Although West Coast veteran artist Kid Frost broke through on the rap scene with his Latino anthem “La Raza” back in 1990, he was actually making records as early as 1984 alongside fellow West Coast rap legend Ice-T. After more than 30 years in the game, Kid Frost sat down with AllHipHop.com to reminisce over his long career in a new exclusive two-part interview that starts from his beginning in rap to where his life is at now. Kid Frost also opens up about his children, including one who turned out to be one of the West Coast's hottest new producers and about his recent health conditions, which have been reported on over the last year. So join us as we take you through the life and times of Arturo Molina Jr. better known to the world as Kid Frost.
AllHipHop.com: Did you always go by the Kid Frost name?
Kid Frost: Yes, I was always Kid Frost. When I first started rapping, I needed a moniker. Ice-T and Ice Cube had something “cold.” I was doing some boxing so I had that “Kid” moniker to my name. One day I put two and two together and came up with Kid Frost. Ice-T co-signed it and we started the Evil 3 MC's which was me, Ice-T and Hen-G with Evil-E as our DJ. That group opened the door for my career in rap music. Thought them, I put out a record called “Rough Cut” way back on Electrobeat Records.
AllHipHop.com: How did you hook up with Ice-T?
Kid Frost: I hooked up with Ice through a DJ that we knew. I would go rock parties with him and one day he told me that he met Ice-T and that he told him about me. We went to meet him in Hollywood and Ice didn't even have a record out yet but he still had a rack of a hundred dollar bills wrapped up in a rubber band. I never seen any sh*t like that in my life. Ice already had a Porsche too – he had it crackin'. Whatever he was doing, it was big things. He told me to jump in his Porsche and I had no idea where he was taking me. We went to this place on Ivar and there was a USC frat party going on there. He didn't even know me yet, but he brought me on stage with him and handed me a mic.
Ice was a nut [laughter]. He used to throw M-80's out of the back of his Porsche. He would stop and blow up a whole f*ckin' dumpster. Ice was a fool, man.
AllHipHop.com: How long were you rapping at that point?
Kid Frost: Not even a whole year at that point. The Rapper's Delight record and it said to rap your own version on the B-Side of it – and I did. At first I did it for fun but my friends told me that I sounded good. That was the era of breakdancing, mini-trucks and crack cocaine. I took penitentiary chances and I'm not proud of it but I had a little boy and now he's grown up to be one of the most infamous producers on the West Coast by the name of Scoop Deville. When he was born, I took those risks but I also did other things like concrete, short-order cook, and running a restaurant. When the restaurant shut down at 10:30 pm, I would be out in Moreno Valley servin'. I went all of the way out there because I didn't want to sh*t in my own backyard.
DJ Tony G hooked up with a guy who was touring with Young MC, Public Enemy and others. I went to meet Tony backstage at a show in San Bernardino, CA and I was amazed at how many people were there to see Boogie Down Productions. When I was working construction, I had 3 CD's; N.W.A., Public Enemy and BDP. My co-workers hated me because they were all gabacho's and I was blasting rap music on a big a** ghetto blaster. I ended up becoming a labor foreman. My work ethic from construction translated over to the rap industry. Also my father was a Special Forces Green Beret. I grew up in military bases all around the world. He instilled his work ethic in to me and that's why after all of these years, I'm still doing shows and working.
So Tony G is with Young MC and I'm working like a dog but then I decided to join the California Conservation Corp to train as a fireman because I decided that's what I wanted to do in life. I even got to fight a major fire up in the Sacramento area – pulling brush and all. I was actually going to be a fireman.
AllHipHop.com: So if rap did not come your way, you would have been Arturo Molina, the fireman?
Kid Frost: Probably the fire chief by now [laughter]. Whatever I get in to, I do it 100 percent. I would have still had a love and passion for music, had I gone the fireman route. Music is in my family. When Scoop was a baby, his grandfather would give him lessons.
AllHipHop.com: What took you from being a fireman to being a signed rapper?
Kid Frost: I hooked up with one of Jerry Heller's old business partners named Maury Alexander and that was my first experience at getting ripped off in the industry. I didn't know the game. DJ Tony G took me and Mellow Man Ace to Maury, who was also talking to The Boo-Yaa Tribe. He signed The Boo-Yaa Tribe first and Mellow Man Ace second. Mellow Man got signed through his song Mentirosa, which was originally my track from Tony G. Not the concept of the song, just the track. Mellow got his deal first and signed to Capitol Records, so the track went to him and became a great song. At that time I had already recorded La Raza at Tony G's studio. I didn't like the song at that time because everything in rap was fast paced with slammin' 808's. Tony made the instrumental as a cassette and I told him that it was too slow. He threw the cassette towards me and said, “get out of here and don't come back until the song is done.” I didn't even play the cassette. I was like, “F*ck that.” Tony kept calling to ask if I finished it and I kept telling him no.
One day I was talking to a Chicano Arts major and he encouraged me to let the Aztec warrior inside of me to come out. So I put the tape on again and the bassline hits [mimics opening bass-line to La Raza]. I started off with the “Q-Vo” line and wrote the rest in 20 minutes.
AllHipHop.com: You really changed your voice for La Raza. Your voice is much higher and your lyrics are more rapid in other songs.
Kid Frost: Yes but they were also changing the pitch of my voice on a lot of those records too. They sped it up because they felt that my voice was too raspy. I would do my verse and come back to hear it and be like, “Damn. They've got that chipmunk sh*t on me again.” They stopped doing it but yeah, they were changing the pitches for a time.
AllHipHop.com: Your song “La Raza” and Mellow Man Ace's “Mentirosa” birthed an entire Chicano rap movement but I bet you had no idea that you were doing that at the time.
Kid Frost: Naw, I didn't. It wasn't until later that I started to learn about movements and as I look back, me and Mellow were like Lewis & Clark. Radio stations didn't know where to put the song or how to market it. They never had a song in Spanish and English before. “Mentirosa” came out and started a real nice buzz, but then “La Raza” came out and it was more like an anthem. That song said, “Here we are! Recognize us now.” You wouldn't believe how many people over the years have come up to me to shake my hand for that song. I'm talking about doctors and lawyers who have told me that the song inspired them to do something big with their lives.
Stay tuned for Part 2!