Brandon T. Jackson is a name we have been accustomed to seeing in theaters and on TV. The stand-up comedian out of Detroit has done it all but now appears to have found a clearer message with his talent. “It’s back to where I started. Faith and family…”, Jackson told Comedy Hype. As he gets ready to release an upcoming comedy album on September 23, Brandon catches back up with us. This time around he has a lot more to say as he opens up and looks back at his journey to now. With being the son of a pastor who just so happens to run one of the nations largest Christian networks, Watch Impact, it appears Brandon has found himself closer to his roots.
CH: What has Brandon T. Jackson been up to in last 3-5 years? How have you defined your most recent transition that your fans may have noticed?
BTJ: You know what it is… It’s living life man. See Hollywood throws everything at you and if you don’t have a solid foundation in it … things can get crazy. In that transformation process I started to live life and understand why I was put here to do what I was suppose to do as a comic and as a human first. When you look at yourself as a human first then as a comic it makes you look at life beyond “I just make people laugh”. I’m funny but I’m funny with a purpose. I think 5 years ago I didn’t know that purpose of what I had to do. I felt God took it away from me because I wasn’t ready for what he had to give me.
CH: Taking a look at your interviews, and social media we definitely notice the change. What was the specific moment that inspired you to carry yourself differently?
BTJ: Life and court cases. Once you get a whopping from God, he doesn’t let up. You ever get a whopping from your Dad? That last about 10 minutes. Get a whooping from the one that created everything and he’ll let you know you cannot play with him. What I mean is …. it was the court cases, and drama in my family… Look my parents have been together for 35 years. I shouldn’t be having Baby Mother issues and thankfully I’m in a great relationship now. But everybody is vulnerable to the system… hate to be so stereotypical but there is a system designed for our men to fail or a man to fail. So why would you swim up current? I was swimming up against the current. I was never exposed to that in the first place. Again my parents have been married for 35 years so why am I out here smashing all these chicks? Go to court for over 5 years fighting your baby mother, and then come talk to me about a whooping from God. Even think about a regular dude, he has to be a deadbeat dad because he can’t fight in court for his child. And if you have money, they’re going to drain your pockets. Look at OJ, look at Mike Tyson, look at Michael Jackson… Nobody is above the court of law when it comes to dragging you through that system.
CH: When you hear about comedians having moments of personal growth, Dave Chappelle comes to mind. When you look at what you’ve been through do you think about Chappelle’s public moment?
Yea I believe my experience was like Chappelle’s but it was more private… “After I wore that dress is when everything went down”. Katt Williams told me not to wear that dress but he didn’t say it to my face. But he should have said it in my face. Instead he said it in other interviews. He should have been a man and called me up. That’s one of our mentors. Tell us what to do in the right way. They [mentors] want to call us out instead of coming to us as men and say, “something else comes with that dress”. And I really believe that because I went through 5 years of hell with that. And look at Dave Chappelle, he didn’t wear the dress, came back and got $60 Million. I had to go through the fire and show young people what not to do. Don’t wear the dress… I’m a say that again…. “Don’t wear the dress”. If I could tell DC Young Fly something, “Don’t wear the dress”. – BTJ
CH: The topic of Black male comedians/actors in dresses has been talked about for a while. What’s your take on it?
BTJ: I believe it’s a spiritual thing especially when it comes to our black men.
CH: Comedy Hype: How have you been able to grow with your fans during this new phase? Has it been a slow transition?
BTJ: I’ve been feeding it to them. I still go to clubs, I still have fun. I just don’t go out on certain times. I’m not self-righteous. I don’t want to be overly righteous, that’s stupid. I want to teach to laugh at our differences. It’s a foundation thing. When you belong to a certain folk you can’t do certain things.
CH: What was your motivation back then versus now?
BTJ: My motivation started as a child, “I just want to make the world laugh, and bring faith and family to everyone,” then it went to, “I want to smash chicks and get some hoes in this house… I want to have fun”. It went from faith & family to bottles & hoes.
CH: And where is your motivation now?
BTJ: It’s back to where I started. Faith and family.
CH: With your parents having a church and you having a spiritual background, how did you deal with your spiritual principles while being in Hollywood?
BTJ: I didn’t believe in it at first. I thought it was fake. I thought it was a business. I’ve seen the dirt on both ends…There’s impurity in everything. I magnified that side of it and said I’m going to Hollywood. I used God’s principles to get there, believing in all things are possible. I did 27 movies before I was 32 years old. As a brother that is not normal… I was doing concert tours as a teenager, that’s not normal.
CH: Seeing where your career is now in comedy, what does Brandon need to be amongst those names of great comedians?
BTJ: I don’t want to be known as a great comedian. I want to be known as someone who changed the world. I do comedy because it helps people. It’s not about me. But if it becomes about me is when it gets dangerous.
CH: Notice you post a lot of lions on social media and they even appear on your Kingdom clothing company. Is there a meaning behind the lions?
BTJ: I was posting lions two years ago. That’s the Lion of Judah. That’s the tribe I’m from. Maybe people are posting Lions because they want to be a king or something. Everybody wants to be a king … tax problems, but they’re a king? How can you be a king adn in slavery at the same time? Makes no sense…. It’s not a religious purpose; I’m in my culture.
CH: Now you have an upcoming comedy album, what have you decided to title it?
BTJ: Fresh And Funny. Water is always fresh. There’s a source for things. And let’s say laughter is medicine for the soul. If we look at it from a scientific standpoint, laughter releases endorphins and heals you. Water heals you and it’s life. Whatever you coin yourself you’re going to be… I chose to be Fresh And Funny.
CH: What can we expect from the project?
BTJ: I think we’re going to have a 15-track album. The reason I want to do it this way is because I want it to be different than any other comedian. Think about it, when Richard Pryor came out, it was records. Nobody is really doing that anymore. Everyone wants to go for a big Netflix special or Amazon special. Not saying there is anything wrong with it but I wanted to do downloads. Yes there is a message. It’s how you take it. I think the message is who Brandon T. Jackson is and what he’s on. And how it speaks to you.
CH: Always considered Hip Hop and comedy to share certain parallels, is there someone in Hip Hop who you look at for inspiration?
BTJ: I say Kendrick, J. Cole…. I don’t listen to Hip-Hop no more because they just talk about is bottles & hoes… In the time of darkness people want to hear the truth. Kendrick is speaking something that the world needs to hear right now. Humility goes further than anything. He said “Be humble sit down”. Then Drake comes out with More Life? Kendrick has always been conscious in a way. He just had to find who he really was. Look at Pryor when he found out who he was. Lot of people are looking for their thing. People are taking other people’s “thing” and it may not be their “thing”. Lot of people want to wear leather jackets. I used to wear leather jackets but it wasn’t my “thing”. That wasn’t my “thing”. That was Eddie Murphy’s thing.
CH: Outside of someone like Kendrick, who else do you study for inspiration?
BTJ: Black Christ (Black Jesus), the real one. Kendrick and my father. Those are the people I look up to. My father reminds me of Black Christ (Jesus).
CH: With your fresh outlook on things going on now, and being someone who is always learning, how often are you writing?
BTJ: My material flows like water now. I don’t have to write that much, He (God) just shows it to me. I do like writing for structure but I’m talking about the material flowing like a Wi-Fi. That’s what Jay Z and Lil Wayne talk about. They talk about what they feel and it just flows. It’s like water, it just comes out.
CH: At this current moment, what is Brandon’s message?
BTJ: Kingdom Over Everything, not money over everything. Those who have the ear will hear what that means.