K. Dot: Reality Rap
Coming from a city with a storied rap history can be a lot of pressure for a new artist, no pressure for Compton MC, K.Dot. For K.Dot, its not all about the glamour and glitz its more about making real music that the people will feel. Since the age of 15, K.Dot has been attacking the mixtape scene with his music and appearances on street DVDs, and with no sign of letting up he continues to grind it out.
AllHipHop.com spoke with the West Coast star on the rise, and spoke about the various things going on in his career, his life in Compton, and how come artists arent being really real with the people who listen to their music. K. Dot is speaking on behalf of a new generation
AllHipHop.com: Coming from a city with a storied Hip- Hop legacy, how does it feel to uphold the citys legacy being a newcomer?
K.Dot: Oh Yeah! Its always a big responsibility especially coming from behind those legends. I feel like I got to carry the throne and carry that type of reality music that theyve brung to the table and keep that legacy going. Because I feel that theres no one really out there thats putting it down like that on what we started the root, as gangsta rap not actually like that, but real, real music.
AllHipHop.com: Who were your influences?
K.Dot: When I first started writing, DMXs first album, Its Dark and Hell is Hot. When I first heard that I was in middle school, I started penning right then and there, but, ultimately at the very first beginning when I started stuntin into music my household always played Tupac, always played Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. So, I was musically influenced from an early age by the west coast, you know, I could remember saying to myself I want to rap just like Tupac looking in the mirror talking to myself.
AllHipHop.com: Being that you were influenced by the West Coast, how was it that an East Coast album triggered the pen to start writing?
K.Dot: It was raw! That music wasnt out at the time, at the time we had the commercial stages of Hip- Hop. But DMX brought it back and started speaking from the streets and the stuff we go through, and that wasnt captured at the time. It was refreshing, new, it was energetic, and it was what I liked, man. It reminded me of Pac, he came right after he died. So it was a big influence on me.
AllHipHop.com: You had a mixtape called Y.H.N.I.C. that started a movement out west. Were their any other artists that you looked to as inspiration for the music, that helped with the development of it?
K.Dot: If you got to study from somewhere might as well study from the best. I collectively bought a lot of CDs from Snoop, Dre, to Jay-Zs first album Reasonable Doubt, Nas, to Big. I went to sleep with their music in my head playing over and over again. The talents already there, I just need to perfect my craft, and see what these cats are doing that Im not doing, lyrically. Im a perfectionist of the game, I studied that, then I put my own lil' spin on it from what I know.
AllHipHop.com: They were all very good lyricists that were able to connect their stories with the listening audience. Were you using a lot of your own life experience in your music?
K.Dot: I got to. The way Im a do it is from a different perspective, Im from Compton, its violent, gangs and want not. But my story that hasnt been told is coming from another angle. Its coming from a dude sitting on the curb and watching all this going on, similar, to Nas looking through his project window and writing whats going on. Im coming from that perspective; instead of ultimately just going straight in for the kill and shoot everybody down. Im breaking down the reasons why we do this, where it comes from, and the youth in the streets, and the circumstances that bring us to this point.
AllHipHop.com: At 15, you appeared on a street DVD called How the West Was One, that appearance helped boost you from Compton to the outer lying areas of L.A., is that when you linked with Top Dawg Entertainment?
K.Dot: To make a long story short, I put out that first mixtape Y.H.N.I.C., had that bubbling in the streets. It just so happens to catch the ear of Top Dawg, the man that runs the label, he invited me to the studio told me to hop in the booth, freestyle for an hour, literally, did that and it was magic from there. He seen the potential and weve been rocking since then.
AllHipHop.com: You had a follow up to that mixtape called Training Day that was well received by a lot people. What would you say was the catalyst for all the positive feedback especially for the ones who didnt get the memo before?
K.Dot: It was the consistency, thats what it was all about. The more I put out the more people took notice to the lyrics are getting better and the talent was improving. I feel that if you have consistency the skys the limit.
AllHipHop.com: Howd you meet up with Jay Rock, was it through the management company?
K.Dot: Let me put it this way, Compton and Watts is five minutes away exact. I went to Centennial High and being that are hoods are close we had the same mutual friends. I seen him all the time and always said, What up! it just so happened he messed with the same person that was interested in my mixtape, when I went over to the studio he was right in the booth at the same time. We clicked from that moment on. And its been moving since.
AllHipHop.com: Your mixtape thats out now is called C4, the beginning of the mixtape you have Lil Wayne co-signing you on your intro. Also, you have a quote from Jay-Z saying, "Wow, I haven't heard anybody coming from over there sound like this...", and The Game also chimed by saying, "K.Dot is a MONSTA". With all those high praises from well established artists how does that make you feel as new up and coming to hear that being said about you?
K.Dot: Its a great feeling when anybody respects your craft, man, that actually has a bar code and selling so many records; it gives you more motivation to keep doing what youre doing.
AllHipHop.com: How did the concept for the C4 mixtape come about?
K.Dot: We were in the studio, and someone said lets do a mixtape of someones whole album its never been done. Instead of just grabbing the hottest tracks on a CD and calling it a mixtape; but finding the hottest album at the time and doing the whole joint actually taking the whole flow and flipping it your way. Wed thought it be funny, and after a couple of songs go by it actually started to come out dope, Thats the whole concept of it for all the bloggers saying that I sound like Wayne or want not.
AllHipHop.com: Any album in the works?
K.Dot: Of course, Im about 200 songs deep right now, no exaggerations. Im doing one thing at a time. Im focused on music right now, and cant have no distractions Ill venture off later once I start from the ground with this music and become successful at it thats when Ill move on to other ventures.
AllHipHop.com: You doing any shows or touring?
K.Dot: Yeah, just started a tour with Game, just came back from Portland, Eugene. We just came back today were gonna start back on the 6th on a 30 day tour. Shout out to Game, Jay Rock, and Nipsey Hussle Im touring with them too.
AllHipHop.com: Anything else you want the readers to know about you? I ask this because you know people dont really allow themselves to appear human to others, share their feelings and such.
K.Dot: I feel that rappers nowadays they get caught up in the image that they get disconnected from the people that they get disconnected from the people, where they want to be a superstar, but, they are not putting the real into their music. Im not talking about real as in ducking bullets, shooting shots, how hard I came up, and want not. Im talking about real people stories, you know, I have a song called the The First Time I Got My Ass Whooped. What rapper is bold enough to speak on that, talk about the first time someone got the best of them. So, thats the type of feeling Im trying to bring in the game, that I feel hasnt been touched on from an artist coming from Compton thats the ironic part about it, feel me. That its all real stuff that I havent even touched on that I know people are gonna speak on it about and its gonna be entertaining for them to show their feelings. Im speaking for my whole youth, man. I got people from both sides of the fence Crips and Bloods and Im speaking for them. And theyd love to hear me talk about this.
Visit K.Dot at his MySpace Page at www.Myspace.com/kdottde