The OPM emcee became Cali’s best kept secret after “Youzza Flip,” and he’s ready to take it to the next level

On a chilly Wednesday morning in New York City, South Central L.A. rapper Jay 305 strolled into The Source‘s offices with a smug grin on his face, and for good reason. Despite just having two songs on iTunes, and no full project to call his own, the OPM emcee inked a deal with Interscope just hour before, thanks in part to his good friend and OPM exec Archie Davis, and Interscope’s Ray Alba, who has helped cement the careers of other West Coast emcees you may have heard of: Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar. Before heading back out west to celebrate, Jay stopped by to talk about his new home, how exactly someone goes from not rapping at all just 3 years ago to a major label deal, and what’s next for the guy who made “Youzza Flip.”

Why don’t you go ahead and tell me what you got into this morning.
What I did this morning? I just signed to Interscope/O.P.M. and my company Go Get No Gimmies$.

Your company is part of the deal too?
That’s who’s gonna pay me.

Why Interscope?
For one, Archie Davis is over there. Then I got Ray Alba and Rod, we call him Pusha Rod. Yeah Ray Alba that’s my boy man, I really think that he believes in my music. Cause sh*t I seen, he don’t think I know, but I know.

I was telling him earlier he’s a L.A. motherf***er. Like, for real.
Exactly, I’m a L.A. motherf***er too.

Speaking of South Central, I was listening to an interview you did with The Hundreds and they said you only started rapping three years ago?
Yeah, three years.

Wow, well first, why did you wait so long? And two, why did you decide so quickly to make it your career because most people don’t decide that quickly.
I mean sh*t, as soon as I seen the backlash from my first song “Stories.” “Stories” I was playing around with, you know what I mean? I used to laugh at rappers to keep it 100. Like, rappers were so comical to me, animated and all type of shit so I was just like ‘whatever.’ Not all of them, but, the ones we all, you know… A lot of people liked “Stories” though, and I took it more serious. Then I made “Youzza Flip.” “Youzza Flip,” that’s what took over. And I’m a hustler and a business man, so sh*t, two and two equals four so I just kept it going and kept running with it.

What was the inspiration behind the music?
Sh*t, high school days. All my lyrics are really about something, or have something in it, you know what I mean? Everything means something, so “Youzza Flip” was from when we used to call girls “flips” back in the day-it turned into a song.

Jay 305 at The Source's offices; Archie Davis looking on in the background

Jay 305 at The Source’s offices; Archie Davis looking on in the background

It’s almost, well not your slogan but when people think Jay 305 they think that song. Correct me if I’m wrong but was the official “Youzza Flip” remix the one with Wiz [Khalifa], Juicy [J] and YG?
That’s the official one but there’s one with YG. Basically what happened was, YG is my homie so he heard it and put a verse on it. Then I was in the club with Ty (Dolla $ign) and he was with Wiz so Wiz was like “man, let me get on it.” So I sent it to him and they sent it back to me with a verse from Juicy J. I didn’t even know whose verse it was but Wiz told me Juicy put him onto the song so it organically grew

So you just started rapping, you got connections, but it still takes a certain amount of logistics to get all of these dudes with all these platinum records on your remix.
On some real sh*t, I’m already known in the streets. That put together with my connections in the industry it just all came together. It all worked in my favor.

Talk to me about working with Archie and O.P.M. as a whole. People know Dom [Kennedy] is the face of that but they don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and how they have all these different people from you to Niko G4.
Me and Dom were homies, I was there from the beginning.

Where did you guys meet?
[In] L.A., just growing up. It’s been over a decade, then Archie came into the equation. To be honest with you I was just the muscle. And you see what happened to me. *laughs*

So if you just started rapping three years ago and Dom’s been rapping for forever, if you just started rapping what was your role before this and O.P.M.?
I would just say promo. I was helping promote my boy, anything I could do for him I’d try and do. If somebody said anything bad about Dom, we’d beat him up real quick. Everybody know the stories out here. Dom ain’t scary, he’s gonna do his own thing, too, but why put the money in danger? I’m not a rapper, I’m out in the streets.

How much material do you have on Itunes right now?
I only have two of my songs on Itunes. But then we have my tracks with Wiz, [DJ] Mustard and a few others.

DJ Mustard came out with the album and is probably the biggest producer of the year. He has all these songs with all these people, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, you name it they’re on there- Wayne, Fab, etc. How did it feel knowing that one of the two videos he did from the albums was with you?
It felt good, man. I’ve been knowing him for years, you know? None of these people are new to me.

How’d you meet Mustard?
I couldn’t even tell you where I met him but when he was younger he used to be in the jungle. That’s where we used to all be at in South Central. He went to Dorsey [High School] and he has relatives that I know. He knows my cousin Eric, too. LA. Is so big but so small, so you’re always gonna know somebody in the clique. They’ve been my homies before they were even on.

You don’t actually have a project out right now. So you have two songs on Itunes, a feature on DJ Mustard’s album, and you just signed a deal with Interscope. So now obviously my next questions are where is the project and when is it coming?
Can’t tell you when it’s coming but he project is already done, it’s been done since last year.

Mixtape or album?
An album man, we’re going straight to the league.

So you go from two songs independent to a major label debut album. That sounds kind of ridiculous.
You wanna know why, though? Because people recognize the pace that I work in, and people recognize how genuine it is. So it’s my music that’s getting the attention but it’s me that’s the center of everything because everybody f**ks with me and my personality. It’s bigger than the music to me.

You obviously know TC, and I know Ty is calling his album Free TC for a reason, so tell us about the support you have behind him and the movement you’re trying to make happen.
Well there’s a big TC and a little TC. Big TC, that’s his brother, he’s locked up- he has a life sentence. So I talk to him from time to time on the phone and through Instagram. But Ty is a real motherf***er, he’s a real good person. He supports me so much in anything I do. His brother, big TC is from Midtown, he’s Crip. Little TC, the one I was on the song with is Ty’s cousin and he went the Crip route but Ty, you know, f**ks with the B-dogs.

If for some reason your album comes out and nothing really happens after that, do you have any regrets?
Never, hell naw. I look at this rap sh*t like, ‘I know something it’s gonna do something,’ but if it doesn’t, sh*t, we’re going to start all over and do it again. This sh*t for me now, is like “I showed the world something in three years that somebody who’s been doing it for 20 years couldn’t, or even ten years. I’m really giving y’all me. Somebody gonna f**k with it. The real motherf***ers are gonna f**k with it. Everybody else, f**k em. That’s who I do it for.

Or you could just blame yourself.
Or blame Archie and Ray. *laughs* We’re just gonna do it over again.