In the 1990’s The Jacka began his career as Oiney Mack 10. According to a conversation I had with Jacka around 2001- 2003 at his Mom’s house in Pittsburg. As a youth, after a stint in jail, some fellow inmates started calling Oiney Macka The Jacka. From then on he called himself The Jacka. His first songs under this name still reign in the streets of Pittsburg. His aspirations and dreams began to materialize when C-Bo’s partner Bobby G came to Pittsburg to sign new talent. Through a few phone calls starting with AP.9, The Jacka was one of a handful who performed for C-Bo and they became C-Bo’s Mob Figaz. C-4: Before the group would release their own album, they would first make their debut on the C-Bo album “Til My Casket Drops” appearing on 3 tracks including the lead song “Ride Til We Die”. C-B0’s Mob Figaz released independently through West Coast Mafia Records/Git Paid Entertainment and sold over 160,000 copies physically, (now Certified Gold) and began the legacy for Dominick “The Jacka” Newton who would later change his name to Shaheed Akbar. Talking on C-Bo’s affiliation, C-4: “His co-sign was big not only for the Mob Figaz, but it brought legitimacy to this area.”
For the next couple year’s appearances and a couple group and compiled projects kept The Jacka’s fans anticipating his solo album. At this time The Jacka teamed up with childhood friend Abdulah who puts up the money to start AKBR Records. The label that would put out his first album, The Jacka Of The Mob Figaz. When they finally dropped the album after much promotion and anticipation, The Jacka was off to paving his own lane in the Hip Hop Highway.
At the beginning of one’s Rap career there’s always an engineer/producer who helps mold your talent into something recordable. None of us were born the best rapper in the world, we all have to learn, practice and perfect our craft. Rob Lo has been around ever since Dominick and the Figaz started rapping. What exactly was his place in The Jacka’s beginnings?
ROB LO: I was the first one to ever put The Jacka on a mic. The first one to teach him how to record, how to do doubles. Teaching him how to layer hooks, teaching him how to do a 12 or 16 bar format. I was the first one to show Jack how and what that is. We started back in 1994, 1995. Our first show was back in 1992, 1993. Me, Jack, Feddy (Fed-X) and Hus (Husalah), my brother Wok and Mikal, we had a group, it was the Mob, the Creep Mob. That was the group before Rydah and AP.9.
I was the first one to put Jacka, Feddy and Hus on the mic, we worked on music over time, I was pressing up cassette tapes and getting them out there as much as I could. We kept on doing it and kept on doing it and kept on doing it. Eventually it became a bigger Mob. Everybody started being down for the cause, promoters were hustling hard with us, actually pressing up albums with us. Eventually them boys had met C-Bo in Pittsburg, and that’s when they became the Mob Figaz, that’s with AP and Rydah. But we was always together though, me, Rydah, AP, Jacka and Feddy. We was always together anyway, they used to come to my house, cause I had the studio at my house. That’s where everything started, the studio at my house.
So you guys started in 1999 as the Mob Figaz?
RYDAH J. KLYDE: Early 1998, I really wanna say at the end of 1997. The album was actually done probably about a year before it came out. We didn’t all rap together as one. I think Feddy and Jacka was in a group called Fatal Mentality. Before that him, Rob Lo and a few others were the Creep Mob. I don’t know and was not part of that. I know Jacka and Feddy was Fatal Mentality, I was rapping do my thang, Husalah was doing his thing and Freako was doing his thing. Me Husalah and Freako was gonna do an album called “100% The Kind”, but when Freako went to jail then Bo came out here and we all kind of formed together. We didn’t become the Mob Figaz until after the first song we did with Bo. We didn’t have a name for the group, so we came up with a name right there.
The word is that C-Bo came to Pittsburg and handpicked you 5 and you all became the Mob Figaz. But wasn’t it someone else who actually picked you guys?
