The Lineup

Jackie Chain

Huntsville, Ala.

Jackie Chain is a long-hair-flowin', drop-top-four-door drivin’ Korean-and-European-American MC from Huntsville, Ala. He’s a walking, talking, smoking, drinking, rapping, shouting hip-hop id. Jackie mixes a timeless gangsta-rap style with a where-the-party, Jersey Shore mindset as he piles Three Six Mafia-like all-caps raps on top of country rap numbers and electronic dance music.

Jackie Chain first made a name for himself with 2008’s “Rollin',” produced by Huntsville producer auteurs the Block Beattaz, best known for their work with G-Side. Aided by a budding interest in Huntsville hip-hop, its inclusion on Diplo and DJ Benzi's mixtape Fear & Loathing In Hunts Vegas, and a remix verse from Kid Cudi, Jackie's trance-rap ode to ecstasy became one of those regional hits that never left Deep South radio but became familiar to most everyone. Later in 2008, the shockingly artful street mixtape Fear The Future compiled Jackie's regional hits like “Rollin',” the Manfred Mann-sampling “Blinded,” and another ode to getting loaded, “Cuz It Feel Good.”

In 2009, Jackie signed to Universal Records, and over the next two years, he aggressively toured and recorded, resulting in the label-sponsored mixtape Who Da Mane at the start of 2011. Bolstered by street-level Internet tastemakers DJ Burn One and East Village Radio's Baller's Eve, and produced entirely by the Block Beattaz, Who Da Mane kept the buzz going on “Rollin'” and introduced new tracks like party jam “Livin' It Up.” Earlier this year, with the help of Fool's Gold, the weirdos responsible for releasing Danny Brown's XXX, Jackie Chain and label co-founder Nick Catchdubs put out geeked-up mixtape After Hours, his most accomplished and outrageous release yet. Sampling everything from Etta James to ’90s dance novelty Scatman John while sustaining Jackie's brash rap for its length, it was an immediate, Internet-era rap classic. —Brandon Soderberg