Last week, Ms. Drama TV attended Houston native’s Kirko Bangz listening session at Warner Bros for his most recent mixtape, Procrastination Kills pt. 3 hosted by DJ Drama. The 21-year old rapper was essentially put on the map with the success of his auto-tuned single, “What Yo Name Iz” which helped to land him his current deal with Warner Bros. Now focused on his mixtape and releasing new music, Bangz will inevitably have to deal with the next step in his career: distinguising his own voice. Although comparisons have already been made to him sounding like Lil Wayne and Drake, Bangz does not seem affected by the feedback – but instead emphasizes his originality in his sound and music.
In a brief impromptu interview, Bangz sits down with Ms. Drama TV to talk about his mixtape, the mainstream sound, distinguishing his voice, and the pressures to perform as an artist.
Photo & transcription by: Joya Campbell
MD: Your up here in New York, from Texas. Your sound is so main stream I feel that people will be able to catch on quickly. You just dropped your mix-tape with Dj Drama, and its called Procrastination Kills. Talk a little bit about that because that says a lot. Almost as if to say, don’t waste any time [making moves]. How did you come up with that?
KB: Well yeah you gotta get on it. The name comes from back when I was in school at prayerview. My homie Tory had a clothing line called skinny guy. He had shirts out in school. Skinny guy means if you skinny, or little or don’t have much, you always have room to grow. That’s what that means. He had shirts that said “Procrastination killed the college students”. All the students were wearing them and I was like yeah that’s tight, I like that. I gotta make it hotter, drop the mix-tape and call it Procrastination Kills. And ever since then I just been running with it.
MD: Ok. Listening to your music, you seem to have a real strong feel for story-telling, giving a real vivid picture . . .
KB: You think so?!
MD: Yeah, I can kinda get a feel I think, of what your saying. But I have to ask this question. There is going to be comparisons, that’s one thing as an artist in your life that your going to have to deal with. Whether being compared to the greats or legends, or even artists that are out now, how do you deal with that, what are your thoughts?
KB: I have. I mean all the time. I’ve been compared to anybody from Drake to Hurricane Chris, and all these other people. But I mean I don’t know.
MD: Do you hear it?
KB: No, I hear me, myself. But I mean you get comparisons, with anything thing in life. I think that if you taking the time out to compare me to somebody then I must be doing something right. Cuz I just got into the game, If you listen to an artist like Kanye when he first got into the game and where he is now; he’s evolved as an artist and that’s what I want to do too. With this single I get the Drake and the Lil Weezy but really my single is doing good. Its like I came out of no where and the response is good. So yeah im just chillen.
MD: Ok, that’s good. Now you said you were in school, are you currently still attending school?
KB: Nah . . .
MD: Oh so the music thing has taken off and that’s your focus?
MD: Ok, so with music being your focus your mix taped just released. Talk to me about your calabo efforts. I know we seen some videos but I know your getting a lot of support from H-town. There are a lot of legends and great people from there. Who have you personally been working with?
KB: I’ve worked with Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Brain Angels he’s from Houston and Day 26. I mean I’ve pretty much met everybody. In Houston its basically like, lil nigga you goin go out there and get it or you not. You aint just goin come and hang out. Out there you basically gotta earn your stripes. Meaning yo city goin see you and the legends goin see you and you get your stripes. That’s how my single got going, they said you gotta do this one track. I was cool with that.
MD: Ok so after you did your single and its going so well do you feel that pressure to out do it or at least match it. Do you feel the pressure to have to work even harder to maintain the momentum?
KB: No, not really because before that single even came out I always had mix-tapes and mix-tapes. So I built that bottom, that foundation. And we have other songs and they say oh we like this way better, or yeah we like this song. It just takes time for the people to catch up with you as an artist. When they do its like, oh ok I can fuck with this dude. You hear it everyday, they playing it in the club so yeah.
MD: Ok so as an artist, who are you watching out for? I know you have your own specific taste and way of delivery when producing a product. But who do you listen to when your home, when you say ok I’m going to relax?
KB: Yeah I like J. Cole and Drake.
MD: Ok cool, so you listen to today’s artist.
KB: Yeah, cuz its like every artist wanna hear something that they never heard before.
MD: Your really progressing as an artist in a short amount [of time] in some areas. What advice would you give to others following the same path with high hopes?
KB: I mean really you just gotta be yourself. Like be yourself and if it works out for you, grind hard. Don’t get lost in it. And have fun.
MD: Ok with that being said I know you have more in the works. So we will being seeing and hearing more [from you]. Your mix-taped released with Dj Drama’s official stamp, and it is a stamp. Letting people know your in the mix. Its your one and only Ms. Drama Queen with the one and only Kirko Bangz, check him out.