Jayson Scott Musson Interview
Since our introduction to Jayson Scott Musson via his Too Black for B.E.T. series, which was on display at Union LA, we have admired the works of the multi talented artist. We recently had a chance to chat with Jayson, who gives us his comical insight on a variety of subjects.
SXH: Introduce yourself to the world.
Jayson: Jayson Scott Musson aka PackofRats
SXH: What do you do?
Jayson: Uhm, I’m a writer, illustrator/drawer, and I rap sometimes, and I sometimes write non-rap songs as well.
SXH: Where do you live?
Jayson: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US of A.
SXH: Where were you born?
Jayson: Bronx, New York, US of A
SXH: What’s the best thing about the city you live in?
Jayson: Philadelphia is cheap. Cheap rent and cost of living means that one doesn’t have to work as much in order to live, so for artists and those in the creative lot, it means that you have a lot more free time in which to pursue your creative endeavors. And for this reason Philadelphia is beacon for many people who want somewhat of a cosmopolitan living situation without all the ass-busting and rat-racing you have to do to make ends meat in lets say, a place like New York City. In Philadelphia, if you’re going to bust your ass, you have a greater opportunity to do it for yourself. Whether it’s fruitful or not, that’s another story.
SXH: Best Shop in your city?
Jayson: Hmmm, it would really depend on what your looking for now doesn’t it? If it’s food, I prefer the Thai stand in Reading Terminal Market in Chinatown, it’s pretty well priced, and their red curry sauce is enough to make a nigga go craaaazzzzy. Their Red Curry Salmon is my shit. If you’re looking for clothes, well, there are a shit ton of boutiques and stuff, but as a guy you have less options for shopping here, but this one spot called Reward is pretty good for men if you have Le Cash to cop shit. Which more often then not, I don’t. We’re in a recession ya know, can’t just go out and buy those Cheap Monday fake eyelashes I like because it suits my fancy. We have to be frugal or Islam will conquer us all… or was it the other way around, buy, buy, buy til every Koran is nothing more than a pile of smoldering ash? I forget.
SXH: Where do you find inspiration and influence?
Jayson: Whether it’s drawing or writing, I always gather inspiration from people in their everyday lives. I think the average person is quite the bastion of humor, and a lot of my work involves creating caricatures of people in an almost comedic-anthropological way. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a cruel defense mechanism for dealing with other humans by erecting a wall of hate around me, or if it’s just playful fantasy used to assist me in making art.
SXH: How does the recession affect you, is it media hype or reason to rethink your daily life?
Jayson: I know I mentioned the recession earlier, but on the real son, what recession? Ain’t you see the DeLorian I pulled up in outside? Bought it straight cash from this Mexican Prince out in Sand Diego. You see this parrot on my shoulder, it’s my driver, he’s just not talking because he’s shy around white people. You are white right?
SXH: Global Warming, human interference or natural movement and progression?
Jayson: Well, if you consider that man is an animal that has evolved and is exclusive to planet Earth, and what man creates is also begotten by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Father, and that Jesus and God would never allow any abominations to bespot their planet, then pollution and high green house emissions are an acceptable part of God’s Plan™ for us all. And subsequently when man can no longer live on this great planet because the polar ice caps have melted, and the planet’s covered in water, you will have that small kernel of progress nestled in in global warming, come to full bloom. Which is fine by me, because I have a lot of student loans to pay off. Come armageddon, come!
SXH: Which artists are making an impact right now?
Jayson: To tell you the truth, I don’t spend much time looking at art, I mean, sometimes I go to blogs and look at what’s out there, and sometimes I go to galleries to see what’s out there, but in terms of ‘Impact’, i couldn’t really say. If impact is measured as inciting people to political action, then I don’t think any artist is making an impact. I know there are some artists who think that they’re activists or something, that there work is “deep” because it offers criticism of Bush or something, but work like that is a joke to me, it’s political posturing. I think that’s why I’ve always made it clear that I am not an activist, I make art, some of it political, some of it not, but I wouldn’t want to insult real activists out there in the world by calling myself one. I put color on paper, I sit in front of my laptop clacking away on my keyboard, I stay away from delusions of Che.
SXH: Art Vs’ Commerce, what are your thoughts?
Jayson: Art has always been deeply intertwined with commerce. Many of the great paintings that have come to define western art exist only because it was contracted by the requirements of the upper class. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to accept that the art world isn’t this altruistic vehicle that has come into being to facilitate the creation of genuine expression, it’s a vampiristic mechanism that seeks out sensation, money and blood, but y’know, I’m okay with that. Any body wanna buy some inkjet prints off a nigga? 20 bucks, holla!