Never Outshine the Master


Everyone has had a teacher at one point or another in their lifetime. The saying goes that if you teach someone how to fish, they’ll be able to feed themselves for a lifetime. Figuratively speaking, not teaching others how to fish for themselves makes them dependent on the fisherman, creating a cult-like environment in which the student must rely on the “teacher” for what they believe they need. 

Teachers come in various sizes and shapes, as everyone has something to teach us about ourselves. It’s only right to thank good teachers.

Bruce Lee looked to Ip Man, Mike Tyson looked to Constantino D’Amato, and Jay-Z looked to Jaz-O The Originator, to teach them how to fish for themselves.

Expressed frustration has erupted among fans of hip-hop mogul, Shawn Carter, regarding his partnership with Barneys following the retail store’s racial profiling scandal. Disgruntled fans feel that Carter is not acknowledging those who have supported him. Does this sound familiar? Those who know the story of how Jaz-O introduced Carter to his music recording career, think it sounds familiar.

The Originator is still at work.

Hana G.: What are you currently working on Jaz?

Jaz-O: Two new mixtapes: Jaz-O  & Jay-Z (released and unreleased songs), and The Marksman Volume II, a compilation of collabs and solo songs set for 2014, first quarter release.  I’m also working on an EP called “The Warm Up,” which is a prelude to my [untitled] album (release date not yet set). Also in the works is my autobiography, “The Originator.”

Hana G.: Where do you stand with today’s music industry?

Jaz-O: I don’t compare myself to what’s going on, or to contemporary artists. I’ve remained the same. I say what I feel; sometimes it’s entertaining, sometimes it’s not.

Hana G.: You’re widely remembered for nurturing the early career of Jay-Z. Is there anyone else you’ve mentored?  

Jaz-O: – Irv Gotti, Chad Elliot… I did the last demo for The Lox that sealed the deal with Bad Boy. A lot of people, who I may not take the credit for helping, credit me. Some of the talents I’ve helped are still up and coming. I’ve also produced for a lot of cats.

Hana G.: With respect to being instrumental to the growth of some artists, how do you feel about how media have portrayed you with respect to Jay Z?

Jaz-O:  I have my own personal thoughts, but I know that I am who I am, and he is who he is. I know that my story will be told by me. I know that someone else will have to tell his story, because he doesn’t want his story to be told. Some of my opinions will be recorded (through records), but aside, I haven’t done anything that I’m ashamed of so I’m not afraid to tell my story. Sometimes people are ashamed and afraid to tell their story, and they might go as far as to pay people not to write it, who love money as much as they do. People like him don’t want me in the limelight because I’m too honest. Besides that, I’m still working.






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