MC Jumanji: Jitney lyricist of the month

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MC Jumanji is obsessed with Grime. Not the stuff that is under your fingernails, but the British music genre where fast breakbeats are narrated by gritty rhymes. To help popularize Grime Stateside he co-founded the local music label American Grime. In his spare time he’s happy to answer interview questions so here we go…

Who is MC Jumanji?

MC Jumanji is like my alter ego. I’m like Bruce Wayne, and every now and then, I need to transform to go rock a mic. It’s me at my extreme. All of my passions, energy, lyricism.. all turned up to the max.

What made you fall in love with Grime and how would you describe it to outsiders?

There was something about the energy of grime’s delivery and cadence that was infectious from the first Wiley and Dizzee Rascal tunes I heard. It was different and hype. It had everything I was looking for… bass drops, hard lyrics, catchy hooks.

What do you have going on for the rest of 2018 for yourself and your American Grime label?

This year has been big so far. We did our run of music conferences, including Miami Music Week and SXSW, plus we had an amazing trip to England. This year is about collaborations and expansion, so at the label we’ve been pushing to promote our culture and to push the sound to everyone who will have us.

How do you prepare for a live show?

I usually run through the songs I’m going to perform a couple dozen times. I put together a setlist the night before and make sure the song order flows naturally. I tend to get very anxious right before I take the stage, every time, still.

How did you decide upon the 1999 songs you are going to be covering for The End of the Century night?


I chose “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas and “Da Rockwilder” by Red and Meth. Both songs remind me of my formative years. What I thought was cool when I was a kid. They also both show sides of me. Red and Meth give you that hard lyricism and aggression. Santana and Rob give you that artistry and connectivity to a song. Just having fun reliving those classics.

Where were you and what were you doing in the fall of 1999?

I was a 12 year old starting 8th grade in Tallahassee, FL. I was in band and I played Tuba at Fairview Middle School. I was short! That year I had started 8th grade about 5’4″ and everyone around me was huge already. This was the year I really started to discover music on my own. I was buying CDs and starting to listen to what my friends listened to. It was the exploratory time period that helped define who I am now.

It’s a Celebration, bitches

To celebrate David Rolland’s novel The End of the Century, on Saturday, June 2nd, MC Jumanji and others will cover songs from 1999.
Join them at Gramps, 9pm.

David Rolland

David Rolland edits the blog. He is the author of the novel The End of the Century.