C-Bo was in jail, he was leaving AWOL Records. He was home at the time, he was getting ready to start his own label. He was looking for artists. So it was AWOL Records that came to a record store in Pittsburg (The Underground Railroad) it’s no longer there no more. They were some cat’s from Fillmore in Frisco, from where AP.9 just previously lived at before he came to Pittsburg. When AWOL Records came there it was Bobby G, 151, Lil Bruce, Hershey Loc from the group Illegal. They was all there, they had come to the record store that day and the people that owned the record store called AP. Cause he knew them from living in Frisco. I was in the car with AP that same day and they was like AWOL Records up here and they’re looking for artists, so we all went up there. I called Hus, AP called Feddy, we all got in touch with each other. But like I said we wasn’t no group, but we all was from the same area and rapped. Cause Rob Lo was the only producer out there. So if you rapped from out there, you basically fucked with Rob Lo so we would all be at the same studio. We went to the record store and we rapped and shit and I guess when the guys left. Whoever had the contact with C-Bo told him about us. Soon as he got out of jail the first trip he made was out there to Pittsburg. We rapped for him again that night and soon as we was done he said yall get in the car we’re going to the studio, and we went to Mike Mosley’s studio, that night. “Ride Till We Die” was the first song we did. As soon as we did that song, he just came in the room and was like man, I’m fucking with yall, yall need a name and Husalah came up with the Mob Figaz.
One of the artists directly around at this time Killa Tay. He shares his account of C-Bo hooking up with The Jacka and the Mob Figaz.
KILLA TAY: We were at a Fish Fry in Pittsburg, this was during the AWOL Records days, we were out there promoting. We met the Mob Figaz, they gave us the tape, Bo wasn’t there, it was actually 151 and Bobby G, we took the tape back and listened to it and said “these some dope little youngsta’s”. They just had a good flare to them. You could tell they had been working with each other, as a group or whatever. We took it to Bo and he was like..They had an audition damn near, to see who the Mob Figaz was gonna be. He picked them out, I was kind of favoring Freako to be in the group. You know how certain rappers, they might not be the dopest, but they just have that chemistry together. It’s like I could tell who worked together. Anyway he picked out who he picked out. And from there it was like they were my little brothers. They used to come to the AWOL house all the time. You could tell it was probably the first time ever getting into the studio with other artists who are on another level already. They were always real enthusiastic. They was happy about being in the lab. They always had good determination.
I asked C-Bo to clear it all up, how did the Mob Figaz and C-Bo link up?
C-BO: Oh yeah, that was the birth of my babies right there. I came out there and got them boys. There was a function out in Pittsburg. I wasn’t even there. It was 151 and them-R.I.P. Bobby G. He was out there. They came back and told me boy there’s some youngstas out there you need to get a hold of. I just came home from the pen. You need to get you a lil’ outlaw click. They told me they was tight. So I jumped in my 500, flew over there. I had called them all to a lil’ record store and they came and spit for me. It was about 7-8 of them, but I picked 4 of them. AP.9, Jacka, Rydah and Fed-X. But they had this group that they were part of and Husalah was part of their group. So they wanted to bring Husalah in. That’s how I got all 5 of them together. And Boom! That’s who I took to out of there to the crib with me. From that day on it was on.
In my eyes The Jacka began his career slowly. After the turmoil with AKBR Records and the groups troubles with the law, The Jacka was looking for a new start. A fresh start began when long time friend P.K. and his new company Golden Mean Management started managing The Jacka in 2002.
P.K.: I moved back to the Bay in 2001. I was instantly hired. Being around here, they had a situation going on so I was just trying to assist anyway I could to that situation. To bring a little bit more business instructuals going on, cause there was a lot of money, and there was a lot of resources. But there was no structure to it. That situation was already existing, so I wasn’t doing very much. Then that shit came to an end so we started The Artist Records.
In 2005 “The Jack Artist” released on The Artist Records. The first artist to be part of Jacka’s new label was Dubb 20. How did you get signed to The Jacka’s label The Artist Records?
DUBB 20: Basically I was working with Jack before he even had a label. I worked with him and relatives at Super Natural Records, I always knew Jack, same neck of the woods. It was once me and Jacka put in so much work together it was only natural that when he got a label that I would want to be a part of it. Basically it just fell in. We was already working together so when the label came, it wasn’t even a discussion, its’ like Jacka saying “You On There!” I’m like “I’m on there!” Just like that.
