I have been knowing Jna Chapman for many years; through his good days and his not so wonderful. But he is a good guy in his own way.
I would be a definite hypocrite to say he is not deserving of his current charges. In this life if you do the crime you deserve to do the time.
However, in Jna’s defense, he just wanted fame and success so fast that his mental capacity couldn’t resonate with reality. And he is like most local talents looking for that big break into the hip hop/rap genre.
So much so, they are willing to side swipe anyone who may be in their peripheral despair. Jna has been in that path many times and without proper guidance he has landed back in prison.
I had a chance to interview Jna, whose new stage name Rondo Gunn, is currently serving time in a Missouri prison as we speak. So, we will give him the opportunity to tell his story. A little less about prison and more about his music and his future career in hip hop.
Hey JNA, how are you?
Jna: I’m good, how you doing? I am well, thanks.
I am making it do. You have been incarcerated for how long now?
Jna: As of right now I’m at 5 years and some change, probation a mf, lol, because when I get out I’ll have 6 years in on a 7.
Where are you incarcerated at?
Jna: I’m at a place we like to call J-trip
Since your incarceration, have you gotten a chance to think about your music and the exciting career you almost had?
Jna: Of course I had time to think about all the ins and outs of what I had; thought I had and all that. But the thing about almost to me is there’s still chances to obtain. You almost and never do because of fear or a lack of something like knowledge on how to keep what you are looking for. Now, I know the ins and outs and I lack nothing I have everything to gain.
DO you remember the fateful day that led to your incarceration and breaking of your probation?
Jna: Yes I do. I went to see my P.O., and a bunch of Russians jumped out a black van and kidnapped me lol
What charges were brought upon you?
Jna: I got an assault charge. I should’ve been a boxer. Oh, ok joking right?
Do you regret ever getting yourself involved with the person who caused your last discrepancy?
Jna: See I do and I don’t. I do because it wasn’t like I “fired” my representation because I’m an asshole or they were. I had nothing on paper #!.
From my understanding a “manager” is supposed to get their client to the next level so I don’t understand why they set me up for failure as soon as I evolved, other than the fact I started making money.
And I changed my stage name from Jay Emcee to Rondo Gunn. But now I know these industry people ain’t friends they all (for the majority) have ulterior motives.
I don’t regret my representation simply because I never ever had a person believed in me, not even my mama lol. So having made my turn up real. I had to leave St Louis to blow up in St Louis… ironic.
If you could turn back the hands of time, what would you have done differently upon returning to St Louis in 2017?
Jna: I was drug back to St Louis by DOC. I was on the run when I went to Los Angeles which led to everything else. If I could hit reset; I’d been fired my manager, never really concentrated on signing to No Limit Forever and more Universal Records.
But that would’ve had me to be based solely in LA and touring like I was but walking down 5 with a 7 year probation is a burden while on tour.
I have been your PR rep many years ago, yet I really never got your mindset. Did you think that you manifest some signs of bipolar episodes?
Jna: I’m an artist… I’m way more than bipolar! You better give me more “polars”. I’m like octa-polar. Being a pirate is all a part of the business.
The deeper you go into the business though, the more well consumed you’ll become. In our beginning I remember you telling me to humble myself which was thee best advice.
Every artist in New York, Houston and LA are fucked up but they are in more control than any St Louis’ artist.