|Published: Saturday – February 3, 2007 | Comments (0)|
| It isn’t often that the big leaguers like Hi Tek, JR Rotem, and Cool and Dre sign-on board to contribute their impeccable works to a 16-year old. Historically there has always been a struggle for young rappers to sustain a fan base due to the believability of adult subject matter or, quite frankly, to maintain interest with the teenyboppers. Sean Kingston has neither problem. This Miami native has not stopped rapping since the age of 8 and JR Rotem, super-producer/founder of Beluga Heights Production Company, has taken note. He signed the Reggae/Rap talent Sean just this summer, has completed a mixtape and has a major release date on Sony Records in just over four months.Impressive.I went blog hunting, forum surfing and aimed a few of my hush hush industry insider contacts, to get the scoop on who this kid really was, and to discover how the hell he pulled this off without me hearing about it. As the bitterness faded I’d come to realize that Sean King had harnessed this major feat rather flawlessly, and with the help of his resolute determination. This will, that tends to dissipate as adolescents parade through their wonder years, was fueling a notable movement towards what is for some, impossible. He beat the odds.His music is a heavy mixture of melodically infused choruses with rather explicitly gangsta lyrics like „Eyes over water gotta’ stay sea level / Haters knockin’ my style / Fittin ta stop me never / Get smacked up if that ass act up / Hollow tips rush, my definition of back-up.“ About 10 seconds into his One Blood Remix (which has already appeared on „Big Mike – This Is Why I’m Hot Part 4“), I’d forgotten his age.
Where are you now? Are you in Miami?
Nah, I’m currently in Los Angeles.
Are you going to school there, or are you traveling back and forth?
I’m home schooling right now.
Wow – how is that working out?
It’s working out pretty cool, you know I’m doing it for the first time.
Is it harder or easier than being in regular school?
Yeah, because you do your work, you know, you don’t have other kids in the classroom distracting you – it’s pretty easy.
So you’re from Miami right…and how long have you been away from home now?
I have been away from home now 4 months.
All summer basically.
Yeah…I came in the middle of the summer.
So where are you from? Are you originally from Jamaica, or is your family from Jamaica?
My family is from Jamaica. I’m originally from Miami.
Have you been there?
Yeah, I’ve been there a couple times.
How do you like it?
I love it, I love Jamaica…
Are they aware of everything that you’re doing? What’s the feedback?
They love it, I mean you know they just wanted because I was doing rap at first, and I switched up my whole style, I started doing reggae and rap records, bringing something whole new to the industry, and they love that cause I’m bringin’ more – I’m expressing my roots.
How long have you been rapping? For like 5 years?
Nah, I have been rapping like since I was eight.
Wow. What made you decide to take on music as your defining career?
I just felt like, you know, I just liked the music. I was growing up, started listening to a whole bunch of reggae, listening to Ice Cube, listening to a lot of people, I just, you know, I just liked to rap. And I started off singing at first, and I just gradually graduated to rapping…I just felt like rapping was me.
Which genre do you identify with most? With rap or with reggae?
It’s a mixture of both.
Yeah, I love both…
So when did your style really become evident? Would you say about a year ago?
I’d say about two years ago.
Do you consider yourself a lyricist?
Yeah, I consider myself a lyricist.
Because I feel like I say stuff in different format that other rappers won’t say though. I just break it down to where people could understand me, but you really have to like, rewind the whole track, or see something. I like using metaphors and punch-lines, so I call myself a lyricist.
Absolutely. Who are your favorite five rappers of all time?
Five rappers of all time? Jay-Z, Biggie, 2 Pac, Game and Nas…
Aye! Aye! That’s 5! That’s 5! That’s 5!
Is that in order of importance? Is Jay-Z your absolute favorite?
Yeah, he’s my first, my favorite…
Because I think he just is an entrepreneur and you can hear it in his music. He came from the bottom and made it to the top and. He’s the best lyricist ever too! I look up to him a lot. I like how he formulates his words ‘n stuff…
Now do you like the new Jay-Z more than the old Jay-Z?
