JaeLynn AKA JaeButta is an independent artist, photographer, and the Hip-Hop Oracle, hailing from Reading, Pennsylvania. I found her music through mutual social media connections and was drawn in by her smooth, chill vibe, creative visuals, and cleverly laid bars. This was my first independent artist interview with her on Season 1 of my “Live With” Series on Stationhead in 2020.
Date: January 30, 2020
Artist (J): Jae Lynn AKA JaeButta
Listen: Hear the FULL unedited recording
J: What’s up, what’s up?
P: How are you?
J: I’m good. How are you doing today?
P: I am doing wonderfully. Thank you so much for joining us and being here on my show. I appreciate it.
J: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
P: Absolutely! If you’re not familiar with my interviews, I do some things that are kind of straightforward, but I want to get to know you as a human being, so I’m going to ask you some things that you probably may not have been asked before and some things that I am sure you have been. So, be prepared. It should be fun. Ready?
J: I’m ready. I’m ready.
P: So, I’ve done my homework a little bit, but for the people who don’t know you at all and maybe listening on on-demand, and are just getting to know your music, give us a little about you, where you’re from, what your music style is like, and what got you into the scene and being a female MC.
J: Alright, so I am from Reading, PA and I also hail from Lackawanna, New York. It’s right outside of Buffalo. Those are my two homes. How I got into music is, I always had music influence. My parents would always play my dad would play vinyl records. We had a reel-to-reel. I’m telling my age a little bit, but he always had all this music here. I got put onto that. I grew up in the church as well, so I sang in the choir. I started playing the violin in elementary school. I was always drawn to music, but it wasn’t my passion until recently. I was cool with being a photographer and a graphic designer, being behind the scenes. That’s how I am most known, as being a photographer.
P: Right. That was something that I was going to ask you. You are super multi-talented. You’re a lyricist, an MC, and you’re a photographer. I think I peeped that you’re a tarot reader too?
J: Yes, I do that as well.
P: Oh, you sound so exhausted about that! Is that touchy? You’re like, oh, I am NOT doing a reading. No, bitch. It is not happening.
J: NO! I got my cards just in case.
P: Oh, you are so sweet! I wouldn’t put you to work on my show. You can give me some good karma. Whatever is on the crystals, give me some good juju from that. I’ll take that.
J: We’ll do a chakra card. We’ll do something light. We won’t go too heavy today.
P: That’s fun. I’m down. I love it. I am impressed that you’re working the creative hemisphere of your brain in so many directions. What got you into photography, and why is it now that you’re revisiting music?
J: I don’t even know how I got into photography. I remember one day picking up a camera, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since. I was 9 or 10 when I first started taking pictures. We would always have reunions with our family, so everyone was always taking pictures, so I was like, well, I want to do that. I wanted to take pictures, so it started from that and just kept growing into what I love doing.
P: That’s amazing. I have seen some of your work. I’m a professional photographer by trade, so when I saw your pictures, I was like, “oh my goodness.” Look at this! She must use this kind of light on here, and I didn’t even realize that you took some of those photos of yourself – which is hard to do. For someone who is not a professional photographer, you may not understand how difficult that is and how annoying it is when you, with your eye, can take a beautiful image of someone else and you’re like, hey, can you snap this of me? And it’s like from the waist up, and you have seven chins, and you look like a hot mess on your best day when you ask someone else.
J: Word. Word.
P: I love seeing that. That’s super cool, and I am just absolutely fascinated by the fact that you’re a photographer as well. That’s awesome. I wanted to get into your latest project, “DeadRed” which we just heard. Do we have to hashtag it? Is it #DeadRed?
J: You don’t have to say the hashtag. I feel like the hashtag helps you find it.
P: I don’t want to do it a disservice, but the hashtag does help you find it. What inspired the track, and what does it mean? I think it’s kind of straightforward, but what does it mean to you, what inspired it, and what is it that you want to tell people about it as your most recent project?
J: Dead Red, so the style of Hip Hop I grew up on was Public Enemy and KRS-One, so I have that rebelliousness in me, but then I have the swag of like Missy, and that new jack swing era, even Diddy. He has this little charisma.
P: Like a bounce.
J: Yeah, like a bounce, so it’s like how do I create that? I feel like I created that. It’s a sample from one of my favorite movies in life, The Wiz, and it’s from one of my favorite scenes. The song just came because it was like, I see injustice and how people are moved around in the world. It’s like how some people can seem so careless about human life. It’s like you feel like you own people. You know, people feel like they own people. It’s just fuck the government.
