This was interview we did with Conquest a while back but wasn't published since we stopped the e-zine.
Tell all the readers about yourself
hmmm, let's see, well I was born jason andre roberts and i'm originally from Trinidad and Tobago, and though I was raised mostly over there, I spent much of my early childhood in the United States, hence my very strong American accent for a 'trini', hahahaha! Anyway I migrated back to the 'States for college and to further my music career/ministry, it was August 2nd 1996 to be exact, and it was perfect timing since I had just got 'saved' 9 months prior and I was convinced that I wanted a career that involved music in some way, shape or form for the rest of my life, now that I had this brand new relationship with Jesus Christ as personal lord and savior, thanks to the friendship and counseling of my 'first love' from back home, that had to be reflected in music, it had no choice, even though I mostly grew up in an island famous and revered for calypso music and 'Carnival' and my early hip hop influences ranged from everyone from Kool G Rap to 3rd Bass to N.W.A.,my emceeing had to reflect the life I was living and be very true to self, what could be honest than the fact that I wanted to make classic hip hop music that speaks about my life in Christ and the need for all to seek the Gospel!
How did you start rapping?
My boy David Horton introduced me to it formally, but I was always fascinated by it as well as other the other genres that were popping at the time. You could catch me back in the day writing songs that mirrored everyone from Michael Jackson to Tears for Fears to The Police to be honest with you, but after hearing 'It takes a nation of millions to hold us back' by Public Enemy it was over, all I wanted to do was rhyme, drove my parents crazy, they didn't understand it, they thought it was going to go away, 'it just a phase', they often said...it never did!
How did you come up with your name Conquest?
Romans 8: 37 was a major inspiration behind the name, where the Bible talks about being more than conquerors, so that name came to me at an important time and I felt I needed to conquer every obstacle, and conquer every aspiration and goal I set for myself through my relationship with God and with his help, getting the name was also easy since it was also a re-working of my ex-girlfriend pet name for me (J quest), so once that relationship was over and I moved on from that hectic and emotion situation, I needed something that in a way spoke to my rebirth...and this name 'Conquest' became the perfect moniker and catalyst for that!
What are your goals with your album "Confidence"?
I really wanted to make the best record possible from an artistic to thematic to ministry perspective, and an album that showcased all my strengths as an emcee/artist and a minister. Going in to begin the recording process back in march 2005, I focused on everything from stronger articualtion to more expansive production to drawing from personal experiences to exploring new concepts rarely touched in HHH to having a balance of underground/street joints to club joints to soulful joints to anything in between...and in the end, as evidence by people's reactions to it and all reviews I've received on it, It ended up being my best record so far in my career.
Why the title "Confidence"?
I'm really into concept albums, so with this album I wanted to explore the term 'confidence' and in this case 'Confidence in Christ and the things of Christ' as opposed to having confidence in things that are covertly or overtly anti-christ in terms of Godly principles and behavior, and in my wanting to take that approach to the record, I was able to explore everything from the Political system to social and personal relationships to courage in christianity.
How's the album doing?
So far soo good, the album's doing great with room to do even better, I think on a national level, it's doing better than anything I've ever done before...I have heads from Jersey to Cali' to Oregon wanting and copping 'Confidence'....it's really exciting and encouraging after all the work that's been put in!
Are you working on anything new?
Outside of the mixtape ('missionfield live mixtape vol.1'....check out www.dasouth.com/bus-shop to get it) that I put out this april 2006 to accompany 'Confidence', there are a few things here and there, radio promos, remixes, cameos on other artists's forthcoming releases....what else, um...maybe another mixtape, but as far as working on another album, that won't be for a minute, though I do have some ideas....you never know it maybe sooner than later, depending on the inspiration....I'm just concentrating mainly on 'Confidence' for now!!!!...that's gonna set the stage for whatever I do next.
What are your favorite tracks that you've done and why?
There sooo many dude, it's hard to pick....off this album, I'd say joints like 'e.g.o.', 'god fearing one', 'the edge', 'homeland security', 'confidence'....songs like that! on past records, I think songs like 'michael', 'start de ting', 'awestruck', 'the fabulous life' and 'blacksheep' were my favorites and it goes on and on, because all those songs have either been powerful, emotional, controversial, adrenaline charged and genre challenging in my opinion!
Are your songs available in any mixtapes (or mix cds)?
Definitely, the most notable one being holy culture radio's soulbombing mixtape (www.holycultureradio.com), that had 'Christin the hood (league of my own rmx)' on there, Big shout out to vic, zealot and theory hazit on the production!
What Artists have your already worked with?
Actually not many....they are latisha divinre, jaylah roberts, nadya encarnacion, fresh daily f/k/a/ ill tarzan, bloody ink, e-n0nymous, the missionfield ( q the prophet, enc and unknown prophecy....that's my crew) and I think that's it as far album recordings go!
What Artist do you want to work with?
A fair amount....from NYC outside of 'the usual suspects' as I like to call them , I'm looking forward to working with Seda, missionary men and the rest of get gospel/jahrock'n productions, 3D remedy, miz rock, j.a.z., magellan, quest the wordsmith, manifestation of praise etc. plus any up and comer, outside of the 5 boroughs...cats like frontlynaz, carriers of the cross, k-drama, shai linne, timothy brindle, excelsius, cel-d...dag a lot of dudes really.....however God works it out. I'm really a big fan of a lot of cats out there honestly!
What's your favorite...?
Foods: patsa of any kind, 'Carribean food' (especially 'roti') Movies: gladiator, the sound of music, my left foot, braveheart and shawshank redemption Sports: basketball and soccer Rappers:(HHH emcees) seda, k-drama, cause and shai linne (mainstream) eminem, jay-z, nas and phonte of little brother Producers: jahrock'n productions, just blaze, prism, 9th wonder and alchemist DJ's: essence of lampmode productions, dj d-lite and dj premier Countries: Trinidad and Tobago and The United States...soo far State: Brooklyn! Music: Hip hop, soul music and heavy metal/alternative Bible verse: Joshua 1:9...for now
Any last words?
Yeah...please continue to keep Christ first in your life, always dare to be original in whatever you do, take nothing in life for granted and remember that the most important commandment for us as Christians is to love !.....'nuff said! Grace and peace!