A couple of weeks ago we introduced some of you to "Get 'Em Hokies," a "Black and Yellow" remix by a Virginia Tech student and rapper known as Jeedy. Jeedy is the stage name of Gurcan (pronounced Gur-shin) Durukan, a Northern Virginia native who said there was no doubt in his mind about which college he wanted to attend.
Academically, Jeedy is getting ready to finish his career at Virginia Tech and said he hopes to graduate in the next year. Artistically, he's just getting started. He recently released a mixtape titled Look What I Can Do, Ma that's available for download.
To be honest, I was kind of skeptical of it. I wasn't very kind to "Get 'Em Hokies," because I can't stand Wiz Khalifa and got real tired real quick of all the remixes that came out shortly after. But to be fair I listened to Look What I Can Do, Ma and actually came away impressed. There's some legitimately good stuff on there and if you're a fan of hip hop (especially one with Tech ties) I recommend giving him a chance as well. After the jump, we'll hear from Jeedy himself about "Get 'Em Hokies," his aspiring career and his time in Blacksburg.
GC: I guess we'll start with "Get 'Em Hokies." How did the idea for it come about and what kind of response have you gotten from it?
J: The song was a spur of the moment idea when my friend sent me a link to the JMU version, in which a few shots at Tech were taken. Since such a remix had yet to be made on Tech's behalf I decided to come right back and write a version that night and then record it the next. The feedback from the song has been somewhat overwhelming. Of course, you have people from both ends of the hate it and love it listening to it and commenting on it, but people are now giving my music a chance, and that's all I could possibly ask for.
GC: It looks like you had a lot of fun making the music video. Are those a lot of your friends in it? What went into making that?
J: The music video was shot over the course of a weekend at a few gigs where both myself and my DJ, DJ Smiles, had been booked. Throughout the course of shooting the video, both new friends and old were involved. The director for the project, Ali Assadi of Best Served Chill'd, is a close friend of mine so naturally I had fun shooting it. He came down for the weekend and shot everything, then edited it in time for the release of the video the following week.
GC: We had one commenter who brought up the references to drug use. How do respond to the people who don't like how that reflects on Tech?
J: First things first, I just want to say that I, personally, in no way, shape or form condone drugs of any sort. With this in mind, I know the lyric in question that the commenter is addressing. It was just intended to be a shot at a lyric created by the maker of the JMU "Black & Yellow" remix and wasn't intended to be anything more than that.
GC: You said you want "Get 'Em Hokies" to be a gateway to your other music for fans and don't want to be known as an anthem rapper. Are you worried people will make that assumption about you because of the remix?
J: I'm not too worried about that because "Get ‘Em Hokies" was probably the first song most people have heard from me, therefore it opened a lot of doors for both myself and my team. I love my school and, without a doubt, appreciate every bit of support I have received from my colleagues. Of course I would not want to be considered an anthem rapper because I believe I am more than that. Also, I really don't intend on going over other beats and making VT tribute music anytime soon so that shouldn't ever really become a problem. But what I guess I'm trying say is that I'm more worried people won't listen past the anthem I made and give my other music a chance.
GC: On to your mixtape, which came out earlier this month. Why should people download it and listen?
J: The mixtape is my best piece of work to date. DJ Smiles and I spent about two months with countless nights staying up until 3 or 4 AM working on tracks. There was a solid two-week span where I got 3-4 hours of sleep a night because I really wanted to get this mixtape out. I put a lot of energy into every single track and believe it's worthy to those who appreciate good music. I believe that people will appreciate and relate to the content that is on it because I cover a wide variety of topics, from break-ups to just waking up in the morning and feeling right.
GC: You have a wide variety of styles on it. Did you set out to do that and showcase your range or did that just happen?
J: That was the entire basis for the mixtape. A variety of beats to experiment with so that I could showcase different flows, as well as demonstrate that fact that I can jump on any style of beat and hold my own.
GC: How has being at Tech influenced your music?
J: Being at Tech has been a big influence since I have studied here for the past four years. It's truly helped me discover more and more that music, at the end of it all, is my true passion. I do realize that school is very important for anyone to succeed, but I can't even tell you how many days I forgot to attend classes because I was stuck trying to write a new verse or recording a song. It just seems that music came more and more to the forefront the later I got into my collegiate career.
GC: Who did you listen to growing up?
J: Man, this list could go on for days: Jay-Z, The Roots, Biggie, Nas, Big L, Eminem, 2pac, Outkast, Ludacris, Jagged Edge, SWV, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, Wu-Tang, Michael Jackson, Jurassic 5, The Fugees, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey ... very hip hop and R&B heavy.
GC: Finally, what's going to happen first: A Virginia Tech football national title or a commercially produced Jeedy album?
J: Haha, not to knock the potential of our football team, but I would probably have to say a commercially produced Jeedy album. Knock on wood.
GC: Alright, I lied. One last question. Can I get a "furrer4heisman" shout out on the next mixtape? I've never had a shout out on a rap album. I think it would really give the blog more street cred.
J: Haha, I got you on a shoutout, I'm dropping a handful of tracks on and off this week so I'll drop a little promo in the beginning.
You can follow Jeedy on Twitter: @GDisJeedy.