DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
By Sammy Lowdermilk
We've been circulating the state, highlighting artists all across Tennessee, in the hopes that collaborations will increase from city to city. Here's the latest artist from Nashville: Kemosabi. He's been highlighted in the "20/20" articles on Tha Milk Drop and has recently been on a show docket with some Chattanooga artists. Y'all check out his music and what he's got to say!
When did you start creating music and where did your rap name come from?
"I started making music my freshman year at SIU in 2016 with my homie Jack Fear and quickly met several other artists up there who taught me a lot in the beginning stages of my music. I met people like Mees and Izzy Cee who really helped me understand the game itself back then. Since then we've all grown exponentially but they taught me some of my first lessons as a "rapper". My name is a funny story lowkey. One night me and my little brother had snuck outside to smoke lmao, we were still in high school and shit. But I remember it was windy as hell and we couldn't get the joint to stay lit because of it. Finally my brother got it going and he looked at me trying to pass it fast so it wouldn't go out and he like yelled "Keep it rolling Kemosabi!" and we started geeking our asses off. You know those laughs you used to have back when you weren't a veteran stoner lol. It wasn't til I had been making music a couple of months when it dawned on me to go by Kemosabi when I rapped, after that it just stuck and people started calling me Kemo."
What are you currently working on and any new drops soon?
"Right now I'm finishing my first ever solo project. It like 6 songs and I've got a few vibes tucked in there. It's called BOOYAKA and I've got a few vibes tucked away in it. It's got songs that everyone's gonna turn up to and songs people can just kickback and spark up to. Most of the tracks have visuals too, one I shot in Miami with @meesmadeit when I did a festival down there in April, I've even got a food fight video that I think people will fuck with. Look out for BOOYAKA on all streaming platforms June 28th!"
How would you describe your music and who do you make music for?
"I make music for me, I make what I'm feeling in the moment I like to make that high energy hype shit the most. I love performing it and getting the crowd lit. But I also like making stuff people can really vibe too. Recently got in my auto-tune bag with my engineer @bradleycartersound you'll hear it on the project I think it's different, not just that cookie cutter auto-tune singing we hear everywhere nowadays. My music's for hella people whether they're the life of the party, folks that are out here on they grind everydaycwith a 9-5, the ladies who bossed tf up on the world, or even the introverted people because I can get the same way when my social battery dies."
You recently had a performance shut down by a venue, can you talk about that a bit?
"Maann that was a funny night let me first start off by saying after we shut it down I went back inside and talked to the security guards and the owner and they were cool about it. The owner even said if it wasn't his bar he "woulda been up front going crazy WITH y'all". The security dude who threw us out was nice after I talked to him for a second it was all good. But the reason we got shut down was we were a little too wild lmao Like I was on top of a table the homies were all lit (shoutout Colt Cupit & Sterling) but the final straw was well shit imma blame it on mees. My man Mees was on top of the Dj booth throwing water lmfao the energy was so lit but apparently the venue was not fucking with it. A Security man came up and snatched the mic out of my hand and made them stop the music after that I think we just started yelling " fuck em!" I think it was a good experience honestly it's a cool story to tell and lots of people actually responded really well to it. Talking to some people who were watching inside before we shut it down they really loved the energy we brought, actually made a few new friends/fans."
What's your local hip-hop scene like? What's the best and worst thing about it?
"Nashville's scene is bubbling right now, I think any time could be our big moment. All its gonna take is one artist or one hit song and to really get the rest of the country's eyes on us as a city that's producing the amazing music it is. There's so much talent out here it's ridiculous we're gonna blow like south florida did a couple of years ago. We got folks really doin damage with the numbers to back it up too, it's only a matter of days/weeks/months. I see it taking off in less than a year for real."
What does your creative process look like?
