One of the biggest deficiencies in the black community is our lack of unity and support for one another.
Placing value on black businesses and making it a priority to acknowledge and support these businesses is one of the keys to our community becoming stronger.
At melanatedfathers.com we think it’s important to highlight these individuals and allow them to tell their story!!
During our latest interview with Sacramento recording artist & Business owner JDK Da Unda Boss we were able to talk about his music career, his relationship with his father, why he doesn’t have kids & he shares the secret to the success of his magazine, The Sac Report!!
Talk to me about the Dynamics of your household growing up. Were you raised with both parents in the home?
Growing up, I had a strong mother and father, so it was a co-parenting situation. My dad was built on a lot of manly morals, he believed in working hard and doing what he had to do for his family. He was never a deadbeat.
Anything he had to do to take care of his responsibility as a man, he was willing to do. Whether it was supporting me financially or me spending weekends with him. He taught me a lot of things that a lot of people around me didn’t have access to and I appreciate him for that. But I lived with my mom growing up and she held down the household and did a good job raising me and my two brothers.
It’s good to hear your father made it a point to be in your life even if he wasn’t in the same home with you, that’s important. How’s your relationship with your father today?
Right now, I would say me and my dad have a perfect relationship. Recently, I congratulated him for being a father. Coming from an environment where I see a lot of people’s father run out on them or even worst, lose their father to the system or some to the graveyard.
Regardless of what I was going through his model was, “Make good decisions” and he instilled that in me. So, even to this day, I can pick up the phone and call my dad, and even at almost 80 years old I can still get some really good advice from him. His words Definity steer me in the right direction and it’s important to know that you have that type of support system.
I encourage parents to take walks with your kids, communicate with them because those are things they will never forget. My pops made sure he did shit that I would never forget.
That’s a great point. Children definitely remember those moments. Ok, so speaking of fatherhood, you currently don’t have children. Talk to us about why you made the decision to wait?
Well, I grew up in an environment where most of my friends, my brothers, all had kids young. So, I learned a lot from watching them and I saw what they went through. It just made me be cautious about going into Parenthood. I wanted to make sure I was mature enough to be a leader in a child’s life.
I might have led a kid into a trap if I would have started having children young. That’s where my life was at the time. Excuse my French, but it was a lot of street orientated gangster shit. I don’t think I would have been a good role model for a child. Now, I’m mature and I have certain elements to me as a man that I think a child could benefit from. So, if I decided to plant a seed, I could make sure it grew properly because I know what it takes to be a man.
That makes a lot of sense. I thought it was important to highlight that. In our community, we need to know it’s ok to wait to have children until we’ve evolved more as a people. So, let’s talk a little about your music. When did you first start rapping?
I actually started rapping in elementary school, they allowed me to perform at my 6th-grade graduation. My family is real musical too, and that was a big inspiration as well. My dad was a singer and my mom used to work as an A&R. My older brother had a record deal when I was 11 or 12 years old with AWOL records, which was a real popular record company out here in Sacramento.
So, early on I had an outlet to everything that was going on musically in my city and on top of that I had the talent, the energy, and the inspiration. Making music came naturally to me and I began to learn how to use my voice as an instrument. I was rapping with people twice my age when I was 11-12 years old. By the time I was a teenager I was already on wax in the studio working. I Got the opportunity to be featured on albums that were actually in the stores at the time.
I worked with Marv Mitch & LeMay. I worked with my brother Rup Dog on his Catch 22 album. I was also on a compilation called “who put sac on the map” and I did all of that before I was 16 years old. So, being exposed to music so early was a plus, and it helped that I was good at it. From that point on, I began to develop a foundation and a fan base. I was able to go on tours at a young age and meet people all over the world.
That exposed me to different elements of the music industry and taught me how to be a businessman and take my career into my own hands. I also didn’t want to make some of the bad decisions that I witnessed some of my peers making who were in the music industry. Their experiences became my experiences and that taught me how to be a better artist, as well as a better person.
Okay, so I see you’ve made a transition from not only running a record label and putting out albums but also running a magazine “The Sac Report”. Talk to us about your magazine?
Honestly, music is what brought me into the position to even start the magazine. I have business partners who helped with the magazine and we met through the music industry. I showed them that my hustle was strong, and they wanted me to be a part of the magazine.
I figured since I’m still putting out music and I have created a foundation of people who support what I do, I can use the magazine as a platform to also promote my music and my label, Need It Now records, Empire Distribution has been behind me since 2010. So, the magazine for me was another opportunity for branding, it was another way to get my music and merchandise out there to the public.
Not to mention, it’s a platform for new and old artist to promote themselves as well as their businesses. Not only am I helping myself but I’m spreading love to the people in the community and becoming the voice of the streets by giving people opportunities to do their own situations.
It definitely looks like the movement has been going strong. I’ve seen you guys grinding for a while now. What do you think has been the key to the success and consistency of the magazine?
Being able to accept change with technology and trying to move as fast as it does. Moving things around within the company and making sure you have the right staff and everybody’s on the same page. Making sure you have a strong team behind you and learning how to leave emotions out of it.
It’s definitely not a one-man show, it’s a team effort. It gets rough sometimes. I’ve had to fire people, remove people out of positions and everything. I even have to look at myself. You have to be willing to come down from that high horse and work on the ground with the people and that’s what I do. I work in sales. I’m the chief editor. I do everything necessary to keep the business going on a certain level. Having a flexible team and being able to communicate with them is key.
It’s just like a sports team. Everybody can’t be the quarterback. Everybody can’t be the running back. But if we’re trying to score a touchdown, everybody has to work together. I’m blessed to have a dedicated team of hard workers who do whatever it takes to make “The Sac Report” the best it can be.
So, what are your long-term goals for the magazine?
Well, the magazine is growing, and we want to eventually be able to advertise it worldwide. I plan on doing some branding with bigger companies as well as dealing with some bigger sponsors. I have to sit down with the head of some corporations and see what we can come up with.
After putting out over 20 issues I figured the experience is there and we are building the brand. I’ve been putting in a lot of groundwork independently with this magazine, so we just want to do more cross-promotion and create a bigger platform. We are also looking to do more events in the city of Sacramento to help people get exposure.
Our main goal is to continue growing and evolving as a business while giving more people job opportunities be an outlet for anybody that needs advertisement, locally or worldwide.
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