(AllHipHop Features) The city of Chicago has been the home base for some of the most talked about new artists in rap music over the last few years.
Proof of the rise to prominence by Chitown’s new rap class was evidenced by the fact that one-third of the artists (Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Lil Durk, & Lil Bibby) included in this year’s coveted XXL Freshmen list hailed from the Windy City.
There’s another Chicago-based rapper that is on the verge of breaking out on the national level as well. The Southside’s Bandman Kevo recently released his debut mixtape Fast Life. The DJ Holiday-hosted project has garnered the 24-year-old buzzing performer attention across the Blogosphere.
Fast Life contains some of Kevo’s biggest street bangers from the last few years including “Baller In Me (Remix)” featuring Chief Keef, “Wonna Be” featuring King Louie, and “Want My Money” featuring associate ZMoney. Kevo and Z first connected through a mutual producing partner which resulted in the two rappers collaborating on three tracks off ZMoney’s The Greatest Trap Show mixtape as well.
Besides working with several rap stars from his hometown, Kevo also has the support of a Chicago rap legend. Platinum selling emcee Twista connected with the young rhymer after the Hip Hop vet’s manager put him on to some of Bandman’s music. Subsequently, Twista signed Kevo to his GMG imprint.
Bandman Kevo spoke with AllHipHop.com about his new mixtape, his native city’s Hip Hop scene, and what level of success he looks to achieve in his career.
At what point did you decide rap music was something you wanted to pursue as a profession?
I was seeing a lot of people come up in Chicago as far as music, so I said I’m going to to start taking it seriously. I had been rapping for about four or five years, but I didn’t start to take it seriously until about two years ago. I saw a lot of people making it in Chicago, so that was one of the main reasons for me to take it full force.
The Chicago Drill scene has gotten a lot of attention the last few years. How do you feel about rapper’s outside of Chicago adopting that sound for their own musical style?
I just feel like Chicago has a lot of creativity and talent. I just think we don’t get enough eyes on us. We don’t get enough attention for our city like how Atlanta, Miami, or Cali rappers get. There’s more real fans out-of-town than there is in town.
We’re getting paid attention to, but not like other rappers like a Kevin Gates. There’s other people out where he’s at that will show more love than Chicago people.
Why do you think that is? Chicago has a pretty long history in Hip Hop. You can go back to Common and Crucial Conflict.
They could have probably been bigger. It’s just Chicago… there’s a lot of hate out here. They’d rather see a Future or a Rich Homie [Quan]. You’ll have a show – even if you’re Chief Keef – they won’t come show you love like they’ll show Future or an outsider. That’s just how it is.
It seems like out-of-town people mess with Chicago people hard. That’s crazy. It’s like if Durk goes to New Jersey, he’ll get more love out-of-town too.
How does your new project and your overall brand set you apart from other rising acts out now?
A lot artists ain’t willingly to spend the money. Me not being signed, I got DJ Holiday on the mixtape. I got a few majors artists on the mixtape. I’m taking it to that next level, instead of just waiting on somebody else. I’m looking at it like, “I’m gonna do it myself to make it to the top.”
How would you define “the top” for you?
I want to be next to Diddy, [Rick] Ross, all of them. I’m trying to get up there. I’m trying to get my music nationally heard, be on the radio, doing more shows getting paid $20,000-30,000 a show or more. I’m trying to be on Drake’s level.
Stream/download Bandman Kevo’s Fast Life mixtape via Datpiff below.