K Camp Discusses ‘Only Way Is Up’ Album, Seeking Justice After Charleston Shooting & His Culinary Skills [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
K Camp is doing much more than just laying back and enjoying the mid-day sunshine on a mild Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles.
The “Cut Her Off” rapper is out on the West Coast for the 2015 BET Awards weekend and has a jam-packed schedule lined up from red carpet events to interviews and meetings to promote his forthcoming Interscope Records debut, Only Way Is Up.
Although he's going in full-speed -- according to him he hates rushing -- the Atlanta native caught up with The Boombox minutes before he hit the stage at REVOLT TV to perform his melodic groove “Comfortable,” a track that finds K Camp singing about his lady love.
Inside his dressing room, the 25-year-old rhymer is obviously overwhelmed and somewhat distracted by the lack of time he has to prepare his wardrobe coupled by the uninvited producers coming in and out, seeking to give his team updates on his scheduled performance time. As he shuffles back and forth with his creative director to execute a lint-free, all-black look -- complete with a skully, black T-shirt and matching jeans -- K Camp takes a seat on a couch to engage in some conversation.
When he discovers taping is behind schedule, he finally allows himself to relax and give his undivided attention to The Boombox. K Camp's new album is a hot topic but he didn't stop there with his thoughts. The rapper opens up about his cooking skills, Minister Louis Farrakhan’s #JusticeorElse campaign, the pricey gift he splurged on once he got signed and more. Keep reading to check out what the “Money Baby” creator has to say about his career and fighting for change.
The Boombox: Congrats on making the XXL 2015 Freshman Class. Which artist reached out to congratulate you that you were surprised by?
K Camp: Which artist? Hmm... I wasn’t really surprised by any artist, but my homies from the industry that I am cool with all reached out. But other than that honestly, I don’t know.
What does this mean for your career?
It means really the next level. My album is called Only Way Is Up and that’s the motto I’ve been going by for years. It’s like me getting that platform that I feel I deserve.
We know you sing and rap. But your new single “Comfortable” has more of an R&B feel to it. Is that what we can expect to hear on your debut, Only Way Is Up?
With my album you are going to get a mixture of everything. You know, with my last projects, you get all that. You get the R&B, you get me rapping. So it’s really just a growth on Only Way.
So why lead with a song like “Comfortable?”
We had to show people that I am not just making “Cut that Bitch Off” or ratchet s---. I had to show them that I am the real deal and that I am versatile.
Watch K Camp's "Comfortable" Video
Do you have a release date set?
Well, we don’t have a release date yet. But it’s going to be in August.
What other tracks off the new project are you excited for fans to hear?
I got some tracks on the album that I’m excited for fans to hear. I have a joint with a Texas legend, an Atlanta legend. But I think those too are probably like the most... but my whole s--- is jammin’. I am not going to downplay my s---. The whole album is dope.
You’ve already worked with some of the big names in hip-hop from 2 Chainz to Rick Ross, Boosie Badazz and Chris Brown. Who will be featured on Only Way Is Up?
I don’t like to give the names out. I like the fans to see it when the album comes out. But Snoop Dogg is on there, but that was already leaked.
You snapped a pic with reggae legend Mavado a while back. Are you guys cooking up something?
Actually, we got something in the works. We didn’t make the album in time though. You know, he’s out of the country so it’s hard for us to link up. But we were in the last leg of the album so we couldn’t make it happen. But if I would have had Movado on the album that would have been crazy. I already had something for him. I know what I wanted to create. But yeah, that's coming soon.
Before the “Money Baby" and “Cut Her Off” days, you were working at the movie theater to make ends meet. What’s the first thing you treated yourself to when you inked your Interscope deal and finally had your dream job?
The first thing I treated myself to was a black [Porsche] Panorama. It was on my vision board before I popped. It just made sense. I always wanted one, so as soon as I had the money to buy one I went to go get that s---. I bought that thing in cash; that thing is mine.
Who do you turn to for advice in the music industry? Another artist?
Lately, I been rocking with my dog Kenny Burns [SVP of REVOLT TV]. Kenny is a real motivational type dude. He’s behind my campaign and he supports it. But Snoop too, he’s an OG in game.
Watch K Camp's "Cut Her Off" Video Feat. Too $hort, Boosie Badazz & YG
Tell us more about your Slum Lords crew. You dropped a collective mixtape in 2014. Can we expect to hear more soon?
Um, that’s in the air. I can’t guarantee a number two. I ain’t going to go to deep into that. I mean it’s possible, but I am just focused on K Camp right now.
Outside of Atlanta, what is your favorite city to perform in and why?
I would say in Texas, Toronto, L.A. or just Cali.
What was your most memorable performance, where the energy was just crazy?
I would have to say St. Louis. They f--- with me heavy. There are lot of cities, man.
You post a lot of food porn pics of seafood -- lobster, fish and shrimp dishes galore. Can you cook too?
I can do a little something. If I get on YouTube and get the recipe. But my go-to real quick is a Pop-Tart [laughs].
Your career is taking off and your debut album is right around the corner. What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to live on. When I am done, I want people to say he was a great artist, he really told his story. I want my s--- to be remembered like Biggie and Pac without the shooting or the homicides. But I just want to go out like a great and really just build my campaign. I would like to put myself in a position to make money 30 or 40 years from now with my kids' kids eating. I guess I am just trying to build an empire.
What are you doing outside of the music to make sure your brand is a lasting one?
I do a lot of stuff in the community, I give back. I recently held a K Camp concert. It’s a free show in Atlanta that all my artist friends perform at. It was bigger than I expected last year and we are doing it again this year. We give back clothes and toys for kids in the community. I am doing a lot of stuff, man, just trying to get a handle on things outside of the music.
What are your thoughts on the recent Charleston, S.C. church shooting?
I think it’s unfair. I think as black people things like this towards us has been going on for years and years and ain’t s--- going to change unless we really get out here and do something. I mean we have been protesting -- shout out to Farrakhan. I attended the speech that he gave in Atlanta. Farrakhan is very powerful. He's on that justice or else type of situation. I feel like that's what needs to be done.
So what is your role in this? What are you doing personally to demand justice?
I mean he [Farrakhan] is saying that the artists and rappers are the new leaders and I believe that is true. I think it's my job -- well, I will continue to make my music -- but I should be aware of what I am saying and representing.
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