As a youth, like many urban youths in rough areas, Ken Rebel was reeling to find his way in the rough streets of Brooklyn's notorious Bed-Stuy region of New York City. As a senior in high school Ken was getting into so much trouble his mother wanted him to join the military. But it wasn't in the stars (and stripes) for Ken to fight America's wars - Ken is now fighting a much more important war in the world by leading a revolution in Hip-Hop. His revolution is so profound he's gotten the attention of the whole world of Hip-Hop blogs and sites and he has even gotten some due attention from the like of Kendrick and the TDE camp, as Ken Rebel went to his first Summer Jam concert in NYC with the TDE team this past year.
If you haven't heard Ken's project R.E.B.E.L. this is a must read interview as Ken explains how his raps are about a lifestyle of being yourself and being an individual. Ironically thats something that our military fights for in other countries every day - and Ken was almost right along side our troops overseas. Now instead Ken writes artistic and revolutionary raps about his world and the life he has come to know.
Take a look at AllHipHop's sit down with Ken Rebel as he breaks down the lifestyle raps that have been getting the attention of fans and media world-wide.
AllHipHop: So talk to me about this R.E.B.E.L tape that your people Walk Like Us put out. Its been making a lot of noise online. What does R.E.B.E.L. stand for?
Ken Rebel: Well it’s my first official tape I released. R.E.B.E.L. is an acronym for Revolution. Exists. Behind. Every. Leader. It’s just my entry into the Hip-Hop world and it was it is. It was my first piece of art released to the people. I’m just happy that it was so well received and all the support that it received.
AllHipHop: What is Walk Like Us and what is the movement about?
Ken Rebel: I really couldn’t explain it to you, thats my boy Reams joint, its his movement, he helped with Rich Homie Quan and Cam’ron, his movement is beautiful, he helps a lot of talent get heard by people and he helped get my tape on LiveMixtapes. He gets the music out there and helps get us where we need to be at.
AllHipHop: Talk about your come up and what part of the city (NYC) you are from…
Ken Rebel: I’m from Brooklyn, Bedstuy, and yea man when I basically started, how I got on, I had this blog by Tumblr (http://pharaohs-n-rebels.tumblr.com/) and I used to my advantage, and I started getting traffic to my site and put myself out there, and people just started coming in to see what Ken Rebel was doing. I had a history behind what I do and so that’s basically how I got the fan base. I started on the blogs and then they just rolled with me from there, but it started on Tumblr.
AllHipHop: I remember your dope live performance at SXSW. Can you explain what you do to prepare for your shows and how you go about getting ready for a performance?
Ken Rebel: That performance was hard because I had to do it by myself, they didn’t even have my hype man Vic in, but its all about pleasing the crowd and just making sure everyone is having a good time. Its cool because the bigger you get as an artist, the less bull shit you really gotta go through and deal with when it comes to performing. It’s good now because I’m not having to deal with bull shit at the clubs. When they know you as an artist they all cooly cool, but you know some clubs be on that bullshit with the 21 and up shit. But now it’s all cool.
AllHipHop: What kind of beats and artists have been inspiring you recently to pick up the pen and to write?
Ken Rebel: I can’t say that its any artists in particular so much as it’s the lifestyle. I want to give the lifestyle to the people. That what the Rebel Life is about, you don’t have to be uncomfortable. I want to show them that this is a way of life. You can go on living and you can feel comfortable. If you want to be happy, be happy. I want people to know that you can live your life comfortably.If you want to go do something get up and go do it, nobody is stopping your from doing it. You can do whatever the f*ck you wan to do if you put your mind to it.
AllHipHop: What experience do you look back on that really inspired you and that made you want to really do this for real as a career? Was there an experience that really made you think this was a viable career?
Ken Rebel: Well my senior year I was getting in mad trouble and my mom was about to make me join the military and it was the same time my fan base was growing. So my mom and me were on the way to the military office, on the way to the office some fans came up to me and they were going crazy. My mom saw it and she was like, “Ok, I see you got some fans.” Then once we got to the military office it was closed, it wasn’t a holiday or anything and from there I was just like, that’s a sign man. I was like well maybe I am supposed to do this shit. So I’m 19 years old and I’m just counting my blessings man, it’s a really cool thing.
Ken Rebel - "money money money"
AllHipHop: That’s dope man, so what’s up next, some visuals?
Ken Rebel: Yessir! October 14th I release the new visual. From the flow to the beats to everything, Ken Rebel is maturing. Everything is maturing and like 5-10 years from now I know I’ll be reaching my full potential. I know that I’m getting so good at my craft and I know it’s a lot more to come and a lot more creativity to come etc. It’s a beautiful thing, just getting everyone ready for it all. Everything just gets better and better, its all coming into place.
AllHipHop: Well I know we are all happy to have you part of the Breeding Ground, and we are all looking forward to seeing what you got up your sleeves. Thanks for taking the time to link with us.
Ken Rebel: Just know the music is coming and that’s it, new project is available via LiveMixtapes, new project will be before SXSW 2014. Early 2014.
Watch Ken Rebel perform at the 15 year Anniversary Concert @ SOB's this Thursday!