Interview: Kble

Kble on His Rap Origins, East vs. West Coast Styles, and Why You’ll Never See an Escape Roots 2

Kble is the newest member of the Just Due extended crew. His style combines the intricate wordsmithing of hip-hop’s golden era with the sharpest contemporary production, as well as West Coast swagger with East Coast daggers. His ear for beats and hooks has elevated him from rapper to songwriter, and the future is very bright for this young talent. Here he let’s us pick his brain a bit about his journey, which includes time on both coasts. However, listening to his debut album, one thing becomes clear: No matter where Kble resides, his mind is always basking in the Cali sun.

Can you tell us about your journey to become an M.C.?

Kble’s journey to becoming an MC began back freshman year of high school yo, in Orange County, CA 2006, when my best friend at the time introduced me to underground Hip-Hop heads like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Murs, Mos Def, I really could keep listing forever. Honestly, I was hooked from that point on. All I wanted to do was find more artists to listen to. Eventually towards the end of high school, around 2009, the homies and I started freestyling, just to fool around and have a good time. My friends ended up falling off of all that, but it stayed with me in more ways than one. Once I landed in college at Boston University, I was fortunate enough to fall into a large and incredibly talented network of other hip-hop fans and artists (the BU Hip-Hop Stans you know TJ!). This group of cats fueled my love and passion for the genre and the culture all the way through 2014, when I attained my degree in business management. After graduating and working an outside B2B insurance sales rep position for about a year, I finally built up the nerve to quit my day job and leverage the network I had in Boston to pursue music instead. In 2015, I started working on Escape Roots, dropped the project October of that year, and really the rest is history still yet to be made.

How are the East and West Coasts hip-hop scenes and styles different to you?

West versus East Coast Hip-Hop, the unremitting debate. Lucky me, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a significant portion of my life on both ends of the spectrum. How are they different? In vibe, West Coast rap has, and always will be my first love. You can’t beat that smooth G-Funk feel when you’re pushing the whip with the windows down and the sun on your skin (and even when you’re not, in my opinion). But I can’t say that the East Coast didn’t heavily influence me as an artist long before I even knew I was going to be one. The dense lyrical stylings and gritty street vibes commonplace on the right coast are arguably more present in my content today than the groove I grew up with on the left. So I’ve definitely got a special place in my heart for both scenes, and each helped shape me into the MC I am now, but I’ll likely just leave it at that for this one.

Who are your biggest influences as an artist, and who is on your bucket list to collab with?

My biggest influences, wow, where to begin? I got artists influencing me from the very beginning like Slug and Mos Def, and I got artists influencing still today like Isaiah Rashad and Kendrick Lamar. I guess if I had to pick, maybe the top ten artists personally influencing me right now, today (sorry, I don’t know if I can go shorter than that) I’d probably hit you with these cats, in no particular order: Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, The Roots (Black Thought, specifically), Drake, A$AP Rocky, Mick Jenkins, YG, Bryson Tiller, and Freddie Gibbs. Trust me, I know I’m missing a whole lot of all-time greats on this list, but really the only way I could narrow them down is by time period, and these are the artists I’m listening the most to these days. Hate it or love it but that’s my answer at the moment folks.

What has been your favorite moment thus far as an M.C.?

My favorite moment as an MC thus far? This one probably goes to my first live show ever, in an Allston, MA basement, actually at a crib some of my homies used to live in a couple years prior (almost like home court for me, if you will). Some other friends of mine doing their music thing had sets to open up for me, Kble was the headlining act. The moment I’ll truthfully never forget, is right after the homie Buckets left the “stage” area. There I was, about to walk in front of maybe a hundred or so of my close friends and their friends etc, my first live performance; I’m prepared but still nervous as hell, of course. Then it happened, everyone in the basement (and you could tell it wasn’t just my dogs) everyone there started chanting out Kble’s name: ” K-BLE, K-BLE, K-BLE, K-BLE…” I walked out to screams and applause, the love was so pure and palpable, the support so powerful and unflinching. It was a pretty magical moment for me to say the least. That shit calmed my nerves completely and the show went great overall, an unforgettable night. That’s got to be my favorite point as an MC so far, still now.

What is your creative process like?

My creative process as an MC is still in the process of evolving I’d say. But so far it really consists of me locking myself in a room with an instrumental of choice on repeat. That, or taking a long walk with some headphones doing the same as far as writing goes. Time in the studio is always just a dope session with some friends of mine, you know we may be sipping or toking, taking our time with it, but most of my creative energy seems to emerge when I’m on my own, without distraction.

What is next on the plate for Kble?

As far as what’s next for Kble, shit man just making more music I can be proud of. As I alluded to in my answer to the previous question, Kble is still evolving, still growing, still learning more about who he is and who he is to become. Y’all can believe there’ll never be an Escape Roots 2, that’s for sure. But really that’s all, it’s that simple, I’m just trying to create, build. More shows and more exposure along the way is great, but really I’m just trying to make more shit for y’all and myself to vibe to and connect with, that’s what it’s really all about and that’s what on my plate until further notice.
Thanks for this opportunity again TJ and shout out Just Due for hosting me and my first project “Escape Roots” on their platform. Y’all are tight.

 

 

Presenting: JUST DUE RECORDS SAMPLER Volume 2

The Just Due Records collective stays grinding out music.

