Time Spent with Choo Jackson / by Alex Young

Choo Jackson via Alex Young

Choo Jackson via Alex Young

Choo Jackson un-paused his game, Tomb Raider on Xbox One. The rapper by way of Vero Beach, Fla., Chambersburg, Pa., and, most present, Pittsburgh now maneuvered a battle-tested Lara Croft throughout the map.

The moment of leisure came one day before Choo released his first project of 2016, a nine-song mixtape titled Anime. The work is "journey of youth music," he said, inspired by the wacky and colorful Japanese cartoon. Choo has watched anime since his uncle showed it to him as a kid, and he made the music to, "explain my life in a different way."

In his debut album, Broken Hearts Make Money, Choo spoke on personal relationship heartbreak; he detailed how a breakup took away his cheer and left him in solitude. However, his newest record, Anime, helped drive him away from his melancholy. Anime is about, "fucking fun, being out of this broken heart rut, and me finding myself again through the music," he said. Executive producer Christo helped Choo craft the EP's cheery sound.

"I made Anime for me to have fun to. I wanted to make cool ass music to be raw as fuck to, and that other people could have fun to as well," Choo said. Now, the rapper is back on the market, and waiting to see the women that come out of the woodwork after he drops new music.

Along with rapping, Choo cites weed and his friends as the positive influences to bring his swagger back. Nigel, co-owner of Pittsburgh lifestyle brand Daily Bread, sat next to Choo on the couch while he played Tomb Raider. Daily Bread was one of the first companies to promote Choo and expand his creative image more thoroughly throughout the 'burgh. Another friend and Choo's roommate, Staxx, also known as Swing, is a producer who motivates Choo with his dedication and effort.

Currently, life is blooming for Choo Jackson, a valuable member of RememberMusic. Since releasing BHMM, "I am a grown man now. I know my vision, and I know what I want to do," he said. One of those desired accomplishments is to make "50 genuine albums" in his career. 

Choo Jackson and Nigel of Daily Bread

Choo Jackson and Nigel of Daily Bread

A sample of that catalog came from loud bass hits and various melodies that rung from upstairs in Staxx's room of Choo's crib. A tall recording mic stood at my left, and it became apparent Choo records music where he lives. He put the Xbox controller down and invited Nigel and me up to listen to some unreleased songs that detailed his next two projects. The first song he played was a sung freestyle, and the following was a diddly with the words, "stunt on you," repeated in the hook. Here he delivered sage advice, "there are some people that always need to be stunt on because there are some people that stunted on you and told you that you wouldn't be shit."

The most endearing aspect of Choo's music is its purity. He allows his fans to enjoy his heartache and his accomplishments. By being both vulnerable and prideful himself, Choo instills confidence in everybody who listens to him. He receives gratification from knowing his music has helped someone. Choo even calls his fans family, "but distant, though."

As Choo looks to the future of his career, he hopes to use his sharp ear to expand the roster of his Foreverkool Records label. While I visited his home, Choo alerted me to new artist Nav and a song by Lil Yachty, "1Night."

Most importantly, Choo Jackson wants his fans to remember him as somebody who sacrificed himself to help the good of many. "Imagine a candlelight vigil for me," he said.