As laid out on his new single, Charles K is working on bringing some "motivation" to the rap game.
With the release of his latest single "Ya Motivation," the rapper dropped in for a quick Q&A on music, motivation, and mastering individuality. His upcoming album, The Red Tape, arrives later this week.
Who were some of your influences before getting into rapping?
So many people influenced me in the game before everything started. I used to just watch interviews every night of the legends when I was younger. Every 2Pac interview. All the B.I.G I could find. I was watching Hov interviews applying what he was saying before I really even appreciated his music. Looking back it's like I listened to em like professors. I knew early on because of them I could really be whatever I wanted and that everybody blessed with that. That sound cliche but it's so many people that don't even know that they can be anything. I listened to them and felt like that was real, ya feel me? They wasn't coming fabricated or painting pictures of fantasies, it was always gone be the truth and both sides of it. Fast forward the older I got the more I connected to artist like J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar.
Friday Night Lights and Section.80 were life changing project for me. They're the reason I'm rapping now. I was able to relate to a lot and apply it where I was. They never go with the trends but been in the game for years with no let up because they're sound is so pure, theirs. Just wanted to give the feeling they gave to me to somebody else. Dudes like Nipsey [Hussle], Meek [Mill], Dom [Kennedy], Ab-Soul, Curren$y, and many more artist also inspired me along the way to keep going this route.
What would you say allows you to stand out amongst this current rap class?
Individuality. Can't be duplicated. Whole package. True love for making music. Its always up to the blogs to decide who the best rapper is but I know it will never be another Charles K. As long as I stay connected to my soul that will never change. Seen the same guy in the mirror my whole life and I just want to continue to grow and evolve and let my art be a reflection of that. I'm inspired by the classic albums and that's something that always pushes me to be great. I think my class just waiting for somebody to feel that void.
Tell us about The Red Tape and how it came together.
The Red Tape started as me just wanting to be transparent. Red representing blood, sacrifice. Not just talking about the good, but the bad that comes with it. I wanted to channel every emotion, even the dark ones that people scared to talk about. I just felt like I couldn't grow until I went thru some self-realization and got to the root of what was effecting me. When I did that the music just flowed. I explored new sounds and really just wanted to get my perspective across the best way I could. From top to bottom I think you can hear the journey. From the anger, rage, and insecurities in the world to understanding and thriving for who I am by putting truth to the things I believe in. Being patient over time allowed the cohesion to develop naturally.