It's easy to draw comparisons between Detroit's up-and-coming emcee Kid Vishis and his older brother Royce Da 5'9''; both emcees did grow up in the same home, with the same parents, in the same house after all. But don't let their similar backgrounds get you to thinking they're the same. One listen to Vishis' new album Timing Is Everything and it becomes clear that he's much more than a younger version of his brother--he's an emcee worth following all on his own.
Enjoy our conversation with Vishis below.
HNHH: First off, why become a rapper? What inspired you?
I've always been intrigued by hip-hop music. I never thought that I would actually be good enough to become a rapper because I was into basketball really heavy and had hoop dreams like many, but once I started writing rhymes, basketball became my side chick. My brother Royce is a very big inspiration for me being that he is a very successful MC and a solid person. He shows me that if you put your mind to something and are willing to grind to get it, you will be rewarded.
HNHH: Other than your brother, do you have a primary influence as an emcee?
Well besides Royce, I'm generally influenced by artists that make dope music and they focus on being creative lyrically. No matter what style you have or what part of the world you're from, if you are not at least clever with your lyrics, I respect you, but I'm sure I don't bump your shit.
HNHH: Do you have any dream collaborations, whether it’s with another rapper, a producer, or any other kind of artist?
I want to collaborate with Eminem, Jay Z, and Nas before my career ends, [hopefully] over a Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Just Blaze, or Mr. Porter production. I would feel on top of the world if I could pull any one of those off. Couldn't nobody tell me nothin'! Always been big fans of the undeniable rap legends and have always been influenced by them so it would be a true honor to work with the O.G's.
HNHH: If you had to form your own Bad Meets Evil, who would you want your partner to be?
There will never be another Bad Meets Evil! The chemistry and talent mix of Royce and Eminem can't be duplicated. I just want to make my own lane and have people asking about me with the great level of respect that people have for Royce and Eminem but for different reasons other than them being family.
HNHH: On that note, how is your music similar to your brother’s and how is it different?
It's a similar style due to his influence and we sound similar in general when we talk and we have a similar story because we are blood brothers born and raised by the same parents in the same house. It's different because at the end of the day we both just record the music that we like to record and if you listen to both of us, you can really tell the difference in the songs.
HNHH: How was your mentality different when recording Time Is Everything compared to a mixtape release?
It was a different kind of zone. It's kind of hard to explain actually. I only worked with a certain hand-picked batch of producers for the album and only had one feature. I tried not to rely on collabs to make my project sound dope. Mixtapes are like everything is just tear-your-head-off-style rap and your choice of industry or original beats. Mentally, for the album, I really wanted to show my growth song-for-song; for mixtapes, it's more verse-for-verse.
HNHH: Do you write your lyrics down or just get in the booth and spit?
I write all my lyrics down. The advantage of writing your lyrics, in my opinion, is that the level of creativity you can take your bars to is far higher than what you would get out of freestyling. There's no trophy or plaque that rappers get for being done with your verse fast, especially when it sounds like you freestyled it. If you try to freestyle on a track that I'm on, I'm gonna bury you up under the booth, so bring your bars when you come this way!
HNHH: Do you listen to anything outside of rap?
Ummm, nah, not really... I like certain singers like K. Young, Kobe, August Alsina, and Rihanna (on "Man Down"), but I try not to get influenced by other people's style and creativity. I have honestly been so focused on getting my own shit together, I barely have time to keep up with all the dope emcees out here.
HNHH: Some random questions: rap music is commonly criticized for glorifying violence and the degradation of women. What are your thoughts on this?
I just think music is a release for people. Sometimes it's positive and sometimes it's negative. I guess it depends on whoever is listening and judging it. If people rap about violence on record because they really want to go shoot somebody, and recording that record makes them not do it, that's a good thing to me. People always have the option to not listen, so if you don't like violence or hearing women get degraded on records, there are plenty of positive artists that make positive music. Pop that in and boom, no more violence or degrading. Rap has variety so find what suits you and stop worrying about music you can't relate to.
HNHH: Choose one: love vs. money.
Love, money only makes a person happy to an extent.
HNHH: If you weren’t rapping, you’d be…
A boxer. I'm a natural born fighter at heart.
HNHH: What’s your favorite album?
Notorious B.I.G's Life After Death.
HNHH: Favorite movie?
Scarface, not just because it's a gangster movie, but also because Al Pacino killed his character and the movie had a great storyline.
HNHH: Tell the people why they should check out your album.
Because you guys have to be tired of the same old corny jingles being played on the radio right now. You have to be tired of people using that same boring flow that everybody uses. You have to be tired of those same basic rhymes. My album has none of the corny shit on it, yet it's still fun to listen to. This is your re-introduction to hip-hop that will make you be proud to rep the culture.
Check out "Timing Is Everything" below and be sure to support the album on iTunes.