If I were a songwriter, I’d write songs like Little Jackie. Real, to the point, while taking no prisoners along the way. From Black Barbie to my new theme song 28 Butts and LOL, Little Jackie is telling it like it is.
Released July 8, on the surface, The Stoop is their catchy new pop album. But lurking beneath Adam Pallin’s doo-wop echoes and Imani Coppola’s honey-dipped vocals, the duo behind Little Jackie, you’ll find the singer’s undeniable hip-hop swagger, biting, riot girl lyrics and strong, unapologetic persona.
I went one on one with Imani Coppola to talk about the new album, a new President, celebs gone bad, and her thoughts on the Brits.
What was the story behind “Black Barbie.”
IC: I mean obviously the songs is about the celebrities that we see on TV. Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, etc. “Black Barbie” was a way to say the things that people always think but never say. Young women partying and doing drugs—no one seems to be worried about the image and the message that’s being put out there.
Personally, I’ve worked so hard, and struggled to just throw it all away like some of the celebs that we see on the daily.
You once commented that you were “young, completely arrogant, and totally unappreciative of having a label supporting you because you felt that you had so much to offer artistically than you were being allowed to do. What’s different this time around?
IC: Well I definitely think that practice makes perfect. Experience also helps. I’ve had ten long years to reflect and struggle. I had to step back and take myself out of the mix and look at it fro the perspective that it’s not just me—I am part of a band. A band that I respect. I want this business to run well.
What are your goals with this album in terms of market saturation?
IC: I want to be on TV a lot! In fact, I want to spend the rest of my life on TV. I feel that my life is validated the more I am being exposed to the rest of the world. I know, I’m obsessed. It’s weird. I want my life to be shoved down everyone else’s throat.
What are your thoughts on the current state of music?
IC: I am annoyed at the rate of people from the UK coming over here and making it in America because we don’t have the balls to sign different sounds. The British music industry is definitely ahead of us in the respect. And instead of us following suit and signing our own people, we give our money to the Brits.
Look Americans are always talking about they don’t like when Mexicans take our jobs—why don’t we say anything about the British artists who come over here and do the same thing to American artists?
“Crying for the Queen…” would it be fair to say that song is an ode to one British singer in particular?
IC: Look—Amy Winehouse is out of her mind and out of control. I would hate to see her die. I don’t want “Crying for the Queen” to be about a dead person.
What’s your position on the use of the words nigga, bitch, and ho in today’s rap music?
IC: I’m fascinated with the word nigger. I’m not disgusted, not offended. Please, that word is a living breathing art form in itself. I wouldn’t be surprised I 20 years from now someone’s last name was nigger. That word is going to have a very long life.
On bitches and hos—I fucking crack up when I hear it. I never take it seriously because I don’t think of myself as a bitch. Self-respect.
Who’s in your iPod?
IC: I don’t own an iPod, I lost it. I do have iTunes on my computer and I am listening to Gnarls Barkley, Busta Rhymes, and a lot of classic rock, soul, and funk artists.
Being the product of an interracial marriage—Black mother and a white father. What are your thoughts on the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the Democratic nomination for the President?
IC: It’s wonderful. It feels really good. If he wins—when he wins, it will be a special time, particularly for me. I never had a mixed race role model, so he’s going to be it as President. I’m very, very hopeful.
In your opinion, what are America’s biggest issues?
IC: Maybe I’m a little ahead of myself but our dependency on computers is an issue for me. Our dependency on computer technology is going to be the demise of the human race. Nowadays most people are in their own little freakin iPod world, talking on the phone and listening to music.
What’s next for Little Jackie and Imani Coppola?
IC: Lots of TV. We should be touring by the fall. Hopefully another video and lots of airplay.
The World Should Revolve Around Me