This is a story about a woman named Chevon Young. You know her.. she's that chick down at the mall, working the register
at The Gap, Express, Old Navy.. sometimes she straightens up behind your ass after you grab a sweater from a stack of clothes, hold it up, shake it out and toss it back on top of the pile after you decide that your just looking. .. sometimes she just stands by the display
nearest the door, one eye on her supervisor and the other on the people walking through the mall. She really doesn't want to work in a clothing store, doing the retail thing, but the other option, having zero funds .. mmm, she's not feeling that at all.
It's the grind, yo.
And you know how little those stores pay, the salary is just above minimum wage. So this chick also has a side hustle. For 50% off the retail price she'll sell you a Gucci, Prada, or Coach bag.. she gets them from.. well, you don't need to know that.. but one time someone had the nerve to say that the bags weren't real. "Who cares?," she said, "they LOOK" real. The only reason she sold them was to supplement her measly paycheck. You know Chevon Young, I'm telling you.
Growing up in Philadelphia, not to far from State Property's Neef and Chris, Chevon Young, tired of punching the clock at the clothing store and hustling bags, decided to enroll in a beauty school. See she went to high school, graduated and all that, but like many students that get turned off at the prospect of even more edumacation after 12 years of the stuff, she didn't immediately hop on the headed to college. A decision that makes it even tougher to escape the minimum wage trap. Chevon hadn't figured out exactly how she would avoid falling into that pit, but in the meantime she was gonna hook up hairdos for a living. If there is one thing every woman needs, it's a fresh doo. That would be her goal, hit the beauty school, get certified and collect bank.
She also dabbled in the art of mcing.. "hip hop and you don't stop" ..she had written a few rhymes and it was becoming and enjoyable hobby. So in between classes at the beauty school, she would grab a sheet of paper and work on her rhyme skills. Occasionally she would have someone sitting in the chair waiting to have their hair washed or curled and she'd be in the back with a pen and pad, scrapping and rapping.
She did enough to finish the course, but her heart wasn't in it. After the school officials handed her the graduate certificate, she made a decision to ditch the idea of massaging somebody's scalp and treating split ends all day, she was gonna devote her full attention towards getting put on in the rap game.
It was hell on her homies. If she left a message on their answering machine, it was in rhyme. She'd leave 16 bars worth of text on their 2-way's, she'd see cyphers and run over to join in - rapping at bus stops, gas stations, it didn't matter. If necessary she'd give her girlfriend a call and they would cruise the streets of Philly, searching for anyone who was spitting. When she found them, she would hop right in and lace them. The chick was bout it.
She was getting shut down by people though. When she'd approach industry cats about helping her to get a deal, they'd tell her that Philly already had Eve. She wasn't necessary. Chevon wasn't hearing it. She respected and liked Eve's music, but she felt that her shit was tight too. She kept knocking on doors and eventually Terrance Glasgow of 215 Entertainment gave her the break she needed. He set up a meeting with Missy Elliot at a Manhattan recording studio and Chevon spit for her. Missy was wet.. meaning impressed.. she said "you bananas" as she dialed Timbaland's number on a nearby phone. Chevon leaned over, rhymed into the speakerphone and Tim responded dryly, "Yeah, she nice, she nice."
Ask people their opinion regarding your creations or talents, and while your looking in their eyes, they'll tell you what you want to hear. Give you a vanilla statement so your feelings aren't hurt. "You nice" "That was hot" or if it requires further contact "Oh yeah, we'll call you." Then off you go, shuffling your way down the street, not sure if they really meant what they said. But Tim and Missy got in touch with her, and two weeks later she was in a studio working on a track for Timbaland and Magoo's new album. Chevon who would now be known as Ms. Jade... questioned Timbaland about his initial dull reaction to her skills. He replied, "You don't understand, I didn't like no female rappers until I heard you." Truth or another pat on the back, it doesn't really matter, because Chevon.. I mean .. Ms. Jade.. at 22 years of age, is officially in the game.
Signed to Timbaland's new Interscope distributed imprint, Beat Club Records. Ms. Jade's debut album, titled Girl Interrupted  is due out this Spring. It features guest spots from Nelly Furtado, Bubba Sparxxx, Lil Mo, Petey Pablo, and Jay-Z on a song called "Count Off." While most of those collaborations were easy to arrange, Timbaland wasn't so sure about Chevon's request for a Jay-Z collabo on "Count Off." He kept telling her "I don't know, I don't know. It's gonna be hard because he don't do that for just anybody." She was resigned to the fact that she'd have to leave him off of the song, but one day she came to the studio and Tim was like "listen to this." There it was S.Carter spitting flames. She almost lost it, and remembering what Tim had said about him being selective, it made her feel good that he blessed the track and the seamless blending of their verses was further proof of her skills. "To me, it's showing I can keep up with him. He's not stepping on my toes," she said.
Her current 'buzz' single, "Feel the Girl," is filtering through the underground, getting everybody ready for the album. "The song is basically me introducing myself to the rap game, basically showing you how I get down. What me and my girls deal with, how I deal with certain situations." And it's being felt. My cousin, very picky, quick to spill haterade.. his new thing is "Yo, Ms. Jade is hot." He's not basing his opinion on her cocoa complexion. He has no idea what she looks like. It's a validation of Guru's claim back in 94'... "it's mostly the voice."
If need be, he'll have a chance to reverse his opinion when he sees her in concert. She's the opening act on Nelly Furtado's spring tour, and the video for her official, first single "Ching, Ching, Ching" - which features Furtado on the hook - is scheduled to be shot in a few weeks.
You know Chevon Young.. she's peoples.. she perseveres.. she's got mic skills.. hair skills.. and oh yeah.. Call her Ms. Jade.