K-RINO SPEAKS ON HIS LIFE
Please describe your childhood (birthplace, family, school) and let us know how you grew up to be the respected man that you are today.
My childhood was normal, nothing weird or dramatic, I was born and raised in South Park (dead end). Attended legendary Sterling High from 85-89. The person I am was shaped thru genetics and my environment. People you come in contact with thru the course of life sometimes have a lasting effect on you. I was given alot of game from my father and G’z I grew up around. Personal experience counts for alot as well.
How would you characterize yourself?
I’m just a man trying to do right by others but I’m not perfect by no means. I’m cool until you provoke me to be otherwise.
What’s the difference between K-Rino nowadays compared to yourself in the 80’s & the 90’s?
I’m still pretty much the same person, I just have lost a little drive to do this like in the past. But basically I still do the same things I did 10 years ago. I’m blessed. My patience is limited though, I have a low tolerance for ignorance and stupidity these days.
Describe a regular day in your life please!
My days consist of waking up around noon or 1:00pm and grinding on this music all day and night, mixed with a little sex and basketball in between when I have the time (laughs).
What are the biggest lessons you had to learn about life?
Treat people the way you would want to be treated. And try to put GOD first. And women are the key to a man’s success. I’ve mistreated the women I love the most in my life and that may be the reason I haven’t made it to the level I feel I should be on. A nation can rise no higher than its woman.
Tell me about your ambitions & goals personally, musicwise & businesswise.
My main goal is to be a guy who made a difference in people’s lives and help those who need it. Musically I can’t say. I don’t have many musical ambitions anymore. Business wise, the obvious make a lot of lute somehow.
What kinda books you readin and can you name 5-10 that influenced your life?
I mainly read the books of the most honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Message To The Black Man
Fall Of America
Our Savior Has Arrived
Theology Of Time
How To Eat To Live
A guy from Atlanta wrote and published a novel, and he sent me a copy. He spoke of the S.P.C. and mentioned alot of us by name in his book it was a big honor.
What’s your opinion about 9 to 5 jobs? Did you ever considered to make your living by chosin that way?
I don’t have a problem with 9-5 jobs. I’ve worked a few in my day. I worked a 9-5 as recently as 2000-2001. The music bizness isn’t always a fast money game. Sometimes you have to get out and do other things until the music pays off. And I’ve done alot of hard work. I’ve had money and lost money, been on top and at the bottom and I respect a man or woman who gets up everyday and goes to work cause thats a hard grind.
K-RINO SPEAKS ON HIS MUSIC
You’ve been in the rapgame since 84 and you’re a pioneer to this whole rap game. Your style hasn’t changed but your flow and lyrics got stronger. So what inspires you to keep on doing still the real shit and not trying to sell records through airplay or whatever?
As long as you’re involved in something in life, you should try to get better at it. It doesn’t do me any good to be in the game if I ain’t gonna elevate my skills. Some rappers reach a peak then they decline. But rap isn’t like sports where when your body gets older your skills deminish. Rap is a mind thing, it’s mental and as long as your body of knowledge expands, and you’re always looking for new things to say and different ways to say um, along with relevant topics, then you’ll get better, the other key is to always compete against yourself. What ever you wrote last try to make the next rhyme better. You have to become your own biggest opponent.
While other MC’s often loose their hunger, energy and focus on the mic you still getting better & better even though you already have been one of the greatest like 10-15 years ago. How is this possible and where does your motivation come from?
Like i said as long as I’m this I’m gonna strive to be better than everyone else, even better than myself. People who knock me are my motivation. I have to keep getting better and changing up because dudes be snatchin’ my styles and concepts and lines and hooks and blowin’ up with um, so I gotta flip the script and do somethin’ different cause I’m the unknown one out here and I hear people say I’m tryin to sound like other cats when them other cats built their styles off me, lol. I’m the blueprint, but I get treated like the copy. And I done heard mainstream cats that have spit lines that I know they got from me. I heard of co-incidence but some thangs are TOO obvious.
Do you think that a rapper has a limited age? Will we see a 40 year old K-Rino still rappin’?
A rapper’s limit is set by the rapper himself, if you have a ceiling on your knowledge and determination and drive, then when you hit that ceiling, you’ve hit your limit. I don’t plan on rappin’ at 40 but if I’m alive and well, I’ll definitely be able to. (WITH WHO EVER THE BEST AT THAT TIME MIGHT BE).
