You might know Jude Angelini as "Rude Jude," the mouthy co-host of Shade 45's The All Out Show on SiriusXM.
But don't call him Rude. He's just Jude, and he's polite, and even though he's living in L.A., he still comes home to metro Detroit. He was here earlier this month promoting his new book, and took a few minutes to speak with Metro Times. He had Donovan on the stereo to set the mood.
Metro Times: Tell us what's going on?
Angelini: Well, I've been out here all week promoting a book I wrote — it's called Hyena. I self-published it almost a year ago, and I sold it on my own for a couple months. It did really well, and it was picked up by Simon & Schuster. I just did a signing and had a huge turnout. It was really cool to see the home come out for me. The book is short stories about growing up out here in Michigan: Pontiac, Detroit, Rochester, like all over, Auburn Hills. It's about excess. It gives you a lot of sex and drugs, and it kind of gives you a look into, perhaps, certain walks of life that are underrepresented in the literary world.
MT: You're right about that. I was checking it out, and I see that one of your listeners offered to get you some PCP. You wanna tell me that story?
Angelini: Well, I couldn't get ketamine out in Los Angeles, and that was my drug of choice for a minute there. It's a dissociative. You cook it up and snort it, and if you do enough, you can hallucinate. I couldn't get any because you have to kind of be a club kid, and I'm not really a club kid, so I started doing some research and I was looking for other dissociatives, and PCP happens to be another dissociative, but PCP is to ketamine what heroin is to Vicodin, you know what I mean?
I ended up having to go down to South Central to get that shit. I went there during the day and it was one thing, and then I went during the night and it was like, "Yo, what am I doing out here?" I'm used to Detroit hoods, you know? It's crazy, because in Los Angeles it's palm trees and stuff, so for us, when you think of palm trees you're like, "Vacation! This is a nice little area!" I rolled there at night and I ran up on some gangbangers. I didn't wear my glasses, so I couldn't see that well. I rolled up on some gangbangers and, yeah, I was in the hood. I think the good thing is that I'm a square-looking white dude, so they thought I was a cop and they just left me alone.
So I went over there, got some, the rest is in the book [laughs].
MT: What's the biggest difference between South Central, L.A. and Detroit — besides the palm trees?
Angelini: I don't know a bunch of gangbangers out here; out there, there are way more gangs —There was some gang shit over by my old place. I don't even know if they was getting money! They were just in a gang together. Like, it's a bunch of fucking assholes in a gang. Are you even selling drugs? Supply a service, you know what I mean?!? Let me go buy some drugs off of you! What the fuck are you doing besides breaking windows and shaking down the goddamn taco lady? That's what they did; they would charge the taco lady rent or else they would steal her shit all the time. That was in Echo Park.
MT: Right. But Echo Park is different now than it was, like 10-20 years ago.
Angelini: You see my white ass there, you know it's over. Like, I'm not a settler; I'm not going out there trying to gentrify areas. I wait for that shit to get fuckin' gentrified, then I move in — I'm OK with gentrification. I feel like it's just, if you look at the world at a distance over time, it's just the migratory patterns of people. People move and displace other people; it's been happening for thousands, and thousands, and thousands of years. Now they just have a little name for it. It's like getting mad at the ocean. It's stupid. You got to learn to surf, you know what I mean? That's what it is. And this is coming from someone that's been put out of his apartment because they were trying to make it nicer, you know what I mean? I've been on both sides. You can't get mad at the world; you can't get mad. You just got to learn how to play the game. This is the game that we're all in, and the sooner we own that, the easier it is to play that game.
MT: How did you end up with Shade 45?
Angelini: I ended up at Shade 45 through Mikey Eckstein. Mikey Eckstein is like a conduit of Detroit. Paul Rosenberg. Eminem knew me from The Jenny Jones Show. I did Jenny Jones and Paul — I heard that he was getting a station on XM. I was in Los Angeles, kind of a failed actor. I wasn't very good at booking parts. The only parts I ever got were as a robber. The only reason why I booked that job as a robber was because I had just gotten robbed here in Detroit, and I just repeated everything that the robber said to me and I booked the job. They're like, "He's so authentic!" I was like, "Yeah." I just repeated everything that the robber said to me. I was robbed over at Eight Mile and John R, what's up? I'm the white guy that you got 12 dollars from. Dickheads. So, I was doing that, I was washing dishes, and didn't have much opportunity. Then, I heard about the Shade 45 thing, came up with a show idea, a bunch of different sketches, and they auditioned me and I got the job. I've been doing it for 10 years now.
I've been pushing Detroit shit on a regular basis. Putting them motherfuckers out there. I feel like Detroit has some of the most unique sounding stuff; it's this mix of Midwest with a touch of Southern in it, and some of the music is very sincere and I miss that nowadays. Even if you don't like what these guys are doing, they're sincere about it. They're even sincere about the Gucci belts. They really like their fuckin' Gucci belts and shit.
MT: Are you playing classic Detroit hip-hop on your show?
Angelini: Yea, Eastside Chedda Boyz, we play "Oh Boy" all the fucking time. Rock Bottom, I play them. I just played Esham the other day. I played some Flint shit, Dayton Family — Jake the Flake is another one that I play on the regular. I like playing gangsta rap from other regions. I like regional gangsta rap from the '90s. I like that sound; it's a little rougher. A lot of it sounds like it was made in a basement, and to me it's more interesting to my ear. This new shit is not bad — it's just not interesting. It's too fuckin' slick, it's too smooth. There's no heart; heart is where mistakes live. Mistakes — that's where the heart comes from. It's the imperfections and it's just too slick. I hear it, I should like it. Melodically, it makes sense but it's just boring as fuck.
MT: What else do you want people to know?
Angelini: I'm here about this book; that's the only thing that matters to me. The cool thing about this book is I wrote it for everybody; I really did. When I was writing it, it was for the blue-collar cats, the truck drivers, the cats that didn't go to college, like myself, the cats who don't know English rules, and I wanted to tell our story. We all have a different story, but my story is more aligned with theirs in a lot of ways. What Hyena has been doing is, I'm bringing people that don't read, and I'm inspiring people who don't read to write. I've gotten countless letters. It's like, me, myself, even growing up, no one cared — I'm not an author, I didn't go to college, no one cares about my story. Then, I read Bukowski and I'm like, "Oh, it's the common man story." I'm just out here to remind people, like, "Hey, man, your story matters just as much as that guy's story." So, I really hope that people check out the book. Maybe they'll get a laugh out of it or maybe it'll break their heart, but I just want them to feel something.