Rapper Drops a Rhyme


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Up and coming rapper Kid Ink will bring his lyricism and outstanding layered production to the Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave., at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission ranges from $22 to $25.

Kid Ink’s words are backed by booming melodies that are driven to fit any atmosphere and influenced by super producers Timbaland and Pharell. The Daily Iowan had the chance to talk with Kid Ink and ask him about his career and the competition in the hip-hop industry.

Daily Iowan: How early did you start rapping verses and creating songs?

Kid Ink: Probably around 16, 17 years old when I started getting into music. I saw producers making albums, and that got me really into it. People like Timbaland and Pharrell really influenced me, but it took me a couple years to master it. I started as a producer, but then I started to write more. From there, I went and bought all the music equipment and then I started to focus on mix tapes.

DI: What kind of artistic approach did you take with your most recent EP, Almost Home?

Kid Ink: It was a focus for the summer. All the records on there were for the summer. The vibe was a party vibe, clubbing all night, things like that. And then you got going with the beach vibe and staying in the sunlight. I just tried to incorporate all those things.

DI: What did it mean for you to be named the 2012 XXL Freshman Class?

Kid Ink: That was mad cool. It was a good experience to not only be one of the only people from my city but also representing the West Coast. Being in the face of more East Coast publications, and out in New York a lot, I got a new scene away from home. It doesn’t hurt to be on a magazine cover, either [laughs].

DI: Who would you say your biggest influences are in the rap game?

Kid Ink: As far as I know, Jay Z is the best. He is at the top of his career as a rapper and lyricist. I look up to Kanye and Pharrell, who have the production mind frame because that’s the way I go about my verses, to not always making it hard-core hip-hop but to fit into all genres and just have fun.

DI: Describe what Up & Away did for your career.

Kid Ink: It was awesome. It gave me power with label signing, because from there, I got to show and prove. Giving music away for free is one thing, but I had to prove that I could actually sell units and albums on iTunes. The label has to look at that and say, “Wow, there’s some movement there.” I didn’t want to be a mix-tape artist.

DI: What’s the process when working with someone such as Chris Brown?

Kid Ink: I just reached out to him and wanted to know if he would send me some records and, hopefully, book a session because we were both in LA. He came to the studio — his vibe is sit down, listen to the music, and get in the zone. I put on the first record, because I knew it was the strongest, and he knocked it out in like 30 minutes.

DI: Do you have any plans for another project to come out soon?

Kid Ink: I’m working on an album, coming out in December called My Own Lane; the first single dropped, and it’s doing well. I’m almost done with it, I’m confident in it, and the production is good. We’re just looking for certain features. It will show a lot of growth from the EP — it’s going to have its own vibe and represent Kid Ink.

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