What’s the reason that you’re maybe the most underrated rapper of all time. You shoulda blow-up a long time ago…
I really don’t know, all I know is that im still one of the most blessed people in the world. I’ve experienced things in the rap game that not many have. I can honestly say that I know how any of those rappers feel who get props on a nationwide level because I’ve received so much love over the years. I don’t conform to anything that I don’t agree with and I don’t let people change me, and that has cost me record deals in the past. And the times where I have hooked up with labels, things usually go wrong. Then when I’m on my own, I don’t have the backing to get the exposure that I need. so I drop alot of albums that go unheard by the masses. So maybe that has alot to do with it. But I can’t complain, cause I’m thankful for the people who love my music and tell me that im the greatest or one of the greatest, cause that’s all I strive to be.
Do you make all the dark and rough music to represent the mindstate of you and/or your people? Or is it just for entertainment? Is it like lettin’ aggressions out, like a self-therapy?
Sometimes, but I don’t really consider my music to be dark, a song or 2 maybe but not my whole cd. I got alot of friendly beats/songs. I don’t think it’s wise to make a whole cd in one mood. You have to show different sides of your personality on a cd. My aggression comes out thru my lyrcis on certain songs I don’t need a beat for that. I could do that without a beat. I might drop an acapella cd one day.
Do you think you’ve got a responsibilty for the kids growing up in the ghetto? Is it motivation for you to stay real and keep your lyrics Street?
We definitely have a responsibilty to the kids and anyone who listens to our music. We have to watch our words carefully. You never know the impact of your lyrics. When u say “bounce that ass”, people are gonna do it if the beat is right. If we say ‘smoke this or that” and it sounds good over the beat, people will probably do it. If you say “tear the club up” people will do it. Not everybody, but the truth is that music does influence the listener to a degree, but the same thing can hold true with positive lyrics. If we inject realism and positivity in our verses, People will adhere to that as well. Its just that the media magnifies the negative so that’s really all we see and hear.
Did Rap-A-Lot back in the early 90’s ever offered you a deal?
We talked with them briefly back in the day. But we decided to just start our own label. Electric City records.
Did you ever want to leave the rapbusiness in the past?
I go thru periods every now and then when I wanna leave it alone. Sometimes I feel like it just aint worth it. I feel at times that im not getting out of it what I put in it. I been grinding for years and still really haven’t gotten a good break yet, I’ve considered quitting many times. I actually thought about it recently. I’m just getting mentally drained. I’ve given all I had to this and after a while the mind just burns out and that’s where I’m at. I can’t even watch videos or listen to the radio because everyday I see cats blowin up out of nowhere and I’m like “man I aint gonna never get my shot”. But I just wish them the best and turn the channel. I don’t see myself doing it very long though. I’d rather be 100% on the business end.
Can you tell us what happened to your “Hitt List” album? What’s the current situation? Are you tryin to get the rights for this album back?
The deal with that was the guy who I was collaborating with, turned his interests to other ventures, like promoting carribean festivals, which is all good, but it put my project on the back burner. That’s what held it up. He was in and out of town and really lost interest in the music bizness. So here I was with a whole cd finished and ready to go and couldn’t drop it. I didn’t cry about it I just went back to doing things the way I do um. And I dropped 3 projects in the next 7 months after that. With one still in production. Now we’ve re-connected and “The Hitt List” is finally gonna drop. So I think that everything happens for a reason, if there was never a delay on “The Hitt List” I would’ve never done the 4 cds that I did, cause I wouldn’t have had to. Now I got a S.P.C. album, a greatest hits, a compilation and a brand new solo cd done. Plus “Hitt List”. So things should come out better for me in the end.
What are you workin on right now? What can we expect from K-Rino and the S.P.C. in 2004?
I’m completing the new album “Fear No Evil” it’ll be out in August 2004. I can’t speak for the rest of the S.P.C., some are grinding some are not.
Do you plan on releasin’ one of your future projects nationwide?
Yeah if I get the right deal. I know I can have a major impact nationally and internationally. I’m not just a “hood” rapper. I got fans on venus (laughs).
K-RINO SPEAKS ON THE S.P.C.
You are the leader and the founder of the SPC and I often wonder how hard it is to keep being accepted by so man egos of the Coalition. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Its about being yourself. And being a true friend to each individual member. I’m the one that everyone gravitates toward. I’m the sun and the rest of the members are the planets. I make everything move. We have disagreements but what family doesn’t? They know I would never steal from them or try to have sex with their woman or playa hate on them. I wish only the best for all of them. Our friendship extends far beyond rap. The music is only a small part of what we are as a click. The majority of our hang out time is based around many other aspects of life. Music only comes into play when its time for music to be done. But we’ve all been knowing each other since we was teenagers now we’re mostly all in our 30’s and rap doesnt define our relationships with each other. Everybody got egos but its about knowing how to check your ego when you need to. We ain’t hot like we used to be so basically somebody would look like a fool running around with a swole ego when people don’t even know your name. This game will humble if you’re not wise enough to humble yourself and show humiltity.
