TCOHH x Jack Thriller
Jack Thriller has come a long way since Soulja Boy’s 2007 hit “Crank That (Superman)”. After years of being the face of This Is 50.com, the comedian has created a lane of his own during his rise from the stage of the Chris Tucker Comedy Club to our TV screens on Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out. A recent newlywed, host of The Sex Room and Party and Bullshit, Jack sat down with TCOHH to talk about marriage, his transition from This is 50 and his upcoming album, and podcast on Tidal.
TCOHH:Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in entertainment?
JT:I've been in the entertainment industry since I was 12 years old. I had been going to performing arts camps in Huntsville, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama and I then joined a gospel play called “A Will to Survive” starring Fred Berry from the TV show “What's Happening”. He played the character Rerun. I then left there and came back to Atlanta, GA to pursue a career in comedy.
So, I started off at the Chris Tucker Comedy Club and there were a lot of greats and stuff - Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, of course Chris Tucker, Mike Epps. Everybody that's big names now - Kat Williams. After that I started going on the road with Lil Duval, Roland Powell was his name at the time. I became his roommate, opening act, bodyguard, personal assistant.... anything that I had to do to just sponge up the game because he was already doing well.
This was like 2001 at the time and we use to shoot a bunch of skits. Matter fact we was the first ones doing skits before any of these other little YouTube sensations or Instagram sensations. We started all of that.
What comedians would you say inspired your comedic career?
Richard Pryor. I love Richard Pryor as a comedic actor. I never really was into his standup like that. I really love Eddie Murphy. I seen “The Best of Eddie Murphy” when I was five years old. I’ll never forget it. I think I was in kindergarten at the time, and I understood everything that was going on. It was like 1986, ‘87 and I was watching that shit and I was like ‘I think that’s what I am right there. I’m a comedian’.
When I said I was gonna do this shit before I went to the Chris Tucker Comedy Club I went to go see the Kings of Comedy in 1998 or something like that. I went to 2 shows back to back. And one of the local DJs, named Ryan Cameron, opened up for them and I was like ‘Shit if can Cameron can do this, I can do this’. He was kind of funny, but he wasn’t like crazy funny. It wasn’t nuts, he made me feel like I could do it.
Now you know when a comedian is good and you respect him you’re like ‘Nah, I can’t do this shit’. Like Dave Chappell or Chris Rock, he’ll make you say ‘I can’t do that shit’ because it’s so great, it’s so groundbreaking, and when I say groundbreaking, it’s like you ain’t never heard none of this shit before. Jamie Foxx is like that too. And I think he’s dope because he’s an entertainer. He sings and he plays instruments and stuff and it takes you to a whole other place. It ain’t even like you watching a comedy show, it’s like you’re watching a concert.
TCOHH:A lot of people have been very vocal about the entertainment industry, especially in regards to hip-hop – some of it positive, some of it negative. What are your thoughts on the current state of not just hip-hop, but the entertainment industry in general?
JT:I think it’s in an interesting place right now because you ain’t even gotta be good no more. Your grand mama could blow up. Look at that girl what’s her name…? Mama Dee - and Jim Jones mama too. It can happen, like easily. Like you don’t have any choice not to make it in 2018. It ain’t no excuse for you saying niggas is hating and they ain’t putting you on. The gatekeepers are gone, we are the gatekeepers now. It’s homeless people with Facebook, Instagram and the access to the internet and whatnot, and your life could change overnight. So, if you don’t at least take incentive to at least record yourself and post it up, you don’t deserve to make it.
So, I like it in that sense, but on the same token the curse of that is the people that produce quality stuff don’t get a chance to see the light of day sometimes people aren’t paying to go see them… The record sales are horrible. It’s a new kind of system that makes it hard to monetize it the way you use to be able to monetize the game. So, I think that’s where the conflict comes in at.
I don’t think the music today transcends. When I say that, I mean, I’m 35. In 15 years, I’ll be 50. I don’t think I’m gonna be listening to “Look at My Dab”. I was at a cookout the other day with some old folks, I was like the youngest one there. I think the oldest person there was like 56. And they were listening to like Kendrick’s album and stuff. And Kendrick’s album is good, but I felt like they were trying to be young and shit. When I’m around older people I want to hear mature older music – 90’s at the least.
