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JIMMY - SHAZAM TDCO Magazine Cover
A TDCO Original
JIMMY - SHAZAM TDCO Magazine Cover (Rainbow)
A TDCO Original
JIMMY - SHAZAM TDCO Magazine Cover (Black & White)
A TDCO Original
JIMMY - SHAZAM TDCO Magazine Cover (Grunge)
A TDCO Original
JIMMY - SHAZAM TDCO Magazine Cover (Black & White Grunge)
A TDCO Original

Jimmy Poindexter: Inside 2023's most refreshing & magical album 'SHAZAM'

The LA multi-hyphenate has traded the mic for a magic wand to conjure one of the most thematically potent hip-hop records of the decade.
Jimmy Poindexter a.k.a JIMMY is bringing magic to the music industry and subsequently the world at-large. On 'SHAZAM,' he is The Great Jimbolini as he raps about his disdain for everything positioned at the top of the charts, his personal journey leading to now & how spectators only want a show. "Don't nobody care how the rapper feel," he wails. "They just want to see me dance, want to see me fall, want to see me cosigned."

On a brisk afternoon in the same backyard that housed his first glimpse of mild virality, the newlyweds JIMMY & Eve are running back and forth from a camera to a green screen as they take photos for their TDCO cover shoot. They've set a 10 second timer on the camera as they pose for several photos before checking to see if they've captured their desired results. JIMMY in full magician's wardrobe and a parted afro wig, Eve in a devil-red dress with black heels on standby.
JIMMY & Eve on blue backdrop
A TDCO Original
In preparation of 'SHAZAM,' Eve planned a theatrical rollout sequence where it began with JIMMY abruptly quitting music to pursue a new passion: that being magician-ship. The couple planned a whole story around the promotion of the album with Eve creating The Great Jimbolini character, planning the storyline & visuals while JIMMY handled the music, photo editing, website building & boring technical stuff. Among other exciting moments, so far these ideas have manifested into a toll-free number fans can call and leave voice/text messages on (833-3SHAZAM), a website with an interactive story fans can play through & "leaked footage" of some magic shows gone wrong. This process almost works as a play with show-runners and a theater crew handling all the pieces that add up to a once in a lifetime experience in realtime. "Eve could unironically be the savior of hip-hop." JIMMY says. "It's funny, but if we do this and people like it so much they take influence and a new golden age begins, a woman would quite literally be the savior of hip-hop and I think that's 10x more interesting & tight than me doing it."

JIMMY has been creating music and planning rollouts on his own since 2013 getting his start as a 15 year old. He says, "I was always paying close attention to how people like Tyler [The Creator] & Donald [Glover] were presenting their new material and I knew if I wanted my art to be seen on a greater scale like theirs, I had to study their approaches & grow my own version of that." With JIMMY's rollout for 2021 album GNARLY finding him in a full-on real knight's armor with plane banners flying over his own billboard on Fairfax & Melrose in LA, you can see just how invested he truly is on the presentation of his art.
JIMMY & Eve performing magic trick painting
A TDCO Original
It wasn't until then that Eve began to get hands on with the album creation & promotion process. Being theater kids, both Eve & JIMMY have an almost strict appetite for the absurd & dramatic. Her more than him by a landslide. Which is why it came as no surprise that when the pair decided she'd be taking control of the project following JIMMY's early-2023 album DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, that there'd be some extreme measures taken. Something JIMMY seemed to be hungry for as he's made it very clear he feels music, especially hip-hop, has became stale & stagnated via the trailer for his new "The JIMMY Show".