What’s your role for other members of the South Park Coalition? Do you give a lot of advices? Are you kind of a moderator, a teacher, a friend?
The problem is that these days people aren’t willing to accept roles everybody thinks that they’re a chief. Nobody is willing to be an indian. An organiztion can’t function like that. Thats why im ready to recruit new talent. I give advice only to those who are willing to listen. I never try to advise people who already think they know everything. I’ll let you fall on your face when I see that in you. People don’t want to give you a hundred percent but then turn around and expect 100% from you. I’m cuttin’ those kind of people off this year.
Did you ever criticise a SPC rapper for his lyrical content with negative intentions like glorifyin’ weed smokin’ & sippin’ syrup, and talkin’ about killin’ people?
Naw I only speak if I think something is weak, or doesn’t fit what we’re doing at the time. I write negative lyrics from time to time so I can’t criticize when others do it. We all have to be examples for one another. And no sin is greater than the other so if my homie smokes weed and I don’t I can’t trip because I got my own vices.
Is there a lot of arguments and maybe even fistfights between the members or are you basically all get along?
We have arguements and near fights. There’s been a few actual fights but we don’t go into detail about um. It happens. If I’m around its gonna be real hard for it to happen cause I’ll fight them to keep them from fighting each other. Most of the time the fight is gonna be behind something stupid so I’m gonna stop it before it starts. The good thing is that we always resolve things eventually.
Did you had to use your fists lately or is that impossible to happen?
I average like one fight every 4-5 years, I’m good at avoiding a fight. But sometimes you gotta crack some heads to let fools know you aint just rappin’. Usually my fights are stupid. Like over a b-ball game or something, those are the kind I regret. But everynow and then me and the fellaz have to suit up and go on a secret mission and handle some serious bizness, its always justified cause we dont start trouble. So in those cases, lookin back, even when I’ve physically hurt somebody real bad I don’t have any remorse because they had it coming.
What do you feel when you think about a very skilled and underrated artist like Klondike Kat who is more talented than 90% of these other rappers (in my opinion) down-south, but never got major attention from the major labels / masses after all the years?
It just makes me realize how backwards the industry and the world is. The garbage gets frontpage and the diamonds are thrown in the trash.
Did the SPC lack in promoting the music and puttin’ their name on the map?
No we just came along at a time when the game was still kinda new. We did everything on instinct. We laid a base for those who followed behind us and they were the ones who benefitted from it. We were the sacrificial lambs. And still with no radio play or promotion we was the hottest click in the streets and the world in the early 90’s.
Are the youth / people in South Park feelin the SPC? Can they relate to the music? Do they appreciate your work?
The youth don’t even know who we are. Theres a whole new generation of rap listeners in the south. Most of these kids in houston and even South Park never even heard of us. Like I said we didn’t get radio play back in the day and alot of these dudes was little kids back in the 90’s. But when they hear it they feel it, depending on which member they hear. People their have preferences. There are some youngsters who are familar though and they appreciate what we’ve done.
Is the SPC well known and respected in South Park? Are there any new and upcoming rappers from South Park tryin’ to get into the click?
The rappers show respect and love cause alot of them grew up listening to us, but like I said the masses never even heard of us in our own hood. But we started this out here. Thats why South Park is known world wide because of Scarface and us. People try to get in the click from time to time but we don’t really let many new people in, but I think im gonna start soon. We need new fresh young talent and business minds to take us to the next level. People in the SPC now are living off the old fame and really ain’t accomplishing nothing. I don’t like that. I’d rather gut out the dead weight and bring hungry new lions that wanna learn and grind and hustle. Some of us are too fly and cool to get in peoples face and try to slang a cd. Me, Nip and Point Blank been doin this 15-20 years and got love and respect worldwide and if we can still walk up on your crew and push a cd then anybody in the click should be able to. Some want the benefits but don’t wanna put in the work.
K-RINO SPEAKS ON THE MUSIC SCENE
Do you still go out and buy records to listen to or do you focus on your own crew and your own music? Who do you feel and what’s in your deck right now?
I never buy rap. Unless its old school. And the only R&B I buy is Prince or Sam Cooke. And thats what I listen to.
Who is your favourite rapper right now, and why?
I don’t have one. Nobody really impresses me anymore. The dudes I like y’all ain’t never heard of before because they some local underground cats (Taboo The Wrecka, Soul Provider, Snap, Master Flexxx, Deology, The Smugglaz, J-Napp and Papa Doc.)
Did you ever plan to do a collaboration with another Emcee from another coast? I know that you’re a big fan of KRS-1… did you ever tried to contact him?
