By Dean Mayorga
KINDERED SPIRITS: “It’s a tie between three, I’d say. Because my introduction to music wasn’t necessarily through hip-hop. It was really through R&B: Sade, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. It’s a tie between those three.”
RECENT RELEASES: Atychiphobia: The Fear of Failure.
WEBSITES: curtissking.com, www.blackcloudmusic.com.
FREQUENTS: “The Vibe in Riverside. Everyday Sunday there is an event thrown by Noa James and Lisa J called the ‘Common Ground.’ I pretty much frequent there every Sunday. Sometimes I host, sometimes I just hangout.”
Many people move to LA to break into the industry, but you moved to the IE. What has been your experience been like?
Well for me, it was kind of different because I moved to the Inland Empire in 2009, and I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t too sure what the culture was out here and how hip-hop was generally accepted. The funny thing that I found when I came out here was it was already a thriving culture. It was similar to punk rock scenes in the ’80s; “this is our scene and we hold it personal.” I came from LA, I already saw what happened in LA. It was very dog-eat-dog and very difficult to make your break in the land of a million stars. So I came out to the Inland Empire and it gave me an opportunity to be heard.
Can you tell me how “A Rebellion” came along; the beat you did for Ab-Soul?
I[‘ve] known Ab-Soul since about 2006. I’ve known him before he was on Top Dawg Entertainment—even as far as back as him coming to my house and recording on my patio in Carson. He’s just a real good friend of mine. “A Rebellion” was a beat that I made—because music is therapy for me—and I made this beat probably a week after my grandfather passed away and Ab-Soul had hit me up for beats. I try to send him the best that I have and that was what I felt was the most passionate. And he ended up losing his girlfriend Alori Joh, who is on the song. It’s just a very emotional song, [a] very emotional beat.
What does it mean for you to be performing at Paid Dues 2013?
Well, I performed at Paid Dues 2012 and that was a dream come true. I campaigned for 97 days to be on there and I just wanted to be heard by Murs. And it’s funny how things can change in a year. Now, the entire label that I’m on, Black Cloud Music, we’re all going to be hosting one of these things at Paid Dues—[the] Monster Energy stage. I can’t really describe it. It’s an extraordinary feeling because we’ve all worked so hard collectively and to have these things happen, to be recognized as a force independently—it’s hard to explain. It’s really a blessing.
So far it’s been a great year for you. What’s your next move?
Right now, the No. 1 move for us is to complete this tour [On the Road to Paid Dues]. That’s our No. 1 priority—to complete this successfully. The No. 1 goal after that is to start the next project; to continue to build what we have in the Inland Empire and make sure we build up something stronger than we had before.”