It was Eminem’s biopic movie, 8-mile that kickstarted a move on his now successful career, way back in 2002 when he was still in high school.
‘I ran into 8-mile, the movie and I said to myself that “this is some cool shit. I could fuck around and do that” I was really excited.’
He says his world changed because prior to watching this movie he thought he’d be a soccer star one day — mainly because he was good at it and he listened mostly to R&B and Kwaito than rap.
‘When I started I was probably the worst rapper in the world. I would write rhyming words in a column on far right of the page. I’d then write a line and pick rhyming words from the column.’
But when he got the hang of it, he broke into the industry as a member of Cash Time Fam, a two part group consisting of Kid X, AB Crazy, Smashes and K.O, Ma-E and Ntukza from Teargas.
Breaking into the industry wasn’t hard because he was working hard, he says. ‘If you’re doing what you love you become very unaware of the time that passes by as you’re doing what you’re doing.’
The group gave us smashing hits, the likes of ‘Goodbye’ and more from their 12-track debut album Now Or Never including ‘Shut It Down/Stundee’ and ‘Number 1.’
The group collected Channel O Music Video Award for Most Gifted African Video of the Year for ‘Shut It Down/Stundee’ in 2012.
The same year, AB Crazy left the group to pursue a solo career but Smashis and KiD X continued to hold the fort.
The defunct group fell under Cash Time Life records owned by rapper K.O, who Kid X still very much keeps in touch with (yes guys, they talk.)
They share the same birthday so, they’re connected by the gods y’all and no matter what fall out they may have, ‘it is always going to be something repairable.’
The self-proclaimed South African special ingredient considers himself as a mash up of various artists who influence his flow, such as Teargas as a collective, Proverb, Pro-kid, HHP and international acts, namely; Phonte, Jadakiss, Fabulous, Lil Wayne and earliest version of Jay-Z.
The highly anticipated free 13-track mixtape, 3 Quarter Pace featuring L-Tido, Blacklez, Yanga and Kwesta, was released shortly after.
In 2016, he dropped ‘Thanx,’ his debut single as a solo artist and after disbanding from Cash Time Life. The much slept on ‘Laundry Day Fresh’ single came on the tail of ‘Thanx’.
When the Mpumalanga native also known as 88 King, left Cash Time Life, he took with him a wealth of knowledge accumulated under the wings of industry legends.
‘Being around seniors who were 10 years ahead of me helped me a lot. If you listen to Teargas on a sound level, they managed to come up with a very authentically South African sound and content. They have the ability to merge kwaito, hip-hop and every South African genre imaginable. I absorbed that entire wealth of knowledge. I now know what the local market wants, how to speak to them and what to give to them.’
Collaborating is a thing that he as a ‘collab junkie’ deems to be crucial because, according to him, possessing the ability to be comfortable enough to express yourself and co create with other creatives makes everything all the more beautiful.
This is why after having left Cash Time Fam, Kid X kept showing up and showing off in multiple hit tracks, including K.O’s Caracara, Riky Rick’s Amantombazane, Kwesta’s Boomshakalaka, Dj Vigilante’s Pasop and recently, Thabsie’s Cry.
Sipho Ngwenya, a.k.a Psyfo hit him up for the collab with Thabsie. This is before ‘Ng’yazifela’ blew up.
‘Collaborating on this song made perfect sense because I just put out ‘Mfazi we’ phepha’. The narrative of the song really worked with me and my current vibe. It felt natural. It’s an era of music that I enjoy. It’s very nostalgic for me because R&B takes me to the mid 2000 where “R&B meets rap” was a thing. That’s the concept we wanted to capture.’
These are all key factors that made current hit single ‘Aunty’ work. The song features singer, songwriter and slay queen, Chiano Sky on the hook.
She introduces the track on vocals with the late Tsakani ‘TK’ Mhinga’s ‘How Do You Feel’ sample.
‘It was an idea proposed by one of the executive producers of the album along with myself. The entire team felt like this is the exact record that we need to make and drop as a single right before we put out an album.’
He says after Makwa made the beat, they knew they needed a songstress to belt out the slightly altered bridge taken from the original song and Chiano Sky’s vocals fit like a glove.
‘The original song is a classic, so it was important to get someone who would do the song justice and make sure that the original composers of the song would be at peace with the record.’
‘If you listen to the lyrics, having Chiano Sky was like a piece of the puzzle fitting perfectly. Her vocal ability is insane. She is an amazing performer and the culture clash is pretty crazy.’
‘Aunty’ is his first single to be released under his record label, Raplyf Records co-run with Kwesta.
‘Starting my own thing was a very big step. It was something I needed to do, in terms of taking my artistry and my music to the next level. With the knowledge I managed to soak up working with experienced artists, dropping the song now under the label felt like the right time.’
Everybody has been talking about this single being in the same WhatsApp group as Kwesta’s ‘Spirit’. Kid X doesn’t deny this, in fact he says it is and that’s because they make the same wave of sound.
‘I think, if we speak of a South African hip-hop identity that you can literally pin point, this sound would be it. With this track, on a larger spectrum it speaks to relieving a time when the genre was at its peak. It’s a resurgence of SA hip hop at its core.’
To the world. This is where SA Hip-Hop is going or at least where his music is going.
His club-party banger is already hailed as one of the anthems for the festive season. It’s good enough- let’s rephrase this- it’s LIT enough to hold us in while we wait for the full project to be released.
Kid X says it’s coming soon, so keep an eye out y’all.
Listen to Aunty below:
The post Kid X is taking his music to the world stage one project at a time appeared first on GQ South Africa.