I’ve spoken with KRS a few times, but it was so long ago (late 80’s, early 90’s). Never about doing any collabos though, I was just a fan and he was always the type to interact with the fans. He’s a great person as well as an artist. There are some other artists I like: T-La Rock, Run DMC, but at this stage it really doesn’t matter if I work with em or not.
What’s the actual situation with Rap-A-Lot Records? It seems like they kinda reform and get some power back. Would you ever consider to sign with them and how is your relationship with Lil J? Somebody compared him once with the Suge Knight of the south…
Rap-A-Lot never left, to me they are the pioneers of the independent rap labels. J-Prince is a great business man who does alot for the community and continues to grow in his own entreprenuralism. He’s branching out into boxing, and other ventures outside of rap and that makes his credibility higher in the eyes of the world. Everybody who I know who has ever had dealings with him, respect him and only have good words to say about him. That includes myself.
Why do think that the H-Town scene is so much focused on superficial and materialistic things like rims, ballin and all that simple-minded shit? What does it take to bring it back to the quality of the music/rhymes and real subjects?
Because they copy-cat what they see on MTV and B.E.T. and try to do it on a smaller scale. And also they don’t have the knowledge to speak on other topics, so we can’t knock people who dont know, plus alot of these cats are young when they start so we have to give um time to grow, now if the fool is in the game 5-10 years and still talkin the same garbage then we got a problem.
K-RINO SPEAKS ON LIFE IN GENERAL AND POLITICS
Please share your thoughts about the world we live in! What would you like to change and which things should always stay the same?
This world is on its way out and GOD’s worlds is being ushered in. We’re gonna see things in the near future that we could never pathom taking place in America. I just hope that we could somehow undergo a transformation of the heart and mind and turn to the GOD, so that we can dodge what he has in store for this nation. As for what I wish I could stay the same. I won’t answer that either. nothing stays the same. GOD said “I shall make ALL things new”!!!
What’s your opinion on life? Is there a reason we here for?
We’re here to glorify GOD, and to let him make those who we come in contact with better through us. Not to feel like we’re the GOD. Or to show arrogance and vanity. Life is short, the question that has to be in every humans’ mind is “what will be my legacy?” When people die, we cry and mourn for a few weeks and then its back to normal. Thats cause they didn’t make an impact while they were here. If all you did was have a nice car with some rims, or ‘pimp a few hoes” then you’ll be forgotten and eventually time will consume your existence. But to be great you have to make a mark and have an impact on the minds of the people and you’ll be remembered in some capacity forever. Thats why its a shame when fools die over nonsense like jewelry, clothes money. You only get one life and we waste it daily.
What do you think about the future? How will our daily lives change?
I see very hard times coming in the near future. If you beleive in the scriptures, then u know that revelations speaks of a “Mystery Babylon”, thats America. It speaks of the calamities that GOD will bring down in the last days. This country is under devine judgement, and it looks like things won’t be changing for the better so chastisement is coming. Its really already here.
What’s your opinion to the political situation in the Middle East and George W. Bush?
The situation in the middle east is all based on america’s quest to control the oil supply and also their aim to “police the whole world”. If you analyze the actions of the united states government, they would qualify as greater terrorists than any nation they accuse of terrorism. George Bush is fullfilling prophecy with his actions. He’s the modern day pharoah and just like in the days of the ancient pharoah, GOD has hardened his heart in order to accelerate the fall of America. The scriptures speak of wars in the holy land being a sign of the end,and thats where we are in the book at the present time. Bush is the devil. Plain and simple.
Seems like there’s rather a reason to start a war than to invest in school reparations or social supportance. Do you think the people ever will open their eyes and realize that they were mislead?
War is big business. Reparations is of no benefit to the amercian government, they could care less about the 100,000,000 blacks that died in the middle passage. They created crack and aids in american laboratoies to kill us off. They never wanted to free us in the 1st place. The emancipation proclamation was a bizness move. So of course they would rather spend billions on an unjust war than build schools that would repair the damage done to black minds over the last 450 years. The people will soon know that they’ve been mislead, because the hardships that have fallen on foreign nations for many years will soon strike america, and these things will be a direct result of the actions of the United States govenment and the people. The wrath of GOD will fall on this country. Thats what we call “the shock of the hour”.
What do you think about the upcoming elections?
I could care less. The only advice for black people from me is to “hold your vote”. If the candidate doesn’t present an agenda that has our interests in mind then we don’t care if he’s republican or democrat. He ain’t for us. We don’t wanna choose between Satan and Lucifer.
How do you feel about racism in the USA ?
Racism is bad anywhere not just the U.S. but the U.S. is the most racist country in my opinion. People even think I’m a racist (laughs).