Oakland Music Festival: Q&A with Jesse Boykins III

It’s been almost a week since Oakland Music Festival, but it’s still fresh in our minds. Not only did we get a chance to chat with SZA, but earlier in the day, we also spent some time with singer/songwriter/producer/Renaissance man, Jesse Boykins III.

Not only is JB III the epitome of cool, he was kind enough to give us some insight into what music he’s been listening to, as well as how to think about style conceptually:

Who are your style icons?

“Wow. You have time? Okay, top three: I would say Bob Marley, I would say Jimi Hendrix, and I would say Andre 3000.”

Is there really such a thing as balling on a budget? What are some of your favorite low budget clothing items/places to shop?

“Of course. I second hand shop all the time; I’m the second hand king. Oh yes, all the time. What I do is, I manifest. I say, “I want a netted shirt. I want a netted shirt, I want a netted shirt.” And then one day I say, “I’m gonna go thrifting,” and I walk down, wherever I’m at, and I find a second hand store, walk in, and I find a netted shirt. And it just so happens to fit me—and I might find something else. What I also like to do is, I like to design. Like these pants, I designed. I bought the fabric in Belgium. And I found these shoes thrifted—and these are Supras! You wouldn’t even know that! Good vibes.”

How do you make adequate time for both music and fashion? Ever have trouble balancing the two, or do they go hand in hand?

“I think they go together, yeah. Cause it’s not necessarily fashion to me, it’s more about style and expression. So you know, depending on what mode I’m in, making the music I make, it’s probably going to show by what I’m wearing too. So you know, they translate, they transcend each other.”

Who’s the last artist you listened to? Which songs or albums?

“Let’s do top three artists, it’s easier that way. So I’m not going to lie, I listen to Drake all the time. Drake goes. Yeah, Drake’s a genius. Kanye West. And then as far as singers go, it ranges, so many different people. So SZA. Little Dragon; Yukimi’s my favorite, I love her. Everytime I meet her I shake, I get the shakes. There’s a lot of people. Of course, there’s Frank Ocean. I’m just really happy to be in this generation that’s actually reviving music. The early 2000s were a little sleepy for music. The 90s were wavey; the early 2000s got freaky. Too freaky. 2002, 2003, I was like…what’s going on? But now we’re progressing and I’m a fan of it. I’m just happy to be apart of it.”

Boxers or briefs?

“Boxer-briefs. All the way.”