P: There you go! Let it out. Honesty is welcome here. We like that.
J: Can we get a break? Like, I’m saying.
P: Right? I’m with you. Serious. Speaking of getting a break, you’re the first female artist on my show, and I have been around even though I disappeared off the map for eight months. I am back now. You’re the first female artist that I am interviewing. I want to speak to you about your experiences as a female in a male-dominated industry, being a spitter and an MC. How do you navigate that, and how do you feel your experience has been different from your male counterparts?
J: First, I want to say I am so honored to be the first one.
P: Whoop, whoop.
J: Get it, get it, get it. I am so honored.
P: I want to see more of it! I feel like, in the industry, everyone puts so much energy into the Nikki types and the Cardi types, and there’s not enough emphasis on conscious lyrics.
P: I absolutely love that, and again I’m happy you’re here.
J: I’m happy to be here. For me, there’s a level of comfort because one of the reasons why I decided now to become an artist was hanging out with my friends that rap and were in the studio, and most of them are dudes. I was just like, well, when they were rapping, I would write. I would sit in a corner like I’ve got something to say. So, that’s how it started. For me being a spitter, I felt comfortable in an arena with men. I played basketball growing up. The only way I would get on a court was if my brother was there, so I’d be playing with all dudes. I already have this rough and tumbleness to me. I can rough and tumble with the best of them. I’m not scared of no boys.
J: Maneuvering through it, it’s mixed because when you come into people’s crews or teams like I got affiliated with Judah Priest by going on tour with him, that’s Buddha Monk’s brother. Buddha Monk is affiliated with Wu-Tang and them, and being in that circle, Judah was great. He was like a big brother. He would critique me, he took me to shows, and he put me on. He was the first one to put me on tour. I received the brotherly love (I’m sorry. I am super excited.) and guys that want to try to holla, and it’s just finding a balance and knowing how to maneuver and still entertain people. You know I like a goofy person. If you think you can hang with me, then let’s play.
P: There we go. So, we are going to be best friends because I am super goofy.
P: I want to ask you about your connection with the Wu-Tang. I noticed on a lot of your social media, it’s not directly stated but a loose affiliation with Wu-Tang and a love for the Wu. I want to ask you about that and see if you’d be willing to elaborate on that aside from being on tour.
J: I mean, I have a crazy story. I don’t know if you want to hear it.
P: Yeah, tell me. We love a crazy story.
J: Yeah, so. You know that I do tarot and things like that, and when I go to sleep, sometimes I have premonitions. I think everyone does that to some extent. So, one day I had this dream that a tsunami came to my town of Reading, Pennsylvania. There’s no way that a tsunami could come to my town.
P: Yeah, it’s landlocked.
J: Yeah. There’s just no way that it’s going to happen. So, I see this big wave of water, and it comes crashing down. There’s no water. I’m like alright, cool. A year later, this concert comes to my town called The Tsunamifest – headlined by Wu-Tang.
J: What the fuck is going on here?
P: That’s wild.
J: Me and my girl, we end up going backstage. Mobb Deep, that was the second time they came to my city, and I was like there with them, like “Hey, guys! It’s nice to see you again.” So, I’m backstage, and I get to talk to Meth. Method is just so hilarious. It’s Method Man.
P: He’s my favorite.
J: I’m like, yo, you’re Johnny Blaze like all the time. There’s no off. It was refreshing to see them. I spoke with Cap and got to hang out with GZA for a bit. That’s how I got that affiliation and the face-to-face. Wu is for the children. They corrupted me at a young age anyways.
P: I think everybody in an age group is just if you know what it is, you know what it is. Right?
J: Yeah, that’s what I told Meth. I told him, you corrupted my young mind, and he said Wu-Tang is for the children. You’re correct. You’re right, so true.
P: Facts. Facts. I assume that you have done several interviews. Have you done many?
J: I’ve done my fair share of interviews. I’ve done a lot recently here on Stationhead. I’ve done interviews with radio stations from Baltimore and the Philly area.
P: Sweet! What is the funniest thing anyone has ever asked you? Or the weirdest thing?
J: The weirdest thing anyone has asked me… nothing. No one has hit me with hard questions.
P: OH! They are not ready to go to bat with me then.
J: They’re not.
P: So, I’m not even giving you my weirdest question, but I want to know if you sing in the shower, and if you do, what songs do you sing?
