Interview w/UK rapper, Kidd Neer

December 30, 2008

Kidd Neer

http://www.myspace.com/kidduk

– What’s the meaning of your rapping name?

Haha, well I’m not gonna lie and try to think up of an extremely complex meaning to my name but I guess i can divulge into the story behind it! Before I finally got some recording equipment, I decided to put some videos on the internet of me just rapping over a few beats using my mobile phone. But I was really embarrassed about it man. People saw me as the person who does nothing except homework, so me rapping was something I kept secret. It was almost my secret identity…I even had the mask on in the videos as if I was Spiderman whilst the others know me as Peter Parker haha. Just to make sure no-one would know it was me, I just had the name Whizz Kidd. But as I got my equipment and I started making tracks, I cared less about other people I know listening to my music and then in the end, I dropped the Whizz which is real corny and added my real name at the end of it to make Kidd Neer. I think it sounds like a superhero’s name….something you would’ve read in the marvel comics.

– When did you decide you wanted to rap?

To be honest, I don’t remember an exact moment in which I said to myself, “You know what, I wanna’ begin making my own songs.” I guess it was just a natural progression from being a huge fan of rap and other forms of music, to then just deciding to take it on myself. I’ve always thought of myself to be an artistic person but just didn’t know the medium to express myself through. I’ve never been a good painter, but when I started dabbling with music, it felt right for me to pursue it. I was passionate about it, I enjoyed it, and at least in my mind, I was good at it haha.

– How did people you know react, when they found out you rapped?

There’s a wide spectrum to how people reacted haha. I expected a lot of my close friends to show some interest and support me but that didn’t really happen which was disappointing to an extent, but also pretty cool because it keeps me grounded. Other people who I hadn’t really spoken to really showed an interest though, listening to all the songs and staying on the ball for when new songs drop which feels real good. It feels good to be recognized for something you create. Like every song I make I feel as though I’m giving out emotions which I wouldn’t necessarily reveal to you in a normal conversation. Other people didn’t like it. I’d think a lot of it had to do with it being me making it rather than someone else, so they had it clear in their mind that they were never gonna like it. And then there’s people I have never spoken to liking my music which is pretty cool. Like when I hear back from a few of my friends that so and so listened to your music and wants to hear more, I feel as though I’ve achieved something. Things like that just make my day. Whenever I hear one of my friends making music, I always try and make it a point to congratulate them and give them a word of encouragement because I know the difference it can make. Sometimes you just need that little push; especially in times when you begin to doubt yourself.

Were you surprised at first that the initial support was somewhat juxtaposed concerning close friends and people that you weren’t as close to?

Well a few of my close friends I’m working with musically so that’s all good. But to be honest, I wasn’t surprised with the juxtaposition. You know, whether I rap or not doesn’t make a difference to a close friend who likes you whatever reason. To other people who don’t really talk to you as such, through the music they are allowed to get to know me in someway. So in that respect it isn’t surprising. But you’d still expect your friends to just be there to boost your confidence when you begin to doubt yourself. Self-doubt is like a prison. As soon as the thought creeps in, you’re sent spiraling downwards. Sometimes you just need that mentor so to speak to bring you back up. Luckily I’ve made lots of contacts through music who are there to just give me any advice I need.

So, who do you think has been you musical mentor?

Ah man, I have so many haha. Firstly, my dude Ears has been supporting me for a while now, helping me with the mixing down of tracks, the creative direction of my music and the business side of things. He’s working with Adam Tensta who is getting huge in Europe and branching off to the U.S, and hearing his stories of touring and stuff is just such an inspiration. I then got dudes like Fat Tony, the good people from Supreeme and ADD-2 who I see developing at such a fast rate that I can’t help but be inspired. Whenever I talk to these guys, I learn something new about the industry and the way it works which is priceless.

– What was your first hip-hop memory?

Oh I remember this vividly. I was 9 years old and in Holland with my family, staying with some family friends. My brother was listening to the Marshall Mathers LP and I managed to sneak a listen. The track I heard was “Kill you.” At the time I remember just being amazed by the vulgar language. As a 9 year old, I was just like “Woah! Did he really say that?” The thing which had me even more interested in the music was the melody and the catchy hook. God bless Eminem! If he wasn’t around, I’d never have come around to writing my own songs.