Collaboration albums became the thing to do in the Bay Area thanks to The Jacka. He himself became the hot rapper to do an album with. The Jacka’s first collabo was with fellow Pittsburg artist Kel of the Western Conference titled Outbreak Vol.1: The Epidemic. Next in 2005 he collab’d with Sacramento and West Coast Queen, Marvaless and fellow Mob Figa Husalah on the “3 Tha Hard Way” album. Artists The Jacka collaborated with on a track equally made the most of the situation when they made music together. One of The Jacka’s most monumental collabo’s track was “Greatest Alive” featuring E-40 and Mitchy Slick. Mitchy Slick reflects on his relationship with The Jacka.
MITCHY SLICK: When my homie The Jacka passed it really fucked me up and let me know that we aint got all day to build our legacy. It inspired me to work harder and go faster then what I’ve been doing. That shit hurt, Jacka was my nigga man. That nigga showed me so much about independent money. Even being on tour. Me and my group Strong Arm Steady went on tour with the Mob Figaz. Me and AP.9 been fucking around, me and Hus, that’s my cat. Hus was in the Feds with my big bro Dorian. It’s been a lot of shit that linked us up. So when Jack passed away it was like a real homie died. Then I put out that song “I Miss My Nigga”. It was organic how it came together. My homie DJ Fresh, the World’s Freshest DJ, then after Jack died, he told me that night we was on the phone fucked up. The next day he just called me, he was like Slick I gotta get up outta here, man I’m finna hit the freeway. Fresh just hit the freeway homie and I just booked some studio time, he said you got to do a tribute homie, we got to do one. Then we went to my homeboy DJ Kid Reckless spot, he gotta nice little real Hip Hopped the fuck out ass spot with all the records in the garage. Dope ass room with the dope equipment. Me and the homie popped a bottle of Don P for the homeboy The Jack. And just like it I got it on tape and all the shit. Just like that, that song “I Miss My Nigga” came together. It got a lot of views right now too. I was tripping. Amongst our independent underground crowd it got a little attention. Shot out to Yellow Negro.
C-4 had this to add about the flood of tribute songs in The Jacka’s honor. C-4: And almost immediately the R.I.P. Tribute Songs poured in from close friends and affiliates like AP.9, Mistah F.A.B., Ampichino, Berner, Mitchy Slick, Paul Wall, Marvaless, Killa Tay, AOne and many others, including longtime rival A-Wax. The Game also mentions The Jacka on his new album The Documentary 2. There’s also been several graffiti murals around the Bay Area that have paid tribute to The Jacka, most notably at the exact place where he was gunned down, 94th & Macarthur, which has come to be known as 94th & Jack, in Oakland.
One of The Jacka’s most popular collabo albums was “Drought Season” with Berner. In 2009 I asked The Jacka, how did you hook up with Berner to put this historical album together?
THE JACKA: I met Berner at Club Milk one night. He said he was the President of a Cannabis Club, so I bit right in on that. He’s hella cool. We chopped it up. At first I thought he was a guy that just wanted to be famous or something. I thought he just wanted to use me to get famous. But after I started listening to his music, I heard a few things. It was cool. After we started to get to know each other better he pitched the idea to me about the album. I saw the same thing in him that I saw with Kel. He had a lot of determination and he was serious about what he was doing. Like going to different countries, doing things with a lot of big name people like Wyclef, Slim Thug and Derrty Ent. I was like, maybe it will be good if I do something with this dude. He’s gonna make it happen for himself. He’s a good genuine dude. He looked out for me too. I’m very proud of the product he put out.
One of the artists The Jacka consistently collaborated with was Ampichino from Akron, Ohio. Since the song “Intergalactical” off Chino Nino’s album in 2000, Ampichino has been part of The Jacka’s music almost every album. Did he have an influence on you spiritually as well as musically?
AMPICHINO: I took my Shahada with Jack. Well he already took his. I took my Shahada like three, four years ago when I was in Seattle.
