K-Rino Interview Part 1
Dating back to the early 80’s, K-Rino dropped his 1st album and has since continued to be one of the most consistent quality lyricists dropping multiple albums a year. I had the honor of chilling with the OG, chopping it about hip hop, his history and politics so take a moment and let the South Park Coalition General drop some knowledge on you. – @Jehuniko1
Jehuniko: What’s cracking with your new album The Annihilation of the Evil Machine?
K-Rino: The new album is getting a lot of positive feedback. We branching out our means of how we get to the people. I have a regional distribution Select-O-Hits who I’ve been with for about 7 years. Your availability is based on what stores order your product. As an indie label, my job, / your job, is to contact the stores and tell the stores to order your product. Then your job is to promote your CD in that area. As a fan, ask the Manager “do you carry this?” “Ok, who do you buy from?” If they mention Select-O-Hits, you can tell them. So ask for me, if they are interested, they work towards getting it in there. If they not interested, contact my label and well contact the store to make sure the store is aware.
www.southparkcoalition.webs.com, as well is a place where people can pay via PayPal. The Home page will direct will direct you to the forums, people can post info regarding all SPC related artists. From the present to the very 1st. Our fans are so great, they find stuff we don’t have access to, or didn’t know exist. Photos, form early as the 80’s. You can really get a grasp of the site. You can order music from most SPC artists on the site. In the mid 90’s, before the rise of the internet, we had a huge following. Now with the internet, people can find us again if they lost track of us.
I have my own record label, Black Book International, I control all of my product, my music, I’m the source of everything that has my name. There’s no other entity that controls me and my catalog. That’s been a blessing for me that there’s no puppet strings telling me what to say. A lot of artists that are not experienced and they have their albums, being told, this is going to be your 1st single. I’ve never been that kind of album. This situation is ideal, out of anytime I been with a label, it’s been bad, so this is ideal.
My upbringing in the game, even when help comes, it’s hard to relinquish that because im so used to doing myself. I learned by living it, not in school. We have people that are qualified that def. help. It comes with the territory, if I didn’t come up on the rough side of the mountain, I wouldn’t know. I learned those principles. The things I learned when I was 20, still apply. People aren’t doing the footwork anymore. When you put out an album, you go on the road. You do free shows, in stores, radio, college stations. These are the type of steps you take. You plant those seeds to expose yourself as an artist. With the major boom, 5-6 years back when Houston artists were getting signed, they seemed to forget the steps and went straight for the crown.
We need to bring back the record stores, people are too comfortable sitting in their computer chair, downloading, bootlegging albums. In Houston, I remember seeing record stores on every corner like they were liquor stores. I would have a hard time naming 10 in this city. Stores that housed legends are going out of biz; the record store was the only source. The computer is more convenient. The record store doesn’t realize there’s a guy walking around the Wal-Mart selling 3 burned albums for $10. We need to stop selling CD’s for $18.00. Also, the artists need to start taking pride in what they making. The artists are cheating the fans with the one single; just enough to fill an album with 1 single, but the album is filled with garbage. If the music is good enough, the people will still support it. That isn’t dead. When we were young, the actual CD was one thing, it was just as a much of a thrill to read the credits, the thank yous, who produced it. “Oh I didn’t know he was cool with Big Daddy Kane” for example. People don’t care about the process; we got to appreciate the journey, not just the destination. Its fun putting these together. Me and Justice talk about this all the time, its start as little idea, you can’t even hold in your hand, but the process takes it all the way into fruition and the abstract creates the concrete.
I read that you were the 1st person to put out a record in Houston?
Starting back in 1987, we were the 3rd people appx. to ever put out a record. The LA Rappers, called “MacGregor Park” and its known for basketball. All these people like Akeem Alajuan, mixed in with the local street legends. On Sundays, all the cars would come out, the girls, up to 5000 people would come out to the point that the cops would come out to break it up. This is the 1st record that I can remember coming out around 82-84, appx. Then came RapALot came with the 1st Geto Boys, not the ones you know. Then after that we came out, Real Chill was our group. South Park, on our side of town, we were the 1st. Real Chill, we met in school battling. When we starting working on music, my Dad, he was doing good financially and I told him I wanted to put out a record. So he financed everything, studio, he flew us around the country. My Dad, he a spare no expense type of dude, he would be introduced to different people and he would pay em to get us going. Anything they would tell us to do, we would do. Jack the Rapper convention in Atlanta; they said we needed to go so we would need. We flew to NYC mix done just one song. We were 16-17 when we did that. Going thru that process. Like when you watch the Jackson 5 movie, you see em building the song. People don’t do that anymore. Back then there wasn’t no pre-production. Producer makes it on the spot, all day long, we creating the concept, paying hourly, on the clock, $50 an hour, you paying the studio, producers.
