“Same James,” by Jimmy Powers, was the most-downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during May. Below is an interview with the songwriter.
The theme of the song is about how you’ve stayed true to your roots. What made you pick this subject?
Jimmy Powers: I chose this concept because, being originally from the Boston area, I don’t get to keep in close and continuing contact with [the] friends and family that I grew up with. I wrote this track to reassure the people who helped mold me into a man that, although I may be 2500 miles away, very busy, and not talking to them as much as I used to, that I am still the “same James.”
One of the lines of the song is “we know times change.” How have they changed for you, even though you are the “same James”?
My life has been centered around change since I was born. I have lived in five different states in my short 26 years on this rock, [and] I think that I have grabbed a lot of different knowledge from not ever being stuck in one place. I honestly believe that my outlook on life changes with every passing situation or responsibility, but some just trump the others and that keeps me looking and moving forward.
Switching subjects: there seems to be some sampling going on in your song. What did you use and why?
Sampling is an integral part of hip-hop. To me, hip-hop without samples is like [a bathroom] without toilet paper. There [weren’t] any computer programs or things of that nature to create music with when hip-hop was about individual expression and artistry in the early ‘90s, which is when I fell in love with it.
I did not produce the track; it was produced by my friend LONEgevity, who I was able to connect with on a forum called BANTCESS. Basically, LONE sent me the beat, I heard the sample in it saying “Your love for me is gone” and immediately started writing an explanation to my peers that things change, but I am still the same loyal and boring person that I have always been.