Working with The Jacka and recording the “Devil’s Rejectz” projects how did collaborating with Jacka change your career in any way?
That was big for my career. Especially out there on the West Coast because the foundation they had already laid. I had already been doing a bunch of stuff with Yukmouth, but me and Yuk didn’t ever do a whole project. So me doing that. That was a big help for my career. Jack did a lot of stuff like that for a lot of artists. He would never ask for nothing back, that was big I couldn’t ask for nothing else.
C-4: One of the artists from Oakland who grew right along Jacka is Lee Majors. Their collaboration series “The Gobots” really expanded both of their sounds to encompass more of the mainstream classic Hip Hop Era. You connected on other levels also besides music, you connected on a spiritual level?
LEE MAJORS: Yeah exactly, we both studied Islam, we prayed together, we fasted together. Me and him, we had went through a lot. He was, like our 2Pac for the Bay Area, as far as the stuff he talked about and how real his music was. He touched a lot of people.
That’s why I wanted to talk to you, because you have a connection deeper than music, you’ve been around him on some regular real life shit? You got to know him on levels most never did?
I got to see all sides of him. Definitely the music side, the father side. He was a good dad, he had kids. He took care of all of his kids. I got to see the spiritual side with him. I’ve seen him mad before, don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t happy all the time, everybody goes through their ups and downs and trials and tribulations. But he was the type of dude to get over it quick, he wasn’t gonna let that bring him down. He’d deal with it and move on to Photo Courtesy Mars the next.
He had so much music he was working on. Jacka had changed his style. He had stopped writing and he would just go in the booth. He’d go bar for bar. You could tell when he changed from “Tear Gas” to his new stuff, because he wasn’t writing no more. He wasn’t writing in his phone. He came to the point where he recycled his raps sometimes, because he used to write them in his phone, so he’d give you a rap he had done on someone else’s shit. That’s the reason he stopped doing that.
Growing up around The Jacka’s career I saw his impact in the streets as well as the store shelves. Working with Xplosive Magazine I stayed in close contact with the local artists coming up around me. Now a couple of artists from early in his career talk to 1 World Magazine. Laze The Big Dog, an artist originally from the South moved into Pittsburg. While Lil Ric out of Richmond would come through Pittsburg often to get The Jacka. Here are their words on The Jacka:
LAZE THE BIG DOG: Me and Jacka, we was from the same neighborhood. He lived around the corner from me. And by chance we hung out with each other. We had mutual friends. We realized we knew some of the same people. He knew Freako, Young Uzi used to stay around the corner from me. When we were around each other it really wasn’t about music. We was friends. We hung around each other cause we was cool with each other, not because we was doing music. I remember we had a lot of fun, smoked a lot of weed. Just having fun with each other. Making music was secondary to us. We always stayed the same to each other. I was around him before he had kids, we always been cool. The Mob Figaz, he was the reason I was even hanging with those cats.
LIL RIC: Well The Jack was a great, great dude. A pure bread hustler. A respectable and honest dude with his opinions and his criticism on whatever it may be. He was funny as hell, crackin’ jokes. He was the one who actually him and the Hus brought us that “Bro” shit. Which we thought was hella hilarious. That nigga talkin’ bout, Bro, Bro, Bro! That dude was a visionary, an advocate for the streets. He dealt with all Dudes from the struggle, who was really out there in them streets. He was a dude who bridged the gap from dealing with people with super star status, joining them with brothers like me who still are active activists in the streets and the community. He was that type of dude that plugged everybody. He showed love to everybody that he came across. He was a rare breed of dude, being cut from the cloth of realness. He was just one of them dudes, everybody fucked with him, everybody loved him. He was one of them dudes in his own lane and stayed down for what he believed in. This dude is just all around the board. Whatever Allah had him called home for, we won’t know that. We just took a loss from a real real good dude. That was one of them dudes that muthafuckas’ could’ve figured something else out, besides killing him! You know this dude when you’re coming up and seeing this dude, you know him. You know who this dude is. Like I said though, with people like that, that’s one of them “Abort Mission” type dudes. You figure out another way to get at this dude, you don’t kill him. Because at the end of the day that dude provides resources to the homies, to the Bro’s, to the niggas, to the streets. We need people like that out here who can mingle with the best of them and get down with the rest of them.