We hear stories all the time about artist - urban artist in particular - who basically got got - whether it be due to the mismanagement of funds, bad contracts or what have you. A lot of this can be contributed to a lack of financial literacy and business savvy.
TCOHH:What are your thoughts on the mis-education of artists and how this hurts their careers?
JT:When I was coming up and I was looking for managers and stuff like that I would sign any damn thing. I just wanted to be famous, and I wanted to make some money and whatnot. And when you’re young and desperate and shit, and you ain’t got no money you just wanna get on you like: ‘I’ll figure all that other shit out later. Because once I’m famous I can gon’ and pick up the pieces and make money off my fame. How long is my contract? I’mma be famous forever’.
That’s how you think when you inside of it, but that’s not really how it goes because sometimes when you get in that certain space and you realize that you’re supposed to have this and you don’t have that and somebody who started off at the same time as you they do have the fruits of their labor because they did better business than you. You will feel salty and you would start being bitter and stop working and being creative because you can’t function inside the industry and you’ll start to resent it.
So, it’s very important to get your business together and understand the business right off the rip, or just stay independent, man. Cuz like I said, they making it so easy for you to do it by yourself now. Back in the day when you had TLC and stuff, they wanted to be famous, and it cost. But they didn’t care and they didn’t educate themselves on the business until they were hanging around other people who were just as famous as them and they was like ‘Girl you ain’t got no house? You still got a roommate?’ You don’t be knowing no better.
Somebody could be giving you a check for $100,000 and you pick up some cash from party to party and you doing features and stuff and picking up $25,000 here and $25,000 there in cash, and you’re thinking you’re rich already, like: ‘This will hold me off until the big check comes in’, but when the big check comes in you didn’t realize how much stuff you had signed away and that’s when you start feeling salty. A lot of people would say that them girls was stupid, but no they weren’t. Anybody would have did that, especially if people had said to you ‘You know what? If you don’t sign this we can find three other girls.’ That could have been anybody. TLC could have been anybody.
TCOHH:What has the transition been like going from being a solo host on This Is 50 to now having a full staff on Party and Bullshit?
JT: It’s very liberating. I don’t have to ask nobody – I don’t have to ask 50 what he think about it. ‘Can I have this person up there or that person?’ because he don’t get along with them or no bullshit like that. Because I’m not in no gang. I’m a comedian. I ain’t supposed to be not liking nobody because the dude I’m working with not liking somebody. That’s some bullshit, right?
I remember one time I tried to shake Rick Ross hand - that nigga looked at my hand like he wanted to spit in it. It ain’t have nothing to do with me and I thought that was so unfair. And I couldn’t be on the episode of “Wild ‘n Out” that he was on because he didn’t want me on there. I didn’t do anything to this guy, but guilty by association. But it don’t go that way when I have beef with somebody. Like me and 2 Chains had got into it. I was like ‘Ay 50, you betta tell that nigga 2 Chains that I ain’t fucking playing with him’. So, he call the nigga up, the next thing I know they doing a song together. I’m like ‘What the fuck? Yea, let me gon and start my own shit.’
I’m glad I got my own stuff and I’m trying to create more platforms for more people to get on. I’m married now. My wife is my co-host on the show and we’re doing a podcast with Tidal called “Funny and Fine”. We have a show called “16 or Better”, for up-and-coming emcees. I’m just trying to create my own brands. It’s very important to be your own man and create your own lane. It’s way more rewarding. Because one thing I’ve always hated is when I’m out in the street and somebody points to me and goes: “Ay there go the 50 Cent nigga right there”. I wanna be Jack.
TCOHH: How do you balance married life and your career in entertainment?
JT: I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s hard because before I was married I was super far away from being married. Suuupppper! Like people don’t even believe I’m married. I’ve been married for about four months now and I still got women texting me and hitting her in her DMs and trying to see if we really together and stuff. It’s very frustrating. And I didn’t even realize how many hoes I had before I got married. I kid you not, it’s been over 60 something girls, different ones curse us out and all type of shit.
