With his debut project, Crash Landing dropping Exclusively on HotNewHipHop on November 15th - 23 year old Los Angeles Rapper Kid Ink is here with HNHH for an exclusive interview.
SD: It’s almost showtime, Ink. Are you nervous in any sense?
KI: I'm more anxious than anything. I'm never too nervous about releasing music. I like to see what the people think because it helps me make myself better as an artist for them. I almost feel like I'm still in a molding stage so the feedback and response not only inspires me but guides me in a certain direction as well.
SD: You have the title of being DJ Ill Will's first officially signed artist to Tha Alumni Music Group. He deals with so many big names and probably comes across a lot of unsigned talent. What do you think made you stand out enough to draw so much interest and have him sign you?
KI: I would say it was more of a visual sell at first. He already knew I had the music talent prior to meeting him in person, I guess when he met me face to face he saw the potential on a marketing level and believed in the music I could create to back it up so we teamed up and the rest is history.
SD: Going backwards to the origins of your career, what was it like before you met Ill Will? How did you get your start?
KI: Before I linked up wit Ill Will I was just on an independent grind tryna make something of my talent and dreams. I haven't stopped making music since I started at 16 and throughout the years I made a lot of different connections and had a lot of opportunities. Nothing I regret, they all lead me to where I am now.
SD: Transitioning into your producer persona, most people don't know you started you career as a beat crafter before jumping into the artist lane. How did you build into this field and what separates a Kid Ink beat from every other producer in the game?
KI: When I was first introduced to the music business, I learned how to make beats. All my friends rapped, but nobody made beats. So since I didnt do either at the time, I thought it would make more sense and I would be more valuable to the team as the in house producer. In return, making me the one in charge of the music.
SD: It seems obvious that your stage name derives from all your many tattoos but where does the kid part come from?
KI: It all derives down to the tattoos and the Bic Man. He's full of Ink, I'm full of Ink. thats my big homie. Which makes me Kid Ink. Swings better than Kid Bic.
SD: Staying on your tattoos for a second, tell me some of your favorites and why?
KI: I would say my favorite would have to be my right hand. It looks like an X-ray of my hand. It's my most meaningless tattoo but my most talked about.
SD: After two songs from you guys surfaced online, I’ve been pushing (and somewhat advertising) for a Kid Ink/Sterling Simms collaborative project. Have y’all talked about possibly doing one since then?
KI: I havent talked to him personally about the situation. We did a couple retweets to make some noise and get a little feedback, but I would definitely consider it. When we had our session for the "All I Know" collaboration he played me a number of records, one being "All These", that were crazy. Either way we'll still be working on something new and see where it goes from there.
SD: Ok back to Crash Landing, what can we expect from this project? what were your personal favorite records off of it and why?
KI: Expect to get more than you expected. Expect more than a mixtape. I believe we put together an undeniable project and covered what I consider every aspect of what a complete project should be. Marketing to not just one group of fans, but worldwide. I wrote and concepted 99% of the ideas for Crash Landing and we reached out to a lot of different popular producers like Jahlil, KE, Kajmir Royale, Hit-Boy etc. My personal favorite records might have to be "Keep It Rollin" and "360" featuring Meek Mill...oh and the Intro Is Murder!
SD: How do you feel you fit in or seperate yourself as a different new face in Hip-Hop compared to the other young stars right now such as Tyga, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Drake, Wale, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, etc?
KI: I feel like i fit in as a colleague and as competition. I haven't had nearly as much as exposure time as a lot of those names mentioned but with consistency and exposure I definitely see myself as both a colleague and competition to those artists...friendly competition of course though (laughs).
SD: Once Crash Landing is out and getting the recognition I know it will receive, what’s next on your agenda?
KI: My agenda will never change from making good music and staying relevant. I cant really say what business moves will be made, you never really know but we are shooting for the stars and dont plan on stopping til we reach them. In the meantime, we plan to do a few more videos with Director Alex Nazari off Crash Landing, and we have a couple studio session lined up with some pretty big names so we will see what happens... but know after "Crash Landing" we are hitting the ground running!
Interview by @SermonsDomain