BITE MY WIRE, your top-selling skateboard gossip monthly, was able to negotiate this WORLD EXCLUSIVE print interview with the HOTTEST new rap talent on the block - the enigma that is JEREME 'J. CASSANOVA' ROGERS! Jereme spoke candidly to our man, revealing his innermost thoughts, from personal philosophy to his sleazy secrets as a bed-hopping SEX ADDICT! We get the scoop on Jereme's SENSATIONAL move into music, how it is to OWN his own company and his remarkable REFUSAL to retire from professional skateboarding after his SHOCKING split from Girl!
How are you finding it being a musician, a pro skateboarder and a company owner?
I eat, though I am not an eater. I talk, though I am not a talker. I am not what I do, nor confined to what I do. I am a human being. At the core, I am formless... Skateboarding, music and good business are just some of the few things I do as a human. My strength and identity is inside and comes from nothing external.
Hip-hop's coming back into skateboarding. It was all shitty indie rock for a while, but now people are skating to hip-hop again. Obviously there's Lil Wayne putting his rap career on hold to skate. How do you think this change came about? You were kinda ahead of that.
First off, thank you... Secondly, change always comes about. I have definitely noticed skateboarders more openly claiming to make music, rapping, etc. I was definitely the first from skating to actually openly pursue music so head on with the ambition I did... But if anything, what I wish is that all things I do to inspire in man, is freedom from fear.
What's the longest you've gone without stepping on a skateboard since you started?
One year. When I retired in June of 2009, I didn't skate once or even own a board until the following June, 2010.
What's the longest you've gone without fucking a girl?
It's been a while... I don't fuck anymore, I make love. That does not mean that it's slow with candles lit every time, or that there must be wedding vows or commitments, but that it is pure; an act of Love. There's married men who've never made love to their wife. The only difference in the act, is the internal experience, whether one is viewing their partner in a derogatory fashion, or purely; with Love. One leaves you feeling unfulfilled, the other; inspired.
Do you ever fuck the same girl twice?
I have, but naturally this question is slightly cancelled out by my last answer.
What was the first album you owned? Do you still like it?
It was a Memphis Bleek album that I won mixed in with some other stuff at a skate contest. And no. Hahaha!
Picture by Andy Smoke.
Do you go to shows?
I've been to some, but definitely don't make it a point to go.
People look at stuff in the street and think about how good it'd be to skate. Do you check out which rooftops would be good for getting naked on?
It's the only way to do it right.
Who do you want to do a song with? Have you asked them? Anybody cool asked you to work with them?
Everybody good, no, and yes... But I'm gonna work with everybody I want. I'm in control of my destiny as much as a man has ever been.
Would you be happy for some people to see you as a skateboarder, and for some people to see you as an artist? Or should everybody appreciate that you're both?
There's nothing that everybody should, only things that everybody could, and I would be happiest if people saw me as I am. But vision is clouded by fear, and opened by Love. People can only see me as they see themselves. It takes doubt in self to doubt someone else; love of self, to love anyone else; and hate in self, to hate anyone else. All starts with self, and ends with everyone else.
Which gets you most girls?
Freedom... Freedom from fear attracts all humans, men and women alike.
You're smarter than a lot of people think. Does it depress you to see some of the reactions to stuff you do? Or do you do stuff to wind people up?
Nothing outside of me has power over what's inside of me. If you let external circumstances affect the state of your internal life, you'll have no power over your external life. Internal power is the leading cause of external power. You must first feel you are, before you are... If you let what's outside of you have any effect on what you feel you are, you'll never be what you want. By saying "You made me upset" - or made me anything, you're forfeiting your power over self, and giving that power to someone else.
What's Pink Dolphin? Nobody in the UK knows what that is.
I don't either, it's just some brand that gave me free clothes and I wore them over dirty ones.
Who else do you think would be a good fit on Selfish?
I don't... I think little, plan less. I live in the moment; present. What matters most is feeling, and my thoughts are aligned with my feelings. When someone feels right, it will be because they are.
Why did Selfish go to France, and not the UK?
I've been to the UK, more than once I believe...I've filled three passports. My travel exploits are quite a blur, all of which I'm grateful for and have had a positive effect on my internal make up.
What set up do you use for making music?
Pro Tools... Industry standard shit
How long does it take you to make a track?
One sitting, whether it takes 30 minutes, or several hours, it's still done in one sitting. I come back to tracks for mixing and tracking, but never for vocals or writing, that's all done in one sitting or not done at all. And I don't actually write, I let it come to me naturally... It never sees the light of day on a pad or phone or any other place outside of my own mind.
How much music are you sitting on? Is there going to be a J. Cassanova album?
Of course. I'm always steps ahead of whatever content I got out. That's just how it goes for anyone who wishes to continue doing what they're doing. You must remain ahead of what you're perceived as or they'll stop caring to make any perceptions of you at all.
Did you ever prank call a shop and pretend you were your own soundboard?
No, but I did listen to some of the prank calls made with it, and all bias-ness aside, they were thoroughly entertaining.
Why did you say you weren't getting royalties from Girl?
I was getting my cheque, just not my actual royalties. I got a three thousand dollar guarantee a month, which operated as a minimum; meaning I get that no matter what, but if I sell over the minimum, I get the extras - royalties kick in. Thing is, everyone on the brand got that same minimum, I believe on Chocolate as well. But everybody wasn't breaking that minimum, which means it costs them money... Which is wrote off as marketing costs. Though some of us were breaking it, myself being one of them. Zumiez (big U.S. skateboard chain-retailer) told me I was one of their top three sellers for years. So what had happened was, they were letting my royalties fall back into the company to cover their overhead, which helped keep a boat afloat that had some leaks. For two years I apparently didn't break my three thousand dollar minimum, yet Zumiez alone - who I was a top three seller for those same two years - had over three hundred stores in the U.S. If I sold ten boards a month to each of their three hundred locations - which is not a lot of boards for one of their top three sellers to move each month in a mall shop - then that would equate for six thousand dollars a month at two dollars a board, just off Zumiez. Don't forget, we're taking about Girl here who sells all around the world. So clearing a three thousand dollar minimum was not an issue. I was rookie of the year that year, 2006... I was also the highest rank street skater. Yet somehow, I was still not clearing my, what was at the time, measly minimum. So I inappropriately blurted out at Tampa 2007, after getting second to Koston, who had a flawed run, against mine which was flawless, that all I wanted was my royalties, when Rick Howard asked what I wanted after doing so well. The following month I got a six thousand dollar cheque... The first time I broke my three thousand dollar minimum, "apparently", and on top of that, it was April; tax time. Coincidence... Sure.
How much do you pay your team?
We give them double the industry standard... Which is two dollars a board. We give them four.
I heard you lurk on a certain skateboard forum... Would that be right?
I don't lurk. I don't kill time, I cherish it. But God bless you guys, I hope the forum is awesome, and I will gladly read every comment after this to see what you magnificent humans have to say.
Can people send you beats?
People can do whatever they want if they apply the right mind, principles, and passion to it.