Rappers Retirement Homes #5
Hands up who knew Flavor Unit star Double J now lives in London. About four of you, we thought so. For those who didn’t know, Jerome Jenkins (two J’s, hence Double J) left Trenton, capital of the Garden State back in 1992. Nobody knows the real reason although there was some speculation that after his debut ‘The Hitman’ failed to go ‘Wood’ even in Jersey, he felt his time as a rapper had expired.
His earlier sessions at 45 King’s studio were not as fruitless. He released an EP circa. 1988 on Chanpen Records. It was during this time that he also honed his skills in the kitchen. His speciality was the ‘Flavor Focaccia’. Essentially eggplant with marinara and mozzarella served on the focaccia bread that Double J would bake himself. It went down tremendously well with both Lakim and Latifah, both Vegetarians. Apache wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole and often indulged in Wendy’s, just one block away, rather than eat that ‘gay’ food.
It was whilst once chomping into his sandwich that JJ accidentally bit his finger immediately drawing blood. The rest of the Unit rolled around in fits of laughter as Double Jenkins yelped in agony. From that incident the underground smash ‘Cannibal Town’ was spawned. His ‘Flavor Focaccia’ was later dubbed the ‘Flavor Manwich’ which even put Latifah off her favourite snack being a staunch feminist. It was this love of Italian food which later inspired his debut album ‘The Hitman’, the irony being it birthed no hits. He was like a 45 King produced Tony Soprano, often watching Italian gangster flicks with Luis ‘Louie Louie’ Vega when not recording.
‘Cannibal Town’ (after the finger biting incident)
Fast forward to 1992 and he decided to leave New Jersey to ‘find himself’. His Aunt moved to England some years earlier so stayed with her for a period of time before investing his scant royalties in a Café which was about to be repossessed. Originally calling it ‘If It Ain’t A Café (It Ain’t A Car)’ the business didn’t perform too well so he opted for the much simpler name ‘Double J’s’. If you’re ever in the Charlotte Street area of London, pop in and enjoy his speciality ‘Flavor Focaccia’ with an espresso, it’s ‘licensed to fill’. Don’t forget to say ‘Hi !’ from us.
The LP ‘Hitman’ (Barley ‘Wood’)
Double J ‘Bless The Funk’
Double J – Cannibal Town
Double J – If It Ain’t A Caddy (It Ain’t A Car)