C-4: Most of us in Northern California have no idea how well The Jacka was received in L.A. and San Diego. What kind of impact did he make in Southern California?
GLASSES MALONE: He had that reputation for the street dudes. He had that single that was when I first started to notice him in L.A. His reputation really preceded him, but his music madeall the sense in the world. L.A. is a weird place where your reputation has to line with your music and his music made all the sense in the world.
Jacka made music for the streets, but for him it was deeper, spiritual, can you explain that?
I think it was that he studied the Quran. It’s always different when you hear street music with that knowledge behind it. When he would drop gems it would be different than just the average street nigga’s music.
P.K.: He was a voice, and he represented something. He represented for the community and everybody acknowledged it and loved it. Some people had issues with it (his music) because there is a thin line. He really represented for it and went hard and did it in a way that it sounded really good. It was really cool, it sounded really good. So it goes over really well. There’s not really any emcee’s out there that do it like that and do it for the people or for the streets. Usually it comes with a different kind of message. It’s not really for the audience The Jack was targeting. He was really targeting people that were in a struggle and looking for at least some guidance. Looking for a little light in a dark place. That’s gonna be missed.
What do you think his loss means?
We lost a brother from the corner that was knowledgeable. He could talk with a level of education. Losing him is not a part of the solution, it’s a part of the same problem that keeps going.
C-4: I want to get two perspectives from you on The Jacka, a personal one and one from the retail side. Saheed aka Balance, the head Buyer for Rasputin’s gives us his perspective from a retail standpoint. He made street music but it was from a different perspective?
BALANCE: Yeah it wasn’t like ‘I’m hopping in my Bentley,’ it wasn’t like ‘I’m running around just killing hella niggas’. He talked about the mind frame and the respect and the perspective, but he also talked about the good and the bad of it. He always had a balance. And then a technical aspect, one thing I thought he was ahead of his time, he was singing bro, from the beginning. It was crazy, nobody ever gave him flack about it, because he was that good. He did it before Drake and them. You can go back to his first album, and you can hear him singing and the harmony. So for him to be that comfortable, and that’s the thing about Jacka is he was always comfortable. He was never putting on this big front, he was never trying to be this or that, he was just Jack.
The industry reaction and the coverage from mainstream media tripped me out?
But you gotta understand, when Jacka dropped “Tear Gas”, I think it sold damn near 20,000 units the first week. When that happened, the whole Nation recognized him. You know how hard it is now to sell 20,000. The whole Nation took note. And it was during a time when the Bay was kind of in shambles because ‘Hyphy’ had died.
Give me some perspective from the retail and business side, away from your rap relationship?
Jacka is somebody that on a retail level, always sold records. Pretty much all of his projects sold, but of course, the thing about Jacka fans is they really know when it’s a Jacka album, they know the title. But Jack always sold, even his first one, his solo which was coming off of the Mob Figaz album. So when it was the solo, The Jacka of the Mob Figaz, people were on it ASAP. It kind of reminded me of, Jacka is very similar to Keak Da Sneak in a way. When Keak came out of 3XKrazy, which was a huge group, it was Keak Da Sneak of 3XKrazy, and everybody was fucking with Keak. And they’re both street artists, and they’re very similar because in both ways because usually street artists don’t get radio. But The Jacka got radio, much like how Keak did. The Jacka is a rare situation because not only do you have a popular street rapper, meaning the Bay Area hardcore fans fuck with him tough, whether he has a single or not, whether he has a radio song or not, these are real fans. Not only did he have real fans, but then he had a touch of the radio audience that just made him a monster.
