces you to just do your own stuff. But it’s amazing what you can do with just a board – there’s a billion sounds. You just make your own thing, loop it, whatever.

JG: A lot of people probably associate you with your roles in The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Malibu’s Most Wanted. How does that affect you in terms of making the transition to rap?
JK: You’re only known for your last thing, and…I have so much baggage. I was the prankster, and I was in Malibu’s Most Wanted, and I was like a rapper – a guy who wanted to be a rapper but lived in Malibu and had no credibility and wasn’t that good. Now, I’m Jamie Kennedy who’s done that stuff, but who’s really trying to be a rapper. So people are like, ‘What the fuck?’…Like, I know I can pretty much get a hold of anybody because of my situation – ‘cause I’m an actor, and I’m in Hollywood and I’ve done stuff. But I can’t get a record deal because record companies don’t take me seriously; they don’t know what to do with me. So it’s kinda’ cool to see the world that we’re in, but you also kinda’ see the struggle that we can’t get past – the hurdles.

JG: Blowin’ Up has a lot of guest appearances – and not just rappers, right?
JK: It’s crazy how many guests we’ve had…we mixed shit up. I mean, we go and try to talk to the rap world, which is incredible, real guys, and then we end up also having part of my world, which is actors, which you wouldn’t find in the regular rap world, so it’s kind of an interesting mix.

JG: It’s most definitely a broad range – you go from a meeting with the RZA one minute, to chilling in your Hummer with Bob Saget the next.
JK: I couldn’t get anybody. Nobody wanted to fuck with us, so I called who I knew. I wanna’ bring in all of hip-hop and I also wanna’ bring in all of Hollywood too… hip-hop – you know, rap music, the culture – it’s got all types in it. And if you’re in it, I might try to get to you, no matter if you’re Brian Austin Green or the RZA, because everybody’s viable. They both had albums; it doesn’t matter who was considered more credible… . And [Brian Austin Green] can really flow…but [people] just look at him and see his character [from Beverly Hills, 90210] hanging out at the Peach Pit.

JG: So how much of Blowin’ Up is straight-up reality TV and how much of what we see is vaguely scripted or rehearsed?
JK: Everything you see in the show is real. We never really go into a situation knowing what’s gonna’ happen. We go, and, say, call up Method Man and tell him we need a meeting. And then we go meet him, and he doesn’t know what we’re gonna’ talk about…I don’t know how to describe it other than it is real. I bring it all in. People will be asking what’s real and what isn’t…I think once we get out an episode or two, people will realize it’s not a fake thing… . Basically, me and Stu are trying to become the next Nick and Jessica – but without the ending.

(A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN YRB MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT © 2007)

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