UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with Gregory Jones, October 27, 2020

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:10 - Early music influences / School attendance

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How are you doing today?

Segment Synopsis: Gregory Jones talks about his mother's music, and reflects on Athens, Georgia and the University of Georgia. Jones explains his dislike for the small-town culture of Athens and his elementary school attendance.

Keywords: Al Green; Athens, Georgia; James Brown; University of Georgia

00:08:15 - School attendance / Mother's influence

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You know, going to college and high school...

Segment Synopsis: Jones explains the dual-enrollment process during high school. Jones describes his mother's influence on his life and development as a person. Jones shares his work in advanced classes and the code-switching he employed while interacting with his African American peers.

Keywords: Boy Scouts; Southeastern Conference of Minority Engineers; religion

00:16:02 - High school difficulty / Joining the Army

Play segment

Partial Transcript: That high school experience of...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the difficulty he had in displaying his intelligence among his peers growing up. Jones explains how his mother encouraged him to have a diverse social group and how his upbringing was interpreted by his classmates. Jones describes his work in the army as a green beret.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; football; hip-hop; slang

00:23:40 - Racism in the military

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I unabashedly live out loud...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his reasons for joining the military. Jones describes some of the racism he experienced while in the military and the stories that were shared with him by African American Vietnam veterans.

Keywords: military; racism; survival

00:31:02 - Racism in the military (cont.) / World travels

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Whether you were an interracial couple...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about some of the abusive practices of his fellow soldiers and commanders during his time in the military. Jones shares some stories about rescuing prisoners of war. Jones explains the lack of prejudice he faced while visiting many countries and talks about DJ'ing.

Keywords: Vietnam; racism; slavery

00:37:46 - Hip-hop as a lifestyle

Play segment

Partial Transcript: It is all a part of a...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about hip-hop as a lifestyle. Jones explains the difference between the northern and southern alternative music of the 1980's, and describes his introduction to DJ'ing and rap.

Keywords: B-boy; DJ; hip-hop; rap music

00:44:13 - DJ'ing in the military

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So DJ'ing at talent shows...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his earliest music inspirations. Jones recalls his transition to DJ'ing and music-making while in the military.

Keywords: beat making; military; talent shows

00:51:44 - Making music in Athens

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Equipment was expensive, the Technique 1200...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the difficulty he faced in music creation and the importance his friend Shawn Swift had in his music career. He describes his current work in music production. Jones lists some of the people he made music with through the Southern Poet Connection (SPC) and talks about the importance of hip-hop in his PTSD treatment.

Keywords: Shawn Swift; South Point Clique; Southern Poet Collection; music creation

00:57:53 - Rapping / The significance of hip-hop

Play segment

Partial Transcript: That was one of the reasons I came home...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his introduction to rapping in 1998 and describes the former perception of hip-hop as a music fad. Jones explains his view of hip-hop as the embodiment of African American culture and history.

Keywords: Tasty World; hip-hop; rapping

01:03:58 - The transition of rap music

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So I could see, up north...

Segment Synopsis: Jones continues to describe the significance of hip-hop in African American culture. Jones shares his trouble in understanding the message behind mumble rap, and his belief that the current rap scene fails to be revolutionary. Jones opines that most of the current rap played publicly is damaging to children and young adults.

Keywords: D.J.; hip-hop; revolutionary music

01:11:01 - The Southern Poet Connection (SPC)

Play segment

Partial Transcript: History cannot be erased...

Segment Synopsis: Jones lists some of the music creators and artists in the Southern Poet Connection (SPC) in Athens. Jones recalls the failure of his music group to get signed for a record. He explains the duality of Athens hip-hop culture as a representative of the social-political culture, through its ability to be embraced by the local community.

Keywords: Albert Green; Eric White; J-Welder; Southern Poet Connection (SPC); Willow Wester

01:18:39 - Athens hip-hop venues

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So Athens's hip-hop definitely inspired...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about some of the well-known female music creators in Athens. Jones describes his love of the positive message behind the Athens hip-hop scene. Jones talks about some of the clubs that played rap music during the height of Athens hip-hop.

Keywords: American Music Factory (AMF); Insomnia (club); Tasty World

01:24:24 - The Hot Corner business district

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let me ask you a question...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the Athens underground hip-hop scene before it became accepted in downtown Athens. Jones describes the importance of the Hot Corner business district and the Morton Theater as the driving force behind the rise in popularity of African American music.

Keywords: Hot Corner; Morton Theater; hip-hop

01:31:08 - Changing hip-hop / Concluding thoughts

Play segment

Partial Transcript: There isn't too many people behind...

Segment Synopsis: Jones shares his opinion that hip-hop DJs should play music that embodies their cultural values and history. Jones expresses his gratitude towards his best friend, Shawn Swift.

Keywords: DJ Shawn Swift; beat-boxing; hip-hop; rap