Warren Peace (WP)- What’s good everyone? I’m here for The Write Reviews to speak with Kleyn Kutt, the Featured Emcee for the month of November at The Write Reviews. He released an EP recently titled “Good Morning World”, which was given a track by track breakdown by The Write Reviews just before Thanksgiving. Thanks for taking the time to do the interview, Kleyn Kutt. It has become custom for me to begin these session by asking where you’re from, who were the first artists to influence you in hip hip, and what the local hip hop scene is like where you live?
Kleyn Kutt (KK)- First, just want to say thanks for the review! It was very detailed, and I will be taking what you wrote into great consideration moving forward with my next projects. I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, born and raised! Go Cards! Louisville Built! Lol. My first influence in hip hop? Wow, that’s hard to say. As a kid my parents exposed me to everything from Funk, R&B, hip hop to Classical. I’d have to say my first influence would be Wu-Tang Clan. Funny thing is my mother introduced me to Wu-Tang Clan, and 36 Chambers. I think if you asked her, she could still rap Triumph. As far as theLouisville hip hop it’s hard for me to say, because I wasn’t into music like I am now until I moved to Northern Kentucky in 2006. No one really knew I was into music like I am in my hometown. Shout out Tachyon Starship! He got me started on the path I am on today. To compare it to the scene in Cincy/Northern KY where I started out, it’s really flourishing. Witnessing the Cincy/NKY scene really made me hungry. We’ve had our Nappy Roots, Black Coffey, Playa/Static Major, but I feel like the world really doesn’t know how much of a musical force Louisville, KY is. With the recent success of Bryson Tiller, you could say the spotlight is on the city now, and you’ve got some people that are making noise. We’re hungry, and it’s really starting to show.
WP- A Louisville Cardinals fan, huh? Man, it must be tough being in the same state as my Kentucky Wildcats. I have noticed something called Starship University floating around your name from time to time. Can you tell me what Starship University is all about?
KK- Aw man! You had to be a UK fan! You’re cool, except for that one thing! You know what it is until basketball season. Lol. Starship University is an idea my mentor Tachyon Starship came up with. He wanted to create a collective with me and some of the guys he grew up with. I’m always down to make moves so he created the website starshipuniversity.com. I brought the idea of evolving it into a label/entertainment conglomerate, which we’re working on. But, we offer services like mixing and mastering, we promote our music there, it’s like our HQ. Starship University is a tree developing many branches.
WP- I believe I read somewhere that “The Eleventh Letter” is going to be Kleyn Kutt’s next album. Is that true and, if so, what can you tell us about the project besides the letter “K”?
KK- Yes, I’m actually one song away from completion. Haven’t decided a release date yet, because I want to make sure my t’s are crossed and i’s dotted. I’m a big J-Dilla, and boom bap fan. I came across this producer named KlassKlownKarl on Soundcloud from the UK. Loved his music, heard a tribute beat he did to Dilla, asked if I could it to write a tribute song for my sister that passed five years ago in a car wreck, and J Dilla called “Again (Tribute to Kiara/J Dilla). They are two people who are important to me, and they even shared the same birthday. My sister, and a producer that is an influence in my music. I posted the song on Soundcloud, and he really liked it. So, I approached him about doing an EP together. On Soundcloud, I was following another producer called Jobu who was also from the UK. I found out later they are cousins so I got him on board to produce some tracks on the EP as well. It’s exclusively produced by KlassKlownKarl and Jobu. Like I said, I’m a big Dilla stan, love Tribe, Common, etc. Really miss that era of music, and that’s more or less what my style is. Once you listen to The Eleventh Letter people should be able to understand that. It’s feature heavy. I have features from Peace, Michael From The Woods, Miz Steel, and Chin all acquaintances I’ve made from social media. I also have a tack called L.O.F.E.O. (Looking Out For Each Other) which features Dubb, Tachyon Starship, and Olde E. All my boys from Northern Kentucky. It’s real groovy, lyrical, and upbeat music. I’m real hard on myself, and this EP is something I believe shows my lyrical growth. The Eleventh Letter, K, is just me doing the type of music I love doing, and some of the subject matter I like to touch on.
WP- What other plans do you have for the future? Will we be seeing Kleyn Kutt perform at any shows or a part of any type of tour?
