So… Here we are. It’s 2020, and to be honest, we don’t know what the hell is going on. Global pandemic? Check. Mass revolution? Check. Overwhelming societal trauma? Check. It truly seems like the earth is on fire and we’re all just walking through the flames. But, as we should all know by now… Change isn’t possible without a little kicking and screaming.
Let’s take a break from the pandemonium for a second. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. As we all collectively try to find our footing during these strange and turbulent times, it’s necessary to find joy in any way we can. For the folks at Mud, we’ve always turned to art — visual, auditory, or otherwise — for that sense of comfort.
And what would the culture look like without Black art? In a world where merely existing while Black is a form of rebellion in itself, it’s more important now than ever to uplift the people in our community who give us everything.
Enter: Abby Jasmine, the 22-year-old NYC native who’s shaking up the hip-hop world with her clever bars, outrageous videos, and devil-may-care attitude. To say she’s one to keep your eye on is an understatement. Read our conversation with the up-and-comer below.
Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from? How old are you? When did you start making music?
I turned 22 on June 2nd. I was born in the Bronx, moved to Staten Island when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I grew up with a full recording studio in my house so I recorded my first song around like 3 or 4 years old and played piano for about 8 years.
Tell me about your style, you’ve obviously got a lil swag goin’ on — who are some of your style icons?
I love being comfy, so sweats and hoodies are my go-to, and I always gotta have my nails done. I just like being cozy but lowkey fly as fuck. My state is my style icon. NYC got some of the flyest people on earth.
What’s your favorite song or project that you’ve worked on?
My favorite project that I worked on is definitely “Who Cares?”. Working on it just brought me out my comfort zone and I got to make it with people that I love and respect. That’s always a plus.
Who did you listen to growing up?
Growing up I listened to a lot of gospel rap at first cause my mom didn’t let me listen to anything else, lol. I used to go and see Lecrae and the 116 Clique in concert every year before I turned 14. I feel like high school is when I really found the type of music I like. I listened to a lot of Frank Ocean, Future, Drake… I think Trapsoul came out around that time too. The Pinkprint had gotten me through a really bad breakup. I think I was really into music that just said what I felt and invoked emotions. As of now, Future is my favorite artist though.
What do you think of when you think of southern culture?
I think of horseback riding, biscuits and gravy, & the phrase “everything’s bigger in Texas.” I love and respect southern culture.
Currently listening to?
Future, Baby Keem, Kaytranada, Melii.
What’s your creative process like? Do you have any rituals that you do before you start writing or creating?
Before I start writing or do anything, I sit down in the studio with my team, roll up a J and we all speak about our day. It could either set the vibe or kill it, but I think it’s important to check in. And who knows, something during that conversation can fuel a song concept, video concept, lyrics, etc.
Growing up in New York, what was your favorite part of your childhood?
Definitely when my mom and dad would take me into Manhattan and we would walk around. Also going to the Bronx Zoo.
Do you have any hobbies? Been getting crafty at all during this quarantine season?
Painting, video games & cooking have become my vices during this time. Some days are filled with me just playing Xbox all day. Depends on the day.
Walk me through a day in the life.
Wake up, smoke, eat, smoke, check schedule, smoke, eat again, smoke, go to the studio, smoke, go home, smoke, sleep, repeat.
Your music videos are super fun and I love that there’s always a relatable narrative behind them — how much creative control do you have when it comes to the direction?
I like to think of it as a group effort. We all come together and pitch ideas of how we wanna see things.
Do you feel like you have to keep a pretty guarded presence on the internet or do you keep it real at all times?
I try to keep it real online. When you see me online that’s who you get in real life. I try to guard the people closest to me and rarely post them cause I’m just overprotective with the ones I love. I try (keyword: try) to keep my sadness/problems off my socials, because to me I feel like there’s already so much sadness/ negativity in the world and I just wanna spread good vibes. So I guess a mixture of both? Lol.
Who’s your dream artist to work with?
Is there anything in the works or are you just chilling for now?
I’m chilling right now but it’s always something in the works, lmao.
What does this moment in history mean to you right now? What are your thoughts on living through this crazy revolution and fight for justice?
We’re living in a crazy time right now. It’s uncertain, it’s empowering, it’s scary. Social media is really fueling a revolution and people are tired, people want change. This time feels different than any other time for me. I’ve never experienced ANYTHING like what we’re going through right now. Black people are literally risking their lives during a PANDEMIC to fight for social justice. Spooky!
As a Black creator, and more importantly as a Black woman, how are you feeling right now?
I’m TIRED but READY for what’s next to come.
Any words of advice for future generations?
Love yourself, be yourself, get high.