In a "clout" driven era all about social media drama & antics, algorithm pleasing & RapCaviar playlists, JIMMY is an outlier that refuses to "play the game." "I have no genuine interest in making the music they push," he says. "I don't have it in me to be fake friends with an industry of people that don't see any of this the way I do, I'm not with the fake hype, I don't like any of the music or visuals the people are praising, I can't make TikToks— I just can't get with this time's new norms, I gotta do my own thing." This is the same line of thinking that led Poindexter to creating his own streaming & social platform Zulak. Barebones in it's current beta stage, JIMMY plans on building it into a place where consumers can access his art, news & personal life as well as whatever content he decides to license for it. "Zulak is in an idea phase right now, I'm taking my time to progress it. As artists, especially artists of color, we don't own shit and we're at the mercy of the platforms we share to everyday. We literally have to pay them hundreds of thousands to access the audience we built with our own creations. Which I get it, everybody gotta make money but I'd rather just exist in a place I have a say in free of influence. If 10 thousand people sign up, 10 thousand people hear me."
The Great Jimbolini magician flyer

A TDCO Original

The Great Jimbolini magician flyer (Black & White)
A TDCO Original
This sort of independent-but-business-minded thinking is what propelled acts like Jay-Z, Kanye West and more recently Nipsey Hussle & Odd Future into successful independent music careers. Among a hand full of other preferences & creative tastes, this has led JIMMY to becoming more isolated from other artists. "None of the people my age, slightly older or younger are moving the way I want to. Which obviously they don't have to. My way ain't the come all be all. But it's made me feel alone. I really enjoy specific types of artists and I don't see anyone else my age on that wave right now across any mediums. And I refuse to settle on & work with what's here just 'cuz it's the only option."

The magician has a list of artists he thinks he'd enjoy working creatively with but 99% of the artists are out of his reach despite being alive and living in the same city he lives in. Unfortunately, without a lot of money, label support or at least some buzz online, collaboration with bigger-names is almost impossible these days. "It's not like I don't reach out, I've hit people up to work together, but it's the been the same story so far: it's not happening. And I only want to work folks I can MAYBE see me being cool with on a personal level because I only want genuine relationships. But it's not something I'm too stressed about, I know it'll come on it's own at the right time. I just wish the process wasn't so superficial."
A TDCO Original
The bastard son of two ex-criminals, JIMMY became an artist to break the cycle of generational crime & trauma set before him. After toying around with programs like Adobe Photoshop & FL Studio on the laptop he was given by his father for almost a year, one night where his late-mother got very violent beating a man to near death in 2013 gave him the motivation to put an end to this trauma-coded lifestyle in his own life. Getting his start by making cover arts & beats for other artists early on, he eventually learned how to create and package albums by himself from the mixing & mastering to website building. A skillset he's still expanding & exploring to this day.

In December 2022, he released his most popular single *UNCULTURED, that followed his album *GHETTOLAND. This was swiftly followed up by DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY earlier this year in April because he was "still poor and unknown." It appears as long as JIMMY's not in a position to live more comfortably, he remains hungry & creative. "I have to work as hard as I can to make this happen. Even if everything I stand for and the style of art I make is working against my reach, I have to work through it anyway." he says matter-of-factly. "I refuse to rap exclusively about drugs, guns & nonsense over 808s to be accepted. I'm gonna do it my way and achieve just as much if not more than the people who are doing that & change how people see all of this. That's my goal right now."
SHAZAM [16 9]
SHAZAM main cover art in 16:9 ratio. Artwork by Eve Centeno.
In July 2023, JIMMY & Eve got married in Orange County, CA after being together for 5 years. After a short break from music planning, the magician decided he was ready to return with another project before the end of the year creative directed by his wife. With headlines supporting what he already knew to be true years prior, he set his sights on creating a "blockbuster album" that reinvigorated not only Hip Hop, but the music world at large. A wildly ambitious goal for someone who only just cracked 1 million views on YouTube not too long ago. After hearing the album, that energy is definitely present and echoed throughout the project. Within the first 8 tracks of the album, we're given so many different sides of JIMMY that we haven't seen before while the last 8 tracks solidify his pen and thoughtfulness.

