Let's start with an introduction: Who is K-Hill and how long have you been in this?
K-Hill is an artist/producer representing North Carolina and I've been in this since 04. My only purpose here is to provide good music from my perspective. I’m not here to save hiphop or condemn anyone not doing what I do. I’m just here to put in my bid for the culture.
Did you start rhyming before producing, or what came first?
I started producing at the beginning but unfortunately at the time I wasn't working with artists who wanted to take things to the next level so I had to put myself in the driver seat and I started writing. I was a bit discouraged in the beginning. I had to develop my delivery and swag but once I began to see positive result from unbiased people I felt ready to rhyme as well.
How did you link up with producers like 9th and Khrysis?
I threw a showcase to promote a compilation I produced called "Da Banquet" Vol 1. Emcee L.E.G.A.C.Y was one of the artist on my project. He joined the Justus League around the same time I completed the project. When I did the showcase I invited all of the artists I worked with to perform and Legacy asked could his crew perform. I wanted a super dope hiphop event and I had already heard L.E.G.A.C.Y. material with 9th so I was all game. From there we just kicked it at the showcase and built in afterwards.
It’s cool when you get that, heads just building. What's in the works right now?
As of right now I've just secured a digital distribution deal with Perspective Music so I decided to drop my ep Memoirs Of A Prematue Legend through my own label Kick -A-Verse. It will be available on most online outlets in mid April. To coincide with that I have a "Chronic" like mixtape project dropping in May which will feature myself mostly on production or vocals. So far I have Shabamm Sahdeeq, Supastition, Torae, Granddaddy I.U, Ominscence, and others. Behind that I'm working with emcee, JBully. I'm producing his entire album that we have appropriately entitled "BullyHill" and I'm finishing a solo project produced entirely by DC producer Nick da 1da.
Nice, do you see more K-Hill production for your future projects, or will you be sticking to rhyming more, or both?
I definitely see me doing more of my own production for future projects. I have more fun producing. It like playing a grown man's game of Legos
Hahaha, when you work on a song, do you work a track around lyrics you have already, or do you do it the other way around; make a beat and write rhymes that fit it, or both?
When it comes to writing, I would say I use both techniques. When it comes to producing for other artists, i usually let them listen to beats and we'll build on a concept but I love to remix tracks more than anything. It gives the producer more control to do his thing. It gives the producer more leeway to match the music with the emotions behind the lyrics.
So you're also making beats for other MCs then, is it for fam only, or are you open to work with anyone? I guess a better question would be, are you looking to expand on your label and use that to push other artists?
Nah I'm willing to work with anyone that's dope. I feel like that's where most producers fall short, being on some exclusive nonsense. When you fail to help someone out that's talented and humble, you've just helped to form another company that will be your competitor in the long run but when you help build someones vision you only add to your own legacy, and yes definitely....that's the whole point (about putting artists on his label down the line –L). Emceeing was never a choice I selected on my own. I've always just wanted to produce.
Respect for that; I've always felt that's something that plagues hip hop artists in general, that lack of support by fellow artists that you see in other musical genres. You're a family man, how do you juggle being an artist in this "changing" industry and the fam?
Good question L, I was faced with that issue years ago and I chose my fam. That's why I'm just now dropping official material. I have no regrets at all because when the music finally stops playing your family will still be there. I never gave up music 100 percent I just placed my priorities on family and now that everyone is a little more self sufficient, I can get back to work.
Cool, and that's something that always sticks out to me, and I'm glad you pointed this out, when you can tell a song is carefully put-together and not just a beat with random verses over it; how long would you say, on average does making a song take?
I can't really say L. Once I'm inspired and get that first line on paper, everything else flows like water.
Word, so for production, who are you currently working with?
On the memoirs ep, myself, 9th, Dj Resident, Khrysis, Granddaddy IU and Muneshine. For my next project, mostly my own, Marco Polo, and Young Cee.
Now as far as gear, what are you messing with?
Fruity loops, MPC 2000, ableton live,and a gang of plugins!!!! (laughs)
What about to track vocals, what's your vocal chain?
Behringer condeser mic, Yamaha mixer, and m-audio firewire sound card into Adobe Audition
So you basically import a mix into Audition and record the vocal tracks there? Do you mix in Audition as well?
Yes and yes.
Cool, Audition is a powerful tool. I think it's overlooked as a DAW, did you learn to work everything hands on, or have you taken any courses related to music production?
everything has been hands on, manual reading and networking. I've been watching tutorials lately to watch protools.
You're looking to get into ProTools, or do you already have it?
I'm looking to get into it seriously.
I think it's amazing that you can learn just about anything online; how do you feel about online sample digging, like low-quality MP3 samples and sampling from lo-fi sources such as youtube?
Honestly, I think as a producer you're setting yourself up for a surprise. You’re gonna find several producers using the same samples. Don't think you are the only one using this technique. I feel like this techinique makes hiphop more disposable.
Do you collect vinyl?
I collect vinyl but I'm not a connoisseur. I don’t have a room full of vinyl in my spot.
What would you say to someone who says "I want to get into the rap game as a producer, what should I do?"
Learn your history of the music genre you're pursing, make music daily, keep your ear to the streets, network and learn the importance of melodies, hook parts, etc.
Do you think that CDs, as a distribution format for music, still have a chance in the future?
Yep! A lot of people still want that hardcopy for their collections. A lot of deejays still want vinyl. I feel like once it becomes endangered the value will go up. Call me crazy.
Not at all, I feel it's still a completely perfect delivery medium. For example, people never jumped on using the EnhancedCD format, you can throw in a few videos on there to watch on a computer as well as music that can play on any CD player!
Yeah I remember artists on Loud records used to have those. Artist like xzhibit and mobb deep.
What about vinyl, that's a novelty item these days, but do you think about releasing your label's stuff on vinyl?
Everyday! This is hiphop. I still feel like once you have vinyl.......you are official!
Hope for the future, haha, well thanks for taking the time to chop it up, K-Hill, any shouts?
I’d like to shoutout God for instilling the gift of music, my family, my music family, Redsecta for the interview, and everyone who support K-Hill and North Carolina hiphop as a whole.
Thanks man, and where can heads reach K-Hill?
www.myspace.com/khillmusic, http://www.last.fm/music/K-Hill , and by the time this interview drops, my ep should be available on itunes, emusic, rhapsody, amazon, etc. Peace!!!
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