Published: Monday – May 3, 2010
GW: Are you on the road promoting your album?
KAVIO: Yeah. We been on the road almost two years, promotinâ the album, promotinâ new projects, and just networkinâ and gettinâ it in with everybody. State to state, city to city.
GW: When did your album, Hittas on tha Payroll come out?
KAVIO: That already had dropped, so I been out here pushinâ that for a while now. Right now, Iâm about to present my boys from Boss Gang, which is my crew. Iâm getting all the promo and everything ready for that also right now, so, I appreciate yaâll doinâ the interview for your magazine and things like that.
GW: Of course. Describe your life up until now. What did you go through to get here?
KAVIO: Ah man, you know, it was hard. They tried to give me 15 years to life and I fought it for, like, a whole year. I went from beinâ, like, almost 190-200 lbs. to beinâ 140 lbs. When the judge had dropped everything and let me go, they had me sweatinâ for, like, almost a whole year goinâ into my court dates. I started from the street with my own lawyer and things like that and, you know, all my boys was there, my brothers. It was just crazy, you know? I just wanted to let my peoples know that I was gon do somethinâ different than what I was doinâ. What I was doinâ ended up gettinâ me almost 15 years to life. So, once you almost get 15 years to life, itâs like, the system was tellinâ me Iâm gonna have to change my game. I had to change the things that I do, in order to survive out here. Thatâs what made me wanna get into the music game, but I felt that there was a lotta people that was in the music game thatâs tellinâ the stories of life but they really ainât livinâ that life. They never really been through that. The oneâs that have, I respect them a whole lot.
GW: What kind of things were you doing that got you locked up?
KAVIO: In my song, âYou Can Make It,â thatâs the truth. Everything you hear in that song is the truth. Itâs everything that I was doinâ that was negative or positive, but mostly I was doinâ negative things.
GW: For the people who havenât heard the song, name a couple of those negative things.
KAVIO: Well, far as beinâ in the streets, beinâ in a gang, you know, slanginâ dope, I mean, everything up under the sun that anybody, if youâs a street person and you from the âhood, you understand where Iâm cominâ from. Whatever was criminal, I was doinâ it. You know, a lotta people say, âIt ainât what you do, itâs how you do it.â Thatâs why I let everybody know, itâs just a certain way things have to be done, âcause I done been there and done that, you know? So I understand how things is supposed to be done and how they get done. I try to motivate people and I donât try to mislead people. Like, I donât wanna mislead kids, you know. Iâll tell a kid, âGet yoâ money instead of killinâ somebody. Get yoâ money!â Iâd rather we start really traininâ them how to get they money, you know, if they really a person who can be a hustler or be within this game, or even if they go to school or work a job. I done all that. I donât discriminate. I discriminate when people is tryinâ to be somethinâ that theyâre not, you know? But other than that, as long as people are theyselves, I could deal with anybody. It donât matter they sex, gender, what they like, female, male, or whatever they do. As long as they good people, man and they beinâ who they are. Iâm always gonna deal with those types of people.
GW: Were you rapping before you got locked up?
KAVIO: Na. The Compton sheriffs, they killed my uncle, he always used to rap. We used to be around each other and that was his dream. If you heard the song called, âI Miss You,â dedicated to him, a lot of stuff that I learned, far as streetwise, he taught me a lot of it. So itâs like, far as beinâ a hustler, he taught me âbout the hustle. I always felt like he was with me anyway. I just wanted to make somethinâ basically come true for him. I didnât expect to get attention I got, dealinâ with a lotta mainstream artists I done worked with and things like that. I feel like I got lucky, like somebody was with me or God was there to help me get through, help me do things and help people in many ways as well, you know?
GW: Even with being lucky, you still had to put in the time and the work?
KAVIO: I put in the work. You know, sometimes you can put in the hard work and do everything and still come out short. But, I didnât come out short. I came out with way more than I ever expected, feel me? Itâs like, crazy to me sometimes, you know?
GW: You mentioned that youâve worked with mainstream artists. Name a couple youâve worked with.
