A Year After Revealing His “Choppa” Video, KD Is Ready To Take His Music Mainstream
Born and bred in East New York, Brooklyn ‘since diapers’, Hip-Hop newcomer KD is putting in work, grinding for respect. Inspired by New York natives, because of their swag, lyrical content and laid back flow, KD is particularly motivated by Brooklyn native, Fabolous.
While his music is a diverse representation of the hood and a direct reflection of his upbringing, KD’s current story is a bit different than your average rapper from the streets of East New York. He’s currently in school, attending Morgan State University in Baltimore. A talented basketball player, trying to perfect his grades, KD is majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Entrepreneurship. The true definitely of talent meets smarts, KD is also using the exposure that attending an HBCU can provide to help build a buzz for his music projects.
We caught up with the young emcee to talk about his forthcoming debut mixtape, Beast New York’s Finest, his upcoming performances and much more.
Parlé Mag: When did you first take an interest to making music?
KD: I first took my interest in music when I was in elementary school to be honest. I didn’t actually start writing music until I got into my sophomore year in high school.
Parlé Mag: What artists did you listen to growing up?
KD: I grew up listening to all major artists such as Jay Z, Fabolous , Drake, and more.
Parlé Mag: What if any artists influenced your music and your sound?
KD: If I can say any artist influence my music and sound it would be fabulous because of his laid back mood yet he still delivers major punchlines in his songs.
Parlé Mag: How would you describe your sound?
KD: I would say my sound is mostly versatile if anything because I can sit and make songs with different points of view on different things such as life, struggles, fantasies and a lot more that people can relate to.
Parlé Mag: Why the name KD? How did it stick?
KD: ‘Kay Dee’ was actually given to me by a older friend who also kind of inspired me with his music and sound. Funny thing is I actually was not a rapper at the time when I was given the name because I played basketball at the time so most of my friends would say I favor the game of NBA player Kevin Durant. I did have another name, which I used to rap with but I felt “KD” stuck with me more because of my basketball skills but also because of my flows on songs.
Parlé Mag: Being away in school, and having a different influence out there, how has that impacted your music?
KD: People out here support my music way more than people in my own city. Maybe Its because a lot of kids in New York trying to do the same thing. Coming to Baltimore helped me by seeing that I can have support from people even outside of my hometown
Parlé Mag: Being that you’re in school, what’s the back-up plan besides music?
KD: I still play basketball, so I’m in the process of playing for my school once I get situated with the school and properly adjusted. I’ve been doing great so far so I’m working to keep it there while I’m focusing on my dreams.
Parlé Mag: How would you say KD is different from other upcoming artists right now?
KD: I wouldn’t say that I am different but I also wouldn’t say that I am the same as other upcoming artists because not many of the people where I’m from are actually making music to make it somewhere. A lot of people are doing it for fun and that makes it more difficult for the people who really want it, the artists that are actually putting the time in for it or even going to school to perfect their craft. It makes artists like myself and others working as hard less noticeable on a large scale.
Parlé Mag: I’ve heard a number of your tracks, any plans to put out a project/mixtape?
KD: Of course, I have a mixtape coming after my show on March 25th in Baltimore with Coast to Coast Live, Its going to be called, Beast New York’s Finest.
Parlé Mag: Talk to me about the Beast New York’s Finest mixtape. What can listeners expect? How many tracks? Expected release date?
KD : Beast New York’s Finest will be my first mixtape. I usually just drop song after song waiting for feedback but I feel like I got enough. I want people to expect to find out who I am, as well as what I grew up around, and things I’m moving on to as my career progresses. There will be approximately 10 songs, maybe even a bonus track for my real listeners. My expected release date is on my birthday, May 29th.
Parlé Mag: Talk to me about the “Choppa” visual and the creative process behind that?
KD : Choppa was like my breaking point in my rap life, when I saw how much people supported my music I was amazed and it gave me a motivational push to keep going. The song was actually created for a friend who had passed away before the video was made. Everybody around my way was close with him.
Parlé Mag: You got this show coming up on the 25th. Talk to me about what your stage presence is like. What can people expect from your live show?
KD: I’m a energetic person so people should definitely expect the hype from me. I feel like my music are like my feelings and I like to express them in a hype manner.
Parlé Mag: What’s been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
KD: My biggest accomplishment to me right now is being in school to learn more about my craft and become more of the person I know I can be in the future.
Parlé Mag: What’s one song you’ve created that you feel represents you the best?
KD: I have a unreleased song that’s coming on my mixtape that I feel sums up my life in a couple minutes. It’s on the “Ten Toes Challenge” beat.
Parlé Mag: What’s been the hardest thing to overcome thus far in your musical journey?
KD: I would say transforming my style of music and learning what’s appropriate for a song.
Parlé Mag: What does success mean to you?
KD: To me, success is just a dream that a kid like me wants to chase every day. We turn on our televisions and see our so called role models and idols doing what they love and that’s what we want. I wouldn’t say success is overrated, I would just say it’s only a word inside of a sentence.
Parlé Mag: Where do you see your career in music 5 years from now?
KD : I see me working with my own label possibly, and helping kids with the same dream as mine. That’s my main goal, to provide and give back to my community.
Images from photo shoot with Foreign Labur clothing by Steven French
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