Me and Klipse were recently introduced on Twitter via a mutual friend, and I quickly found enjoyment in his twisted, abrasive take on West Coast hip-hop. He kindly agreed to let me conduct his first interview, which reveals a lot about his artistic vision for his music, his bold intentions for his brand and his desire to reinforce the idea of showing love to your community through your art.
1. I see both your music and aesthetic as rooted in dark, ominous themes. What moods do you aim to convey as a creative?
K: Honestly, I think my most creative and productive moods are when I’m reflecting on certain elements of danger and stress accumulated from day to day life situations. I’ve always had interests in the creepy, anxious shit so it probably comes out that way naturally, and I think a lot of people could relate to that. I think translating that dark side that you usually can’t express into your art invokes a type of uneasiness that something such as a horror movie would.
2. Who would you say are your biggest influences? You mentioned Earl as an early favourite but who else would you say has inspired you?
K: As far as rap inspirations my earliest were Andre 3000, Pharrell, and Gorillaz. My favorite rap albums at a very early age consisted of Stankonia, In Search Of, and Gorillaz’ self titled album, my mom had them all on CD. I mostly listened to hardcore and punk rock growing up as a kid, but I always thought Wu Tang and Three 6 Mafia were off the walls too. What really got me into researching hip hop was N.W.A.; their whole vibe really coincided with the anarchy punk mindset of ‘Fuck the System’ entirely. Ice Cube was my favorite rapper out of the gangsta rap scene and Westside Connection’s Bow Down is still an album that I frequently revisit. Everything changed when a friend’s older brother showed us Earl at 12 years old though. It opened a door for me to discover legends like Lil Ugly Mane, Lil B, and SGP at an early age, and immediately after that I basically told my mom, “Fuck college I’m going to be a rapper.” We both laughed at it but I lowkey knew this was something I would never lose interest in. The early underground showed me that anybody could really do this with the right originality and mindset.
3. Your new song ‘Deadzone’ was my first introduction to your music. How do you feel your sound has progressed since you started rapping?
K: It all started with middle school hotbox freestyles and homies gassin me up truthfully lol. It’s progressed a lot since first actually dropping tracks though. I started recording after already living in the suburbs for over a year and I was still in high school focused on barely graduating. Wasn’t as inspired, but still knew i had to start practicing. Since getting that out of the way i’ve had time to travel on my own and really get a taste of life with all the ups and downs. It forsure has supplied a lot more inspiration for the art and creating a distinct sound.
4. ‘Deadzone’ is produced by BMB SCREWMANELAFLAME, and I feel like his beat was a perfect match for your delivery. Do you have any other music together on the way?
K: Yeah mane BMB producers and I definitely vibe pretty well shoutout them. Screwmane be conjuring some evil ass beats. Deadzone was actually just a self titled single off our tape ‘Deadzone’ dropping anytime now, so yes expect a lot more of that crack coming soon. We also got a song called Range Device out now on my collab tape with XadaX if anybody’s trynna scope that till the project drops.
5. Aside from Deadzone and the EP on your Soundcloud with your friend and collaborator Xadax, what other songs and projects can we expect from you in the future?
K: There’s forsureee going to be ‘Klipse V Xadax’ rematches when bro comes out to California. He’s my biggest rival and like a brother to me real talk, if you think Im decent just know I’m trynna keep up with his ass! Other than that I have a collab coming with LZA and one with Momma’s Lil Devil for his album also featuring Diamondsonmydick and my mans Cowboy Killerr. That shit’s gonna be hard. We also just cosigned a fire ass producer called Chief Beef Salsa who will probably *cough cough* be the exclusive producer for the next project.
6. What artists and producers have you most enjoyed working with? And who would you like to work alongside in the future?
K: I always love working with BMB producers, not only because of them hellish ass beats, but you can actually build a business relationship with em. It’s not like buying a random beat online and never hearing from the guy again you know? I’d probably like to hop on some Left Brain ,WOD, SGP, Keenanza productions sometime too it depends. As far as features Id definitely be down to work with Chxpo, 5G, Marcy Mane, Tommy Wright III, and Ruben Slikk in the future (as well as others of course). But if anybody wants to genuinely work with me i’m always open to get there.
7. Tell me about your brand, is your aim to establish a multimedia platform for your music or to branch out into other art forms full stop? It seems like there’s some cool stuff on the way from what you’ve told me.