All around the globe, every single aspect. But I like the old Jay-Z better sometimes.
Here, I’m a put you on the spot…What’s your favorite Jay-Z line of all time?
My favorite Jay-Z line? Damn. I’d say it’s this new one, I’ll tell you this new line, it’s off Kingdom Come, he says „You from the era where snitchin’ is the shit / I’m from the era where snitchin’ ain’t it.“
He said, „I’m a four letter future ‘cuz y’all respect who got shot / I respect the shooter“
Shooter. Yeah, you and the entire country like that line. No matter who hates Jay. Everyone loves that line to death.
So do you think he’s one of your biggest influences? Or is there a reggae artist that’s one of your biggest influences? Or are there a few of them?
Yea, Beanie Man for example. There’s a new one out named Vybez Kartel…
So it’s all new stuff. Are there any old school artists, from like the 70’s or 80’s…
Yeah I like Barry Hammond, I like Buju Bantan, I like, you know, some old stuff, Damien Marley, Bob Marley of course.
How’d you linked up with JR? How’d that happen?
I met his brother Tommy Rotem off MySpace and I just kept on hitting him up. He wasn’t replying, and I just kept on hitting him up, because I’m a determined young dude. I was hitting up, I was like ´yo man, hit me back yo, I got some fire and bla bla bla…’ and you know I heard that JR had, he was ‘about to get a label deal, and he was looking for artists and I was like ‘yo, just hit me back up, I want you to hear my music…’ So he finally hit me back up and he asked for like three tracks, and I sent him some tracks, but when I sent him some tracks, he heard the tracks and he was like ‘man, you in Miami, you hot, you hot for 16, but damn, you in Miami.’ I was like, ‘man, it’s nothing´, I just really wanted to work with JR. The rest is history.
That’s really dope. What are you guys working on now?
We are working on my album, as we speak right now….
Are you releasing any mixtapes?
The mixtape is done, it should be coming out soon…
What’s it called?
It´s called „City Of God“…
Did you like that movie, or what!
It’s definitely in my collection.
That’s what inspires me. I’m based off that. I’m a ghetto cat myself and I love that movie. It reminds me of me because I’m a young dude and I been through a lot.
That puts a lot of things in perspective. So you guys are gonna release it in a month, and who’s gonna be hosting it? Is JR gonna host it?
It’s four DJ’s hosting one mixtape…
I wanna be like you when I grow up.
Can you reveal who they are?
Yeah of course. It’s gonna be DJ Khaled, Felli Feli. DJ Drama and Tony Matterhorn, he’s a big DJ in Jamaica.
Have you been doing any shows?
Doing any shows? I did shows before I signed with JR. I’d been doing a lot of shows, talent shows, a lot of shows out of Miami but now I’m just really like working on my album now, meeting with a lot of producers…
What does your music stand for?
My music stands for a lot of things man. When I do music I want it to touch people like I want you to hear my music and hear where I’m coming from and hear my music. I want at the end of my songs, I want somebody to feel inspired, or I want somebody to be like, ‘damn I could do what he doing.’ I want somebody, prolly a rich kid to be like ‘damn this kid been through a lot.’ Like damn, ‘imagine if I was in his predicament.’
What are your other goals aside from music? Are there any other entrepreneurial endeavors you want to get into?
Oh sure, I want to start my own record label.
Yeah, I got the name and everything.
Oh that’s hot. That’s really really hot. What’s the name of it?
Time Is Money Entertainment.
Time is Money Entertainment; I heard that on a few of your songs…And my last question is; did you have any crazy obstacles blocking you from accomplishing what you wanted to accomplish? Because I know you’ve been doing this for eight years.
Nah, not really. My mom supports me a lot. She kept on pushing me, she did what she did what she could to make my career grow.
Is there anything else you wanna leave off with?
Let everybody know that the album is coming out in no time. It´s coming out in the 2nd Quarter 2007, next year.
- By Joi Rogers