Senior Kevin Connor, a.k.a. Young Kevin, has spent the past year recording album after album in pursuit of “making it” as a rapper. We sat down with Connor to figure out what makes him tick. Connor’s third album Triple Threat comes out this winter, and will feature more appearances by Rachel Villalona and other collaborators.
ORACLE: So, why do you do this, in a nutshell?
KEVIN CONNOR: My first love was football. That didn’t work out. My whole life I’ve been making music, but I didn’t take it seriously until middle school. In eighth grade, that’s when I started to really make music and become serious about it. Last year I met Brian Holloway Jr. [of Jr. Bro Productions; he produces all of Connor’s releases]. He told me to come by one day and record in his studio. I made one song with him, and I was feelin’ it, so I kept on doing it. I kept making mixtapes, andthen I made Golden Child, my first album to come out in school and online and everything. I got better and better. And you know, I have a lot of haters in my life and I want to keep motivated and prove everybody wrong, just try to make money, and just try to become what I want to be: a rapper.
O: So who do you look up to?
KC: –Laughs – Lil Wayne …
O: Well I know Lil Wayne, but who else?
KC: My brothers really keep me motivated too. They support my music and support what I’m doing with my life. Especially other rappers like Bridley Boi and Murray Boi, they’ve supported me since Day One, and they’ve always been there.
O: So, since you started, how do you think your music has changed?
KC: At first I rapped about what every rapper does; girls, you know, drug stuff, all that, but then I started realizing, my lyrics are starting to mature. I’m starting to rap about realistic stuff, about my life, about how I’m going to make it, about my goals, how I’m going to reach them, all that. That’s why I named my album The Motivation, I tell these people what I’m trying to accomplish, how I’m going to prove these haters wrong, how I’m going to prove everybody wrong, you know what I mean? So I put my lyrics to another level instead of rapping about that same stuff you hear every day on the radio.
O: When you sit down to write a song, do you write down your lyrics? Do you freestyle? Do you revise?
KC: First thing is to find a beat that’s catchy. When I find a beat I let it flow a little bit, I vibe to it a little bit, then I start thinking about what the song’s going to be about. Then I just start freestylin’ out loud, writing it down, making it better, and I let it go from there.
O: So you always record with this Brian guy?
KC: Yeah man. Junior Bro Productions, from the start to the end. There would be no Young Kevin without Jr. Bro productions.
O: A lot of people say hip hop is dead; do you agree with that?
KC: I don’t think it’s dead, but the thing is that people are trying to rap the same as everyone else. Everyone wants to be this guy, that guy, everyone wants to be on top. I always say that hip hop has definitely taken a step back from where it was, but I feel like there’s upcoming artists, like myself hopefully, like Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne starts to get old now … all these young rappers … I see all these guys, coming up as a movement, so I think hip hop is going to try to come alive again.