If I told you a half-Korean kid from a southern trailer park was making a living in hip hop, you’d probably assume there’s a pretty interesting story behind it. There is, though it’s not for the faint of heart. Jackie Chain’s story is one of heartache, loss, abandonment, and mistakes… but also of redemption and passion. Born in a trailer park in Huntsville, Alabama, Jackie’s mother abandoned him when only two years old. To this day, he still doesn’t know where she is, or if she’s even alive. If you ask him, he’ll say that he prefers not to know.
Jackie grew up with his father. It was a turbulent upbringing that included many moves. Through different cities, states, and trailers, one constant remained; Jackie’s love of hip hop. Learning at a young age from the likes of UGK, 3-6 Mafia, and Too Short, Jackie honed his skills. Soon, he was displaying an ability to win over a crowd, the most important and basic skill that all great performers have. Winning several local talent shows from 5th grade onward, he knew he was going to be a rapper. Word spread about the Korean kid from the parks; Jackie was getting serious buzz.
At age 16, Jackie had a falling out with his father and left the house. Within a month, he had a 5 bedroom house with a pool and a couple of cars in the front yard. It’s incredible what charisma, hustle, and a willingness to skirt the law can lead to. But by the time he turned 18, Jackie was out of luck. His years of dealing came to an end, as he was shipped off to prison for two years.
Thereafter Jackie concentrated on music. He narrowed his focus and upped his intensity. Becoming a student of the music business, Jackie was smart, and he did something not many kids in his situation do; he prepared for his life after jail. Since then, Jackie has opened for some of his childhood idols, like 3-6 Mafia and Bone Thugs, and shared bills with Master P, TI, and Lil Weebie among others. In addition to performing, Jackie is a co-owner of Touchzone Records.
Jackie Chain and friends play Concert Window on 4/20 at 4:20.