Congratulations on being the Grand Champion of 106 and Park’s Freestyle Friday. At what point did you feel you had it locked down?
The only point where I knew I had it locked down was when I had won the semi-finals. I remember in an interview Terrence was asking me how I felt and what was going on and I said to him, “This is something that I do.” I’ve been trained to do events like this, big events like this and really show and prove my skill and my craft. Right when the finals started, it was automatic. The cameras were on and there was no pressure. There was no doubt and “can I do it?” It was just home to me right then.
What does the Grand Champion title mean to you?
I mean, honestly, I’m the first to do that. First of all, just to have a tournament on television, that’s big for hip-hop, period. That’s underground, from things like End of the Weak, Grind Time, just all the competitions and stuff like that, we finally got to bring that to the public eye and mainstream. So it’s a big deal because it’s like I was able to help set a mark in the industry with that and also because I’m from Jersey and it’s a rarity for any of us to hold a title like that and be known for that and to have that shine. It’s been building and it’s a great situation and it makes me feel like I’m one step closer to me doing what I was meant to do in the first place.
How do you prepare for a battle?
Truthfully, when you battle somebody, whether you write or you don’t write, you have to have the mind state of being quick. Anyone can answer this question about me. I’m an improv guy. I’m very sporadic. Being able to think and act upon it is nothing, but to have the wittiness and a sense of humor to have the things that people will like, you can’t train for that. You just have to have that, period.
But when it’s time to battle, the day before, I will purposely sit and look at battles. It’s not about just saying the line. You have to literally take the guy next to you out. You have to take him out. Your life depends on him and it really does. Your career depends on him. There’s no time for the regular freestyle about how dope you are and how you’re so whatever. It’s, “You’re wack and this is why you’re wack.” Don’t worry about me. Let’s just talk about why you’re garbage. That’s a mind state that a lot of battle rappers who claim they’re battle rappers get in trouble with and that’s something that a lot of people need to understand. This is more than just rapping. You have to really be willing and able to destroy somebody lyrically and make them feel like crap at the end of the day.
There really haven’t been any Freestyle Friday champs who have gone onto long, successful careers and after Postaboy and Jin no one’s really made a name for themselves. Do you feel like there’s a stigma attached to winning there?
I definitely do and I see it. The excitement and the whole time when I got called in to do the season, after the first battle, I said to Terrence J on air, I said, “Whatever you want me to be, the next Jin or Postaboy or whatever, I’m going to show you the next side of entertainment.” From me making Terrence finish my lines to having the crowd finish lines, that real MC quality, I feel as though was brought back this year because a lot of times, as you said, after Postaboy and Jin, it just looked like a bunch of people who happened to roll out of bed and put on a hoodie and said, “Okay, I rap today.” Shout out to the ones who actually tried to make a difference. And I was glad that I was able to make people watch that again. When you have Jadakiss meet you on the set of another television show and he’s telling you that he was just talking about you, that’s when you know that you’ve made an impact and that’s a great thing.
Can you break the stigma of 106 and Park champs not having great careers?
Yeah. I mean, there’s people that are on Freestyle Friday that have lost and made careers. A lot of people say Postaboy this, Jin that. First of all, Postaboy battled Immortal Technique and we know how his career is and how many shows he gets. That’s not an issue. Hell Rell was on Freestyle Friday and lost and he has a career. It’s not really that serious when people say, “Oh, Freestyle Friday, they don’t really make it.” Whatever.
Me, personally, I know I have people around me that are smart and they’re intelligent. Besides, I was doing songs and opening up for artists way before anyone thought I could freestyle let alone battle. When I was 17 I opened up for 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Ciara, Lil’ Jon, Pitbull…I’ve opened up for tons of artists and they only knew me for doing a song. So breaking the mold, if there is a mold, yeah, sure, I know I can do it. I don’t think it. Yeah. That’s not an issue at all.
You won beats from some top-notch producers. Have you gotten the beats yet and what are you going to do with them?
I’ve gotten production from Grammy Award winning producers. I’ve gotten production from David Banner and Ron Browz and Neo Da Matrix. I got a lot, I got some from Amadeus, Mighty Max…Really, right now, my biggest concern, because I actually just got the records. BET actually filmed me getting the records so everyone will be able to see that on air. Right now it looks like my first single is actually going to wind up coming out and it’s going to be produced by Ron Browz and it looks like only because I want people to see the connection a guy by the name of Nucci Reyo will be featured on the record as well.
But other than that though, I plan on dropping a couple of songs and some real buzz-makers so people can see that I really rap on records and that I really have the swagger of a real MC and that I’m really a lyricist and I don’t really rap about myself but I rap about topics and conceptual things. After that is done, really, the rest of the records I want to be able to release on my upcoming album. Hopefully that will come in real soon because you know, in this industry, if you have something that’s hot it doesn’t take that long for everybody else to know about it. So yeah, hopefully that’s what we can do with them.
Do you think you’ll also have the stigma of being a battle rapper that can’t make songs?
