I have never in my life interviewed any other rapper so well spoken, intelligent & adamant about being a beacon of light & hope for all the up & comers in the game. K-Beta completely floored me with his thoughts & opinions. He’s in this rap game for more than just the power & the glory; K-Beta is here to prove that hip hop can be therapy, timeless & inspiration.
With his debut album Inglorious Beta on the shelves as we speak, K-Beta hopes to give listeners that don’t follow the DMV hip hop scene a chance to hear his progression as an artist & as a man. He grew up listening to Big Daddy Kane, Run DMC & LL Cool J, just like every other rapper, but decided just six years ago that he could have music as a career. Since then, K-Beta’s had his ups, downs & setbacks, but stayed determined. He & his friends started Interloop Records in 2004 & the rest has been history. With producers & artists–K-Beta included–coming out on Interloop, the next couple of years are surely going to be prosperous for K-Beta. Through his music, he plans on bringing change & growth. That’s a great thing because it’s exactly what the world needs, especially hip hop.
The album’s been out for a few weeks, do you feel you’ve gotten great feedback?
There’s been a good amount of people. I know that obviously I am unknown, so I know the world isn’t sitting there waiting. The fanbase has grown. We’ve been fortunate enough to build a fanbase in the area & it’s growing. Once we started pushing the album as a project, it helped us build the anticipation outside the area. For me, honestly, I am not sure. This is my first time cracking on to this team. It’s up to the people.
Tell me about how you got your start in hip hop.
I’ve been rhyming all my life, since I was a kid. I started listening to hip hop when I was really young. I was watching TV & saw rap music & it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I was 7 or 8. I saw two dudes, standing up there with some leather on & these hats with this guy standing behind them with two turntables. Run DMC just blew my mind. It was a natural attraction for me. Ever since then, it was something I wanted to do. I seriously sat down & thought about making a career out of this in 2004. Before that, I would rap at open mics.
How would you describe the grind you’ve been on since ’04?
It’s been up & down honestly Danielle. In ’04, I started & I was going at it. I didn’t know anything about the business. I was just making music & doing my best to get it out there. Just those few, short years ago, there weren’t many outlets like there are today–,blogs & things wasn’t popping like that. It was more of a street thing–the street team era was giving way to the digital age–in terms of the method of getting your music out there. We did well throughout the next few years. I went through a lot of stuff–I was battling personal demons. That was mostly through ’05 & ’06. By ’07, I had to sit down & take a long hard look at myself & ask myself what I wanted to do with my music & with my life. Fortunately, I was able to turn things around & that’s how we started operating Interloop Records. It was all systems go from there. Since ’07, we’ve been running as the unit we are right now. I think it narrowed down to the people who are left for a reason.
For those that haven’t gotten it yet, what can they expect to hear on Inglorious Beta?
Basically, you’re going to hear everything that it took for me to get the album out, really. We were recording these songs over the past couple of years & it really gave me a chance to get a lot of my struggles & ups & downs in perspective in a way that doesn’t whine & cry or make it sound like a sad & terrible thing, but at the same time, not glorifying it. It really helped me & the listeners to see it for what it really is. There’s a lot of hardship & struggle, but on the flip side, there’s a lot of understanding & insight. Those are the jewels & gifts that I was able to receive as a result of the struggle. I just really went through the task of putting all that together. Hopefully it comes together in a way you see the transition & progression.
How do you feel the D.C. area’s hip hop scene?
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