Week 9- I have thought about quitting rap several times

To date we have used this weekly blog to track an aspiring music journey thus far. We have discussed everything from the upbringing of KM to his musical aspirations to even his celebrity crush. Thanks to the Internet we have been able to let his fans get an in depth look inside of the artist based out of Charlotte. Each week we circle back to pick KM’s brain with intriguing questions that we feel most people want to know. KM has been more than willing to open up and let us truly get to know him. Often times battling fatigue from work, collaboration efforts in the studio and just living life he finds time for us. This week we focus on KM’s interpretation of his sense of style and also why he will never give up his hip hop dream

Fashion is defined as a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior. Style is defined as a distinctive appearance. If you haven’t got the memo yet KM will not be defined by the culture, he is going to define what culture truly means. Popular, trend and appearance 3 words that KM could truly care less about as he realizes there are bigger fish to fry…

How would you describe your sense of fashion? 

Ever heard of the corporate acronym used in reference to giving speeches “K.I.S.S”? If not it simply means to keep it simple stupid (although some argue it means keep it short) this acronym is fitting for KM’s sense of fashion. Never one to consider himself fashion forward or as a candidate to grace GQ Km choose to keep his apparel appearance minimal. Although his style is pretty laid back it’s forceful, battle-tested lyrics that pint vivid pictures for the fan to relate too. KM isn’t a model and doesn’t aspire to be but what he is true to form and smart in his rationale KM realizes that fashion is and will be a platform. Using his resources he has created a few tee shirts that he wears at his shows so that people can associate his sound with a name. Not only does the shirt clearly display his name it also includes the name of his website as KM states  think I have simple sense when it comes to fashion. I do not focus on what is hot; I just buy what I like. Don’t try to mimic anyone.

Do you feel like fashion plays a big part of a rappers image?

It’s kind of up for debate because there are great artist who wear simple stuff (Big Krit, Lupe, B.O.B and Eminem) and others try to start fashion trends (Fabolous, Kanye, Cam’ron). As we stated earlier at this point KM sense of fashion is strictly for marketing purposes. The shirts he wears display his name and website (Kmusiq.com). When you see and hear Km you know you are getting raw emotion, he isn’t dressing up in the hottest designer tees but neither is the next Joe busting his a** to make ends meet and pay bills. There is more to rap than pure image KM has substance those who have substance would tend to agree and relate to his music.

What rapper out there do you listen too that doesn't get the respect they deserve?

KM is big on respect in the current state of hip hop he feels that everyone is getting the credit they deserve. In an ADD driven culture one element KM realizes is a fad is catchy songs over content. Our generation wants that instant track, the one with a dope hook a beat from a top producer and verses about literally nothing. Anything you can create a dance too or is catchy will definitely stick in today’s age. KM is more focused on providing substance and keeping it real with his fans. The catchy meaningless fad will soon fade.

Have you ever thought about quitting rap? What were your thoughts and how did you bounce back?

 You can’t quit every time the going gets tough. To say I haven’t toggled with the idea of hanging it up and just focusing on my job is a lie. Honestly, quitting the music game has crossed my mind several times, it’s human. It’s natural to wonder what happens if I do something else or hang it up. But my parents didn’t raise me to give in or give up. I have a dream and a mission I will get where I want to be.

--I have only had to bounce back once and that was after Overdue Mixtape. That was VERY early on in my rap career where I truly learned a lot about myself, the game and what to expect on this journey. That project definitely mad me a stronger person and truly opened my eyes. After that project I kind of took a break then refocused. I got out of the funk and back into my musical routine. As KM states consistency and repetition always pays off (#SteadyWork). I have came a long way in Charlotte, with the connections I have built its only a matter of time before I take the next giant leap . . . .Stay Tuned !!

Week 8 - Stay True

How ironic? Week 8 and our very own Carolina Panthers are 8-0. Keep Pounding is their motto #SteadyWork is the motto of KM. KM has been busy since the last time we checked on him. In the past week he has attended a release party from a local artist, performed at a local gentleman club who has seen the likes of Drake and Future and also created a vision for his next release. What is his next release?!?!? That is still in the pipeline as KM has a batch that he is ready to deliver but wants to pinpoint exactly what message he is trying to deliver. He could go with a sped up anthem for the holidays or an emotional powerful track about life.

If you have followed KM’s musical path since his early GBS days and visited his website you will notice he has a few videos under his belt. This week we talk to him about future possible videos and also what he feels is an obstacle.

What is your feeling on new artist and shooting videos for their music?

Fanbase Fanbase Fanbase. Before you get on the road to success you must first pave the way and actually build the pavement on which you will travel. Currently KM has been doing just that creating quality content to spark new fans. If you have no fans who is essentially going to watch your video?  Now he has historically released a few videos but has learned the biggest thing to try to produce is a good crowd or fan base. The music comes and the videos fall soon after. In the words of KM “I feel like you need to build some what a base before taking that task.  If nobody knows you are doing music if could backfire. On the other hand it could be the statement you need to get your name out there”- KM.

Is it harder to push a mixtape or a single?

