Jacob Latimore has never owned a pair of Jordans.
In fact, it would be safe to say that he's not really into Jordans at all.
Timberlands, Air Force Ones, and high fashion shoes. That's more his speed.
This fact is surprising given his role as Emmett on The Chi, Showtime's coming-of-age drama directed by Emmy winner Lena Waithe, where he plays a sneaker-obsessed young father who has to learn how to provide for his child amidst the struggles and conflicts that come with living in Chicago's Southside.
In actuality, there are two things that make Jacob Latimore vastly different from his character. He's not that into Jordans nor does he have any children.
Although Jacob Latimore vastly differs from the sneaker head father on TV, there is one trait that is similar between Emmett and Jacob: the fact that they both aren't young kids anymore. And while they both have a lot more growing to do, they are both indeed grown young men.
Jacob Latimore as 'The Chi'Showtime
It's about mid-morning when we speak, Jacob has just gotten back from a store run and is in the middle of filming in Chicago. The Chi is expected to be back in 2019, though there's no word on the official date yet. It feels like it was just yesterday the show's first season ended even though it wrapped up back in March. But fans are awaiting its return, albeit impatiently as seen through various tweets expressing anticipation and melancholy for their beloved characters to be back on screen. Along with his cast mates, namely Jason Mitchell and Barton Fitzpatrick, Jacob actively participates in and enjoys the online interaction from fans of his character and the show as a whole.
According to him, Emmett is the closest character he's played to himself, in that he's a young, somewhat flashy Black man from the neighborhood. And while growth and evolution may be something his character has been somewhat forced into, for the 22-year-old Milwaukee native, it's something Jacob says was destined to happen all along. "I think the more things I go through, the more I'll be able to relate to my audience. I've never tried to force my 'grow up' on people. I've just always tried to be me and not put on a persona for anybody. People will see I'm growing up."
And if they haven't, one listen at Jacob's latest single "Is That What You Wanna Hear?" on his first project Connection, will definitely paint the picture clearer. With tracks such as "The Real," "Love Drug," "Climb," and his personal favorite "Mutual," it's evident that this isn't the young kid, young love version Jacob. No. This is the more mature Jacob whose dealt with drama in life, with relationships and women as well. And it's that type of growth that has proven to be a stepping stone into the next phase in his career, specifically when it comes to his music. "I feel like I made a smooth transition from the kiddie sound to really maturing. I think it's unfair to keep artists in a box and every artist should be true to themselves. Even if it means making other people uncomfortable."
Photo By Carissa Gallo
"Every artist should be true to themselves. Even if it means making other people uncomfortable."
It's this type of awareness that makes it very clear to see why Jacob has garnered a very good level of success and impeccable roster of acting projects under his belt. As much as he is purposeful about the types of projects he takes on, he is just as aware of his personal evolution and the pitfalls that can potentially halt it. Though somewhat humorous in his delivery, he expresses that he's cautious to not get too caught up in the lure and lights of the industry, as he feels it can easily corrupt your mind. "You can lose your essence that way. You have to stay grounded, remember why you're doing what you're doing, and remain humble."
And humility and preparation seem to be the overarching theme in this season for Jacob. It becomes clear that it's important, arguably now more than ever, to keep first things first. To minimize distractions and maintain his focus on the things that really matter. To keep singing, stay in shape, and keep his mind sharp. He knows money and fame don't always equal happiness and he also knows that with money and fame comes a lot of attention, especially when it comes to the ladies.
Admitting to having been in a somewhat long-term relationship "on the low" some years back, he reveals that while he is currently single, his career takes center stage in his life. However, he lets me know that the type of women he likes are the ones who know how to match his same energy. Essentially, sound-minded women that have their own thing going for themselves and who aren't looking for him to make them happy. She needs to have that joy within herself and drive to succeed in order to catch his attention. "I like independent, busy women. Some men may not like that or find that attractive, but I do. I love a woman that has goals and knows what they want to do in life and is working towards that. I want to be an addition to what she already has going [on]."
"I love a woman that has goals and knows what they want to do in life and is working towards that. I want to be an addition to what she already has going on."
And if you find yourself cozied up with him, get ready to talk about something more important than just the weather. "I like to see where her mind is at. I like to talk about her growth from a young girl to the woman she is today, trauma, and how she's learned to deal with it. A lot of people don't want to talk about things like that, but that's very important. You have to know those things."
As we wrap up, there's one question that's still hanging in the background: What's next for Jacob Latimore? With a handful of content expected to come in 2019 that include more TV/movie roles and potentially a new album, the short and simple answer? A LOT.
But the more we talk, the more it becomes evident that whatever this next chapter holds, it's going to be bigger than him. Much like his character Emmett, this next chapter will prove and serve two major lessons: longevity and legacy. Longevity in surviving the slippery slopes of the Southside and in real life, the enticing escapades of the industry. Legacy in the form of a young son fictionally, and legacy in the form of purposeful projects that propel his career.
And while most may think 22 is fairly young to be concerned about such lofty obligations, for Jacob, it's something he's ready to walk out one step at a time.
Just don't expect him to have any Jordans on while doing it.
To keep up with Jacob, follow him on Instagram. The Chi returns next year.
Featured image by Carissa Gallo.