Inter­view With King­pin (@KingpinLondon) !

 

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Hav­ing set the bar high, Lon­don born and raised Hip Hop Artist King­pin, made his mark on the under­ground music scene with his thought pro­vok­ing social con­tent, explos­ive rhyth­mical deliv­ery and high-energy stage pres­ence. I Am Hip-Hop Magazine’s writer Seth Pereira cough up with King­pin to talk about his new work,  life and music.
Q. Firstly I just wan­na con­grat­u­late you on the release  of Art of Sur­vival. What can the people expect to hear on your latest offer­ing? Are you plan­ning to tour to pro­mote the album?

 Thanks, it’s a long pro­cess mak­ing an album and I’m pleased that I’m able to share all my hard work with the fans who sup­port and invest in my music. In terms of what people can expect from the album, I feel it’s my best work yet. I’ve searched all over and been in con­tact with all my favour­ite pro­du­cers to get the right beats and sound­scape for the album. I would say that the album’s got that raw boom bap feel with well executed lyr­i­cism and crazy flows. The album was made dur­ing a dif­fi­cult peri­od in my life and I’ve tried to put these exper­i­ences with­in the album. I’ve tried to har­ness and be con­struct­ive with the neg­at­ive exper­i­ences and feel­ings that I have exper­i­enced dur­ing the cre­ation of the album so there’s a lot of anger, frus­tra­tion and aggres­sion in there as well as the bal­ance of more pos­it­ive and optim­istic energy too. I think it’s a skill to accept the neg­at­ive energy and rather than let it be destruct­ive, util­ise it to be cre­at­ive so over­all these emo­tions can be made into some­thing pos­it­ive.

Q. I know it’s gen­eric but I have to ask, What would you say is the defin­ing moment (if there is one) that made you want to go down the dif­fi­cult path of pur­su­ing music as a career?

I think it’s a col­lec­tion of moments rather than a single event. Dur­ing my up bring­ing I have been exposed to so much hiphop and music in gen­eral. The first time I demon­strated my abil­ity on the mic was when I was about 14. I was with all my boys jam­ming at my friends yard. He had some vinyl on the decks and was ask­ing every­one to drop some sort of verse. It could be our favour­ite rap verse or some­thing ori­ginal. There was about 12 of us sit­ting in a circle and I was the young­est of every­one there. I used to always be the one who would get dissed and bear the brunt of all the jokes and cuss­ing so I was so nervous about spit­ting a verse. My boy was demand­ing every­one drop a verse o they were a ‘pussy’ and I didn’t want to be the one that couldn’t pluck up the cour­age. So when it came to my turn I dropped a verse that I had writ­ten while at school and every­one went nuts. I was expect­ing heads to start cuss­ing me but for the first time I could feel this level of respect among­st my boys and ever since I been hit­ting the mic whenev­er it is passed my way. It helped me turn the table and become more of a respec­ted fig­ure among­st my boys and so it felt good to pur­sue.

Q. If it wasn’t for music what do you think you would be doing? Land­scape Gard­ner?

Some­thing to do with writ­ing and cre­ativ­ity. I’ve had a go at writ­ing and dir­ect­ing short film and this res­ul­ted in me hav­ing a film screened at the Brit­ish Urb­an Film Fest­ival. I would be try­ing my hand as either a nov­el­ist or script writer.

Q. I know you men­tioned Jamiroquai in one of your pre­vi­ous inter­views and how you felt he man­aged to remain socially con­scious while sim­ul­tan­eously gar­ner­ing com­mer­cial suc­cess. Hip-Hop its been a while since we saw some­thing sim­ilar to that, until recently with the rise of J Cole and Kendrick Lemar do you think that we may be see­ing a return of socially con­scious main­stream rap­pers?

Not sure really. I’ve been out of touch with cur­rent hip hop and nev­er really involved with trends so I’m prob­ably the wor­st per­son to ask. You guys are are journ­al­ists and report­ers and keep your eye on the ball so I would value your opin­ion over mine when it comes to these matters.I will add that hip hop is con­scious and so I find it strange when rap­pers are called con­scious rap­pers. I feel by enga­ging in rap and hip hop you must have an ele­ment of con­scious­ness. May­be we should label all rap out­side of con­scious hip hop as ‘ignor­ant’ so that we either have rap­pers or ignor­ant rap­pers. Lol

Q. What cur­rent main­stream artists do you enjoy listen­ing to?10382246_10152424421785792_607633396112175200_o

CyHi the Pryn­ce… I haven’t gone in with his stuff too much yet, but what I’ve heard I’ve really enjoyed. Check out the Black Hystori Pro­ject.

