Musician Jay Worthy isn't about where you're from

Jay Worthy

The first time I met Jay Worthy, it was at a party in Vancouver a couple years ago. When you meet someone new and they tell you a bunch of crazy stories, it isn’t easy to take everything at face value. In Worthy’s case however, everything was true–not for any specific reason other than that he has nothing to hide.

We met up recently for this shoot and interview as if no time had passed; two-armed hugs and earnest words. Not exactly what I expected from someone who generally lives such a large life, but at the same time, I wasn’t really surprised either. I remember something he told me when we first met, “You’d be surprised at the type of people I prefer to spend my time with.” I think that’s how I’ll always see Worthy, as a person who can’t really be generalized or stereotyped.

What you might not know about Worthy is that while he spent his childhood in Vancouver, he really grew up in Compton, California. A few years down the line, he continues to build wherever he’s located because, “It’s not about where you’re from, it’s about where you’re at.” From collabs with Kendrick Lamar and The Game to working with Vice, he’s done it all and continues to do so.

Check out our interview with Jay Worthy below for the scoop, straight from the source.

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Please introduce yourself

My name is Jay Worthy and i’m a musician and documentary film producer for the most part.

Tell us about why you decided to spend so much time in Compton?

I’ve been going down there with my pops since I was a youngin’. So by the time I turned 17, I was comfortable going down there by myself. Also, seeing that Vancouver didn’t have too many rap music opportunities at the time, I decided that this was what I needed to do to pursue my music career. As you know, music isn’t the easiest industry to break into so I got into all different types of things. Which brings me back to where I am now, 10 years later, to pursue music again.

Talk to us about the time you spent with The Game and Drake in Compton

I used to live with The Game’s older brother, Big Fase 100. He hit me up and invited me down to the Drake and Game video shoot for 100 in Compton and the both of us brought everybody from our neighbourhoods out together; it was a good time. Drake is real cool peoples too. We ended up linking back up in Canada again for the 2015 Squamish Valley Music Festival.

Tell us about what you’ve done with Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick’s the homie; we from the same hood. Recently I co-produced a Vice documentary that features Kendrick as well as a commercial for his new Reebok sneakers. It’s always good be in the presence of K dot. He inspires me and a lot of the homies from the section and is always there to help us with what we’re trying to do. Whether it’s music or film, he’s an all around A1 dude. He even surprised me and brought me out to close down the show with him at the Pemberton Music Festival this year; that was crazy! Gotta thank him for that again haha!

Image: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Image: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Tell us about ‘Welcome to Fairfax’

‘Welcome to Fairfax’ was my first gig as a film producer and just game some of my friends an opportunity to channel their work. That was my introduction to the TV game and it was cool. Now I’m working with Vice and it’s been like a dream come true because they don’t limit your creativity.

You’re working on a new album now right?

Pretty much i’m working on my first album ever.

So what did you put out before?

I put out a mixtape with DJ mustard back In the day when I was half ass rapping. It wasn’t until recently that I started to take music seriously and develop LNDN DRGS with my long time friend Sean House from Vancouver.

We share the same vision and created our own sound. I actually barely listen rap music on my own time. I’m a real old soul and the music I make with LNDN DRGS really reflects what I’m inspired by. A full length album is on the way though.

Do you have a title for the album yet?

We’re still debating the album title.

What you like about coming back to Vancouver?

I just like how quiet and calm it is. I had one of my friends from Compton, YG Hootie, stay with me out here for two weeks and he was just like amazed by all the nature and the beauty like it’s endless out here.

When I’m in L.A. or New York or any of these places, I’m constantly in the mix and socializing and having to be at all these events. It’s just a faster pace of livin’. Out here I just feel like I can really get creative and find my own space.

What I do when I’m in Vancouver is make all of my music. The simple fact is you can’t just walk around wherever you like in Compton. When I’m in Vancouver I’m never worried about walking anywhere. In L.A. when we don’t walk nowhere, it’s for a reason.

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

What else have you been able to bring out to the community in Compton?

With Vice, I’m able to give a voice to the neighbourhood so the whole world could see what we’re going though. Here I’m able to create opportunities for some of my friends that are musicians trying to get out of that negative lifestyle and out of the ‘hood. Just exposing them to stuff they might not necessarily be exposed to because of the geographic area they live in and because that’s just not the norm out there.

I just want to open up their eyes because you can do anything you want. If you come to the hood, they tell you this: You can either be a basketball player or a rapper. How many people become basketball players and rappers? Not that many! You know what I mean? But you know what you can be? You can be a photographer, you can be an artist, you can be a journalist, you can be a director! I just think that the opportunities are endless. I just love to see change in people for the better.

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Image: Adam Joe

Anything else you wanna talk about?

I’m working on a really dope photo project on the homies with Willy T from The Seventh Letter so definitely be on the look out for that. The show will be hitting a few galleries in L.A. and New York.

Keep up with what’s going on with Jay Worthy on Instagram.

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About the author

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Vanessa Tam is a freelance writer and marketing professional living and working in Vancouver, BC. Drake lyrics effectively communicate her pop culture relevancy as well as her excellent taste in music.

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