KAVIO: Lilâ Flip. I done worked with all of the Screwed Up Click. It ainât too many artists outta Los Angeles or the West Coast or the South, far as Texas, that I havenât really worked with. All of âem look out for me and all of âem, if I reach out to them, they gon show love back to me and they call me and Iâm there, you know?
GW: You mentioned your uncle as one of your influences as a rapper. Do you have any other influences in the game?
KAVIO: Any rapper, brand new or old, man, from the West Coast thatâs doinâ they thing, they influence me. You know, Big Snoop Dogg influenced me; people from the Bay influenced me: Yukmouth and Bo; but really, Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop Dogg; MC Eiht; Westside Connection; DJ Screw; people like that influenced me the most. They showed me you could get up out this game if you willing to put in the hard work. Once you see it, you know that itâs possible and you put yoâ work into action, you know?
GW: You mentioned a lot of old rappers. Are you on that current West Coast beefinâ between OGs and young rappers on the come up?
KAVIO: What I donât like about a lotta old rappers is they hate on the new. They hate on the new, when I feel like they done already had they time. That donât mean that I donât respect them. All Iâm sayinâ is pass the torch to the young ones thatâs gon hold it down, you know? You up there tryinâ to keep yoâ same thing that you had in the â90s. If you pass the torch, you just helpinâ somebody else at the same time keep yoâ name alive, you know?
GW: Anyone specifically? I know some younginâs have had some issues with Ice Cube.
KAVIO: Ice Cube is foul. You got the little homie, Jay Roc, you got a lot of us smashinâ right now, but you donât wanna work with them though? You donât wanna work with them because you feel like you tired of niggas eatinâ off yoâ name. But damn, Cube, he used to be the shit! Cube still the nigga, he still hot, but nigga, yoâ bars ainât like they used to be on that Lynch Mob shit. Yoâ bars ainât like they used to be on that Westside Connection shit, so why you hatinâ on us new niggas and the niggas cominâ up? Nigga, you been in the game like 30 years, why wouldnât you wanna bless yoâ seeds, man? Like, we come from you, Cube, you wanna hate on us though. You know what I mean? You niggas the ones that fumbled the mu- fuckinâ ball. All you old niggas is the ones that fumbled the ball and let the South get it. No hatinâ on the South, I got love for the South, they show me love. If they [OGs] wanna blame anybody for anything, it was them[selves]. Seriously, they ones that bringinâ the gang shit into this music and really actinâ like they labels was a set, ridinâ on each other like colors. Nigga, this is music. If we got beef with each other, itâs a personal beef, we handle it between each other. We donât involve our âhoods into our beefs. Thatâs what happened. They let they âhoods into the beef and then you got yoâ âhood dudes, yoâ âhood niggas, theyâll die for you. Theyâll bust a niggaâs head open for you. Theyâll merk somebody for you. So, what do they care about some music? They care about gettinâ close enough to the nigga thatâs runninâ the shit so if they gotta bust a head or two, it donât matter to them. Just like that shit with 2 Pac and Biggie. If they woulda sat down (and 2 Pac wasnât such a hot head, but me beinâ a Gemini, heâs a Gemini, I know how we can get) âŠ at the same time, if there ainât no talkinâ out the situation then, it gotta get handled how it gotta get handled. Thatâs why a lotta these labels, they think twice before they really deal with a LA nigga or a grimy Bay nigga. They think twice before they wanna give us a major deal because they know a lot of us is really livinâ it, you know?
GW: You mentioned youâve been on the road plenty. Whatâs your favorite city?
KAVIO: Presently, Omaha and Des Moines. I just love Omaha and Des Moines. I make so much money out there, itâs crazy.(Laughs) I love Kansas City; St. Lois; I gotta give a shout out to Wisconsin, âcause thatâs where I started a little bit, Milwaukee; Detroit; Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Oklahoma, I canât forget Oklahoma, Tulsa and Oklahoma City; Missouri; the whole Midwest, East Coast, South, West Coast, I been there.
GW: Say something good to the women out there.
KAVIO: All the ladies, all the women that have checked out my [Myspace] page, all yaâll that hold me down, all yaâll that still believe in me to the fullest, much love to all of yaâll. Keep representinâ, keep smashinâ for us âcause we need it all.