So, how do I balance it? My fans. A lot of my fans didn’t want me to be married. They wanted Jack “The Sex Room” dude that interview the porn stars and have all the girls and stuff. They were living through me. Now that I got my wife, I try to find a balance to where I can give the people what they want without disrespecting my wife.
She learning how to deal with it too because on the flip side of that now that I’ve made her famous a lot of guys be trying to hit her up on the low cuz they think ‘Well shit, if she out here and married a nigga with one eye I know she’ll like me’, but that’s not the case. Usually when you see a woman dating a man with one eye or one leg…. If he got her that mean he really got her and you ain’t got not one chance in the world. It’s pretty extreme. It’s something over there that you’ll never understand. Leave that shit alone.
TCOHH:How has being married helped your brand?
JT: That’s a great question right there. Now, I was scared to tell people that I was married, but at the same time I wanted her to be comfortable. So, when I did that everybody just thought it was the sweetest thing in the world and something that made it even better: My wife fine as hell. So, we like a modern-day Beauty & The Beast. She really just took my situation to a whole new level, and made people realize that I had sense and that I had a heart because a lot of people didn’t think I gave a fuck about anything. So, when they saw me caring about somebody it opened me up to a whole different female fan base that I wasn’t even expecting.
TCOHH:What advice would you give someone looking to pursue a similar path?
JT: Well, if they want to a comedian I would say they need to be going on stage at least 5 times a week. Move to where the games is at. You have to go to either NY or LA. For musicians, I would say the same thing. New Yok, there’s a lot of media here. There’s a lot of media in LA too. You’re just increasing your chances of getting on and stuff. Be committed and be consistent. They say it takes 10,000 hours in order to be a professional at whatever you do so make sure your putting your 10,000 hours in. And find out what makes you different and expound upon that. Originality will get you everywhere.
Network. Remember who you know will get you in the game, but what you know will keep you. So always make sure you’re studying up on your craft and perfecting that every day. And if you’re a woman inside the game keep your legs closed and let the nigga show you the money and whatnot. What you don’t wanna do is start make a name for yourself throughout the industry and shit. You walking down the street and niggas pointing at you like ‘There she go right there’. You walking through the halls and people know about you. You don’t want that. Ladies, keep your legs closed and don’t date nobody in the industry, date regular people. Do your homework on folks, don’t just dive in head first.
Oh, and make sure you get a website. You need a website. Make it interactive. Don’t just put your shit on there, put other people stuff on there too. Make it a World Star HipHop.com, but with your name.
TCOHH: What’s next for Jack Thriller?
JT: Me and my wife are doing a reality show on WE-TV called “Meet the Thrillers”. It’s about me balancing being married and giving my core audience what they want without disrespecting my family. And you gon see all the girls on “Party and Bullshit” that like me behind my wife back and whatnot, just making a fool of themselves. Tryna give me some booty and everything. It’s tempting, but I’m rebuking these hoes in the name of Jesus and taking it one day at a time. So, you gon see all the different shows that I got, and how I’m trying to make everybody dreams come true through my dreams. That’s the biggest thing I got going on.
Like I said I got the podcast with my wife on Tidal in a couple of weeks. Working on the album, really excited about that. Getting my stage training on and going through extensive vocal training. You can see some snippets on my IG now of me singing, it’s kind of cool. I’m working on a mixtape and the album at the same time.
I’m playing around with a couple of different names on the project. I got Music Soulchild on there. I got RL of Next. I got Chanel from Young Money. I got Noriega. I got this newcomer dude named Alex Leon. He’s really really amazing… John B, and I’m tryna get Keith Sweat on a track. It’s all classic people because I grew up in the 90s and that’s really the kind of R&B I like.
“Party and Bullshit” is every Monday, “16 or Better” is coming back with a vengeance, and “The Sex Room” is definitely coming back too. My wife told me I could do it, and it’ll make her happy, so make sure you follow “The Sex Room” @ _the sex room (on IG). It’s kind of crazy.