In 2012, L.A.’s very own Jay 305 whipped up his booming single, “Youzza Flip?,” which showcased his seamless ability to make the club shake like an earthquake. After succumbing to a gun charge later that following year, 305 born Jay Cummins, watched the legal system curtail his rap career at the peak of his career.
Upon being released from prison in 2014, 305 ?aligned himself with Interscope Records and Dom Kennedy’s label Other People’s Money. With a strong support system in tow, 305 was ready to silence his detractors and oust any remaining doubts hovering over his career. After dropping his mixtape Inner City Hero, he meticulously took his time to craft his debut album Taking All Bets. In 2016, his single “Yuck It Up,” became a ubiquitous hit in the strip clubs.
For a strong three minutes, his booty-filled video for “Yuck It Up” reminded rap why 305 has no problem stirring up the pot when he feels the need to. This past summer, he released his debut album Taking All Bets three years after being released from jail. With quality singles like the YG-assisted “All Around the World,” and “When You Say” featuring Omarion, 305’s knack for combining his gangsta bravado with his affinity for the opposite sex makes him a lethal threat in hip-hop.
305 spoke with Billboard about his new album Taking All Bets, his relationship with Dom Kennedy, his love/hate relationship with the Los Angeles Rams, and why he hopes to make a reggae album with Snoop Dogg.
Billboard: One of the standout tracks from your new album Taking All Bets is “Stay Dangerous.” On there you rap, “I don’t tell my homies stay safe, stay dangerous.” How have you managed to stay fearless despite your troubles with the law?
Jay 305: Really, I just don’t give a fuck. It’s like fuck it, I done been through all that other shit. I’m using my words and it’s like, I’ve seen the worst, I think. I know things can always get worse, but I done seen too much and been through too much to be scared now. I’ve been socked in the face, I’ve been beaten up by the police, been to jail, I’ve been stabbed, and I done lost homies, so it’s like what can I lose now? I can’t lose nothing. “Stay Dangerous” is a song that’s going to be in history forever. Everything I said in that song, is going to be in history forever. That’s how I stay fearless.
It took you two, three years to finish Taking All Bets. Looking back on it right now, are there any changes that you would make?
Honestly, nah, I don’t think there’s any changes that I’d make. I would have honestly in the mixing and mastering process, I would have took more time with it, because we kind of had to cram it, but it’s still good as fuck. It’s still real good, but I just didn’t have the time to really listen to the record. I don’t really have any problems with the record, but maybe on “Stay Dangerous,” I hear an opera girl. I would have wanted to add that and some violins. Like certain shit, I would add. I would have put more emphasis on the ad-libs and shit like, but for the most part for the music, I think it’s solid all the way through.
On “All Around the World” featuring YG, you said that you’re “more L.A. than the Rams.” Are you cool with the Rams now? They’ve been pretty solid.
But you see the thing is with most of us from L.A., we’re Raiders fans. So it’s kind of like, the Rams were here, but they were here back in the day. We stayed here. We been here when there was no team. So it’s like, you gotta earn our trust first. We gotta see if y’all loyal first and then I can say, “Alright, I’m fucking with the Rams.” As of right now, [they’re] honorary to a certain extent ’cause you n—-as still gotta earn my trust.
Are you upset about the Raiders leaving and going to Vegas?
Man, that shit is weird. It’s really weird.
What’s your favorite Raiders memory?
Man, I’m more about the Raiders brand.
Like the hat and the clothing?
Yeah, I’m all about that hat and the clothing to just the style and how the emblem looked like a pirate. It’s strong. And with us being n—-as, that’s the pirate mentality that we were kind of brought up under, but it’s like we smartened up a little bit. Pirates are like the same thing as thugging. That’s why I’m a Raiders fan.
One of my favorite tracks off the project is “99” with Larry June. On that song, you rapped about being able to finally have everything you dreamed of, like cars and money. You’re in a good place right now financially, but what is it that you’re yearning for right now that isn’t of material value?
Family, kids. You know, I don’t have any kids yet. I just wanna build a family, man. Health, that’s the most important thing that I think about right now. Those are the main two: I wanna start a family and have my health at a 99. A little play off the song “’99.”
Do you think it’s possible to balance having a family life while also maintaining a rap career?
That’s something that I’m not going to know until I’m into it, but I feel like you can. I feel like there’s people who’ve done it. ScHoolboy Q is with his daughter all the time. There’s a few other homies that are doing well like Kendrick [Lamar] with his fiancé. Everybody has their little issues and problems or whatever that it is, but I guess you gotta minimize it and really put it all in a box. Your partner, or whoever that you’re dealing with, gotta understand what’s going on in your life too. You gotta tour for three months, those are three months that she gotta understand. So yeah, it’s gonna get hard at times, but it’s gonna get hard anyway whether you’re working a regular job or in the industry, something is gonna come up. It’s never gonna be 100%.
On “’99”, you also describe your relationship with Dom Kennedy as you two being Mario and Luigi. What’s the best advice he’s given you?
For one, that’s my brother. Like before I was even rapping, he was the forefront rapper. I was just the n—a that was pushing him. I would fight for him every once in awhile. If anybody says his name, I’d beat them up, whatever [Laughs]. But the best thing he’s done for me was letting me be around him and watch his whole growth. He taught me a lot about the independent part of the business and that it all starts with the music. No matter what you’re doing whether it’s fashion, clothes, or you start playing basketball, it all starts with the music because you’re not gonna evolve.
I read an old interview that you did with XXL and you said you’re considering doing a reggae album. Were you serious about that?
Oh yeah, man. My mom is from Jamaica and my dad is from Barbados, so reggae was the first music that I ever listened to. It wasn’t nothing else, it was all reggae, even though my mom would listen to oldies, the reggae was from my dad. So I probably got into rap when I was 5 or 6, but those years, I was listening to reggae. So the reggae album would probably have to be with my boy Snoop.
He gotta go Snoop Lion all over again.
Yeah, he’s gonna have to go Snoop Lion. [Laughs].