When the word Menace is said, many people think of the film Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood but, to James Jackson, the creator of Menace, he thinks the opposite.
James Jackson is a Chicago native from the south side of Chicago who took another dance with art again once he gave it up before. Before Jackson created his clothing line, he was an artist. His art form was drawing. As a young child, Jackson drew anime and cartoons a lot. Though he was talented, not many people thought drawing anime was cool. This led him to stop drawing. Due to Jackson giving art up it broke his Grandma’s heart; one of the people who inspires him the most. Before the passing of his Grandmother, she always told him to start back drawing regardless of what people say. Once his Grandmother passed Jackson, started back drawing and it took him to places he’d never thought he would go.
If you could tell Jackson two years ago that he would own his clothing brand, collaborate on a shoe with Jordan, and receive the Jordan wings scholarship, he wouldn’t have believed you. Jackson’s drawing has opened so many opportunities for him. This year in February 2020 for All-Star Weekend, Jackson and other artists in Chicago designed the Jordan 10 Retro Wings. As I conversed with Jackson, I learned that the shoe represents the city of Chicago. The multiple colors throughout the shoe represent the train lines, the chrome represents the Bean, and the leather represents the bipolar weather in the Windy City. These components of the shoe brought Jackson back to where it began. Other than drawing cartoons, his drawings represented his city and the violence within it. All an artist can want is peace and to put their hometown on the map. Jackson did just that during All-Star Weekend 2020.
On his journey, Jackson started up his brand Menace. According to the dictionary, menace means to be a threat to someone. If you know or follow Jackson closely you would see by the way he carries himself he is indeed a Menace. Not because he embodies the definition but because of his mindset and drive to make a way for himself and his future. His drive and inspiration to continue come from his family giving him different tools he needs. These tools range from having hustle to having the ability to work hard. Watching Jackson grow as an artist, you can agree when I say his Grandma would be proud of where he is today.
Jackson’s story is a prime example of you never know what can happen. So, don’t judge a book by its cover. He has many projects coming out and one that took everyone by storm is the start of his rap career. Jackson is the light of life with all the projects he is working on. He has a Chicago Collection that is coming soon. If he could give new artist advice is to keep going and to never give up because you’ll never know what will happen. To learn more about Jackson and his work you can follow his Instagrams (@fvmous_jay_) and (@jjay.clothing). As Jackson would say, “Come be a Menace.”