Since our first sampler, we have all grown as individual artists and as a collective. This new collection of songs is a master summary of our recent accomplishments, as well as a revealing glimpse into the future of where Just Due is headed. Featuring 5 exclusive new songs, your head will be bouncing from beginning to end, whether you are an experienced Just Due aficionado or this is your introduction to the talented collective. There is something for everyone on this compilation. Prepare to go on a skip-free adventure of sound. Please enjoy.

WINTER’S OUT the INSTRUMENTALS

Everyone paying attention knows that Big Oil is a driving force behind a lot of what Just Due does and represents. Just over a year ago we released our first R&B project “Winter’s Out” featuring his beats and the vocals of Pearl Scott! I heard Pearl Scott sing and immediately thought that she and Big Oil could really do something special together. Big Oil took on the challenge of producing beats for our 1st R&B album with vigor and dedication to artistry. We strongly feel that Pearl’s words are inspirational, but now is the time to release the full set of those instrumentals for the public. Take time to listen, like and share!!

FULL ALBUM AVAILABLE @ 

https://justduerecords.bandcamp.com/album/winters-out-the-instrumentals

Just Due Mixtape Vol 2 (MIXED by Spread)

Unless it’s a SP, MPC, MV, ASR, 808 or Lasonic, I really can’t stand my hip hop in a box. I really enjoy hip hop that covers many tempos and draws inspiration from every genre. With the 2nd installment of the Just Due Mixtape, I really dug into the archives to highlight the musicality of the hip hop made by our talented collective.

I’ve been rapping and enjoying hip hop since as long as I can remember, but I also had the blessing of growing up with some of the heaviest musicians on the planet. I’m a musician, first and foremost. I never shun hip hop that strays from the boom bap sound and goes into jazz, funk, rock and soul. I also believe in the solid foundation of hip hop, so I don’t condone experimental hip hop just for the sake of being experimental. Mediocre musicians make mediocre hip hop. I believe every sound should have a purpose. I wouldn’t dare try to play jazz trumpet without knowing Miles, just as I would frown upon a trumpeter playing hip hop with no knowledge of Melle Mel. A trained ear can hear the difference. If you fake it, you only fool yourself. I enjoy hip hop that is musical, but still keeps it real, such as Organized Noise, Outkast, JDilla, The Roots, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Quik and many more. At Just Due Records, we hope to carry on that tradition in our own way.

This mixtape was mixed on 2 turntables, a mixer and Serato. With the exception of a few spoken word bits and the Blazin’ In The City Dub Mix (exclusive to THIS mixtape only), it was just me blending my favorite uptempo songs, beats, guitar solos and interludes from the vast Just Due catalog. This mix delves into hip hop, funk, soul, acid rock, jazz, electro, deep house, bounce and the undefined from parts unknown. If you have a snobby music friend that claims that hip hop is not real music, this is the mix to play them so you can prove them wrong once and for all.

Please enjoy.

-Spread

Just Due Records Mixtape Vol. 1 is HERE!!! (Mixed by DJ Spread)


Dear World,

My name is Spread, a two-headed beast who wears many hats.

In my adventures as a DJ for the past 20 years, I have learned that one can always find some type of current music to play and ENJOY without losing a part of their soul. Many DJs, myself included, get lazy and get stuck to certain time periods of music and have a hard time relating to what the average crowd wants to hear in 2016.

For me, the truth is, I spend most of my “listening time” bumping my own projects, new ideas, stuff other cats in the crew are working on, etc. and a handful of classic artists I’ve listened to for my whole life. But that does not mean my ears are not open. I’ve probably been bumping more “new” music than I have in over a decade…and even catching up on stuff I missed a decade ago. I listen to more local artists now than ever and hope to start putting more music from my home in The Bay in my mixes…

…But as for now, I have recently concocted 5 mixes from the deep core of Just Due Records past, present and future catalog. It’s pretty random as to which songs made the cut and appeared on which mix. The first mix, featured here, consists of released tracks, unreleased instrumentals, vocal tracks, interludes and remixes. It features music by Lord Netty, Stak, DAM!, The Philosophy, Big Oil, Shogun, ACE ONE, Spread and more, so you know it SLAPS!

Enjoy.

01. Youngsters – Big Oil
02. That’s The Way I Like It – Slick Shooze
03. Slammin’ – Spread
04. Flyer – Lord Netty f/K David
05. Intro – Lord Netty
06. Cardiac Arrest – DAM!
07. Get Off Into A Pocket – The Philosophy
08. Hi – Stak
09. Snatch That – Spread f/Shogun, ACE ONE, and Stak
10. 2Meegly/Outro (TDIA) – Stak
11. Necessary – The Philosophy f/Dee
12. Nononononon – Stak
13. El Presidente/Return of Insomniac Blend – Spread/DAM!
14. SunRa w/Guitar – Big Oil f/Ryan Shaeffer
15. Wright – Stak

TJ Reynolds drops NPR on the nation.

TJ Reynolds has been putting in some work!! From the mind of a true artist, Just Due releases NPR, an album dedicated to well….Hip Hop and NPR!

What happens when the world of Hip-hop collides with National Public Radio? You get this fun romp through NPR’s world as filtered through the lens of Hip-hop. NPR theme songs get chopped up and turned into beats, and lyrics play on the themes of the shows. Interludes where the rapper calls in to shows like A Way with Words and Wait, Wait…, as well as exclusive interviews with famous Radio personalities such as Diane Rehm and Terry Gross take you on a road trip unlike any other.

Stream & Download here!