“Blindspotting” Season 2 Interview: Jaylen Barron Talks Working With Rapper Too $hort

by Shaye Wyllie
blindspotting too short interview with jaylen barron

Just like Jaylen Barron, who plays Trish, Miles’ (Rafael Casal) fiery and opinionated half-sister, on the half-hour dramedy STARZ series “Blindspotting” — executive produced by Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, I too grew up listening to Too Short. I vividly remember dancing to his hit single “Blow The Whistle” in the house, probably with my older brother, since that’s who we’re going to blame for all of my X-rated music choices at such a young age.

Yet, despite having to miss the “Blindspotting” Season 2 premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival due to work — yeah, we’re playing the blame game all day today — this STARZ series has always been one of my favorites! But with covid keeping folks out of production for so dang long, I stopped following the news. So of course when I finally sat down to watch the “Blindspotting” screeners a few weeks ago, in preparation for the press junket — I was pleasantly surprised to see Mr. Too Short in episode 2.

“Blindspotting” Season 2 Interview w/ Jaylen Barron

Written by Benjamin Earl Turner (who also plays Earl in the series) and directed by Rafael Casal — “Blindspotting” Season 2 Episode 2 is rightfully named “Life Is Too Short”, which also happens to be the name of Too Short’s second album released in 1988.

And without spoilers — the episode features Trish and her best friend Jacque (April Absynth) who decide to celebrate the success of their business, Kinky Blinders, with a spa day. Spa day just so happens to take place at the very spa, Oakland rapper Too Short is also visiting. And after a minor incident almost turns deadly, Too Short invites the girls to his favorite buffet, as a thank-you for saving his life.

The episode is wild, and the “brawl” at the “buffet” — is just one of the many creative scenes added into this season, on top of the spoken word and dance pieces that we’ve already come to know and love the “Blindspotting” series for.

But just so you know — Jaylen Barron is also iconic!

blindspotting too short season 2 jaylen barron
Blindspotting Season 2 Episode 202 – Life Is Too Short – Left to Right: April Absynth (“Jacque”), Jaylen Barron (“Trish”), Katlynn Simone (“Teena”) | Photo courtesy of STARZ.

I mean, I’ve been following the actress’ career now, for the last few years, ever since I found the award-winning series “Free Rein” on Netflix, and fell in love with her character. Jaylen stars as Zoe, a 15-year-old from Los Angeles who spends the summer at her mom’s childhood home on an island off the coast of England. Her character is not only the lead — but also the only Black female on the equestrian team.

Starring in the series, also made Jaylen the first American person of color to play the lead in a Netflix Children’s original series.

The hit series has won two Daytime Emmys, including one for Outstanding Children’s Series, and earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Children’s Program. It also made me want to visit England even more! As a kid, I grew up loving horses, but never thought I’d ever learn to ride one. I still haven’t. But Jaylen’s character in “Free Rein” spoke to the little girl in me, and made me excited to see someone like me on TV doing the very thing I’ve always admired. So to have an entire series about horseback riding truly means the world to me.

So when I found out that Jaylen would be starring in the “Blindspotting” series as Trish — I knew I had to watch it. And she doesn’t disappoint!

When talking about Too Short, Jaylen says “he’s very educated and very well-spoken”.

Blindspotting Season 2 Episode 202 – Life Is Too Short – Left to Right: April Absynth (“Jacque”), Jaylen Baron (“Trish”) | Photo courtesy of STARZ.

And for someone whose favorite word is “b*xch”, that may be shocking to some, but it definitely doesn’t shock me. Most rappers are incredibly smarter than they let on. I know a lot of folks forget that sometimes a rap persona, is just that — a persona. Take Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, for instance, who also works with STARZ and has a whole series of hit shows, on top of being a successful rapper.

During our interview, Jaylen specifically says …

“He’s so cool. And he’s so smart. He is such a knowledgeable man. And he knows a lot about everything. And he really loves when you ask him questions about, you know … different things, different subjects. He’s very educated and very well-spoken. And he’s, I mean, he’s iconic.” – Jaylen Barron

She also fessed up to being at the house parties in High School and reminisces on dancing to his music when it came on.

“Oh, that was fun. That was like, it was so crazy. Because you know, like I went to regular High School, right? Well, I was homeschooled. But I had friends in High School, from Middle School. So we would be at the house parties. Okay, I’m not even gonna lie. I was at the house parties.” – Jaylen Barron

But Jaylen also mentions that she “would have never thought when [she] was 16 years old that [she’d one day] be in the green room with [Too Short], about to go film a scene.” And I mean, most of us, when we’re 16, don’t ever think we’ll really get to meet the folks who made the music, or art, that we enjoyed at that age! Hell, I never thought I’d actually get to talk to Jaylen Barron one day, and now … here we are.

Of course, the “Blindspotting” star says she has “nothing but respect for him, his craft, and what he’s brought to the Bay area”.

“He’s that guy”, she continues. “He has made some bangers, and I appreciate that. So it was just really crazy to me … to you know, doing the whole, like, dancing at the parties and all that, and then … here he is right in front of me.” It’s such a full circle moment, and to watch her talk about another artist so enthusiastically was just so wonderful. It’s always a pleasure watching my faves talk about some of their faves!

However, if you’re wondering how Jaylen made the jump from a kid series like “Free Rein” to an adult show like “Blindspotting” we also talked about that in our interview as well. You can check out the full video below.

Watch new episodes of “Blindspotting” Season 2 on STARZ every Friday.

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