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Three days before releasing his new album, Coffee and Kush Volume 1, rapper Problem was surprised to see Janet Jackson re-sharing his tribute video to his late friend, Nipsey Hussle.

The legendary pop star re-posted Problem’s video on her Instagram page. The song, “Janet Freestyle (Remix)” samples Jackson and Q-Tip’s 1997 hit record “Got Til It’s Gone.”

The Grammy-nominated rapper and producer whose given name is Jason Martin was flabbergasted that an icon like Jackson shared his video. ” It was a big deal for me,” Problem exclusively told Beasley Media during an interview via Zoom.

“I was just telling a story about a friend of mine and for her to not only acknowledge it, to showcase it, but it’s also a dream come true. Somebody that massive that has impacted this world of entertainment. I appreciate that queen.”

On His New Album

The tribute to Nipsey is featured on Problem’s new album, which the album’s title was literally inspired by his recording process. Problem used to stay up all night after being in the studio “for 12 to 13 hours a day” but he decided to flip things around and try recording earlier in the morning so he could be better rested.

Problem tried “something brand new,” and said that, “my fiancee was like, ‘let’s go on a walk to get your mind clear.’ While we would go on a walk, the only thing that was open was coffee shops.”  “I noticed when I got back here that I would have my coffee and I would have my joint,” he said.

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He explained that he would record from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm every day and “I saw how much work I got done.” Problem said that his new recording schedule caused him to stop drinking alcohol “because I wasn’t up late. My whole [expletive] switched.”

That entire experience is actually what caused the artist to create his own brand of coffee. After feeling so excited about his new work ethic and experience, he thought to himself, ‘what would Puff [Diddy] do? He would create his own brand.’

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 31: (L-R) Daphne Wayans and rapper Problem attend Bossip Best Dressed List Event on July 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for WE tv )

“Balance” is what Problem says his fans can expect to hear on the new album. He said that fans will hear his “whole growth.” “I just developed some balance with coffee and kush.”

On Giving Back To Health Care Workers During The Pandemic

Problem was inspired by Terrace Martin, who executive produced his new album, alongside himself, to give back to the health care workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic, using his own products.

He decided to give his own brand of coffee, Green Hour, out to health care workers to brighten their day. “This is another way to include something that I have that I’m working on and just giving it to the city,” Problem said. “Starting there and just giving them some coffee so they can get their jobs done.”

“There’s things like that keeps people going, especially those on the front line during the pandemic,” he continued. “I’m pretty sure it helps.” “It’s not like giving back to the city, per se, but the people in the city,” he clarified.

On The Compton Walk Of Fame

Martin is currently working on creating a “Walk of Fame” for the city of Compton, which is where he grew up. The “Andele” rapper was born in Germany but later relocated to Los Angeles, specifically Compton.

“My dad was in the service when he and my mom got married. I stayed there for like a year and they ended up splitting up and she [ his mother] came to Compton, and the rest was history.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 28: (L-R) Swiff D, Rahki, Deputy, Problem and Gizzle attend the 2016 ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO iStandard producer and rapper showcase at OHM Nightclub on April 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for ASCAP)

When Martin was asked who he would like to see on his Compton walk of fame, he named various influential figures in hip-hop, sports, and film.

“Man, I’m a rapper, so I have to start with like Eazy [Eazy E], Dre [Dr. Dre.], Kendrick [Kendrick Lamar], Marcellus Wiley,” he said. “There are so many people. Kevin Coster. It’s endless. ”

“The city has so much history in that place,” he continued. “There were so many people that came out of there.” Coffee and Kush Vol. 1 is currently available on streaming platforms.

 

 

 

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.