During 2016-2017, the podcast No Jumper became the definitive source for finding up-and-coming rappers on the internet. The podcast, filmed to be YouTube friendly, began creeping into the suggestions of every hip-hop head searching for music videos and interviews on the platform. No Jumper’s claim to fame was catching hip-hop artists right before they blew up by purposely hunting for “SoundCloud rappers” who showed potential, but the podcast quickly turned the tables and became the most sought out platform for establishing a career in the hip-hop industry.
Thus, No Jumper’s creator and owner of Los Angeles BMX shop & brand ONSOMESHIT, Adam22, solidified himself as one of the major gatekeepers of new rap.
His most notable guest from early on in the podcast was XXXTentacion; a social media phenomenon turned rapper who got his name from bloated SoundCloud plays, beef with Drake, and a series of violent criminal accusations. Adam got XXXTentacion on No Jumper at the exact second he blew up, which in turn blew up the podcast. It was after this interview that artists began flocking to the ONSOMESHIT store and the No Jumper YouTube page—but like XXX, No Jumper’s rise to fame was born out of controversy.
The first controversial video clip featuring Adam22 was in the LA news, where the BMX mogul defended his crew for using homeless people as props for bike tricks on Skid Row. Adam posted this news clip to his BMX Youtube channel in 2014. Since then, he has fully embraced his controversial character. Vlogs of him using drugs, shooting porn, and doing “hood stuff,” are some of the many activities featured on No Jumper’s Youtube page, and virtually every woman interviewed on the podcast is a pornstar.
Adam sometimes vlogs during the functions he attends, where he scouts out people to have sex with him and his girlfriend—basically, acting as a talent scout for amateur porn. The host can be seen asking any decently attractive girl if they are of age, and continually jokes that No Jumper is “out here respecting these women.” But aside from his raunchy, and sexist vlogs, Adam is a pretty decent interviewer, stretching his questions into casual conversation and making his guests feel comfortable in the back of his bike shop where the interviews take place. Guests can smoke, drink, and pretty much do whatever during the 45 minute to sometimes 2 hour long conversations.
While the opinions of commentators fluctuate on all of No Jumper’s videos, Adam got the most shit early on from hanging out with Floridian trap prodigy Lil Pump. Lil Pump Jet Ski was 16 when he started seeing significant success in the rap industry, which typically goes hand in hand with drugs, sex, and partying. Adam was hanging out with Lil Pump and even put him on the debut “No Jumper Tour” super early on in the rapper’s career. He admits to inadvertently condoning the 16-year-olds use of Xanax, Lean, and mountainous piles of weed, but for No Jumper’s advanced level of apathy, this is nothing. Pump would obviously be doing all of this without Adam22 present (I mean come on it’s Pump) but his being there didn’t help the podcast’s image, mainly because the host loves to joke about hip-hop’s infatuation with these drugs.
Adam joked about Fredo Santana’s “lean gut” before the 27-year-old rapper tragically passed away this January, presumably from complications brought about by a history of abusing the drug. Of course, the No Jumper host could have never known the rapper would meet this fate, but it’s a perfect example of No Jumper’s general immaturity and lack of professionalism. Ironically, this is probably what most of his fans crave.
No Jumper is rooted in edginess, which attracts a plethora of artists who feel they can be themselves in the relaxed, non-judgmental environment of ONSOMESHIT’s storage space. But now it’s become more than an underground YouTube channel. Big names like Hopsin, Tech N9ne, and Action Bronson have begun appearing on the show. Adam was even featured in a Rolling Stone article, citing him as “hip-hop’s underground tastemaker.”
This is where shit gets sticky. Is this really what the culture wants?
If you enjoy hearing about what rappers have to say you’ve probably been watching/listening to Sway, Hot97, and the Breakfast Club for years. It was perhaps time for a fresh voice to enter the scene and break down hip-hop’s evolution to SoundCloud rap, mumble rap, cloud rap and the overall weirdness that’s flooding into the mainstream. No Jumper is perfect for this. Adam has put so many young rappers on who would have otherwise been overlooked in the sea of people creating and releasing music. In fact, I’ve found some of my favorite new rappers through the podcast. And who else would interview 12-year-old rapper Matt Ox with no questions asked?
The problem with No Jumper is that it introduces its guests based on character instead of music.
Adam even said in his questionnaire with Rolling Stone, “Rap is really about character-building more than anything. I always compare it to wrestling – that’s cliché, but it’s true. You see people all the time who get way more popular because they go to jail. They get way more popular ’cause they beat somebody’s ass or kill somebody – or people think they might have killed somebody.” While this may be the unfortunate truth of the artists behind modern rap music, it says nothing about the music, and it indeed seems as if the music is secondary on No Jumper.
Adam is too infatuated with the “lifestyle” of hip-hop, which perpetuates the stereotypes that rappers do drugs and love violence while distracting from the music that these people put their heart and souls into producing. Even if a song includes lyrics about killing people, that’s not the point; the point is that it’s a song. No matter how ‘lyrical’ a rapper is, once the character becomes more important than music, the songs are going to be trash. Not once has Adam22 asked a guest to rap on his show, or even played snippets of their music as a means of introducing them. This is perhaps a contributor to hip hop’s devolution, and also why XXL Magazine let us all down with their mostly subpar 2017 freshman class.
So when Rolling Stone calls Adam22 hip hop’s newest “tastemaker,” I would take that with a grain of salt. Adam22 cares about hip-hop like Lil Pump cares about throwing ones in the strip club; it’s all about what it looks like on camera. But, if you haven’t already go out and watch some No Jumper interviews. Just make sure you listen to the rappers that it’s promoting because while it’s interesting to learn more about the people behind the music, quality hip hop will always put the music first.