1.Who’s K.I.N.G Kronos?
K.I.N.G Kronos is an Emcee from Madison, WI known for his unique brand of human music, conscious thinking and lyrical depth. In addition to being a member of the four man hip-hop crew Synchronized Mindz (Kali Arnell, Proph Bella & Sphinx). He’s done shows throughout the Midwest (WI, MN & IL) increasing his fan base at each stop, with his passionate delivery and commanding voice. He has quickly become one of the brightest and most honest minds in Midwest music.
2.How you got started in the music?
I’d been a poet/writer since a young age and always was a fan of hip-hop so creating it just seemed like the natural progression. In ’99 I linked my with my crewmate Kali Arnell (then Steelfist) bonding over No Limit music at first ironically and started writing songs after buying GZA’s “Beneath The Surface CD” under the group name of the Shaolin Warriors. We would record on cassette tapes on an old sony stereo with a two way speaker that allowed for input, taking turns holding down the button until our thumbs were sore. At the same time I was learning to be more lyrical by competing in battle forums online and “netceeing” .I witnessed many diverse styles during my time at the Lions Den and Abyss Battle Boardz and since the songs were in text you had to put a premium on lyrics. In the years that followed SW became Synchronized Mindz and Proph Bella & The Unfathomable Sphinx joined to solidify the group. In my English classes I used to do my homework in rhyme form and it was always accepted, in summerschool I’d pass a notebook around the class between emcees and having everyone jot down bars collectively writing songs .Eventually I bought a microphone and acid pro and we just started recording on a daily basis honing our crafts. It just became evident that I this was my gift and highschool was the platform I used to practice my craft.
3.What’s the story behind your artist name?
K.I.N.G is an acronym for Knowledge Is Never Given, which simply means all the secrets of the world are yours to be obtained you just need to go out and learn it earn it; you can’t expect life to just fall in your lap. It means be your own teacher and always yearn to educate self. College is a fabulous tool great for gaining life experience and interpersonal skills but whatever they teach you through books you can teach yourself, certain knowledge can’t be bought you gotta work for it that’s my motto. Kronos stems from Chronos who is the personification of time in Greek mythology or Saturn in the Roman variant. Time is the one element of life we all lose to in the end, weather through life span or erosion time beats us all at the end of the day. I always had a strong interest in the Greek gods and figured my moniker should be that of one of the original forefathers. I used a K as opposed to a C to coincide with the time clock at my uw athletic department job back in ‘99 as a reminder of how I would eventually make money with my art.
4.What makes you different to other rappers out there?
One of the main difference is in my originality, I strive not to sound like other people even if it’s not what’s popular or may sound oft-kilter at first it’s all me. I’ve never been a carbon copy and my motivation has never been money or fame. I’ve always considered myself an artist first that entertains through hip-hop as an emcee. I want to be respected for my lyrical depth and ability of course but my goals vary from educating the youth, to opening my peers eyes to injustices and as corny as this shit sounds try and change the world. I’m passionate about these things and though I know all are topics other rappers touched on they don’t do it with my eclectic flair. I also have a diverse interest set and I draw on that, never one to be pigeonholed. I love RPGs, Wrestling, Sci-Fi, DC Comics, Italian Horror Movies, Soccer and all genres of music minus country in addition to more traditional rhyming topics like Sports, Ganja and romance. I blend all of various loves into one persona and I’m just myself being comfortable in my skin alone set me apart from the plethora of cinematic rappers in the game.
5.What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
I do a lot of my writing early in the morning that’s when the mind seems the most fertile; a lot of my album was done at my last job during breaks (and sometimes on the clock). I still prefer a good old fashion composition notebook to writing rhymes digitally on phones or laptops nothing but blood, sweat and ink this way. At the start of ROS 1 I had a lot of verses wrote over periods of time, that I would just chip away at as the inspiration hit instead of forcing for the sake of completion. I spent a lot of time studying bar composition in order to become more structured, since I was used to recording unorthodox songs with an unlimited number of bars. Some tracks sounded more like schizophrenic diary entries than cohesive concepts. I read some books, analyzed some of my idols and realized at the end of the day that all felt mechanical so I learned to let it flow. These days I may just jot down a sentence or an abstract thought that will become a song title or concept. When working on a one of my solo projects I let the instrumental play as often as possible I shower to it, roll around listening to the beat in the car, take bike rides to it and kick freestyles. Not so much freestyling lyrics but also somewhat “scatting” cadences like a jazz musician creating chords. I’m always trying to find ways to use my voice as an extra instrument to augment the beat as well.
6.Rings Of Saturn Volume #1: Tangible Metaphysics. How was the recording and writing process for this album? How you came out with the title?
