Date of Birth: November 24, 1975
Occupation: Rapper, Songwriter, Author and Screenwriter
Other Names: Angela-Kohn Agape, Angela Agape
Known for: Nookie, her first rap song and Christian Rap
Angela grew up in Florida, Miami where she became interested in music when she was 12 years old. The tough neighbourhood of Liberty City surrounded by violence and despair where she lived made her seek art as an escape. She had started writing poetry around the time and used to spend time with the members of 2 Live Crew when she became interested in rapping. She shared an incident during one of her interviews where she asked one of her rapper friends to ask her mom for permission to rap to which her mother refused. She acknowledges that Miami has been of great influence to her, specifically the poverty there.
In another incident where she was performing in elementary school, she recalled glowing in the bright lights. To her it felt like being home. She then appeared in many plays, wrote music and poetry in her school, skipping classes to participate in freestyle sessions in the school hallways.
Jacki-O dropped out of high school. She carried on doing odd jobs here and there to get through. She later went to school again to complete her GED. She later made mixtapes which went on to create major noise in the clubs of Miami. She made many appearances on mix tapes of Miami areas and garnered significant success in radio and club.
Her birth name was Angela Kohn Agape, however she was inspired by John F Kennedy’s wife’s short name Jackie-O (short for Jacqueline Onassis) as she represented what Jacki-O stood for. Kennedy’s wife was classy, which the rapper thought would serve her well. In 2014, when she denounced her music career, she separated herself from the name as she thought it had a lot of negative connotations attached to it. She also came to know about the rumour that Kennedy’s wife’s family was cursed as most of the members died under suspicious circumstances. She went back to her original name Angela when she denounced music and was ordained to become a minister saying her name became special to her as it meant, ‘God’s Messenger’.
Jacki-O collaborated with Poe Boy Entertainment in 1999 and obtained a recording contract. She even helped them become a known brand with her first mixtape called- ‘The Official Bootlegg’. It became a roaring hit. She then began crafting her own image borrowing heavily from Jacqueline Onassis-her class and her attitude of doing her own thing despite being the first lady. Her single Nookie was a chartbuster in underground Miami before it gained immense popularity on a national level. The debut album- Poe Little Rich Girl was released by both Poe Boy Entertainment and TVT Records in 2004. There were three official singles – ‘Fine’ featuring the Yin Yang Twins (the American Hip-Hop Duo), ‘Sugar Walls’ and ‘Break You Off’ which featured Jazze Pha. The album had 17 track listings featuring various artists.
In another controversial news, Jacki-O admitted to having granted sexual favours (a move she regretted) to E Class, a record executive to get her advance payment of $10,000 and secure a record deal with Poe Boy Entertainment. This interview was published in Hip-Hop Weekly.
In 2008, she released another mixtape, which came nearly 4 years after Poe Little Rich Girl called ‘Jack Da Rippa’. The singles in this album were as follows: ‘I Got Yo Man’, ‘3rd Eye’, ‘Cool It Now’, and ‘Queen of The South’. Although she had not formed a company till then she began Jackmove Entertainment and signed a contract with it to release another album Lil Red Riding Hood, featuring ‘Baby Mama’ her latest single. It was serviced to Urban radio and mix shows on a national scale.
As a part of an all female supergroup- which is essentially a group in which the members have already established themselves as solo artists, Jacki-O worked with Remy Ma and Shawnna. Remy Ma had stated that, ‘the music was being received so well. It was coming together of three females from three different backgrounds, three different ages, different everything coming together’. Remy Ma also wanted to do a subsequent tour titled, ‘N.E.W’- Never Enough Women.
After getting famous for her songs and then having things nosedive in her life when she filed for bankruptcy, Jacki-O bounced back with authoring a book called- ‘Grown and Gangsta’. An urban fiction story about six friends- Monique, Tatiana, Inch, Malcolm, Quentin and Iz and set in New York. The book blurb goes on to highlight some characteristics of the main characters.
Inch-in the book, is known for his gun-play, the blurb hints at a troubled part of his life even though he has established quite a reputation for himself. Malcolm switches his life between wall street and streets, the blurb builds excitement by asking whether he will be able to manage his life like this. Monique is described as having a good career, house,car and a beautiful son but her ‘man’ is with the ‘system’. The blurb describes her dilemma of whether she will choose her existing life or her man. Quentin is described as a restaurant owner who is recuperating from a dead marriage. His ex-wife is threatening to expose an illicit business but how long will he allow the threat to remain. The blurb then urges the reader to settle in with the friends and share their experiences in life- joys, pain, loves and losses in Grown and Gangsta.
Jacki-O with this book, created history by being the first book to be carried by Mississippi independent music stores at their retail outlets. The representatives of Tru Publishing pitched the book to the BeBop stores by asking them if they were interested in creating history by keeping the book in their stores and promoting reading. BeBop took the chance as it was a win-win for all the parties involved.
In Relentless which was released in 2010, Jacki-O penned down what led her to music, her rise to fame as a rapper, her struggles and also details her work as the Ambassador for the non-profit group Community Options for people with disabilities. This was her second book, first being Grown and Gangsta in 2008. The book is described as ‘the truth that she has lived with’. The book goes into detail describing the true story of departure from the record company, Poe Boy Entertainment that began her career, the reasons behind her highly publicized controversies and fights and her future plans as an artist and businesswoman. The book also shares tips with the upcoming artists on how to break into the business using her own life story as a guideline.
In January 2010, Shadow Play Entertainment announced that Jacki O and her recording colleague Tray Chaney were named Ambassadors of Community Options. Community Options is a non-profit organization that is involved in developing small community based homes and supports employment of people with disabilities for over three decades now. Spanned across 32 cities and 9 states in the United States, the organization has garnered praise the world over for their exemplary work.
Jacki-O had stated that she was excited to be named as the ambassador given the fact that she could use her celebrity to bring attention to the cause. She stated that being a mother she understands how precious the lives of all children are, and how the organization is doing phenomenal work in supporting the lives of children with disabilities regardless of their age.
In a facebook post to her fans, Jacki announced that she had decided to retire from Hip-Hop because she has been touched by the hand of God. She stated that this phase has led her to the true purpose of her life. The Hip-Hop life high pales in comparison to the happiness and peace she is experiencing now. She also thanked all her fans for supporting her Hip-Hop career. She also had a message for her younger fans apologizing for what she called, ‘contribution of sewage on your generation’. With this she marked the end of her career. Jacki O definitely had a career worth writing about, with all the ups and downs making for an interesting life. She is now believed to be an ordained minister and is also married. In her facebook post she also promised to use her God-given talent to teach and preach hinting at a possibility of making Christian Hip Hop or even Gospel music. As per latest reports she has become a full time Christian speaker where she emphasizes the need for repentance and faith through her life testimony. Her mission is now to bring people back to Christ through ministry.