Local Rapper Kolorful Makes Poetry With A Beat
February 28th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Approximately 3 ½ years ago, Kolorful showed up on the hip-hop scene. Originally one of the stars of the Songs in Real Life YouTube videos, Kolorful spent that time performing in venues of all sizes around the metro-Detroit area. After 70 shows, he’s taking some time away from the stage to focus on his next album which will be out later this year.
How did you get your start in hip-hop and rap?
It started with poetry. I was in a dark place and felt real lost. Poetry seemed to be the only way I could express myself. It got to the point where I was at rock bottom and when I realized I could take this poetry and put it on a beat. That changed everything.
What is your personal style as a rapper and how have you developed it?
I’m going to be honest; when I first started rapping, I had a very ignorant outlook on hip-hop. Growing up, I didn’t download a bunch of music. I just listened to what the radio had to offer. When I started rapping, I used that to my advantage and I wouldn’t let myself listen to anything that was considered legendary. I wanted to develop my own original style.
The most common thing I hear is that I sound like a young Jay-Z, not as far as the type of music I make but the sound of my voice.
How did you come up with the name Kolorful?
When I first started rapping, I went through a couple different names. One of my favorite rappers at the time was Busta Rhymes so, my first name was Lil’ Busta. Then I realized what Busta meant and that wasn’t going fly. After that I considered a couple others names.
A lot of rappers pick something cliché, use a nickname or choose something else that has only one meaning. The reason I chose Kolorful is because it has so many different meanings. When you think of colors, you think art. My goal is to put poetic art into hip hop and still make music that people are attracted to. The name also fits because I’m multi-racial; and when I first started rapping, I was always wearing colored skinny jeans and everything I wore was me expressing myself through color. As time goes on, I’m starting to develop the name even more.
What is your message?
I’ve been through a lot and I’ve done my best to stay positive. My overall message is to spread positivity and letting people know that if they have a dream they can achieve it.
Would you consider music your full-time job?
There’s nothing else in life that I want to do besides music. I’m a normal, down to earth person. I work a normal job and when I’m not at that job, I’m doing anything and everything to pursue music. That may be writing or working with producers on a new sound. Music is hands down my full time career. It doesn’t matter if I get off work at 9:30 or 12:00, my first thought is that I got to get to the studio because I’m not where I want to be yet.
Where do you want to be?
I want to be known and heard. It’s not about having the nicest cars or jewelry or girls, it’s about the actual art of hip hop and doing what you love. I have a message that I feel like a lot of people could benefit from and enjoy.
You have collaborated with YouTube star, Steve Kardynal on the Songs in Real Life videos. How has that affected your music?
In high school before Steve got famous, we started making videos which continued past high school. We started doing the Songs in Real Life videos and they blew up. That caught me off guard because all of a sudden we were internet celebrities. We followed with a 2nd and 3rd video. By the 4th video, Steve had moved to LA and he flew me out for the shoot. We had a strong fan base because of the videos but I was only recognized as Steve’s black friend. That was sweet but these people didn’t even know I made music.
For the last video, Steve did a behind the scenes and I got to shout out my music. I had just released my free album Gameboy Kolor and after that shout out, my music blew up. I had been getting 30-50 hits a week and that grew to 700-1,000 hits. Then people started downloading the music and it got to the point where I ran out of free downloads on bandcamp. Now, I get recognition for my music and the YouTube videos. It’s a great feeling. I can taste the next level.
What is the next level?
I took a break to focus on two new albums. The first will be a collaboration with Bloch which will be a prequel to my solo album. The collaboration is being mixed and mastered and should be out within the next month or two. It’s going to catch some ears and give me time to fine-tune my solo project.
My goal is to make sure that this solo album tops everything else I’ve ever done. That’s why I’m not rushing it. My mentality is that if it’s not significantly better than the last thing then I’m messing up. I want it to be so significant that people will have to hear it. It’s going to have something that no one else brings.
Follow Kolorful on Twitter and Instagram: @xkolorfulx