I remember in LA, we went to one label, we sat in the lobby, and my Dad went into the office and about 10 minutes later my Dad stormed out the office. I never asked my Dad what happened. Profile, I sat down with all of them. Priority put out NWA, Gangsta Nip thri Rap A Lot, any label that would put out music like that with no restrictions, that’s what we liked. A label like Priority.
In LA, it was all about NWA. Offensive and beautiful!
And that production! That was the foundation.
Cats today, they don’t know about Jack the Rapper, why it was crucial to go there. People lost their grind, and the computer made it too easy.
I remember going, and they had the same conventions in Houston. I used to go with Murdah one, we knew we would always see someone famous. Like big artists not wanting to sign autographs. I had this thing, the more I liked an artist, the less I would say to them. My favorite artist was always KRS-One. I was a KRS-One fanatic. In my room, I had 1 whole wall devoted to KRS.
This one concert, C Rock and DBX found out that all the rappers were staying at the Holiday Inn/. Where the Rockets, played, the Summit. We sat up in the lobby, we watched Ice T, Biz Markie, Kool Moe Dee, Eric B & Rakim were the headliners. Krs One walked in, this is my idol. It was surreal. I approached this dude like he had a pistol. This guy was as cool as a fan. He asked us if we going, we said no, we some broke teenagers. So KRS gave us tickets to the show. And this made a huge impression on me. This was a pivotal moment. I already had a record out, but this motivated me that somebody might be able to tell a story about me. That way fans can say that about me. This is over 20 years ago, this is one my life highlights.
Have you ever done a show with KRS?
No. Back in those days, this was before the popularity of SPC, we were more rap fans than anything. We would always go to his shows. That’s one of the people that I’ve always wanted to work with. And he still so active. Probably more so than ever. I know it s a possibility that maybe one day we could put something down together. You can’t treat people bad; these are the very people that allow you to eat.
I saw that KRS and DJ Premier are doing a full album. I opened once for KRS a long time ago and it was easily one the best shows I’ve ever seen. Aside from KRS, you mentioned some non rap artists you’d like to work with?
I got a list of my favorite artists. It’s a trinity. One of em, he died before I was born.. Sam Cook. The others, Stevie Wonder and Prince. They don’t make it a habit of working with rappers. In a perfect world, we could sit up in the studio and come up with something real good. Of course RIP, Michael Jackson, you know you always want to work with the greats. I’ve been talking to DJ Crew, Canibus, different people that have reached out to me. I’ve received calls from people like Scarface, David Banner, these people have called me and it’s an honor that they’ve called me that they’d want to work with me. But Prince and Steve, the ultimate. Sign of the Times by Prince, this one of the coldest of all time. Songs in the key of Light, how long did it take him to come up with this? Did he take years to come up with something great? Anyone striving to be that great, will have a natural curiosity about their creative process. If they thinking like that, they trying to go into the womb to see how their creative process functions.
What’s up with that website you on with Canibus?
Spitboss.com – is geared towards all the lyricists all over the world. I just talked to him on the phone recently for the 1st time. He a good dude, and for someone that great, you wouldn’t think he wouldn’t need to bring all these cats together. Spitboss, it’s bringing them all together. I’m proud to be a part of it; I’ve met a lot of good people on it.
I saw that you on Canibus new album…
Yeah, that was a blessing. Once again, DJ Crew, that was the bridge. Architect also. They reached out wanting to get on me on the new album. That’s not something you think about. Its something you bring your best. Killah Priest, Ras Kass, the greats, ill stand up in the corner of the room just honored to be a part of it. I got a lot of fans, that debate on who the greatest. I just want to be part of the conversation. If you hear my name, just 3-4 times, I’m good.
One of my people, Scotty, I saw commenting on Youtube that you and Bun B are the South’s greatest MC’s.
Bun B, one of the greatest, because he took it all over the world and got that respectability. A lot of cats got famous, also, but didn’t have the subject matter, but the industry was laughing at them. You can’t knock no one who can sell 2 million albums. Bun & Face are the counter action to that. People said that the South didn’t have no lyricists, or Houston but Bun & Face were those ones we could always lean on. These 3 people right here dispel that myth.
Keep it locked to I2G for part 2 of our interview with K-Rino as he talks about South Park Coalition, his next album and much more.