Tällä kertaa haastattelussa legendaarisesta Street Military -räppiryhmästä tuttu Houston-räppäri KB Da Kidnappa.
1. What’s up, KB? How are you today?
What up JP. I’m doing ok homie, I can’t complain. I’m blessed and highly favored. Thank you for asking homie.
2. Firstly, How old were you were you decided to start writing your own songs? And when did you write and perform your first song?
My first time actually hearing rap was through my cousin Willie Jr, in Port Arthur, Tx. I was 8 years old at the time and I was hypnotized and really interested in exploring this new craft of word play that I heard. But I didn’t start writing my own songs until I was about 12 years old. Before that I would just rap the songs I would hear and memorize them and whenever I was around friends or family gatherings I would rap songs that weren’t my songs just for entertainment. But when I saw the positive reaction from friends and family, that made me want to dive deeper into music and writing my own material. So around 12 years old I wrote my first song called “I’m getting down for mine” which basically detailed my will to become successful and make an impact in the industry of rap music. As far as performances for this song, it didn’t go no further than family, friends, and the local street corners where i would gather together with other rappers for rap cyphers.
3. How would you describe yourself as an artist? Has your style changed much over the years?
I am the type of artist that wants to be original as i can be. I don’t want to sound like any other artist. I believe in writing my own material. I’m very passionate when it comes to my music and you can hear it through my expression. The best feeling ever is sitting back smoking a fat blunt of some killer weed and creating from scratch and following it through to a finished product. I love that shit! As far as my style goes I have experienced growth and maturity in my delivery. The way I execute in the booth now is different from my earlier years. My booth performances now can be real aggressive and at times real melodic. I seem to have that aggressive in your face hardcore delivery style and at the same time a melodic harmonizing smooth style. And over the years I just became more seasoned and disciplined when it comes to the way I approach a song and what style out of my arsenal of styles I’m gonna use to slaughter a track. So to conclude on this question, I am a artist who want’s nothing more than to be remembered as original and authentic and whose style got better with time.
4. What particular artists were on heavy rotation during your teens? Who really got you into music seriously?
Awe man!! There were so many artists in my rotation while I was growing up. I don’t think we have enough interview to name all of them with explanations of why they were in my heavy rotation but I think I will name a few. Public Enemy was one of my favorite groups growing up. As a black man, Public Enemy made me feel like I could overcome oppression and fight back against the system or the powers that be. They inspired me to pay attention to what was going on in the world concerning my my people and all people. So they were in heavy rotation, and the fact that later in life I hooked up with Flavor Flav, blew my mind. Flav hung out with me all day and I even took him to the hood where I grew up. The same place where I used to bang Public Enemy, so for me that story will always be with me and I appreciate the knowledge and wisdom he shared with me. Another group of artists that were in my heavy rotation was The Whodini. That song “Friends” was one of my favorite songs to jam because at that time in my life I seen a lot of fakes. People telling you they your friend and talking like they can be trusted but behind your back their actions are saying the opposite. So hearing a song like that immediately resonated with me. And I had the experience of hanging out with Dj Grandmaster Dee later in life. The last group I’ll mention was the #1 rap group in my heavy rotation and this group really made me get serious about music and made me feel like no matter how ghetto and poverty stricken I was, I too had the opportunity to make it out of those conditions and that group was the Geto Boys. I was 16 years old staying with my adopted mother Ms. Margie Johnson when I first seen the video for “Mind Playing Tricks On Me”. I stayed in the back room and slept in the top part of a bunk bed. I was watching Yo!! MTV Raps. When that video came on I don’t even know how I got to the floor from the top bunk. I was that excited to see a group from Houston make it to mainstream television. I had goosebumps from the sole of my feet to the crown of my head. I believed from that day going forward that I could be like the Geto Boys. So I’m thankful for the vision of J Prince and the Geto Boys for inspiring me and giving me hope through the music and grind they displayed to the whole world.
5. Tell us about your and Lil’ Flea’s new full-length album “Black Royalty’?
“Black Royalty” is an experience that will forever live in the hearts of all our fans. The album displays the growth and maturity of two original members of the legendary group Street Military. A full-length album full of Heartcore, Gangsta, and controversial subject matters.
6. Can you run me through the making of ‘Black Royalty’? What were the studio vibes like?
Basically, the album consist of the partnership between me and Lil Flea to create an album that involves some of our best work. We got production from Trakksounds, Mr. Lee, and legendary Suave House records producer T-Mixx. We worked together on our ideas for each song and agreed on what’s the best approach for each song. Me and Flea are like a 2 headed Monster. I don’t think me and Flea ever had one argument ever in our whole career. Whenever we get together on anything musical we take care of business. We don’t bullshit around with petty differences. We look for solutions to a problem and solve it appropriately. So as far as vibes go it has been a very positive vibe when it comes to us being able to go in the studio and get the work done. It’s not easy because we both have families and other things going on in our lives but we never neglect the importance of creating a great album that the fans will enjoy and in order for that to happen we have to be on the same page. So to conclude on that question the vibes were incredible and the making of Black Royalty is an experience that I will never forget. I’m proud of the work we put in to create this album.