"Shoot my recording process consists of good gas, plenty water, a few of my close artist homies (NO NEW PEOPLE). I hate trying to record when there's people I don't really know like that in the room. I used to get kind of self conscious or nervous about stuff like that, but recently I've gained a lot of confidence in my art and it's allowing me to feel a lot more comfortable with strangers in the studio. Nashville's kenny beats aka @bradleycartersound has lowkey been helping me with that because at his crib you never know who tf might be there when you pull up to record. He's forced me to meet a bunch of really talented people I wouldn't of gotten to know by myself. He'e lowkey the reason me Walt Flames and Boomlord have gotten some work in. I slick had wanted to work with Walt and Boom both for a little while now so I'm excited for people to hear that. Sometimes while me and the team get to recording we break out that liquor, sometimes you just reach that perfect fade and make some of the best art."
Digging any hip-hop artists in Chattanooga?
"Hell yeah I actually met YG Tut at a show in Knoxville we were both on (yeah the one we shut down) and I really liked his music. The whole sound and vibe was unique in the fact that it's straight bars. He's not trying to sound like everyone, he performs with soul and you can tell he lives what he spits. My boy @JackFear615 put me on to Isaiah Rashad in highschool but I've recently gained a new respect for his music, a friend of mine showed me some unreleased shit he's got and that hoe slapped. We just rode around in the whip and burned one while he played me a couple things I liked everything he played and I don't even listen to conscious rap like that as much as I used to."
How have you and your music evolved since you began?
"Bro my music has been through some shit! Came a long way from recording on Icytwat beats in the dorm room off youtubetomp3 lol. I used to rap like idk heavily Mac Miller inspired. (Rest in paradise Mac) He influenced me a lot in my early days. After a while I found my own style where I've been able to make my sound a little less wordy and more about the feeling and energy I want to live by all the time. I would say around October/November of 2018 is when I really began to develop the sound I wanted and since then it's been refined to something I'm extremely confident in."
What other artists & producers have you worked with? Who would you want to work with?
"I've got collabs in the cut with a lot a lot of really talented artists and producers. I've got songs on beats from people like LilKaydee, Chupi, @NEPHWTHAPIMP (one of the hardest working I know), @Meesmadeit, Swirl, hellas from @bradleycartersound, This dude from the Netherlands I met online Dot 50 (@dot.50official) his beats fit me so well, @izzycee_ (first song I broke 1,000 plays on was on an izzy beat thats the man fr). I've got collabs in the vault with @WaltFlames, @1ORGNLZEN aka Boomlord shoutout them socs, @MXWLL22,, @jackfear615, @ Roninblackboi, Nephw, Lil Gerald, M.stus, and I got one with ronsocold that might be coming out soon. I really wanna work with so many people like shit: Topper Atwood (Top if u reading sorry bout the Jelly Roll comment lmao), LilBruhDavis, Eddy NIz, Buku Steez, Maniia, Septiembre, Iman Dillard, Pablito, Mikey Foreign, Delta Fi$h, Swayyvo, Terrence 615, Fxnesse2x (man we always cap when we supposed to link lol), and a bunch more I don't have time to say. I wanna work with anyone who wants to work get at me Kemosabi615@gmail.com."
Who are your musical influences?
"Of course I said Mac Miller from back in the day also Speakerknockerz, Playboi Carti, X (RIP :( , KEY!, Chief Keef, Rich the Kid, Famous Dex, Uzi, Wiz, Rae Sremmurd both Swae and Jxmmy, Nudy and 10k caash that man funny af."
Family Guy or Rick and Morty?
"Rick and Morty easy"
"Sour Patch kids"
Drumettes or flats?
"damnnnnnnnn, drummies easier to dip but aint nothing like a a lemonpepper flat. Imma say flats."
"Yo last thing I've got a visual out now for my latest song "Merch" ft. Mees featured below. Y'all enjoy that until the project drops June 28th.
Much love I appreciate the interview guys. Again shoutout Colt Cupit and everyone else who's gotten me to where I am today I'd be a whole lot worse at this music stuff."
Connect with Kemosabi:
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
Tha Milk Drop Socials