Kinfolk Kia Shine: Well-Done

The era of ringtone raps are in full bloom – whether you’re partying like a rockstar, standing under an umbrella, or explaining why you’re hot. Kinfolk Kia Shine is one of the latest rappers to move directly into Top 40 radio, with his “Krispy” single’s addictive chorus and “Paul Revere” bassline. However, if you think […]

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The era of ringtone raps are in full bloom – whether you’re partying like a rockstar, standing under an umbrella, or explaining why you’re hot. Kinfolk Kia Shine is one of the latest rappers to move directly into Top 40 radio, with his “Krispy” single’s addictive chorus and “Paul Revere” bassline. However, if you think it’s been a short road for this Memphis rapper, you’re assuming wrong.After a stint with Ruff Ryders and a botched production deal, Kia Shine claims he was homeless – far from $900 jeans and $850 shoes. By the grace of God, the spiritually connected rapper got a second chance at stardom, and landed a deal with Universal/Motown. Rightfully, the local veteran declares his album Due Season, and tells about the long, unpaved road to that krispy cream. What made you turn to music as a career?Kia Shine: First off it was God’s plan for me, as far as [my] vision goes. My background was in the corporate arena, but this is what he envisioned for me; to do the music. I came in as a CEO and started my own label. I went from that to selling beats up here in New York and getting a production deal with Ruff Ryders. I got a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Company; I took that money and came back to Memphis. I sunk that money into my own company Rap Hustlers Music, which is ran by me and Jack Frost. We signed Skinny Pimp, Yo Gotti, La Chat, and Gangsta Blac, all the guys from Memphis; we toured in 2002 also. That is pretty much how I got into it. I took advantage of cross-marketing myself with artists that already had a name, and branded Kia Shine. That is how I developed my base, putting out DVD’s and the Yo Gotti CD. When the time was right, I did my own thing. Seeing how it is with certain artists, no disrespect to anyone, but I had to reinvent myself and do it how I wanted to do it. With the record “Respect My Fresh,” we dropped it in the street and got that going in Memphis. After it rocked the club, it just flew. We got the spins up on it and it received about 19.6 million on Media Base. We dropped another record in the midst of that and wrapped the deal up. It was God’s plan for me to do it With all your experience in other arenas, how did it help you once you became an artist yourself?Kia

Shine: First off, knives sharpen knives. What it did is taught a lot

of lessons. Through all my ups and downs, valleys and peaks with the

music, I was able to be blessed to be around people like Ruff Ryders. I

was able to see a lot of stuff. I learned from a corporate perspective,

but I also learned to see it from an artist and producer prospective.

Working with Lil’ Wayne, [Lil’] Flip, Lil’ Jon, [Juvenile], and Mike Jones on

my own projects helped build relationships with those guys. I was able

to learn from what they were doing and what I was seeing, so I kind of

got the best of both worlds. I got my corporate swag together by going

to New York all the time. I always had my artist swag, but I got my

production swag by making records. [If] you come out of

Memphis, [it’s expected that] you’ve seen Suave House and [CEO] Tony

Draper do his thing. Me being down South, I’ve seen the early cats like

No Limit do they thing. Memphis is in the center of all that. Besides

Atlanta, people come to Memphis to break their records. If someone can

work it in Memphis, they can just about work it anywhere. So we were

able to take advantage of that. Being the birth place of Blues and

accapella, it is a musical city anyway. So all that music coming

through there made an influence on my After all that experience, how is your relationship with other Memphis rappers?Kia Shine: I think it is good; the respect thing between me, Three-6, 8Ball & MJG, Gotti, and Project Pat is there. All of the artists out of Memphis have a respect thing going on. I definitely ride my own lane and I think everyone respects that I am doing that swag music. I am coming out of Memphis with a different sound. We know you signed with Universal Motown and the album is entitled Due Season. Is there anything behind that?Kia Shine: The reason for Due Season is our Jesus, that’s due season. The secret is Jesus. He is the reason for the season. In the Bible it says, “Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” That means if you don’t give up and continue to do the things God has blessed you to do, you don’t faint. You will get your season when you reap what you put into it. This is the season I will reap everything I put into my music. I have sacrificed and been homeless for this music. I have spent my last and lost my last, you know how it goes. There’s ups and down, highs and lows, valleys and peaks. God has kept me on point and now it’s due season. The radio has been banging “Krispy,” plus you’ve got “Respect My Fresh,” and “Be Everywhere” heavy in the streets. For those that don’t know, what do these different sides suggest about you as an artist?Kia Shine: That right there is a case in point of what I love. You just named three songs off my album that you like already. Besides Jeezy and Lil’ Wayne, give me another artist that has three or four songs that you really like off their album? I am at an advantage when you talk about those three songs. I got 8Ball & MJG on “Blood City Classic,” and they are the only other artist featured on the album. I ain’t trying to have a whole bunch of people on there. This album is about me and what I am trying to do; I ain’t trying to do a compilation. I want people to mess with me. If you like “Respect My Fresh,” “I Be Everywhere,” “Stunna Shades,” and “Krispy” you in for a treat, because you are already four songs in. I am guaranteeing there is another four or five on there you are going to mess with. I personally like it all. There are like eight or nine records you will mess with [Ed’s note: Due Season has 15 tracks]. There ain’t that many albums coming out that have eight or nine records on it you will mess with. From a consumer standpoint, I think it is going to be refreshing. I ain’t talking about dope or guns on there. I ain’t a trapper rapper, I’m a dapper rapper. If the album doesn’t do nothing but inspires somebody who’s going through it to get to it, to keep going and keep on pushing; if nothing else, regardless if it sell or not, you cop this album you will come out knowing where I come from, where I been, and where I’m going. You always have people hating, but with lyrics like “Put my money where my mouth is, and bought me some teeth/ Just to let you haters know, what I’m talking ain’t cheap.” What’s behind that?Kia Shine: I was trying to put you on speaker phone so my homie could hear you. I was letting my dude hear the album last night and he heard the joint with 8Ball & MJG. He gets out the car and runs around it. He was in the lab, but when you hear it you will be surprised lyrically. One thing I am doing on the album is being truthful. From when we lost a lot on Rap Hustlaz, my dude went to jail, we were homeless for a minute, and I was broke and lost my house. I talk about all that.  The heart affects the heart. That is all I can do: tell the truth of my story. If you like it, you’re going to like it. If you don’t, I really don’t care. The people that God meant to like it will already like it.