7. What inspired you guys for this album and what are the topics approached on it? Is this a concept album?
To tell you the truth, before I even hooked back up with Flea to collaborate on anything musical I was just doing family life. I was in a dark place concerning anything music. I don’t want to say I gave up on it, because truly I think I’ll be fucking around with music for the rest of my life. I think my priorities just changed over time, and I was spending more time with family and less time going in the studio and working on my music. One day I get a call from Flea, saying he was over at Z-Ro house working on some music and I need to come through. So I did, and I’m glad I did, because that day changed the course of my direction from where I was going, to ending up back in the studio and working. That day we knocked out 2 songs with Z-Ro. Flea and Z-Ro inspired me and re-energized my spirit. If I could explain it through an analogy, it would be similar to a car battery with a low voltage preventing the car from starting, but you find some jumper cables then you get help from someone by using their fully charged battery to boost your battery to help start the car and you good after that. So that’s what flea and Z-Ro did for me that day. They used spiritual jumper cables and used their energy to give me a boost and I was good after that. During that studio session Flea said KB we need to do another album. We need to give our fans another KB and Lil Flea album. My head lit up like a lightbulb and my response was hell yea!!! , Let’s do it, our fans would love to hear one more KB and Lil Flea album. So we were really inspired by the idea that our solid fan base would enjoy hearing new material that would display our growth and experience in a way they never heard before. There are all kinds of topics throughout the album. For example, we have a song called “Momma” featuring Bun B of UGK that details the harsh realities of a mother raising children as a single parent. We detail the experiences of what this looked like in our own personal lives with our mothers, also expressing how we appreciate our mothers and all the sacrifices our mothers made. I’m proud of that song. Although me and my mother had a bumpy ride throughout our lives I still love her and when she hear my verse I know she gonna cry. And that’s just one of the many topics on this album. The concept of Black Royalty doesn’t focus on a single central narrative or theme but rather, it’s an expression of different collections of thoughts and ideas from the heart of 2 black men from the ghetto with a lot to say. However, we do have topics on the album that touch on black unity, black economics, and the struggles of police harassment as well as the typical Street Military gangsta style topics. We always called our style as a group; heartcore. And we do believe in good subject matter to help your material stand the test of time. The albums we made years ago are still in rotation, in my opinion, because of the content. We always talked about what was going on in the streets and people resonated with us because they were living through the same things we were living through. Ultimately, we were the voice of the streets.
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8. Tell us about the music video for ‘Tears Came With Making This Dream’. How was it to shoot the music video?
Well, I was very excited because this was our fist video. Growing up I always dreamed of doing music videos and that day came with “Tears Came”. In my mind, we had made it to the big leagues. I come from poverty man!! I didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out before I joined Street Military. The video was shot in Houston, in Trinity Gardens, a neighborhood I was raised in for most of my life. My original hometown is Port Arthur, Tx. But I was adopted by Ms. Margie Johnson at 14. She stayed in Trinity Gardens, so I was back and forth from Houston and Port Arthur. But that’s a story for a whole separate interview (laughing). Ok back to the topic of Tears Came With Making This Dream video shoot. Originally we wanted to shoot the video to a song called “Don’t Give A Damn” but the label we were signed to, wild pitch records, wanted to shoot the video to Tears Came With Making This Dream. So we went along with it feeling like they knew better. At that time in our life all we cared about was money, fame, women, and drugs. And after shooting that video our buzz got bigger and bigger along with all the temptations that followed. But to be honest I feel like wild pitch records wasn’t the right fit for us and Tears Came was not our original choice. If we would have done the video to “Don’t Give a Damn” we could have made a greater impact in the streets, in my opinion. But I appreciated the opportunities because, like I said, I came from nothing.
9. Your last solo album was ‘Black Mamba’, back in 2013 – can we expect a new solo album soon?
Right now, I’m focused on the KB and Lil Flea Album. We at the finishing stages of Black Royalty. As soon as everything is done and paperwork is finished, I will finish the final stages of my new solo album called “The Serpent King”. There is no drop date yet for these albums, but I will update you guys on it when it becomes available.
10. What music are you listening to these days?
I mainly listen to rap. I also listen to a lil R&B. I got various artists that I listen to from the Dirty South to the West Coast to the East Coast. I also take time out to listen to a lot of new rap artists trying to get their opportunity in this music industry. A lot of new artist don’t have any direction but I’m here like a big brother to help guide them along their way without taking advantage of them. Soon I’ll have my website back in operation and I’m thinking about adding a new artist page to give new artists that I come in contact with a platform to display their talents. But you gonna have to go hard to make that new artist page. That means you’ll have to be KB approved. But to be specific of what’s in my CD changer right now, I’ve been jamming Street Military, Z-Ro, KB and Lil Flea, UGK, K-Rino, Fakkulty, DMX, Ice Water Slaughter, Brother Lynch Hung, and Scarface.
11. What’s next for you?
Family life and music is what’s next for me. I just had a beautiful daughter last year. And 6 months after that my wife got pregnant again with my son, who will enter the world in November of this year. I’m very very happy about that. I’m building a new studio in the crib so I can have easy access to record and still have time for my children. So that is what’s next for me, the family and music edition of my career. I’m a still be a beast coming hard with the vocals. When you got access to your own studio, nobody can knock the hustle (laughs). Serpent King is the last album I’ll be recording at other studios. All new material after that will be done at my own personal studio; Spitting Venom Recording Studio.
12. Any last words to our readers?
To all of your readers I wanna say thank you for taking time out of your day to read through the interview. I appreciate it and I mean that from the heart. If you are reading this and you are in the music industry as an up and coming rapper I wanna inspire you to always be great and do the best you can with the abilities the creator blessed you with. When it comes to the music business always be aware and ready to protect your music from all angles. Never sign anything I repeat never sign anything without fully understanding what you are getting yourself into. Additionally, always have your own personal entertainment lawyer that has your best interests in mind. Before I go, I wanna thank KAH for reaching out to me and giving me the opportunity to connect to my fans in Finland and worldwide.
Haastattelu: J-P / Fileerausveitsi
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