L.A. based rapper makes Iowa City debut


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A tattoo of a growling tiger's face lies on rapper Kid Ink's Adam's apple. And while he said it hurt to get inked there, his most painful tattoo experience was getting the bones in his hands tattooed on the skin under which they lie.

He got the inspiration for his rap persona, not from the ink that covers his body, but from the Bic Man character found on Bic highlighters and pens.

"I have a lot of tattoos, so I'm full of ink, too, just like the Bic Man," Kid Ink said. "I feel like I'm a kid version of him."

His tattoos may help to make a name for himself, but his music has really attracted international audiences.

Kid Ink will perform for the first time in Iowa at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Moose Tap House, 211 Iowa Ave. Admission is $15.

Todd Luna, a local fan, first heard about Kid Ink on Twitter and decided to check his music out. He said he liked the vibe right away.

"You don't need a specific setting — you can chill to it or be in a bar with it," he said. "It's relative to any atmosphere."

Luna plans on being in the Blue Moose on Saturday, and he's interested to see what kind of live show the rapper will bring to the stage.

Kid Ink said he is excited about playing in a college town because the atmosphere is always "pretty crazy."

The 25-year-old artist plans to play songs from his upcoming album Up and Away including his first single "Time of Your Life."

"A lot of my music I want to be fun and uplifting," Kid Ink said. "I want to make sure to have records that people can listen to and relate to."

His single "Time of Your Life" has been playing on radio stations across the country, and it made the iTunes top-20 hip-hop single chart the day of its release. It also sold 18.5 thousand singles that week as well.

Tom George, Kid Ink's publicity representative, said he loves the album's first single.

"It's one of the most-listened-to songs on my iPod for sure," George said. "There is no doubt in my mind that Kid Ink will be a household name in a very short period of time."

Right now, the Los Angeles native is focusing on pushing his new single on tour and finishing his album. He has played in many cities overseas, most recently in Paris last week.

He considers it a blessing to be able to share his music with international fans, and he has received a great response from these new audiences.

"One of the biggest differences [from the U.S.] is the distance," he said. "The people there are a little more excited to see me because it might be their only chance. Plus overseas just has a crazy and wild audience."

Throughout this year, Kid Ink hopes to collaborate in the studio with other artists on his future albums.

"I definitely look forward to a big year in 2012 with just a lot more work," he said. "I don't want to limit myself to any collaborations, and I want to work with more female artists and bigger voices, such as Alicia Keys and Adele."

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