I know it will catch on immediately. People are going to be ignorant regardless. First of all, I’m different from every artist. Everybody right now is either a gangster or conscious and if you’re not then you’re Mickey Factz or Asher Roth or B.o.B. Now there’s a new chapter. You can be gangster/conscious or Mickey Factz or Kay M. Do I feel like I have to prove something? Yeah because I know the public’s on my back. Winning $200 grand worth of production, it’s like they just gave that away. They can say what they want to say but I know that my music speaks for itself. I’ve been doing it for this long and there are too many people in the industry who won’t allow me to fail. Shout out to Poison Pen. I know you know who that is. He’s like a big brother to me. Nucci Reyo and Al Be Back have my back. I’m talking about the ghostwriters and the underground MCs who have been doing their thing for awhile. They’re not going to let me fail and I’m not going to fail anyway. It’s a good thing. Plus, like I said, right now luckily I was blessed to speak with Jadakiss and get some advice. I was blessed to speak with Freeway and get some advice. So I’m not too worried. It’s just whether or not y’all choose to accept it. I know that I’m good at what I do. I know I can be great and that’s what I plan on doing, being great.
Why get advice from Jada and Free when you got Poison Pen right there?
That’s the beautiful thing right there! Pen, automatically, is the go-to guy when it comes to me. I was 17 and he saw me outside the open mic at End of the Weak and he knew that I was hungry to prove myself. It just so happened that Freeway and Jadakiss happened to be in the spot that I was and let me know that it was going to be all right and I was gonna be okay. It’s the same thing with David Banner. When he gave me the production that he gave me, the first thing he said to me was, “Do you want to fit what’s in today or do you want to change somebody’s life?” That’s the first thing he said to me and I said I wanted to change somebody’s life.
Those guys just popped up because of the winning and everything but when you have somebody like Poison Pen, who has a career and is around people who have careers, you pretty much see where my foundation is from. And when you have people dropping albums on Def Jam like Jadakiss, they’re telling me I’m going to be all right and they want me to be all right. I have something. I don’t know what it is, but I have something. It’s a good thing. It’s a real good thing. I’m just excited.
When you look at the production won from the big-name producers, do you find it matching your style?
Yeah, because I’m very versatile. I can fit to anything. When I was in the studio with Ron Browz, he started playing a couple of joints and I told him to take me somewhere else. I want people, see, the thing about the production too is that you know David Banner. You know what type of beats he makes. You know what kind of beats Bangladesh makes. Everyone knows Ron Browz, the Etherboy. So I need them to give me the beats where people go, “Wait a minute, I’ve never heard that.” Then I put my style on it and they know it was made for Kay M and that’s why they haven’t heard it before.
That’s another reason why also I didn’t commit to these guys doing hooks for me because I can do that already. I know I know how to do that. But yeah, the beats are simple. It’s a real easy thing. You listen, you like it, you hear it, you’re inspired, you make some music, you put it out and HipHopGame calls you at 2:30 in the afternoon to do the interview. (laughs) Plain and simple, in a nutshell.
It sounds so simple.
It really is. First of all, look at the era we’re in right now. The internet is the biggest avenue we have. You have the internet and now you can connect with all these different people and bring your audience to other audiences. For instance, me, now I have a buzz out in Germany, London and Paris because I did a week tour before the 106 and Park thing. So now those thousands of people who say they love Kay M and that I’m on point, now they can go on the internet and they can see what I do. Those people from 106 and Park and those people from Sucker Free on MTV2, they can get on the internet and they can all join. That’s a fanbase that has loyalty. They know I’m their man and they know that Kay M is that dude from Jersey and now all you gotta do is deliver the records. There’s no pressure. People think too hard about making a record. It’s just a record. And the thing is, you can make so many more. If you flop, go back to the lab and make a new one as fast as possible. And that’s another thing. I’m going to surprise people with how fast I work. It really is that easy and it really is that simple. You just have to train and you just have to be ready for it. I’m not scared of nothing with this whole industry thing because I’ve been doing it for a long time.
Should we expect to see Kay M in any upcoming battles?
Let’s be real. 106 and Park, what did you see? Jin won, went to Ruff Ryders and went to Fight Klub. No. 1, I don’t need no battle money. No. 2, I don’t need to prove myself to any other battle rappers. David Banner said all these little people would come around me and they would want to battle me and challenge me. I am no longer in competition with those people. My competition is David Banner, Lil’ Wayne, T.I., Ludacris, Kanye West and any other rapper that drops an album between now and July. Rick Ross, Eminem and 50 Cent are my competition. Those are the people that I need to be concerned about. I don’t need to be going into the ring again. No. I gave myself the launching pad. Goodbye.
The only thing you’ll see associated with me and battle rapping is judging and hosting. But other than that you shouldn’t see me in the ring again. That’s a true artist. When you do something, you move forward. Kanye West dropped College Dropout and moved forward. It is what it is. But moving forward is my biggest task so you’re not going to see me in the battles and I could care less if the first record doesn’t pop. You’re not going to see me run back to the battle scene because with the internet, it’s easy. If a record doesn’t work, cool, sit back and make another record and make a video for it and put out a blog. The people will know what I’m doing and the game is a lot more simple than it was before. But yeah, you’re not going to see me battle anymore. Sorry. (laughs)
What should we expect from you in the next couple of months?
The next couple of months you should hear the songs from producers that gave me production. You should hear that I got signed, whether it be a major or an independent or a distribution or a 360 deal. You should hear that the album is on the way and you should hear about how great my talent is from the artists in the industry that are around me and other than that, you can only hear it at HipHopGame.com.
I’ll show and prove that I’m built for this. The $200 Grand Man, Young LeBron James, whatever you want to call me, I showed and proved on 106. Now let me show and prove to y’all on these records. I made history on TV. The first ever to have a commercial from battle rapping. The first ever to have a documentary on battle rapping, well, I’m not the first ever but I’m the first ever to have an interview. They treated me like I already am in the industry so why would I not continue doing that? It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be great. Just have fun.