[Interview] Demun Jones from REHAB: Welcome To “Jones County”
Welcome To “Jones County”
By Miss Rainey Dae
Demun Jones has been proudly waiving the flag for the country rap scene and for his hometown of ‘Jones County’, which also doubles the title of his bangin’ new solo album. This bearded former member of the group REHAB, has officially launched his solo career with his debut album “Jones County”, which is an infectous blend of southern rock,rap, and country. The album features heavyweights like the Jawga Boys, Bubba Sparxxx, and LoCash Cowboys, and explodes out of your speakers the moment you hit play.
Demun Jones took the time to sit down with RebelRow.com to talk about “Jones County”, his time in REHAB, and why he’s smiling at the haters as he shoots up the Billboard charts.
Rebel Row: Why at this point in your career go solo?
Demun Jones: I didn’t think of it that way. Creatively I just felt like it was a good time to make some changes that are more in line with where I am in my life as a person and a performer.
RR: Was there anything specific that really drove you to make that decision?
DJ: I wouldn’t say there was one specific reason. But you know I’ve been a participant in COUNTRY RAP since it’s inception and felt like now was the perfect time to dig both of my boots in the middle of it.
RR: Tell us about Jones County and why it was the perfect title for this record?
DJ: Jones County. Well, I was raised in Jones County and that has surely been a gift . This place and these people are such a part of me that I couldn’t, for the life of me, think of anything else meaningful that I could name this album. Jones County is the best place I’ve ever been and it’s the best music I’ve ever made.
DJ: Mostly non musical factors. I thought about my two little girls’ ears listening to it and everyone else’s kids listening to it, so I kept it as clean as possible. I thought about the folks I grew up with and how I could make them remember, I thought about the JC kids coming up now and what I could do, musically, to give them a sense of pride in knowing what I’m singing about and knowing that same Jones County is theirs.
RR: How do you determine what is a Rehab track verses Demun Jones?
DJ: Well, Danny Boone is, without question, the main creative force behind Rehab songs. If he’s feeling it, I’m feeling it because I feed off him, onstage or in the studio. I’m such a fan of music that sometimes I can’t tell if I just love the track or will the track even fit what I’m trying to do? I’ve rode around with the same track playing for a week before I realized, “I haven’t written one word, I just love listening to this one”. I’m a music lover for sure.
Now, when I hear a track and it speaks to me, tells me what to say, I know it’s for me. Those are easy. Those are magic.
RR: The video for “Muddy Muddy” has really gone viral on Youtube with over 200,000 views. Were you surprised by the video?
DJ: Honestly, I was not. I knew it would be successful after I saw it edited. I mean we shot a video at a mud bog with 5,000 people there and had a badass crew shooting it, Planet Sun from Nashville just killed it. They went the extra mile to make sure the greatness of the video matched the greatness of the song.
RR: What has the feedback been like when you perform the song live?
DJ: Overwhelmingly positive. I didn’t think it was gonna go over so well at the Rehab concerts but Seattle, Boston, Sioux Falls loved it as much as Dallas, Mobile, Atlanta and Macon. The solo shows I’ve done I’ve led my whole set with it and is gone over nicely. Sets the tone.
RR: Country rap is exploding everywhere you look and with guys like Big Smo getting their own reality TV series it appears on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough. How do you think that will impact the culture of the scene and the music?
DJ: Well, first of all, I hope Smo’s show does well. I’ve know him for years and he has worked very hard to get where he’s at. He’s a very likable guy and I think folks will open their ears to the entire genre if it goes well. You KNOW if the ratings go crazy that every big brand is gonna come running for a country rapper and that will definitely make it more mainstream. Which is cool with me, bigger concerts.
RR: Do yo Will country rap ever be embraced by country purists?
DJ: That’s hard to say. I think there’s a significant amount of them that will welcome the change but there’s always going to be folks that want what think of as “theirs” to remain the way it was. Change is something that comes and there’s noway to stop it. Country Rap isn’t going anywhere, it’s here.
RR: How do you respond to haters?
DJ: With a smile. Mostly it’s just folks who don’t have anything better to do than post a negative comment here or an insult there. I get at least 1,000 positive comments for every 1 negative. I’ll take that all day. But, If they hate me enough to put their hands on me then I’ll respond with a good ole fashion ASS WHOOPIN.
RR: What do you think of the whole mudbog movement happening the in USA?
DJ: I think it’s awesome. It’s something created by individuals wanting to have a good time. Good, clean, fun, well, maybe not clean but it’s definitely fun. The last few years it’s gone to a whole new level and I honestly think Country Rap has played a part. It’s brought more attention to it, therefore, helping it grow. There’s HUGE mudbogs all over the country. I plan to play everyone of em that has a stage.
RR: With that are there any artists that influence you that may surprise all of us?
DJ: Well, I’m really influenced by everything I hear, see and feel. Whether it’s from an artist or a stranger on the street. I take what I need and leave the rest. I’ve lived a pretty full life so I don’t have a lack of inspiration. I’m not sure if I said, James Brown, Michael Jackson, or Led Zepplin that it would be surprising, They all influenced entire generations. I’m inspired by knowing that I could be one of the leaders in influencing the next generation of Country Rappers with Jones County. I’m the main artist that influences me.
RR: Do you have a favorite track from the album? what is it and what makes it your favorite?
DJ: 1 through 12. Each one is my favorite for a different reason. Boondocks , #1, is my favorite because it goes to a place Country Rap hasn’t gone. It slams as hard or harder than ANYTHING in a sound system but still remains relevant to us country folks. You know a lot of folks drop thousands on raising their ride then drop more thousands on the speakers inside. Boondocks is as much a cutting edge country song as it is a cutting edge rap song. White Trashed and Red Neck’ed, #12, is my favorite because it’s a straight hillbilly country song that is sure to get some laughs. I’m a country rapper but I’m also a musician, so having a chance to display that, live, with an acoustic guitar in my hands is something I’m really looking forward too.
RR: What type of experience would you like your listeners to have from listening to “Jones County”?
DJ: I hope it makes folks want to ride around with the windows down and the music up. A good portion of Jones County is driving music. I’m curious as to how many folks are gonna get speeding tickets to RAHHH,#6.
RR: Can we expect to see you on tour soon with this release?
DJ: Absolutely, I just signed with Buddy Lee Attractions in Nashville so we’re getting geared up for a bust year. I have several shows scattered around with Jawga Boyz, Bubba Sparxxx and Big Smo. A dream tour would be with Brantley Gilbert or Kid Rock. I’ve actually toured with Kid Rock before as a part of Rehab but I think his fan base has shifted some with countryER material and a lot of his die hards have loved him since he made straight rap music, It would be a perfect match. Brantley because he’s so ground breaking with his material, I mean, I co wrote Ride Through The Country , Colt Ford feat. John Michael Montgomery, which was the first Country Rap hit but BG co-wrote DIRT ROAD ANTHEM with Colt that turned out to be the first real Country Rap SMASH after Aldean recorded it. He always uses non country phrases but says them with a country accent and by doing that he has helped to create a lane for Country Rap as much as anyone.
RR: What area of this Country are you targeting to turn a larger fan base?
DJ: I’m not thinking along those lines. I’m getting some radio play in Australia already. I GOT THE GLOBE IN MY CROSSHAIRS.