K: Kemo9osse started with Xadax, Matt Fujiwara, and I. Currently it’s just XadaX and I due to complications with Matt but we’re looking to add members to the group with people that we fuck with and meet along the way doin our thing. The three of us actually did a mini tour in April 2017 opening our first show with Xavier Wulf, Idkjeffery, 5FP, Goth money, and shoreline mafia in san diego. Shit was unreal. We also did a 4/20 show in Anaheim with our friends ACOT, Eyekeem, and Young Plug and a show to end off the little tour in my hometown Bakersfield. It’s also a clothing line and we also currently working on possibly building a skate team for the lil kemons to rep. We really just use it as a way to be recognized as a group effort and label the movement. Killing Every Moving Object and resisting all the cancer out there.
8. Aside from creating and consuming music, what else do you enjoy doing?
K: When I ain’t feedin my music habit I’m 9/10 out hustling. Been tried the whole 9-5 thing to make other people happy, but when you’re losing money being at a job where you aint shit things just kind of get apparent that it’s not the best way to utilize time. If I ain’t hustling or in my bedroom studio then i’m probably out relaxin with some substances and either my dawgs or some ladies ya feel me? Only time I really go out recreationally is for concerts, where you can actually network with people that matter. Parties seem pretty useless to me nowadays.
9. I want to ask you about the underground scene in your city and state. Who are your favorite current rappers from L.A./Cali and who would you recommend to someone unaccustomed to the genre?
K: Well where i currently stay there’s some cool artists outside my circle going up. Yung Pinch of course was the first to blow up out of OC area, but there’s also people like Eyekeem who was just on Elevator, Charlie Shuffler who produces for industry level people, Young Plug who is on more of an underground grind, and ACOT who has more international fans than anything. They all doing their thing. As far as my hometown, $hawtyflexxxgang has next outta Bakersfield they’re some goons.
If you really wanna hear what’s representing California culture heavy right now, I would recommend 03 Greedo, Stinccteam, Frostydasnowmann, and Shoreline Mafia. Straight ignant. They remind people that just because a mf with colored dreads helps overpopulate LA does NOT mean they’re repping the culture.
10. You participate quite heavily in your local scene, and you recently did your first solo show in your hometown. How did that come about?
K: Yea I’ve been out of bakersfield for about 4 years now but I’ve always made an effort to stay connected and it pays off with support. I saw that Eddy Baker was doing a show there so I just reached out to the promoters like ‘Yooo, let me get on this and I promise it will be a better turnout.’ They gave me a chance to hop on and immediately people were marking their calendars. I drove up bout 2 and a half hours to them telling me Eddy Baker wasn’t coming and it was cancelled, but my people were about 50 deep in the alley smokin big dope like FUCK THAT. We worked it all out, but there was a lot of pressure now that the headliner wasnt even there, but we turnt the FUCK out of that venue. I’m talkin people flying on the floor moshpits. Couldnt have went any better considering the circumstances.
11. You told me that you feel shows such as these are vital to the growth of underground scenes and why? Do you feel that interaction with local crowds is an important element of encouraging support for your music?
K: Super important bru bru. For some reason nowadays theres a stigma like ‘Fuck the local scene they only like you when you pop off’ which is sort of true but not really. If I didn’t have the immense local support at that last show it wouldn’t have even happened. That just goes to show how important it is to have an army on your back. If you really got juice and you’re humble, the local scene will fuck with you and help spark your career early on, point blank period. Even while you’re doin ya internet thing. If you have to rely on instagram for all of your clout then you’re basically just a meme, that has no longevity to it.
12. Finally, where do you see yourself as an artist over the next few years? Do you have any specific ambitions of where to take your music? I like what I’ve heard so far and I’m interested to know how you see the rest of your career panning out.
K: I see myself doin whatever I want still bro. Blowed up or not i’m making sure to establish myself as a move maker in the underground. I’ll always make art from the heart regardless of whats ‘popular’ at the time because true trend setters are hardly ever that. Any type of platform i build off my own support will always promote the ones who deserve it. At the end of the day, id like to look back and have the same status as the legends i’ve looked up to since 6th grade. If i can make some bands off it while at that, so be it, but leaving behind a legacy has always been the goal.