– How would you say hip-hop in the UK differs from hip-hop in other areas around the globe?

UK hip-hop is basically built up of grime. Usually simple beats with high energy vocals laced on top of it. In the UK, it’s quite big but I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. In my opinion, there are a lot of garbage artists in the UK. Luckily, most of the artists who do transcend the UK-US gap are the talented artists. So in essence, we kinda weed out all the crap artists for you haha. In essence though, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the hiphop in the UK and the US. Aside from the obvious accent difference, at the end of the day, hiphop is hiphop and music is music.

– Who’s your favorite hip-hop artist from the US, and who’s your favorite hip-hop artist from the UK? In what ways would you say they are similar, and how would you say they differ?

Well man at the moment, my favourite hip-hop artist from the US is Kanye West (that’s if you wanna’ call it hip-hop!) whilst from the UK it is probably Kano. Aside from the obvious difference of one of them singing and the other not, they are both similar in the way that they write from their own past/current experiences. Kano often reflects on his life in the streets but the way in which he delivers it is so fresh and Kanye is…well Kanye is Kanye. 808 and Heartbreaks was amazing. The way in which he turned tragedy with his girlfriend breaking up and the death of his mother through singing is something which couldn’t have been achieved through rap. The problem is with rap is that it is often difficult for artists to convey true pain being felt other than through the selection of words.

– The internet has allowed for more of a global connection on between people on many levels.
How do you think it has helped the music industry, and how do you think it has hurt?

I think that the internet has affected the business side of the industry. Before, there was big money involved in rap music but that’s kinda gone downhill due to the ease of listening and downloading music online. However, I believe that in the near future the industry will return to normal. The labels have gotta somehow incentivise the music listener into wanting to legally download the music legally as opposed to doing it illegally. Conflicts such as the one between Kanye and 50 worked great in getting listeners to actually buy the cd. The sad thing is though that artists have to almost cook up these schemes in order to get their music sold. The music doesn’t sell for itself these days. But the internet has helped in so many ways. I believe that it’s helping push the wave of new talent coming into the industry. For a new artist like me, the internet has been priceless in terms of promotion and also helping to make contacts with other musicians. Overall, I think that the internet has been good for the quality of music being produced (aside from the crap musicians who spam add you on myspace…not good) but not quite for those artists who wanna see the 8 digit cheques.


How do you think music would be different if the internet didn’t exist?

If the internet didn’t exist, music would be spiraling downhill drastically. Like to be honest with you, a lot of the music I listen to these days are indie artists, save a few acts. It’s not even a conscious decision to go against the mainstream. It’s just I feel as though a lot of fresh artists are coming out of nowhere on the internet, and when you do come across them you have no choice but to follow them. There’s a lot of talent out there man, bringing a new, fresh sound. It’s just people have to begin to tap into it a bit more and support the talent.

If you could think up an acronym meaning for the word rap, what would it be?

Reciting actual poetry? That’s a bit crap but it was the best I could think of. It was either that or retards attempting poetry haha.

– How would you describe living life in the UK?

One word: rain.

lol, how would you say rain affects living in the UK?

Makes it depressing man. Waking up in the morning to the rain, going to school, and then coming back and it’s dark. I saw Dom Kennedy’s video to Watermelon Sundae and I was literally in a state of disbelief. The palm trees, the deep blue skies, the sun, everyone in the swimming pool chilling and a Barbeque to top it off. Seemed like heaven to me. I plan on moving out to the US after I’ve completed my education in the UK. I guess I’m kinda attracted to the flashing lights and the American dream.

To you, what is the American Dream?

The American Dream to me is the good life we all aim to achieve. This is in regards to both materialistic and spiritual. The idea that regardless of where you or your family come from, regardless of the class or status you were born into, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Finally, it’s the idea that the impossible is possible. I’ve been reading ‘The Great Gatsby’ which is so perfect in portraying the American Dream and also the corruption of it. Nonetheless, the American Dream is an ideology of some sort which I strongly believe in and I hope to live out.

If you could describe rap music in one word, what would it be?

Reincarnating! It’ll come back to life soon.

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