The Kyd – Napsacks & Kickbacks [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words:

Traditional, boom-bap, lyrical

Tell us a few things about your new song “Napsacks & Kickbacks”. What is the main idea behind it?

It’s a nostalgic track sort of reminiscing about care-free high school-ish days hanging and partying with friends but within that it’s talking a bit about how I got into rapping and what inspired me to get into it and then start taking it seriously. I thought of the line: “What the deally, just got to the Chat, it’s chilly,” which pretty much set everything up from there. Line’s of course a reference to AZ’s opening line on Phone Tap, a rapper I mention as one of my biggest influences alongside Nas in the last verse.

What is the main topic of your lyrics?

It’s just reflecting type of stuff really but also fun. The first verse is just setting the tone and talking about getting back to Chatham, the hometown, hanging with the old crew you always hung with and getting back into the zone you were in when you were younger, before the reality of life hit you and you suddenly couldn’t slog beers til 4am and do shit you used to do anymore. It sets up the other 2 verses. The second verse starts off by me talking about how they “done doubted this, etc.” because that was definitely the case. The time period I’m talking about, when I discovered rap and first got into it, I didn’t really have a niche like people I hung with did so I was kind of aimless and my self-esteem wasn’t the highest and I could often come off as painfully timid. So I was defined as that by a lot of people and written off as some sort of hapless, feeble person that probably wouldn’t do anything and that was going to me. Not to say I’m dwelling in the past at this point, but I think one of the underlying reasons I often rhyme the way I do and go as hard as I do is the chip on my shoulder that inevitably comes from all of that. I think other artists could probably relate to that.

The verse then transitions into talking about becoming the artist and how that has made me more certain of myself and what not. Third verse is basically summing it all up and saying that rap is what I want to do and forget all the BS, this is what I should be doing.

Your music has an old school vibe. Are you into today’s Hip Hop? Or do you prefer to listen to old classics?

I mean, when it comes down to it, I gotta say I prefer the classics. They’re what got me to fall in love with hip-hop in the first place, what I studied when I decided to really get into rap, and what I go back to the most when I want to get inspired to write something. But that’s not to say I just dismiss everything out now. I love Griselda, Freddie Gibbs, Pro Era, Earl Sweatshirt, and this new artist on Shady, Grip, is also great. A lot of other artists as well as who are doing dope stuff that stick to the fundamentals of good lyricism and flow and can bring it to a modern audience. I’ll even rock to some Denzel Curry or Bryson Tiller when in the mood. But the thing about the classics in the late ‘80s and ‘90s that makes them so good is that they came out in a time when your place in hip-hop was determined or measured by how dope you were, not all the other bullshit that labels and executives seem to emphasize now. All that shit was secondary. So you had to keep your sword sharp because there was so much competition. The level of competition there was back then is still missing a bit. You see evidence of that coming back now which is great but there’s a lot of bullshit to overcome if you want to be an artist sticking to that essence.

What does hip hop symbolize in your opinion?

Oh man, great question. This one topic could take hours. It represents a very significant cultural achievement for the Black community, which they should always have pride in. It went from Kool Herc’s parties in the Bronx to being dismissed as a fad or “ignorant gangster ghetto music” by an ignorant establishment, to being the most prominent genre and culture at the moment. It’s consistently proved everyone wrong since it started and continues to, I think. It also emphasizes competitive creativity more than most other genres, since it’s usually more based on individual effort and style and setting yourself a part. It’s unique in that way, as you’re always pitting your style against someone else’s and trying to push boundaries with how you flow or use words to stand out as the best. What it has symbolized for me and many others as well is building one’s individual identity and solidifying it. Not to sound hokey, but it’s been a passion of mine, a dream, and a hobby or whatever you want to call it since I love the artform and enjoy creating it. But it’s also been an outlet for people like me who otherwise probably wouldn’t have one and a big part of my personal development. It added a jolt to my confidence that wasn’t there and probably never would have developed had it not been for rapping. So it’s for a while now been the one area where I’m completely sure of myself. And I’ve noticed that sort of confidence has eventually found its way into other areas of life, too.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Probably when I was told “just put yourself out there and go do it. You have the talent now.” Simple, but helpful.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Probably when I hosted a party at my parent’s house where some property was damaged. Not sure I’ve seen the old man that hot before.

Thank you!

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The Kyd – Beethoven’s Spliff [interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Only the real, maybe?

Tell us a few things about your new song Beethoven’s Spliff.

Beethoven’s Spliff is a track that kind of came spontaneously. My bro came with the loop while messing around one night and I thought it was dope. I write everyday regardless of it’s for a specific track or not and had a bunch of rhymes that I thought would fit it. It’s really just a lyrical exercise, no hook or anything. Just spitting and pushing the pen for two and a half minutes. It’s for those who appreciate bars.

Which album describes the Golden Era of hip-hop and boom bap?

Tough to narrow down to just one. Period is called the Golden Era for a reason since there’s so many classics that dropped and the audience was really spoiled with how much quality they got. For me, personally, there’s of course the Paid in Fulls and Long Live the Kanes, but the album that really did it for me and sealed the deal as far as my love for that kind of hip-hop was Illmatic.

What is your opinion about today’s hip-hop?

It’s a bit bipolar. There’s a lot of great music dropping these days, with guys like Griselda, Cordae, Freddie Gibbs making music that is sort of harkening back to the Golden Era and the traditional sound. And I think seeing people like Lloyd Banks and Roc Marci, and legends like Nas and Black Thought dropping new albums that are getting a lot of love in this climate is really encouraging to see, since you can see a renewed interest in what many would call “real Hip-Hop” and lyricism. At the same time, a lot of stuff that’s getting instant love at the moment in the mainstream I’m really not rocking with. Everything sounds the same and it’s all focused on the beat or a repetitive hook rather than what they’re actually saying. There’s no interest among some of these artists to go and study the craft and they often dismiss what came before them and just focus on the clout. Which unsurprisingly leads to a lot of bad music being made. I alternate between being optimistic and pessimistic about the state of hip-hop a lot.

What would you change in the music industry?

A lot probably. Though the benefits of the internet and social media are clear, and can really help artists of my type, I do think the emphasis on algorithms and numbers gets to a point where it really disincentivizes people from actually taking their time to make a quality body of work. There’s a lot of pressure to follow the rush, which can lead to a lot of music that won’t have much shelf life. That’s probably an old school mentality to have, but you definitely see the negative effects. Artists being so focused on capturing a meme moment rather than making a good song being one example, etc. Some of it has really led to a rapid dumbing down of the culture since artists are just generally incentivized to put less thought into their work.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I’d have to think about that one. I’ve always been able to remember obscure dates from history and stuff but that can sometimes be useful hah. That’s a good question.

One last thing we should know about you?

I have a really deep love of hip-hop and it’s been a dream of mine to be a part of it. I’m not doing this to chase clout or superficial reasons. I genuinely appreciate and have a deep respect for this culture and those who built it, since it’s given me an outlet and a voice and I really want to have a hand in helping push it in a positive direction since it’s given me so much personally. I have a lot of new stuff coming that I’m looking forward to people hearing and am excited for what the future holds. Stay tuned.

Thank you!

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