C-4: The anticipation for his third solo album “Tear Gas” was building to a huge climax, not only because of his fans and all of the other projects he was releasing, but because it did take quite a while for the album to come out. But in reality it was worth it. The long anticipation and hype paid off with a great album, media coverage and fanfare nationwide. “Tear Gas” sold over 35,000 units independently and cemented The Jacka as a legitimate star on the West Coast and much much further. He made appearances on MTV, enjoyed commercial radio success and even went on worldwide tours in Africa and Europe.
Another artist The Jacka collaborated with was Masspike Miles out of Boston. How did you first link up with Jacka?
MASSPIKE MILES: I actually met Jacka Memorial Day weekend in Miami. I rock with this dude from the Bay named Cheech. A cool Muslim brother who used to rotate through Boston. One of those event times, me, him, P.K. and The Jacka linked up in Miami. And ever since we just connected. Plus he had that good pack. That’s when that Purple Kush was just starting to float around in the system. The Bay was phenomenal with that purple. We connected through the weed, then later on we connected through the music. I wasn’t even with Maybach Music when I met him, we just connected on some real nigga shit.
In 2009 I tripped out when I saw you on the “Tear Gas” Album?
That was connected because niggas fuck with each other, it wasn’t like he reached out like ‘let me reach out to some new artists’, nah we already was connected.
What do you think his impact was on music?
First and foremost what he brought to the Bay from the Mob Figaz til now has been phenomenal. And the thing is yall really respect your home, you’re self-contained within your city. And niggas know Jacka put on for that, just like Mac Dre did, just like 2Pac did. Jacka put on for his city, for the Bay. So his impact is gone live on forever. And that’s more than him living. I wish he was living, but at the end of the day really he’s historical. He will live on forever. I death sometimes you can live forever if you do the right things in life. He left his legacy.
Did he make an impact out your way in Boston?
Of course. We was already fuckin’ with the movement when we was younger niggas in the streets we was taking niggas slang like ‘yaddidimean’ and ‘ya feel me’, it was so clean there was so much game and influence that went into it so we was attracted to anything that came out the Bay. We was fucking with it because yall is authentic niggas. The Bay is kinda like Boston, Oakland niggas and Frisco niggas is kinda like Boston niggas. What I mean by that is we carry some of the same values. We get to the money, we handle our business, we born hustlers, we about our pimpin’ heavy, and not only that but we about that action. And that’s why we was attracted to yall niggas because I came from Boston and I can understand it. I could be in Oakland, jeweled up, pistol and everything, and feel like I’m at home.
C-4: In the Bay Area we have numerous ‘All Star’ and Veteran Rappers and emcees who demand respect on any stage. One such artist with consistent success and longevity is San Quinn out of San Francisco. They recorded many songs together and both combined have done more guest ‘verse’ appearances than any 2 emcees anywhere. From a personal perspective, tell me about your relationship with him?
SAN QUINN: Most of the time me and dude was just laughing man, most of the time he was just laughing bro. Most of the time we’d just be capping on everybody else, cracking hella jokes. Everywhere we went we were just sigging on people, talking that shit and laughing.
I remember when we were at the funeral and we both said it’ll never be the same?
And it’ll never be the same. It won’t be the same. I was kicking back for a minute, because Jack, he’s from my era and everybody loves him. I knew I could get through once the world grabbed ahold of Jack because he was really gonna get a turn on another level. I felt it. Then this happened. It’s like the same thing with [Mac] Dre. A lot of these young rappers are reaping the benefits of our hard work and don’t pay no homage. I just seen him working. I didn’t see him resting.
What do you think his loss means, what is his legacy?
I can’t put it into words. He was a great dude bro and he’s gone be greatly missed. And all we can do is try to stick together as the Mob and make sure we represent the Jack correctly and stick together.
In the land of The Jacka, the Bay Area, West Coast. The Ambassador E-40 shares his thoughts with 1 World Magazine about Shaheed Akbar bka The Jacka. Tell me about Jacka as a person, what you observed about him?
E-40: Just a genuine dude, a real one. A good solid dude, truly talented. Never in no mess, never bad mouthing nobody. He just wanted to do music, that was his thing, and speak for the people. He really painted pictures with his lyrics. We lost a very talented good dude. He’s truly missed by many including me. The last time I seen him was when Mistah F.A.B. had his battle rap thing in Oakland. Somebody came and tapped me on my shoulder, I looked behind me and it was Jack. I said “wassup family!?” and gave him a big old hug and what not because he always showed me nothing but love since he was a kid, because you know he used to be signed with C-Bo, and that’s my family. He was signed with them. I remember the Mob Figaz they were some youngsters, they always showed me respect and nothing but love, so I give it back to them every time I see them. Nothing but love here man it’s real.
What kind of impact did Jacka make musically, he was a street artist but he’s a little different?
Versatility man, the way he rapped. His flow kinda was a bit more of an East Coast type of flow but at the same time it was here; he owned it. And he would put the little singing in it, but it was ghetto poetry with singing. It was when he rapped with his melodies. The way he did it, as soon as you hear his voice, you know ‘ay that’s The Jacka bruh!’ He was in a class by himself with that. That’s a beautiful thing when you’ve got your own voice, when they can identify who you are off the top. And he was just spitting the real, telling it how it is. Calling it how he sees it and putting it on the microphone. Packaging it up and selling it.
He spoke to the people, he was kind of like you where he gave you reality, he told the good and the bad?
The good and the bad that’s what it is. There’s always consequences behind certain moves that people make, and I always paint that because if I left that out it just wouldn’t be right. I don’t just wanna say ‘I walked up to him and shot him in the head’, while painting a picture, I’m saying what the reason why dude shot him in the head and what happened. I paint pictures. It’s me just telling a story. I’m making it up, but it’s how life goes.
You put it in a format where people can relate to it, whether it actually happened or not?
Jacka used to do raps like that too, he’d tell stories. One of the songs what we did, me and him, was “The Greatest Alive”, that song man it kind of gets me teary eyed every time I hear it because the music itself was emotional, then with the hook and his voice, we did the hell outta that song. Boy that was one of them ones.
What do you think his loss means, musically or just in general, a lot of people looked up to him?
We lost somebody that was an innovator. Music is therapeutic and healing, he touched a lot of peoples’ hearts. A lot of people went through a lot of things that he rapped about. When you get them kind of rappers it’s very rare to have a rapper that paints pictures with his lyrics and pursues different styles, and was well loved by everybody; the ghettoes, the suburbs, all in. It always hurts man when you lose one because it’s very rare, they only come around once in a while. There’s great rappers out there, but he was in his own lane with it, how he got down.
This article would not be complete without the input from someone in The Jacka’s personal life. I introduce Moness, fiancé and mother of two of Jacka’s children including his oldest child. She’s been around for over 18 years of his life. Tell us about Dominick’s career and who he really was.
MONESS: He’s definitely a legend. Nobody can take that away from him. Definitely one of the most humble people in the world. His work ethic was definitely amazing. Every day he was at the studio. He really sacrificed a lot of time from the family because he was building his foundation his empire, his legacy. He knew that sometimes you have to put those things to the side even though they are the most important to you because that’s what you’re doing it for. Ever since back in the day he’s always been humbled and always been determined every day to go to the studio. I just basically watched him turn into somebody as a member of a group to being his own legend.
The Jacka was taken all so suddenly. I don’t think anyone anywhere was prepared to lose this great Hip Hop pioneer. He was always working, recording music everywhere. Was there plans and projects that were on the table and haven’t been released yet? What was The Jacka working on when he was here?
P.K.: There’s tons of material that’s been recorded. He went to Ohio and sat and worked with Ampichino, they had about 20 songs done for The “Devilz Rejectz” part 3. Him and Paul Wall had about 10 or 12 unreleased songs. Him and Freeway have a whole ‘nother album worth of stuff that’s never been heard. You know, there’s a lot of other little projects, EP’s, like him and Richie Rich have a lot of music together, him and Keak Da Sneak got some songs. Him and J.Stalin have some songs, him and Boo Banga have a whole project that’s been recorded together, 17 songs maybe. We have an album we recorded in Miami. We did it totally with the Reggae producers that’s on “Ask God”. That’s a whole project, we got a video for that song that’s never been seen. He wanted to release a solo album called “A Murder Weapon”. That was our plan. We might still try to get that out. “A Murder Weapon” is the next thing you should expect to come out. Rob Lo’s album just came out, “A Brave New World”, what that was , they switched songs, Rob and Jack had an album worth of songs, what we did was put half of them on “What Happened To The World” and half of them on “A Brave New World”. There’s a lot of other stuff, that’s just off the top of my head. He worked in Seattle with a lot of artists. So he has albums with 3 or 4 different artists. Carey Stacks, Kae One, B Streets, and X. He has at least 10 to 15 songs with each of those, some he has 30, one might even have 50 songs as well. He was working.
Did you have any more work that you and The Jacka did that hasn’t been released yet?
AMPICHINO: Yeah we got the “Devil’s Rejectz” part 3 called “American Horror Stories”. It will probably come out next year, Spring or the beginning of the Summer 2016.
LEE MAJORS: We got “GoBots 3”. We had finished it couple months before he passed. We had been working on it for a while. It’s the best one we did so far. We took our time on it, handpicked all the beats. It’s gone be like part 2, but better because we took our time on it, years. I’ve got him on a few of my solo projects. I’ve got a lot of music, but I’m not trying to capitalize on it.
DUBB 20: We had the Artist Records Label album and we was planning on doing the second one. The last time I seen Jack was at the Mistah FAB & Arsonal rap battle. I had seen him a couple weeks prior to that, he was like “I’m bout to get the big house, you Blow & Knowledge come move back in and let’s knock out this A.R. Records 2”. We had more business to do. We always worked. But that was the project we all was gonna do together.
Where there any plans between you and Jacka to do any music together?
C-BO: Yeah I was just doing a C-Bo presents The Jacka album. But you know, shit happens. I got about 5 or 6 songs, but we never got to get it all the way done.
C-4: To this area, the inland East Bay, The Jacka was a beacon of hope. Like Pittsburg native and artist Illa Sevearr said to me after he passed, which made so much sense, “if he [The Jacka] could make it, that made us feel like we all could make it, for the simple fact I know where he came from.”
In the end what it all comes down to is a tremendous loss. Not only of a man, not only of a great talent, and not only of a father and a genuinely good person. What happened to Dominic Newton aka Shaheed Akbar bka The Jacka on February 2nd, 2015 represents a reality that is far too commonplace within the world today. He is yet another young Black male tragically lost to senseless street violence and ignorance without reason. All lives matter and all lives count. But The Jacka was special. He had something to say, substance and a real connection to people. We as his friends, family and fans will continue to honor his memory in the best ways that we can. Thankfully we have his music so hearing his voice is just a push of the play button away. And because of his 2Pac like work ethic, we know there’s more music to come. Little did he know how true his words would ring, even when spoken regarding his tragic departure: “What Happened To The World?” Such a simple question, with so much truth. Thank you Jacka for all you did and what you represented. Your legacy is strong. Legends never die. Rest In Peace King Jack. Dominic L. Newton aka Shaheed Akbar aka The Jacka (August 12, 1977 – February 2, 2015)
(Quotes I want put on top of photos)
“Jack was a religious guy. He was a real religious man. He loved his family, he loved his kids. He left all his kids behind, he loved them all. He was a family kind of dude. He was really into the music scene and he was really into the streets. Those things conflict.” – P.K.
“You already know that’s my lil’ bro. I love him, I miss him, he’s still here you feel me. His name is gonna live on. We still out here pushing for him, off top!” – C-BO
“He was a good comedian, he had a great sense of humor. Like I said I can’t remember a time The Jacka made me frown, I can’t say that about a lot of people. Even though they were young teenagers when I first met them he always had a certain maturity about himself that in the long run that’s what made him stick out.” – Killa Tay
“The Jacka was a gifted artist with a rich soul. What’s his, was yours. If he could, he would. He was very much into family and Religion. He kept it lit for those of us from different sets, hoods, Coast to Coast. 1 Luv to The Jacka.” – D-DRE THE GIANT