Rings Of Saturn was a title I came up with back around 2004 or so and it just stuck with me until I started recording in early 2011 for this project. Saturn being the roman equivalent to chronos and my subject matter being “out of this world” or at least out of the norm that is considered hip-hop this days I just felt that the title was apt. Tangible Metaphysics is making the unseen, the unbelievable something you can touch. It’s making abstract or ethereal concepts take life on our dimension in the physical form. The recording process all started with the record “The Search” (Produced by the Audible Dr), my homie Blacklight kinda lit a flame under me and allowed me to split some of his studio time just to get back into the flow of recording. The Search was an introspective expression of my two egos combining to seize my future instead of wallowing in apathy. The song was well received and ended up being featured on “Madtowns Most Wanted Vol. #1 Mixtape”. I’ve always been a creature of momentum and with the ball rolling I didn’t look back. At this point I didn’t know what song was going to go where I just knew I wanted to frequent the studio and grow each time. Blacklight introduced me to Rickaby who in addition to being a producer and artist is a brilliant engineer. We developed a nice rapport and I proceeded to record the whole album in his studio reaching out to my own crew (Synchronized Mindz) for features. The process of picking beats for the project was great I reached out to some of the finest producer in my city: both Man Mantis and D.L.O of Dumate/Stink Tank fame, GoodWill and Gold producer DJ Pain 1 all contributed. The best part was getting in touch via Facebook with one of my high school favorites, MEMO from Chicago’s molemen collective. I expressed my growth over his series of instrumental tapes released in the early 2000s and he gave me his blessing to rock on the open tracks which was a major boost to ROS.As for the writing process I’ve always been an artist that writes from experience even if it’s stories. I’ve never been one for bragging and boasting, fabricating or dumbing it down. So much was happening in my city that all I had to do was open my newspaper or look out the window to find inspiration. Economically, political and racially Madison, WI has been getting worse for years and those are all topics I choose to highlight (A Lot Going On In The World Today, Bang, Bang Shoot Em Up). To be blunt Gov. Scott Walker came through and just demolished this cities morale, he killed unions, cut budgets and passed carry and conceal laws that increased our crime rate significantly. All of this and yet so many of my local peers spent the majority of their time rapping about haters or the imaginary drug trades they’re invested in instead of trying to use their voices to open minds I felt it was my duty to attempt to do just that. I’ve been accused of being an emo-rapper in the past so I tried to stray from downtrodden inner pain rhymes and what developed was an urge to educate without coming off as preachy and I think I accomplished that. That said I some of my favorite songs are still where I’m bearing my soul to the world displaying all of my perceived strengths and vulnerabilities for the masses on an audible platter.
7.A Dead End CALLED Merry St and The Rings Of Saturn Vol #2: Esoteric Rhetoric. Can you give us some insights about those records? Any release date yet?
“A Dead End Called Merry St” is a concept record that I’m doing exclusively with producer B-Luv (MC Mask, Verbal Architect). He happens to be a childhood friend of mine and we actually grew up together on Merry St. It’s going to be far more introspective than my ROS series is as I’ll be touching on influences from my youth and tales from my neighborhood (and in all honesty probably some of yours!!!). It’s a view from bedroom window through my eyes, and I’m really proud of what’s completed so far. B-Luv is really coming into his own sound and I’m honored to reap the benefits of his growth. It’s gonna be a sample and synth heavy project with darker undertones as of now I’m looking at a winter release for that definitely by the end of 2012. ROS 2: Esoteric Rhetoric is the follow up to Tangible Metaphysics. I initially planned to record a trilogy to release the next few quarters of 2012 but than a DECMS came up and I pushed the 3rd back. ROS 2 is going to feature better song writing all around; I’m actually singing and harmonizing on some hooks which is a definite change for me. I’m playing with my voice, recording process and just approaching it in a more organized fashion. I thought Tangible Metaphysics was great but it came off as preachy at times with a lot of social messages reiterated in different forms, and though I had a few personal songs I don’t think I did my interest groups justice. Expect a lot my variety on this project as I used to restrict my content so more people could understand on a general level. On ROS 2 as the name states I’m going for that “Esoteric” feel meaning songs may only be understood by a select few. I’ll have songs about the English soccer league, Dario Argento films or magic the gathering and though people may have knowledge of those topics only true fans will understand the songs. Not that I’m trying to leave people out or dissuade the common fan I’m just trying to be true to myself and show the world all the things I love. Those that share my unique interests will enjoy the body of work even more. You can also expect more varied contributions from my Synchronized Mindz family, Sphinx was MIA on ROS 1 but he’ll be on this project multiple times. We already recorded one of the lead songs called “Chuck It Away” and have been performing it to resounding response at recent shows. I’m about 6 songs deep into that project and have roughly 10 or more so written and ready to record which I’ll try and bang out in July so I can prep for an Early fall release. I’m thinking October since I love that month anyway!
8.What has been the funniest moment you have been or took part while touring?
Too be honest I’m fairly business oriented when it comes to shows, especially on the road. I leave the hijinks and shenanigans up to my homies. It’s always funny to hear peoples responses when they find out were from Madison,WI. I guess everyone expects us all to be small town beer drinking, cheese heads and then we blow their minds with some hip-hop and all you hear is “That’s how y’all cats do it in Madison?” or “I didn’t know y’all had emcees out there” and it happens every time. I’ll admit I get a chuckle out of that.
9.Are there any more plans for the future?
In addition to the two aforementioned albums I’m working on I’m also writing for a currently untitled 3 man project with fellow 608 Emcees Blacklight and Qwayz. What I’m most looking forward to is the Synchronized Mindz group album. The plan has always been to drop solo projects and then come back together with stronger individual fan bases. Sphinx is up next, his mixtape “Perpetual Culmination Of Seasons” is fully recorded and is just being mastered now. I’ll be featured along with my brethren Proph Bella on multiple tracks and it’s definitely going to add another dimension to our sound as a whole. I also have videos for “F.I.F.A” and “KastOut” in the works. My goal for this year is to help repair my genres image locally. In addition to building a buzz and solidifying my catalog to the point where I can reach festivals like A3C (later this year in Oct) , Soundset and SXSW.
10.Do you feel you are moving on the right direction?
Without doubt! all the trials and tribulations I endured through the last decade and dues paid were to get me to this point. All of my experiences have strengthened my perspective and I’ve learned so much studying and observing this industry locally and nationally. 2012 has been a banner year for me with the release of ROS 1: Tangible Metaphysics and all of the doors that have subsequently opened is semi surreal. Even this interview is a major sign that the path I’m taking is paying off. I’ve had my music in rotation in the United Kingdom this year, and received support and radio plays in states I was unaware had even heard of me. I’m not slowing down anytime soon so the world won’t be able to overlook my ability for long!
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