A champion of many where he’s from, and soon a nation of audiophiles Providence, Rhode Island native, Jon Hope is not only an inspiration, but he’s a great example of a mover and a shaker when you raise your voice. This trailblazer, author, writer, and emcee is making quite a way while earning the ear and respect of the world wherever he goes.
Taking some time to connect with WBM/AUTR, Jon shows us that where there’s hope, there’s music. And through his tunes, his efforts will spark the next change agents as those he is inspired by have inspired him.
WBM: What’s the history and significance behind your name, Jon Hope?
Jon: No matter what I do creatively, I at least try to create a thread between my art and where I’m from.
‘Hope’ is the Rhode Island state motto and it really resonates in my music and the people that come from where I come from. There’s an unspoken hope that exists that ultimately our voices will be heard. Regardless of the vehicle (music, sports, etc)., people from Providence, RI want to make sure our presence is felt given that we are the smallest state in the union. There’s a napoleon complex of sorts.
WBM: Finish this statement, Music is…
WBM: When was the first time you discovered hip hop?
Jon: I can’t even remember. I honestly feel like it always existed in my life. I guess when I first heard MC Hammer and EPMD. Those are my earliest memories of Hip Hop. I knew then I wanted to be apart of it in some shape or form. The honesty and rawness is what I gravitated. I was hooked and and never looked back.
WBM: What is it about genre and now the culture that interests you most?
Jon: Again, Hip Hop’s honesty and willingness to have fun, transparent, and cringing all at once. There really isn’t anything like it. Where we are at right now is this hybrid where your background doesn’t determine what your interests are and it’s put a huge dent in racism/classism. In Hip Hop, your skin color and where you’re from doesn’t matter. If you’re dope or not, that’s the question.
WBM: Did you know then that this would be one medium that would empower you to empower others?
Jon: I knew music would be the most effective way to affect people. It’s inevitable that I’m going to leave a mark on this earth. I know exactly how I’m going to do that.
WBM: What can the world expect from you this year? What type of projects are you working on?
Jon: I’m excited about what’s ahead. ‘A Guy Named Harry’ is my latest offering (release date May 27). I believe it’s a piece of myself that my growing fan base will appreciate. .I’m also working on my book ‘100 Miles In A Parked Car,’ due out by summer’s end. Most importantly, I’ll be going on the road performing.
WBM: Why does what you do matter?
Jon: It matters because I’ve seen how my words affect people close to me. So why not try to affect the world? I mean, there isn’t anything stopping me.
WBM: How can others look to have their voice heard as well as you have?
Jon: Be Brave. It sounds cliche but people should be brave in their honesty. Don’t always play it safe and go with what’s popular. You will never break new ground.
Camp St. & Comstock
WBM: Would you rather be remembered or not forgotten?
Jon: I want to be remembered by my actions and contributions. Those have a louder voice than anything else. I never heard John Lennon speak in my life. Never heard Gandhi speak in my life. But their contributions I hear loud and clear.
WBM: Where can hope be found next?
Jon: In your playlist.