KK- That’s the plan! Lol. I’m a father of two school age boys whose lives I’m very invested in, so pursuing this dream, I have have to balance being a single father with dreams of pursuing a career in music. I have performed here and there, and recently performed at a show for Nashville artist Indie Chris in my hometown. It was a learning experience. I don’t really like being in crowds of people, but to do what I love I have to get over that. It really helped, and now I want to be on stage more. I’d like to find more time to get out to open mics, etc around my city, and out of town just to build a fan base. Other plans, I’m constantly working on more material. Pretty excited about a project I’m working on produced by KRS-One’s son Predator Pr!me. I have another EP that I’m thinking about turning into a full album after The Eleventh Letter called Sweet Tooth: Thank You J Dilla, a project with Cincinnati artist D-Shocka, an EP produced by Tachyon Starship called Starship University: The Space Cadet EP, and then two more albums after that that I’m currently working on. I’m constantly approached by producers on Soundcloud to work on tracks, so I’m always working on something. Got a few recent tracks from producer Soledad Brother and Louisville producers Smitty and KenKen KillT iT I’m working on. I also have plans for a clothing line, and I have a jewelry line called DotD Jewelz I’m developing. I’m working on my artist website, and I also have a project The Soul of Poets with a group I’m in called Po Floets. Just trying to build a dynasty like Russell Simmons.
WP- I have to ask… How do you feel about the state of hip hop right now? Which artists have you been listening to recently?
KK- Lol. I could write for days on this. I’ll just say music is each person’s expression of their life. We don’t have to like it, agree with it, I do understand that each artist has their own unique form of expression, and has lived different lifestyles. It’s not going to be liked by everyone, and your music may not be for everyone. It shouldn’t be for everyone, at least that’s what I feel, and that’s what makes it unique. With that being said I think hip hop needs to get back to its roots. There’s a lot going on in the world, and these celebrities are looked at as role models whether they like it or not. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but be mindful that there are people that look up to you, and try to emulate the images you portray. More positive messages, and more lyrical content aren’t bad things. Hip hop started out as the voice of the disenfranchised, and I think it’s gotten away from that message in the mainstream. You don’t have to be the “conscious rapper”, but try to inform and uplift as well. Being a single father, I’ve witnessed how the system treats men, especially those that are trying to be in their kids lives, and all the bs the good parents (male/female) have to go through. A lot of my subject matter speaks on that. I like to have messages in my songs, because if I were ever to leave this earth before my time, I’d like for my boys to be able to still learn something from me in my music. Lately I’ve been listening to artists like Logic, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Brother Ali, Jean Grae, MURS, Eminem, Common, Talib Kweli, Big K.R.I.T., Little Brother, etc. If it’s lyrical, I listen to it. If it makes me dance, and want to “turn up” I also listen to it. Nothing wrong with a good time, but moderation is key. I also listen to a lot of independent artists, especially from my tri-state area (Ohio,Indiana, Kentucky) like Sleep (Cincinnati), Trademark Aaron, Kori Black, Sasha Renee, DGrinz (Arizona), Curtiss King (California), Loubrasky (Shreveport), Sav Young (Las Vegas), Bryson Tiller, Peety Smooth (Lexington KY) etc. If they’re from Kentucky, especially Louisville I support.
WP- Is there anything you would like to tell us about “Good Morning World” that might not have been included in the breakdown posted at The Write Reviews? Did you agree, disagree, or feel indifferent about the review?
KK- What surprised me is that your review was pretty much on point. Especially the part where you got exactly what I was trying to accomplish with the EP. It also gave me some constructive criticisms that will only make me better going forward! If you’re serious about your craft you take the good with the bad, and improve. Like I said, everyone is not going to like what you do. Good Morning World was an introduction. It was meant to show people the different styles, subjects, etc that I could do. I don’t expect to be the next Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, or anything. I just want to make music that is an extension of me, makes people dance, think, etc. Although if it becomes lucrative for me, I won’t object. Lol.
WP- Would you like to tell everyone where they can find you on social media, where they can stream your music online, and where they can find any other Kleyn Kutt merchandise? Do you have anything else you would like to say before we bring this to a close?
KK- Twitter and Instagram: @KleynKutt
Merchandise is in the works!
I also want to give a shout out to any artist doing this, because it’s what they love! A man can change his stars! S/O to all the producers showing me love! They are the palette on which I create my art. The artist can’t create without the paintbrush and colors! Oh, and check out btlclothingbrands.com! #LouisvilleBuilt #KentuckyBuilt #BuiltToLast
WP- Alright, that’s everything we are going to talk about today. Make sure you give “Good Morning World” a listen! I want to thank Kleyn Kutt for joining me and all of you for taking the time to get on a personal level with Kleyn Kutt. The Write Reviews will have another interview for everyone next month!