EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kavio Hittin’ The World Hard

Published: Monday – May 3, 2010

GW: Are you on the road promoting your album?
KAVIO: Yeah. We been on the road almost two years, promotin’ the album, promotin’ new projects, and just networkin’ and gettin’ 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 pushin’ that for a while now. Right now, I’m about to present my boys from Boss Gang, which is my crew. I’m getting all the promo and everything ready for that also right now, so, I appreciate ya’ll doin’ 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 bein’, like, almost 190-200 lbs. to bein’ 140 lbs. When the judge had dropped everything and let me go, they had me sweatin’ for, like, almost a whole year goin’ 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 somethin’ different than what I was doin’. What I was doin’ ended up gettin’ me almost 15 years to life. So, once you almost get 15 years to life, it’s like, the system was tellin’ me I’m gonna have to change my game. I had to change the things that I do, in order to survive out here. That’s what made me wanna get into the music game, but I felt that there was a lotta people that was in the music game that’s tellin’ the stories of life but they really ain’t livin’ that life. They never really been through that. The one’s 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, “You Can Make It,” that’s the truth. Everything you hear in that song is the truth. It’s everything that I was doin’ that was negative or positive, but mostly I was doin’ negative things.

GW: For the people who haven’t heard the song, name a couple of those negative things.

KAVIO: Well, far as bein’ in the streets, bein’ in a gang, you know, slangin’ dope, I mean, everything up under the sun that anybody, if you’s a street person and you from the ‘hood, you understand where I’m comin’ from. Whatever was criminal, I was doin’ it. You know, a lotta people say, “It ain’t what you do, it’s how you do it.” That’s why I let everybody know, it’s just a certain way things have to be done, ‘cause 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 don’t try to mislead people. Like, I don’t wanna mislead kids, you know. I’ll tell a kid, “Get yo’ money instead of killin’ somebody. Get yo’ money!” I’d rather we start really trainin’ 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 don’t discriminate. I discriminate when people is tryin’ to be somethin’ that they’re not, you know? But other than that, as long as people are theyselves, I could deal with anybody. It don’t matter they sex, gender, what they like, female, male, or whatever they do. As long as they good people, man and they bein’ who they are. I’m 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, “I Miss You,” dedicated to him, a lot of stuff that I learned, far as streetwise, he taught me a lot of it. So it’s like, far as bein’ a hustler, he taught me ‘bout the hustle. I always felt like he was with me anyway. I just wanted to make somethin’ basically come true for him. I didn’t expect to get attention I got, dealin’ 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 didn’t come out short. I came out with way more than I ever expected, feel me? It’s like, crazy to me sometimes, you know?

GW: You mentioned that you’ve worked with mainstream artists. Name a couple you’ve worked with.
KAVIO: Lil’ Flip. I done worked with all of the Screwed Up Click. It ain’t too many artists outta Los Angeles or the West Coast or the South, far as Texas, that I haven’t really worked with. All of ‘em look out for me and all of ‘em, if I reach out to them, they gon show love back to me and they call me and I’m 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 that’s doin’ 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 it’s possible and you put yo’ work into action, you know?

GW: You mentioned a lot of old rappers. Are you on that current West Coast beefin’ between OGs and young rappers on the come up?
KAVIO: What I don’t 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 don’t mean that I don’t respect them. All I’m sayin’ is pass the torch to the young ones that’s gon hold it down, you know? You up there tryin’ to keep yo’ same thing that you had in the ‘90s. If you pass the torch, you just helpin’ somebody else at the same time keep yo’ name alive, you know?

GW: Anyone specifically? I know some youngin’s 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 smashin’ right now, but you don’t wanna work with them though? You don’t wanna work with them because you feel like you tired of niggas eatin’ off yo’ name. But damn, Cube, he used to be the shit! Cube still the nigga, he still hot, but nigga, yo’ bars ain’t like they used to be on that Lynch Mob shit. Yo’ bars ain’t like they used to be on that Westside Connection shit, so why you hatin’ on us new niggas and the niggas comin’ up? Nigga, you been in the game like 30 years, why wouldn’t you wanna bless yo’ 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- fuckin’ ball. All you old niggas is the ones that fumbled the ball and let the South get it. No hatin’ 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 bringin’ the gang shit into this music and really actin’ like they labels was a set, ridin’ on each other like colors. Nigga, this is music. If we got beef with each other, it’s a personal beef, we handle it between each other. We don’t involve our ‘hoods into our beefs. That’s what happened. They let they ‘hoods into the beef and then you got yo’ ‘hood dudes, yo’ ‘hood niggas, they’ll die for you. They’ll bust a nigga’s head open for you. They’ll merk somebody for you. So, what do they care about some music? They care about gettin’ close enough to the nigga that’s runnin’ the shit so if they gotta bust a head or two, it don’t matter to them. Just like that shit with 2 Pac and Biggie. If they woulda sat down (and 2 Pac wasn’t such a hot head, but me bein’ a Gemini, he’s a Gemini, I know how we can get) … at the same time, if there ain’t no talkin’ out the situation then, it gotta get handled how it gotta get handled. That’s 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 livin’ it, you know?

GW: You mentioned you’ve been on the road plenty. What’s your favorite city?
KAVIO: Presently, Omaha and Des Moines. I just love Omaha and Des Moines. I make so much money out there, it’s crazy.(Laughs) I love Kansas City; St. Lois; I gotta give a shout out to Wisconsin, ‘cause that’s where I started a little bit, Milwaukee; Detroit; Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Oklahoma, I can’t 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 ya’ll that hold me down, all ya’ll that still believe in me to the fullest, much love to all of ya’ll. Keep representin’, keep smashin’ for us ‘cause we need it all.

By: Ness

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