J: I do sing in the shower. It’s not the best, but I do it because I don’t care. It is my time. What songs do I sing? I sing anything that is on my Success Playlist. I listen to my Success Playlist, which is here on Stationhead on my station and Spotify. I play that. I listen, and I am singing all of the artists that I hear on Stationhead right now, in the shower.
P: Awww! That’s amazing. That’s love.
J: I’m singing Jerellz’s Imaginary.
P: Oh my gosh. That track is bananas.
J: I’m out here listening to Biviens.
P: My kids will be singing it, and I will be like you can’t say that word but everything else…
P: That’s amazing. Awesome. So much love! As an artist yourself, what do you feel has been your greatest success so far or what you are most proud of as a performer? I see you performing live quite a bit.
J: Yeah. It would be the one that I don’t have any documentation of.
P: Of course!
J: It would be that one. A few weeks ago, I got an opportunity to perform with Judah again. He’s back on tour, and I got to perform with my band Shady Ave. and that was the dopest performance I’ve ever had in life. I felt like, yeah, I could do this forever.
P: Awww. That’s the best.
J: It was like so much feedback, especially with the band. I knew the band would add a whole other element, and it was just a great day. It was under the full moon. I couldn’t ask for any more than that.
P: Yeah, the energy.
J: It was dope.
P: That’s like a warm hug from the universe.
J: It is.
P: It’s telling you that you’re doing the right thing. I love that.
J: Yup, it was, and it was at a place called Phoenixville. Come on.
J: Phoenix rising from the ashes. This is my life.
P: It’s time. It is time! Everything is lining up.
P: I think sometimes the universe just tells you. Once you start going for something that’s meant for you, it keeps pushing you, so that’s what’s happening there.
P: That’s amazing. Two more! You’re not tired yet? We didn’t hurt you yet, right?
P: Good. I think we touched on this a little bit, but what famous musicians outside of yourself do you admire and tell us your experience with their music and why you admire them. It may be outside of music, but why?
J: Oh, you asked me my favorite question in the whole world.
P: Oh, yay! Gold star for Photo today!
J: My favorite rapper is Common.
P: I knew it was going to be Common.
J: It’s easy. It’s on my page. You can’t NOT see it. I’m just saying.
P: Well, there’s that, but also your energy is similar.
P: Yeah. That’s a compliment.
J: I did get to see him last year. I finally got my picture with him. I was like yes! Favorite rapper, mission accomplished.
P: What about him do you admire? His music, but what else about him? What else do we need to know about Common?
J: I mean, he is cool. His music helped me in a time and space when I needed that male voice from Hip-Hop. Do you know what I mean? So it was a reminder that Hip hop still loves you, girl. Hip-Hops still got you. I like that he tries do new things. He’s not too shabby as an actor. I know for a fact that he took one role way too seriously, and he caught me talking shit about it on Twitter a long time ago.
P: What role?
J: He played Scott McKnight. He took that role way too seriously. He thought he was a real NBA player for a whole year.
P: Its character acting. He was getting involved in the role… I don’t know. That’s amazing. You were talking shit about it on Twitter, and he caught you?
P: This is incredible.
J: I didn’t even at him. He was like, who? I was like shit. I forgot he follows me.
J: Got ya. You told on yourself today, mister.
P: That’s great. Listen, at least he knows that you like him for him because if we like everything that our favorite artists did, are you a real fan, or are you just along for the ride? Celebrities are people too, and sometimes they do stupid things like think that they are professional basketball players for a year. What are you going to do? That’s amazing. The best part is that he caught you. I love it.
J: Yeah, so, and he is probably the most generous. I will say that because he sent me a gift as well. Mostly because my birthday is on social media so, I put it out there.
P: That’s so nice. Now, my last question is probably the easiest and something that I ask everyone. Is there a question that you wish I had asked you (something you were dying to talk about), but I didn’t?
J: Hmmm. No.
P: My job is done! Excellent.
J: You asked me everything I could ask for.
P: Everything that’s important! I love it! Two gold stars for me today. I just want to say, again, thank you so much for being here.
J: It was my pleasure.
P: Tell everybody how they can reach you.
J: Look. I am open to all avenues, except I don’t be on Snap. On Instagram, I have a bunch of things because I do a gang of things. If I sounded tired earlier, it was because I just did a photoshoot.
P: This was a stacked day.
J: Yeah, I have been working since I’ve been in Buffalo. It’s been great. So, Instagram is @_Jaebutta.
P: It’s been amazing, and thank you so much for being our first female MC on the show and kicking that female energy off. You’re amazing.
J: Yes! Thank you. I appreciate you for having me!