Interview with K.i.d.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself; where you're from, when did you start rapping and how'd you become part of Darkroom Familia?
I was born in East Oakland, in an old navy base Hospital Called Oak Knoll. I was raised by a Cheerleader Captain/ Prom Queen from Pacific High School in San Leandro back in the day and an O.G. Lowrider from Northern San Leandro Marina district.... I moved to Tracy, California before I moved back to San Leandro, when I was 12 & immediately linked up with my brother Oso of Darkroom. We were the same age in the same classes (which was seemingly not a good idea to have us together in a classroom, let alone the same school. lol). Me and him were younger, but came up with Sir Dyno as a brother-in-law, seeing how he was married to Oso's sister. I pretty much grew up in it. Darkroom has always been family. Blood in blood out! Music seems to be a factor in my life since childhood, from mom cleaning house, bumpin’ Lowryder Oldies to Pops being a DJ on his leisure, partying with all the OGz at his events. And just feeling good with the Homeboys always chillin’ at the Lowryder happenings. Pops had a 55 Bel Air and moms rode a six-deuce hardtop Impala, both lifted front to back, always playing music off them ol’ school Zappco boards. lol.
2) Describe your style/sound.
I would imagine myself as being very diverse in how I just go where the beat takes me. I believe music should take us to a place. Good or bad, happy or sad, it should take us somewhere. Generally great music can be heard and felt by anyone. People Talk about the same shit every day, but it's not what you say, it's how you say it. It's the released captivity of emotion that music provides from adrenalin, excitement, to strength and honor, that makes our blood flow. I'm a classic man. I like music that slaps hard being from the East Bay and all with a touch of that funk and definitely inspired by them oldies. I love the unique incorporation of all instruments. I definitely believe lyrics should be meaningful and directional. The radio is hurting these days… lol... There is still a pulse though, and some decent material, if you look for it. Game is Game. Either you got it or you don't! In this business Game is the business. To me, writing raps is one of the most easiest things in the world to do for myself. I will literally murder any beat on Earth until there is a calm and silence from miles amongst fields of lyrically murdered rappers... lol... If the beat is tasty I will devour it. I feel bad if you don't bring your “A” game with the "K"! Only time you hang is when I bring the noose!!!!
3) What influenced/inspired you to start rapping?
As a kid, my father influenced me most with music. As a lowrider, it was a primal necessity in our lives. Darkroom was a large factor as a kid being introduced at the age of 12 to the Familia. Family as well, I had a million cousins and my older ones would always keep me laced on what was hot. Growing up in the East Bay you get a pretty diverse array of music & lyrics, so you are constantly exposed to an open underground buffet of talent.
4) Darkroom Familia has released an unbelievable amount of albums over the years and have been making music for so long. What inspires Darkroom Familia to keep making music?
For me, it’s just doing it. The whole process, from the unity of working together to the amazement in engineering our own beats & productions. The thrill of hearing your own words ignite a collaboration of audio sounds on a new hit for the first time is a momentous feeling. Making music is addictive, no doubt. I take my music personal. I run my shit through quality control with myself and make sure my signature is on it for authenticity before I send it. There is no going back once you drop a verse so ya better make sure it’s a bomb.
5) What is your all-time favorite Darkroom album?
That would have to be my #2 solo “East Bay Raider…” lol. Soon to be my #3 solo... for obvious reasons.
6) What is your opinion of rap/hip-hop currently?
It’s coo. It just all sounds the same after a while. You want to captivate people to take the ride with you wherever you are going in your lyrics & production you know? People need to feel what you’re saying and when you’re complimenting a dope ass beat, that enhances your trip and takes them with you, then you have succeeded. This makes our fans a large factor in our success. I would not be here without them, gamed-up or not. Seems like you have to dig deep to find music like that lately… another satisfaction from making my own.
7) What artists, aside from Darkroom Familia, do you listen to?
I'm extremely diverse in what I listen to. I’m slappin’ some rap one day in the whip, some oldies on the weekend, to some rock and roll in the garage, working on the old school. There are way too many artists I've evolved around to name altogether. I do have them Bay roots, so I definitely connect with our West Coast style, but never limit myself to any good music.
8) How do you feel about fans outside of the U.S. listening to Darkroom?
Good Question. It’s uplifting to inspire. I feel like they are like me and just generally like good music, how it makes them feel and where it takes them. Fans put us here. They spread our voice in power and numbers as people who are united. The type of music we produce is not achievable easily or by most. Our music is definitely on the Alpha Male side of rap. We are Lions and we are hungry. Better be on your shit with us and our fans. We may be in different countries, but we still all play in the same sandbox in a sense, you know? It’s 1-luv all day, every day, everywhere, all the time for a fan of K.I.D.
9) What are your thoughts on major labels still not recognizing independent rap from the Bay/Northern Cali?
It is what it is. Music is a business. It's all about money to a major label. That's what they are in business to do, make money, right? They don't want to recognize talent that exceeds their own. Why would they? Fuck ‘em. They know... lol. There is no way they would ever step in the ring with us... that would be sacrificial to their existence.
10) How do you feel about the Bay Area/Central Valley/Northern Cali rap scene?
To me, it's the most inspirational, simply being it’s my origin. It's the foundation in which I am built on. We go through life representing our origins, our knowledge and wisdom in any situation, from work to home to our children. I feel pride in the Bay Area/Central Valley/Northern Cali rap scene. I'm Honored to have helped pave the way for Latino Artists all over the world and I'm Blessed to be a part of it. I will always have Luv and a contribution to it.
11) Any upcoming projects?
Absolutely!!!! I'm about halfway done with my #3 solo album. I'm loving the progress in what we have created thus far. Collaborating with my brothers Duke and Crooked, sticking to the grind. Gonna take ‘em to the Land with this album. I definitely enjoy making each song unique. Every song/ride should be/feel/take you somewhere different. So y'all better put ya seat belts on for this one! Real Talk.