In a sense a mixtape can make or break you. Since it is project it obviously takes more time and effort but at the same time people may judge your body of work off of only one project. If people don’t like your mixtape they are unlikely to give your next project a listen on the other hand a song can garner their attention and make them want to listen to more I would say a mixtape, there is some much more behind a mixtape. If they don’t like your single you and drop another one in the month to give them something else to focus on.

What would you say is holding back at this point?

Time is of the essence and bills gotta be paid. KM can’t devote 24 hours of every day to music but what he can do is live his life. By waking up for work, going to his job hanging out with friends on the weekend he is fueling his fire. Life and work provide KM with the ingredients needed to whip up a hit track. KM uses music as an outlet his harmonic releases give you an intimate overview of the daily struggles he encounters. Time, I don’t have the whole day to commit to my music, so when I do I have to crush everything in. It takes artist years before they get that big break. I am doing the proper step to hopefully get that shot.

What's your advice to other up and coming artist in the rap game?

Stay True. In today’s society everyone is often trying to imitate what they see on TV nor on social media. Along the way KM has experienced his fair share of criticiem but it hasn’t deterred his efforts and will never let it. A wise rapper (Cam’ron) once said be mindful of what you attach your name too because some people are just going to hate because it’s YOU. KM realizes that everyone isn’t a fan of his music nor should they be but what is also mindul of is that he is going to stay true to form which he suggests all aspiring artist do – “Don’t let people outsides influence you. If they are not doing what you are doing take their suggestions extremely lightly. Follow artist in your area who are having success and break down what they are doing. One step at a time”-- KM.

Week 7- Figure out what works best and repeat

Unfortunately the recipe for success in the Hip Hop game isn’t quite like recipe to your favorite dish. There are key elements (nutrients) that come into play when thinking of success. Key factors include networking, marketing your music and a unique sound and a hunger for more. KM currently has these elements incorporated into his image but it varies as to what area should be zeroed in on.

In the words of KM “there is no exact process, just need to figure out what works best and repeat”-- KM. With Ace Ventura approaching nearly 5K views on SoundCloud it is evident that KM has been shopping this track that much harder. Ace Ventura has nearly tripled the amount of listens to any other track currently listed on SoundCloud. He has reached out to local DJ’s, local venues and curated a hashtag that associates all of his social media post with his work ethic, #SteadyWork. There has been a major rebranding effort in the past 2 months.

In addition to shopping the song KM is more present on social media; always focusing on his musical grind. Tweeting more, posting more pics on Instagram and even creating a Periscope account to give his fans an intimate look inside his shows, recording sessions and everyday activities that revolve around music. Image is a factor that comes into the equation but it is not the only thing that makes or breaks an artist. Content is everything. People don’t want to just see dope a** pics but they want to hear dope a** lyrics, futuristic beats and topics they can relate too. KM is currently creating more and more content and preparing to drop his next single along with new visuals. The biggest thing KM is working on as an artist is being open to new ideas especially ones that are effective and will yield a bigger audience, but that’s a part of the chase, he will get there one day until then the grind continues . . .

What types of marketing do you currently use?

When you think about it everything is marketing. Your name in itself is a brand. For that reason alone KM has shifted the focus of his Instagram/twitter to strictly tweets about music including his hashtag whenever he gets a chance. When you see or hear the letters KM think of someone who is reliable, consistent and always grinding for more. Besides Instagram, twitter and getting more and more familiar with Periscope he uses Facebook marketing, still trying to figure what exactly works best. When a new song is released he creates a detailed contact list and sends it to all the blogs, websites and colleges within a certain radius. 

In the day of viral superstars and people essentially being “overnight celebrities” KM realizes the years of experience put into that which most people do not see. As he stated earlier -- “There is no exact process, just need to figure out what works best and repeat”- KM.

Do you ever put current events in the news in your music?

If I can relate to it then I will use it if not then I wont force it into my music. With all the media outlets in today’s times there is ALWAYS something going on, whether it’s a natural disaster, a police injustice or a celebrity crisis. I’m not a news outlet so I don’t report on all the time about what’s going on.  I talk more about what I’m going through, what challenges I am facing and how I am going to overcome them.

I try to stick to what is affecting me and if that subject is in the news then I will use it. I don’t go out searching for news to put in my music. I have more than enough on my plate, I have topics for days.

What's some mistakes you made early on in your career that you have learned from?

One can either hustle or get hustled. There a million and 1 “janky” promoters out here looking to make a fast buck, There are social media accounts with 100K followers that follow 500 K people and will send you endless bullssh*t package deals that will “get you the exposure” you want . You have to sift through these deals 9/10 are full of crap.  A lot of times you are basically paying for “bot” likes or automated likes on your post. This is not how KM wants to build his fanbase; he is going with an organic approach and connecting to REAL people one fan at a time.

Another mistake KM learned from is relying on others. If someone wants to be apart of a project you will know from their actions and energies early. If they drag out collaboration or making a beat for you the just walk away from it, it’s not worth it KM is not going to force anyone’s hand into jumping on a track with him. All in all just make sure you stay on your grind consistently and watch out for these sketchy site and ads.


Why do you feel no one from Charlotte has really "blew up" from the rap scene?

I don’t feel that way, Deniro Farrar has made it. That gives me hope that I have a chance in this big city. Everyone has a different definition of “Blew Up”. I just need to keep on the path and take advantage of the opportunities in front of me.

If one can do it so can I . .