Adam Grandmaison, known the world over as Adam22, became one of the leader hip-hop podcasters nearly overnight. He’s recognized for scouting and profiling some of today’s leading rappers, from Lil Yachy to XXXTentacion to 6ix9ine, right before they made it to the mainstream charts. However, while Grandmaison has had a love for hip-hop since a young age, his success as a music interviewer occurred almost by happenstance after one of his videos went viral. Since then, he’s continuously pulled in diverse talent throughout the worlds of hip-hop, social media, streetwear, etc.—and he’s only on chapter three of what we expect will be long lasting career in content creation.
When did you first develop No Jumper?
I first created a BMX blog called The Come Up. I started out in 2006 and was basically the first BMX website that aggregated videos and news. And after doing that for like 10 years I started to get bored and I started to do more YouTube content in terms of making blogs and podcasts. I got really into the idea of social media and trying to expand like that. Then almost right away, one of the first interviews I did was with this rapper Xavier Wulf who I’m good friends with and it was so much bigger than all the BMX interviews I’d done at the time. So it launched my whole career to a different level and got me really excited about doing more types of content. It wasn’t really supposed to be a rap podcast at first, but it slowly became the thing I was known for and at a certain point, I had to double down on it.
Beyond Xavier Wulf, which other guests put you on the map as a podcast host?
I remember there was a specific run, that if I were to go back into the playlist and look, had the dude Zac from FTP, Suicide Boys and Lil Yachty right before he got signed. And then I was starting to have more people reach out and all of a sudden, it just became easier to get interviews. It’s just been this snowball that just keeps gathering. Every time I do any kind of content that goes outside of the normal realm of what we do and it adds to the snowball of people knowing about No Jumper.
How has your channel evolved over time and where do you see the future for yourself as a content creator?
At first we were just doing these little interviews, then over time we started live streaming and then we started doing these eight hour long strings of the crazy stuff that happens. And uh, that has been pretty cool in terms of just like, I don’t know, just sort of expanding it. And I have my own personal channel now, where I make a lot more videos of reacting to different things that are more topical and we just opened up a separate office space down the street so that we can start developing different styles of content. We’re going to be doing more news content and trying to expand, trying to bring in more people who have different voices and develop the brand so that it’s bigger than me.
How would you describe the YouTube landscape at the moment and where do you fit into it?
It’s kind of scary, because there’s so much censorship that goes on YouTube now and it does sometimes feel like YouTube is run by little kids. Anyone that makes even sort of adult content is just dealing with a lot of big issue. But for me personally, I like being a weird live stream talk show. I’ve heard somebody say that ‘No Jumper fans think that Adam is the new Barbara Walters’ or some shit. And I was like, ‘These kids honestly do think that because there’s not many people who are able to do an interview with Bhad Bhabie, Ghostface Killah or Tana Mongeau. For a while, I was like ‘Oh no, just I’m able to like cover a lot of very wide demographics.’ But I just like learning about different kinds of people. I would love to interview like some friggin’ golfers or something.
What concerns and fears you have for the next generation because of social media culture? I’m definitely worried because there’s so much misinformation and the ability for kids to have their minds shaped by mass media and people who were trying to like put fake news out there. They’re able to trick kids into thinking that these rappers have fan bases that they don’t have because of fake plays and fake followers. It’s an overall dumbing down that you see online where you see that this person is a popular YouTuber because they do this, then somebody else comes along and is just a little bit worse. But I feel that most of the time on YouTube, the most talented creators usually do rise to the top.
How would you describe the next generation in terms of music, tattoos and consuming content? Kids want stuff handed to them. They want it faster, in your face and from a reliable source. They don’t care about most of the mainstream media institutions that I grew up on, kids would rather subscribe to a YouTube channel. In terms of tattoos and the rap kids that I know about, I mean shit, they just get their frigging favorite word tattooed on their face. For hip-hop, it’s gotten bigger and more varied in terms of approaches.
Do you think that people are getting better tattoos or worse tattoos because of social media and the music industry right now?
I mean it should be that they’re getting better tattoos. But at the same time, I feel like a lot of young dudes I know get tattoos by whoever will show up and they’re not picky at all, which is probably a bad thing. I see a lot of people getting tattoos, but I don’t really see much of a discussion of specific artists or a real appreciation for the culture. Hopefully that changes in rap to a certain extent.
Out of everyone you’ve had on your show, who has the most interesting collection of tattoos?
That’s a good one. Well, the other day, I had this guy Jamie Kilstein on my podcast. He has tons of vegan tattoos and he’s not vegan anymore. He has ‘Tofu Warrior’ with a picture of a cartoon brick of tofu on his hand. Another time, I was interviewing Key Glock and he has the NWA logo on his throat. But in his mind, he said it stands for ‘N-word With A Lot,’ instead of what it actually stood for it back in the day.
Face tattoos: Do you love them or hate them or do you feel indifferent towards them?
I mean on a personal level, I like getting tattoos on my face. But, I definitely worry about some of the kids that I see who might be making poor decisions. I just saw a kid today who got the word ‘Lonely’ tattooed on his face and then was trying raise $10,000 to get it lasered off because he realized he wasn’t going to make it as a rapper. I feel like you’re going to see more of that. Over the next couple of years, you’re gonna see so much more tattoo removal because there are so many people with face tattoos that are going to have to get rid of them to get a job. I’m looking forward to that. I want to see the memes that come from people who’re getting all their face tattoos covered up or removed.
What is up next for you as a content creator and podcaster?
I’m just trying to expand No Jumper and make it more of an overall media company. Then just get my business more automated, make everything run smoothly so that I’m able to put more time and effort into making content and exploring different stuff that I can do on camera. I want to break young, new talented people who talk about what’s going on. I want to run the best possible hip-hop based media company that I can.
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