Q. In recent years there most cer­tainly has been a rise of inde­pend­ent artists. Aside from the obvi­ous (cre­at­ive free­dom etc), what would you say are the advant­ages of being an inde­pend­ent artist?

I think being inde­pend­ent gives you a more dir­ect com­mu­nic­a­tion with your fan­base, which is cool. Also, we know exactly where and when we receive our income. How­ever, even inde­pend­ent artists have people who sup­port them and make it hap­pen for them. They may employ or work with agen­cies to help them raise their pro­file. Truth is most inde­pend­ents got a lot of people who are put­ting in time to make them suc­cess­ful.

Apart from that it’s hard to talk about advant­ages without touch­ing on cre­at­ive free­dom and in my opin­ion being signed puts artists in a more advant­ages pos­i­tion than those who are work­ing as inde­pend­ents, espe­cially when it comes to mar­ket­ing and expos­ure.

As for a ride in inde­pend­ent artists, may­be the inde­pend­ent artist have always been there but they are get­ting bet­ter at gain­ing expos­ure from the Inter­net. Also, not every­one who calls them selves a rap­per or sing­er deserves to be cred­ited as an artist. I think we been abus­ing the term artist these days. It’s like heads drop a 16, get a few views on You­Tube an sud­denly they are an artist. I per­son­ally think there’s more to being an artist than that.

Q. You’ve been work­ing with Glob­al­fac­tion for a while now and they are well renowned for mak­ing incred­ible videos. How import­ant is that aspect of the music in this digit­al age?

Very import­ant. People want to be enter­tained via all the senses, sight and sound. If I drop a MP3 file and say check this out, it will get some interest but if I drop that same audio with a visu­al too it will get to a much wider audi­ence. So many more people con­sume music via iPhones and laptops without head­phones and prop­er speak­ers where the sound qual­ity is actu­ally quite poor, so as artist we have to do more to sep­ar­ate ourselves and make our work more dis­tin­guish­able from the next per­son. I find that fans often say that their favour­ite tracks of mine will be ones that I’ve done videos for. I don’t always thinks this is because they are genu­inely my best tracks, but I think the video helps them songs make an impres­sion on the audi­ence.

Q. For those that don’t know you used to be a mem­ber of a Hip-Hop  col­lect­ive Cax­ton Press and were touted as the best group in the UK along­side Rhyme Asylum. I have to ask why did you decide to leave Cax­ton?

Yeah these are proud moments, but we split up really because of busi­ness. There was trust issues fin­an­cially and things star­ted get­ting nasty between us. It’s dif­fi­cult when money and paper­work get between cre­ativ­ity. The rela­tion­ship between myself and the rest of the group felt strained after a while. Also, there was a con­tra­dic­tion between what we were rap­ping about and the way some mem­bers of the group were con­duct­ing them­selves and it didn’t sit well with me. You can’t talk about telling the truth and sham­ing the dev­il when your liv­ing a lie. #RealTalk So I told the group that I’m out. They did some good stuff in my absence but I feel our best work was as the ori­ginal col­lect­ive.

Q. In terms of col­lab­or­a­tions who would you love to work with? One pro­du­cer and one MC and why?

Pete Rock or Lord fin­esse are my choice of pro­du­cers. They my favour­ites. Pete Rock makes that jazzy, soul­ful stuff that I love and Lord fin­esse makes them raw bangers that I know I could smash to pieces lol.

Rap­pers that I would like to work with…. Nas, I don’t even feel like I need to explain. Listen to Ill­matic. That’s my explan­a­tion right there 😉

Please vis­it King­pin Band­camp for more music!

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Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira

A bud­ding music Journ­al­ist spe­cial­iz­ing in all things hip hop. Who Occa­sion­ally dabbles in polit­ic­al ram­bling.

About Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira
A budding music Journalist specializing in all things hip hop. Who Occasionally dabbles in political rambling.

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