KZA Is Our Featured Hip Hop Artist On Dubb Spot Records Today.
His Hip Hop Music Evolves From Florida.
We Had The Chance To Talk About How He Got Started, How He Intends On Changing The Hip Hop Game and More.
DSR: How old were you when you developed an interest in music?
KZA: i got into hip hop when I was like 11 but music in general i dont even know i mean as far back is I can remember ive always loved music but before hip hop it was mainly rock/grunge like pearl jam ,nirvana, rhcp and green day but one day i heard Boyz In Da Hood by Eazy e i was like what is this cause id neva really been able to listen to it before but after that I would print and memorize lyrics i was serious about it even back then so i would get mad cause my mom would say to everyone it was just a phase and i would get over it which kinda made me more get more into it and become more dedicated cause no one believed I would do anything with it
DSR: What was your earliest musical memory? What formed your love of hip hop music in your head?
KZA: its kind of embarrassing but when I was like 6 i remember there was a talent show at school right and I decided to do this song from hits of the 80’s cd my mom had it was called safety dance by men with hats I would sing and dance to it its super corny it goes “we can dance if we want to,we can leave are friends behind ,cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance there no friends of mine”it was pretty stupid but i liked it back then and I went up all confident,the music played and right before I said anything I froze it was like 8 mile and then I ran off the stage and yeah that sums up my first live performance but at least I got over it cause you cant really be a performer if you can’t perform in front of people , my love for hip hop music was built early on i would always sing and put on little shows for my family its a way of expressing yourself so I figured if I love music, entertaining and writing how could I put that into a career since I never want to have a job sitting in a office day in day out so when i got in to rap I wrote one song to my life by the game and showed people at school there like its actually not bad im like really cause u know they’ll never say its good but it was enough to see I had potential and I never looked back
DSR: Let’s get to know a little more about you and how you grew up. What was it like in your hometown? What kind of kid were you?
KZA: im 16 born and raised in Florida specifically Broward county area it was nice I was always was at the beaches and I went to the 1997 world series but I was only 2 and I went to the 2003 also but the memory that comes to me is this one time when we where coming back from a store and the cul-de-sac we lived on was blocked off by police cars, helicopters and news vans it was cause one of our neighbor his girlfriend had shot him and like had him hostage cause he cheated on her it was just crazy me growing up i was a straight a honor role student cause my father kinda put in my head from an early age that anything less than perfection was considered failure and i would have to do it till it was perfect and this was like since i could walk and talk so it kinda military style no play just work everything had to be done his way school sports even games so the activities that where supposed to be fun really weren’t at all also we moved a lot cause they both did real estate and we would move into a house fix it up and sell it so i was always changing schools which sucked and but I moved out to Cali with mi Madre in like 2007 after they got divorced
DSR: So let’s talk about your music. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
KZA: I’ll say a mix of old school and new school hip hop but a lot of storytelling like Nas and 2pac I try to paint a picture in your head like to tell a story with a beginning middle and end its different though with every couple tracks depending on my mood also I experiment with styles and see myself more versatile and creative like a Kanye ,Kid Cudi and Eminem. I don’t fit in one category and never say I’m horror core or gangster rap only cause I’m just not one dimensional
DSR:What is the significance of your name?
KZA: well everyone is always like my name is so different KZA which is my initials for my name Kor Zar Abreu. Kor was a character in a screenplay my mom wrote in college and Zar is after the Russian family spelled czar or tsar they where all assassinated which isn’t really that inspiring but I mean I used to be embarrassed about its better to have a unique name rather than like than bob or something basic
DSR: There’s a part of the industry that irks me the most, where great music gets overlooked because it doesn’t fit a mold. How frustrating is that for you, if people seem to think that you don’t have that sound for radio?
KZA: yeah its very frustrating and stressful cause there are so many hip hop artists out there who deserve a lot more recognition but because they just don’t fit in what labels see as marketable and they think they wont have mainstream success so they neva get a legitimate shot
DSR: What do you think needs to be brought to hip hop music in this decade and how do you plan to add to that?
KZA: originality in mainstream hip hop nowadays everyone sounds the same recycling lyrics and topics all they look at is the statistics of what sells there like clones just doing the exact same thing i look at Eminem he says what he feels and doesn’t give a f*** if u like it or not and he is kinda like the hip hop Eddie Vedder he doesn’t care bout the media the reviews the awards just the music and that’s what i admire and wanna bring to the game
DSR: What do you think of hip hop music that came out in the last decade?
KZA: alot of hit and miss but there where some great hip hop albums that definitely are classics like Marshall Mathers LP and Stillmatic but alot of wack mc’s with no lyrics or substance just beats for example Waka Flocka, Soulja boy and Gucci Mane the list goes on and now even more are coming up
DSR: How would you rate the music that your music competes against in your local area?
KZA: I really cant rate the hip hop music in the area because I’m sure there’s some good ones in the 626 but I really don’t pay that much attention to others in the area there kinda like extras in the movies only the ones I work with I follow
DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?
KZA: yeah I learned first hand to watch out for all everyone in the industry cause some who are going to try to use you for pretty much any thing and also u shouldn’t burn bridges cause to get ahead u need as many connections as u can get so starting conflicts and making enemies over nothing is just not good for business
DSR: Do you write all of your own material? And if so, are you working on any new projects or have any projects that you are promoting right now?
KZA: yes every line I rap I write myself no co writers no ghostwriters I don’t believe in that my first official hip hop mixtape I’m currently finishing right now its called “PROOF IT’S EAZY 2 BE B.I.G” the name is a tribute to Proof from D12 ,Eazy e ,2pac and Biggie Smalls I had previously planned to release one called Blood thirsty volume 1 and follow it up with volume 2 I had finished recording but I decided to scrap it for now but watch out for it in the future for it
DSR: Where can the people find you performing or attend the events you are involved in?
KZA: im looking into a few shows i would be opening in downtown la, Anaheim and la Habra/Whittier area and some showcases over the summer ill put all the info on facebook.com/crackkingkza
DSR: Where can we find your music online and offline?
DSR: We ask all Artists that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you?
KZA: the best advice i have is not from anyone i know personally but from the movie pursuit of happiness when will smith after kinda putting his son down unintentionally says “don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something .not even me .you got a dream, you gotta protect it. when people can’t do something themselves ,they’re going to tell you can’t do it. you want something go get it. period.”
DSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in closing of this interview?
KZA: yeah r.i.p Lamont Coleman aka Big L who in my opinion is hip hop’s greatest of all time and well first of all shout outs to the group t$oe ,and lui v, Lexi Banks, Dansonn productions and phase (opend mindz all day)
Thanks for interviewing with us KZA. You are definitely at the age where you can change the hip hop game.