By: Ariyana Griffin
You may have seen the question floating around, “Who is Airplane James?” Well, today I am going to finally get the answer! I do know that he is more than just a rapper from the Eastside, he is truly an artist who puts his all into his craft. Airplane James is changing and embracing the Eastside sound, so if you haven’t listened already, you have to tap in! In today’s music industry it’s rare for an artist to have a great beat, lyrics with meaning, and visuals that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have meaning. You definitely need his latest project, Eastside Project, in your rotation. Another dope new project is on the way and you want to tap in, it’ll be worth it I promise you! Make sure you check the links below for social media and music links.
I wanted to finally get the answer to the question “Who is Airplane James” and his answer was:
“I feel like I should have more intricate story on how I got the name, but I don’t. My middle name is James, and airplane is something my Grandma would really use as a playful insult to me being hard-headed and wanting to do things my way as a kid. She’d say “boy, your head is just as wide as fuckin’ airplane, you don’t listen to anybody” I just ran with it as an ode to her.
But as far as who I am… I’m just a regular nigga off the Eastside that just so happens to be good at music. When you listen to me…you’ll find out. I’m a father, a family man, a son, a brother. I go through the same shit everybody else do”.
As many Los Angeles natives know, the Eastside is very different, like any other part of LA. They have their own everything, style, lingo, you name it, so I asked, “How did growing up on the east side affect your upbringing and your style?”
Man, I had a cool upbringing. I didn’t have it “super hard”. Every rapper says that shit, those niggas be lying. I was raised by my granny, who taught me a lot. I wasn’t allowed to go outside my gate until I was around twelve years old, I had to ride my bike and shit in the backyard so when I finally was able to go outside that gate, it was like a kid in a candy store.
I got into everything you could imagine, except doing drugs or selling them. But everything in the streets was enticing to me. It wasn’t until my friend got locked up and they gave him a decade that I woke up and was like…. Wait, this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel everyone weighs their options and I knew then I wasn’t a nigga that was supposed to be sitting in someone’s prison.
So from there I started mapping out what I wanted to do. The Eastside instilled in me a sense of pride though, I’ll tell you that. Any Los Angeles native knows we are like the bastards. People call us easy, dirty, and all that shit, but a lot of history started on the Eastside. So when I started doing this shit seriously, I made it my mission to put us on the map, the Eastside as a whole. Like YALL GOT US FUCKED UP, was really my mentality and still is. Anybody from the Eastside know it’s a vibe. We got our own lingo and everything. Every other sentence we start it with “boy”, so you hear that a lot in my music.
Since 2019 will be over in the blink of an eye, I asked, “what are some of your goals for the rest of the year?”
Man, I’m already in 2020 with it. Just keep perfecting the craft. It’s a couple things in the works that I can’t speak on at the moment, but we’ll revisit this… say October or so.
Who is your inspiration and what artist do you look up to
My inspirations are my kids, my woman, my homies, they all drive me. All these pictures I paint, they inspired it in some way. As of late, I don’t really look up to any artist. But back then, nigga USHER was the shit to me, I ain’t gon lie. I grew up on Hot Boyz, Bow Wow, and just whatever was out. It wasn’t until I was older that I went back and listen to all the classics. People will probably crucify me but, I just listened to Jay Z blueprint.
Who are some people you want to work with in the future ?
Snoop Dogg, Arin Ray, Kehlani, Missy Elliot, John Mayer, Frank Ocean, Kee Riches, 22Icecoldbishop, Rucci, and the rest of the niggas that got it going crazy right now.
What is some advice you would give your younger self ?
Everything you going through serves a purpose and I’d tell myself to finish school.
What’s something you want people to know about you that they probably wouldn’t expect
They probably wouldn’t expect me to be as hands on as I am with every single aspect when it comes to my career. I co-direct, co-produce, and I design my own merchandise.
Who is the GOAT??! Lil Wayne, Drake, or Kanye
Airplane James’ Social Medias: