Wait Hol Up, 1TakeJay Is Evolving

Image via Miguel Garcia

Being straightforward is no problem for 1TakeJay. The Compton rapper’s outspokenness has drawn attention to himself, which is one of his intrinsic (and best) qualities. He’s been the same, self-described “goofy, high-ass energy person” his entire life.

According to 1TakeJay, personality is essential in rap unless you’re Drake. “Meaning, your music is so powerful to the point where you ain’t gotta do nothing else,” he explains. And though he’s not quite Aubrey Graham, 1TakeJay is a beneficiary of today’s rap landscape. He knows how to play the internet (even though he doesn’t adhere to cancel culture) and believes in working hard, something he credits to learning during his younger days playing Pop Warner football. “That’s where the hard work started.”

1Takebae doesn’t feel forced: it feels like a love letter doused in Wockhardt. For 1TakeJay, this project feels like the start of something new. “1Takebae was the start of some whole new shit because I got that sound figured out now,” he shares. Over the years, 1TakeJay has undergone a sonic metamorphosis. And yet, he’s still finding himself as an artist. 

Although he’s known for making outlandish remarks that are considered slightly indecent, 1TakeJay is a vital part of an era in rap that commends larger than life personalities. His sense of humor is unmatched, coupled with a breakneck flow that blends easily with West Coast synths. 

Dirty Glove Bastard spoke to 1TakeJay about his infamous ‘Wait Hol Up’ catchphrase, being compared to Blueface, what it means to still be creative, the backstory behind 1Takebae, and football. 

How was Rolling Loud? 

It’s fun every time because you never know what to expect. Every city is different. It’s a different feel, a different vibe.

Overall, was it a good or bad experience for you? 

It’s about the energy that you bring to the people. Even though I had an early set, it could’ve been 10 people out there, I still was gon’ turn up. It doesn’t matter, ya feel me.

How important is personality in today’s rap landscape?

Shit, it’s a lot, unless you’re Drake or something. And he still got personality. Meaning, your music is so powerful to the point where you ain’t gotta do nothing else. Other than that, personality is important. I just used Drake because, c’mon bro (laughs). 

Have you always been confident in yourself? 

I ain’t gon’ lie to you bro, I’ve literally been the same my whole life. On me. Just a goofy, high-ass energy person. 

You have a background in football, too. Do you feel like there’s anything you learned playing sports that translates to business, or life in general? 

Discipline and hard work, that’s it. This shit (music) a job, you gotta get it in. With discipline, that’s when all the party and clubbing and shit, being able to have that balance, that’s where it comes in. When you putting in all them hours on the field it’s the same thing with the studio.

With being a fan of music and working in the music industry, does that make you appreciate your position more?

It helps me appreciate other artists more. Even with niggas they say sound the same, they be different. Mufuckas be saying people sound the same but then it’s like bro, that nigga came up with that shit in his own head. Ion give a fuck what you talmbout, long as a nigga creative genius is going, I’m with it. 

It’s funny that you mention that because your likeness has been compared to Blueface. Do you care to outlive those comparisons? 

Nah, not really. We cool, ya feel me. And then you gotta think, we from the same region and shit, so it’s gon’ be a comparison. I feel like people should respect more that we never bought into it. Honestly bro, we just did some shit together and it’s hard as fuck. 

How would you describe that recording session? 

Shit, like pulling up on somebody you know and just kickin’ it. Regular as hell. I promise you bro, don’t overthink this shit. He a humble, regular nigga. Same thing with me. And then, we both on some high-energy shit. We probably made that song in 30 minutes. 

Walk me through your creative process. Who, or what, would you say is your biggest inspiration? 

Mhm. Maybe it’s some real shit that just happened. And the homies. If you around people with good energy and shit, you gon’ always – I feel like I’ma always have some shit to rap about. With experiencing shit and with just being creative, I feel like that’s the part niggas stop doing. 

At this stage in your career, what does it mean to still be creative?

Honestly, I feel like you just gotta built like that to even understand what a nigga be on. For one, people don’t wanna keep hearing you do the same shit. For two, shit, you should wanna challenge yourself because shit, it’s gon’ make you better. But everybody don’t think like that.

Is 1Takebae your way of challenging yourself? 

No, 1Takebae was me showing the world that I can do more than just some fucking turn-up music.

What was your headspace like with creating this project? 

Bruh, I promise you I be simple. We were driving back from a show, from Chico, and I said fuck it, I’m finna start playing beats. All the beats I was playing were smooth shit. I wasn’t really feeling any of the turnt up beats that I had so I said fuck it, I’m finna write to this driving back from the show. I made the first song on the project in my car. It’s on my vlog and everything on YouTube. My shit always go up with the singing niggas, but it’s like I’m damn near the catchiest nigga. I can make my own hook. And I’m the type of person where I like all types of music. People think just because I be doing turnt up shit that’s the bread and butter. But it’s like no, everything’s my bread and butter once I figure it out. 1Takebae was the start of some whole new shit because I got that sound figured out now. I done made songs better than everything on that whole project but with that same vibe. 

Can we expect a revamped version of 1TakeJay going forward? I feel like your story is one of constant growth and re-invention. 

C’mon man, that’s how life is supposed to be. I feel like they taking to it pretty good, so shit. I’m just tryna become an artist. Bro, if you heard my music before, I’m not no sugarcoating ass nigga. All the shit I drop is regular turn up music. It’s hard and allat but niggas need some other shit. You gotta show people you’re versatile. Especially with being from L.A: people don’t wanna hear our shit like that. 

I don’t want to say that you’re considered an underrated artist, but do you feel like 1Takebae was your way of flexing your mainstream potential? 

Hell yeah. You hit it on the nose, bro. That’s exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m not trying, I’ma fasho become mainstream. 

I find it empowering that you’re willing to admit that you still don’t have it all figured out, musically. 

If you don’t believe it, who the fuck is? And it’s not even on no cocky shit, confident, nothing – nigga you just gotta get out of here and do this shit forreal. Ion be on that waiting shit with niggas. This whole project, this shit was all done through me. I ain’t have no team to help me with this shit, no A&R, it’s all me. I put together a project and I did it all in one month.

What’s interesting is the fact that you’ve been promoting this title for quite some time. 

C’mon bro, that’s what I’m saying. Niggas see me with my feet out all on the boat and they laughing until I bust out with the tape. Now, everybody commenting, ‘Oh shit, that’s fire. He was serious.’ Quit playing, this ain’t no game. 

Is that a strategy that you developed over the years? Not everyone possesses a marketing acumen of this caliber. 

Nah bro, this shit just be real life happening. I promise you, I didn’t plan half that shit. Shit just be falling in place the right way. Far as the project, yeah I planned that, but all the marketing around it, I swear to God some of that shit just happened naturally. It was perfect timing.

Some might call it perfect timing, but I feel like it’s good karma. 

Damn, you hitting all my lil’ points. I stay talking about karma. My homies be saying I’m lucky as hell. Since we first started rapping, all the homies been recording, recording. Working like it’s a job.

How is it possible to operate as a collective and experience different levels of success amongst the members – egos don’t get in the way? 

We always together, chilling and hanging out. If everybody worries about themselves, that’s gon’ make the group part come together. That’s another thing that comes with football. What they tell you to do first? 

Play your role. 

Exactly. Do your job. Picture if 1Take was a football team, if everybody did their job, that’s all we need. Some people might take that the wrong way, but it’s like nah nigga, you do your job and I’ma do my job, when we come together, it’s gon’ be a big ass job. 

Where did your infamous “Wait Hol Up” catchphrase come from?

Me and the homies 1TakeQuan and 1TakeTeezy, we were in that nigga Teezy room – that’s where we started making music at, at his house cause he produce and shit. He knew how to produce, he had the equipment, he was already rapping. He got the homie Quan rapping and then Quan got me rapping. That’s just how it really went. At first, I wasn’t really fucking with that shit cause I’ve never rapped. Then, when I got a little bit comfortable, that’s when we started recording all day every day: make a beat, make a song to it, just like that, and put them bitches out. We made this one song called “Feeling That” and I think I had said that shit, “Wait hol up, I’m finna turn this bitch up” or something. I was like, ‘Nah, delete that shit,’ and they told me to keep it.

Damn. It sounds like you discovered your signature tag line by mistake. 

Hell yeah. Look at this, though. Watch how I tie these questions back in. With the Blueface shit, especially when we first started rapping, ‘cause we came out around the same time. Bro, that’s why I’ve never tripped off the shit. People saying, ‘Oh you sound like Blueface,’ or, ‘Oh, you sound like someone from the Bay area,’ because it’s like nigga, I know who put in work in this fucking studio, coming up with these songs, nigga. Niggas not even saying the same shit that I say. Nigga, I say wild as shit. Talking about I sound like this man, quit playing. And you gotta think, I’ma charismatic, funny as nigga. I ain’t gon’ lie, sometimes that shit gets irritating. You gotta respect a nigga craft. I’m in here for fucking days at a time coming up with this shit. For you to tell me that I sound like another nigga, boy stop. Then you know, I’ll just troll back and send a kissy face or heart emoji (laughs) cause Ion give a fuck. You can tell when a nigga tryna be funny, tryna troll. I just be me. I’ve been this way forever. I just say whatever comes to mind.  

Do you believe in cancel culture? 

How they gon’ cancel me and I’m a real human being?

I mean shit, you right. People are so worried about their image, though. I feel like being an artist is one of the toughest jobs today. Does social media make things easier or harder for y’all? 

Man, that shit makes it easier. You control what the fuck you say. You go and get yourself canceled on purpose if you want to. You know what these people be tripping off of. When I think about this shit, I think that shit weak because of the fact that they hold artists and entertainers to a standard that’s too big. I get it, though, because we have influence over the youth and shit like that. But then it’s like they be straddling the fence on certain stuff. Personally, Ion give a damn about it. Everybody can be their own person, ya feel me. Then they wanna say freedom of speech and cancel mufuckas and allat. Make it make sense. That’s why I just do my own thing. 

You’re so outspoken. Do you still get nervous? 

Hell yeah nigga, I’m a human being. Maybe jitters, but not like fuck, I’m scared. Especially with performing in front of some people. What’s the most they gon’ do, boo? You ain’t finna die or nothing. I’ll fuck around and turn that shit around and start booing they ass: nigga y’all the ones that ain’t turnt, I’m turnt. 

I feel like optimism is your superpower. 

Hell yeah. That’s crazy bro, that’s what I’ve been realizing: I feel like everything is about perspective. For example, with the cancel shit, Ion even know who be getting canceled because Ion be paying attention too much. If somebody got canceled, it’s like have you even taken time to put yourself in their shoes or even stop and think what made this person say that? Niggas don’t know shit, that’s why they the consumers on social media. 

Is this new way of thinking something that you picked up over the years? 

Ion even feel like it’s a new way of thinking, that’s just how I think. But to see perspective you gotta know that everybody thinks differently. That’s why I said my way of thinking, ya feel me. Somebody might hear this and it sound stupid as fuck to them, and a lot of people might hear this and say I ain’t know this crazy talking ass nigga had this much sense. 

Common sense is not so common at times.

Shit, well maybe I just had the right coaches. They were treating me like their damn kids. 

Football is a big part of who you are as a person. 

Hell yeah, I’ma lowkey say the coaches. Since Pop Warner, I probably thought they were bullshit at the time, but football wise, I always had good coaches, but the discipline and talking shit, that shit hella made sense. That’s where the hard work started. We used to be doing some grown up shit. You wanna know what football really taught me? 

Talk to me. 

Have you ever felt like you were gonna die after running sprints? 

Hell yeah. Plenty of times.

But you did another one, though, and you didn’t die. That’s what football taught a nigga: it’s a mind thing. For example, I was up for three days in the studio, then I did that video shoot with TeeFLii. Then, two producers I know had pulled up to the video shoot. They were tryna record after the video shoot. You know me, I made it happen. Bro, we ended up finishing late as fuck and I already haven’t slept in three days. In my head, I wasn’t going to that shit, but it would’ve been fucked up cause they booked time for me and shit. Soon as I pulled up – I got a song called “Her Bad” that’s going viral, literally. Not on no little shit. Travis Barker just did a TikTok to it, Shaq son did one, and then it’s hella influencers with millions of followers going crazy. I shared the song for an hour and ripped it down but they loved that shit. My point is, going back to the hard work shit, you think you done but you really not. You gotta keep getting it in. By me pulling up to that one session, now I got a whole nother hit that’s finna go viral. It’s already going up and it’s not even out. I know for a fact that I would’ve never done that song if I didn’t pull up that specific moment, that night, at that time. I used to be writing all my shit but now I freestyle. I wouldn’t have been able to freestyle that shit a different day.

Sometimes you gotta seize the moment. 

It’s crazy that you said that ‘cause I just dropped my shit yesterday and a nigga was at the studio making beats all day. The shit just be fun: it’s like this is my hobby. 

About the Author

Derrius Edwards
Derrius is a music industry professional with experience in content strategy and editorial writing, sharing relevant and resonating stories as a conduit for hip-hop culture advancement.

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