JIMMY is adamant about changing what's valued in mainstream music. He believes the artists on the top of the charts should be treated how the more "underground" acts are treated and vice versa. On track 1, he raps "Why we the 'alternative' when mainstream ain't meant for consumption by the mass? / kiss my ass I can be both."  On track 10, he raps "Let's put JPEGMAFIA on Billboard Hot 100 / let's put Polo G up under, see what happens to the game." If people will agree with takes like that is up in the air, however what seems to be a fact at this point in time is what listeners say they want and what they support often don't align. 
"People are always talking about how they want 'bars," Poindexter says. "They say they want lyrics that mean something, they say they want artists that are more positive, they say they want unique production with instruments that ain't the typical pop rap shit, but then they turn around and flock to the same shit every time. I get it to an extent, some people do all of that and they're still just boring on an entertainment level, but if people really wanted what they say they do, things would be a lot different in the game right now." 

With acts like Denzel Curry, JPEGMAFIA, Smino, JID and more being in their 30s, the future of "alternative rap" artists seems to be one of lesser-bandwidth & substantially slower success than their peers. Lil Yachty, someone only a year older than JIMMY who helped pioneer the "Soundcloud Rap" era, has recently seen a moment of widespread attention after releasing "Let's Start Here," an alternative project that didn't align with what is currently mainstream but only worked as an exciting moment because of Yachty's mainstream-aligned success prior to the release. Teezo Touchdown's recent meteoric rise came after being welcomed by none other than Tyler, The Creator and shortly after Travis Scott & Drake. Although being a refreshing & unique artist, this attention didn't come until the Beaumont artist also reached his early 30s.
A graphic via
With time ticking on JIMMY's own success, he's not happy with how artists who provide something rare or "artsy" are treated by the systems they contribute to. "Spotify has a playlist called Alternative Hip-Hop." JIMMY says. "A playlist that by proxy my music would belong on. The music on there, although I do not like all of it, is 1000% better than the shit that's on their biggest hip-hop playlist RapCaviar. And I feel like some of the folks who curate it know that. My question is, why are 'we' the alternative ones? You're telling me I put a hi hat and rap about dead opps on my shit and I'm a star worthy of press but I put a beautiful string section on my shit and talk positive shit I'm an alternative 'weirdo' who deserves less? Fuck that. Where's the place for 'us' where we're treated like the RapCaviar artists? That's the type of world I want to live in and that's what I'm building."
SHAZAM is a culmination of all these feelings in one body of work. The originality and world building of GNARLY, the rebellion, questioning and DIYism of *GHETTOLAND and the freedom & motivation of DWMYH. JIMMY over the course of 16 tracks lets the world know once again that he's a force to be reckoned with. Whether or not it'll translate into real world success for him is uncertain, however he leaves very little room for debate on if the "system is rigged" with this project. If this record doesn't see the light of day, the hope for all creatives is in scrutiny. It's symbolic of creative success in nature and a timestamp for the current state of music. No one in JIMMY's bracket is doing it quite like him and some have way more resources at-hand. This album has some of JIMMY's best production, best raps, best structure and hooks and of course some fun moments. "I've been hinting at the magic thing all this time and nobody even noticed," the magician says. "I even shared the album name a while back haha! This has been one of my best projects to make happen in a minute. I've just been saying to myself everyday how much I can't wait to share it with the world."
THE GREAT JIMBOLINI trailer via YouTube
An album themed around magic is fitting for what miracles JIMMY wants to come from it's release. Outside of inspiring listeners & getting some bars off, JIMMY has been ready to progress into the next stage of life. "I just want to be able to move me & Eve into our own place, finally breath for once, help my family out of this hole we've found ourselves in and just be one step closer to being truly happy for once," he says. "You know, a lot of people have came with empty offers, false promises, fake love & fake help and I'm just not interested in any of it. I want people around me who actually care about me and actually want to help me get this shit poppin'. So you A&Rs or whoever out there, please don't hit me up unless you're trying to change my life because that's all I want."

SHAZAM reminds you that the "magic" or power we chase everyday to change our lives is already within us all. When you finally get to listen to the album, remember to make a wish! Check out the last two interviews with JIMMY for DWMYH & *GHETTOLAND here.
  • SHAZAM cover art [1200]
  • SHAZAM alt art 1 [1200]
  • SHAZAM alt art 2 [1200]
  • SHAZAM alt art 3 [1200]