(AllHipHop Features) KSI is rapidly becoming a household name. The British native has amassed millions of subscribers and billions of streams all over internet platforms. This has allowed him to pivot from a gamer to YouTuber to actor to rapper to professional boxer. This amazing ascent has been recorded and documented on social media. But, unlike many, KSI has a relentless, genius work ethic that has paid dividends.
AllHipHop’s Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur hosted a talk with KSI and got more familiar with this brilliant, hard-working master of all trades.
AllHipHop: How you doing, man?
KSI: I’m kind of tired. I’ve been promoting this album left, right, and center, man. I’ve been working my ass off. This Corona thing hasn’t stopped me, man. If anything, it’s made me even more busy, because yeah, I’ve been focusing on YouTube, training, boxing training, recording with the Sidemen, doing videos of my own, working on new music, promoting the album, doing press. Yeah, it’s been 110% right now.
AllHipHop: That’s it. You know at least 150%, 175% at least. Well, give people the rundown on your album, and who’s on it. It’s a solid project from what I’ve heard.
KSI: Yeah, bro, I got Offset, Rick Ross, Lil Baby, Jeremih. Fam, list goes on. Trippie Redd. When it comes to features, I went ham. I know I’m probably the only UK artist to do something like this for sure. And for me, it’s always about breaking the boundaries of what a YouTuber can do. I started out as a YouTuber, and I still see myself as a YouTuber. And yeah, I want to show that I can do bits when it comes to this music scene.
I’ve been doing music for years, man, 10 plus years. And this is my first album, my first solo album. And I’m ready, man, I’ve put a lot of time, effort, and work into this. And yeah, everything has just come together perfectly. And I’m ready for people to hear it and be shocked. But good shocked. Yeah.
AllHipHop: Yeah. First of all, give everybody the title of the album, and the 411 behind the title.
KSI: Yeah. So title of the album is called Dissimulation. It means to hide one’s thoughts or feelings. And yeah, there’s some personal songs on this album. There’s a lot of things that happened in my life that I feel I haven’t really let people know, and I kind of wanted to show that through the album. For me, it’s therapeutic, making songs where I’m able to really show my emotion, and show how I felt with certain situations. And yeah, I think I do that quite well. Well, I mean, I don’t care what anyone thinks if I’m being honest. I did it the way I wanted to do it. And yeah, it’s that.
AllHipHop: That’s what’s up. Now, I have to backtrack just a little bit, right and I’m going to be honest, I’m a huge boxing fan, right. So I tuned into you based on boxing. So I’m saying, I’m like, “Who is this guy? Who are these guys fighting in this pay-per-view?” And then I saw it was a sold out. And I’m like, “KSI?” I’m looking at the Wiki, and it keeps saying, “Gamer.” It keeps saying, “YouTuber.” And I’m like…
KSI: “What’s going on?”
AllHipHop: I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. So I was mind blown after looking into your history as to how, first of all, how far back you go number one. And then number two, to realize you’re just now a professional boxer, you’re really at the earliest stages, it’s not really what you do, do, per se. First things first, I got to ask you, what made you take that leap into professional boxing?
KSI: Well, it started out as a joke, my G. The whole thing started as this joke. There was a YouTuber called Joe Weller, and he was fighting another YouTuber called Theo Baker. They were having a fight, they were the ones that started it. And I made a little comment on Joe Weller’s Instagram going, “Oh, I’ll fight the winner.” So obviously, they had their fight, and then Joe Weller goes, “Ah, all right, let’s go, let’s fight.”
So obviously I said that as a joke, I didn’t really want to fight, because I didn’t know how to fight, never fought in my life, I’ve never done anything to do with physical or combat sports. So we went back and forth, I was telling him I don’t want to do it, he was like, “Nah, nah, you’re a pu$$y, let’s do it. Let’s go. Come on.” It was long. Even fans were getting on me, everyone was getting on me. So I was just like, “Screw it, let’s go.”
So I trained for the fight. We had it in February, a place in London, I forgot what it’s called now. But yeah, how have I forgotten? It was a place in London. And yeah, we fought, and I won. TKO round three. And then yeah, from then, I called out Logan Paul, called out Jake Paul. Logan said yes, so I fought Logan. We drew the first time in Manchester Arena. Second time, we fought in the Staples Center, and I beat him.
AllHipHop: Okay, got you. Now, whenever I see somebody get big names, Rick Ross, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, all these figures, really respectable guys in the game. How did you build with a Rick Ross? Was it off the music? Was it money?
KSI: So Rick Ross and Lil Baby, they both heard the song, and they just f##### with it, man. They f##### with it. They saw my journey, they saw the whole boxing thing, and they just loved it, man. They were just like, “Yo, you got hype.” They saw my fan base, they saw my numbers, they saw my previous songs, and they were like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, this guy is going places.” They knew. So there were like, “Yeah, we’ll hop on this easy.”
Same with Trippie Redd, same with Offset. Offset don’t just jump on anything. You can give him as much money as you want, if the song is trash, he ain’t going to do it. So he heard it, and he just f##### with it so much that he wanted to be in the music video as well. And yeah, that’s dropping on Friday as well.
Bro, these guys, they understand, and they get it. They understand I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon of music, and just releasing s### music, bro. I’m out here releasing dope as f### music that I can’t wait for people to hear, and I can’t wait to perform.
AllHipHop: Yeah. I got to give you your respect, man. I mean, the music is really, really good. “Houdini,” it’s a pop hit. But on the other side, the song with Lil Pump is banging.
KSI: Yeah. Yeah, you’ll like Cap for sure. Same as the other songs on the album, man. Yeah, there’s some big bangers. And then even in the deluxe as well, man, there’s some big bangers. So yeah, yeah, yeah, we going ham with it, we going cray.
AllHipHop: I was giving my daughter a lecture. I’m like, “Yo, you got to master one thing first.” I’m yelling at her like, “Master one thing! And then go to the next thing, and then …” But you seem like you’ve mastered everything you’ve touched. I mean, you’re still a young dude.
KSI: I think I just find a way to balance everything perfectly. So I find a way to balance the YouTube, and the music, and boxing. I just make it all work. If I would focus on YouTube the whole time, yes, I’d be an amazing YouTuber. I’d just get bored, man. I’m a person that, I get bored easily. So I feel like I need to focus on other things. So right now, I’m in certain modes. So right now I’m in YouTube mode. So I’m just putting out YouTube videos. And I’m having fun with that, and I’m just doing what I need to do when it comes to YouTube.
And then if I need a fight, I’ll be in boxing mode. So I don’t do YouTube, and I don’t do any music, and I just focus on the boxing purely, and making sure when I’m in camp, it’s just boxing. I’m watching boxing, I’m breathing boxing, everything is just boxing. And I just become obsessed with it.
And then when it comes to music, bro, I delve deep. I’m listening to beats upon beats, upon beats, and going studio all the time. I’m just writing, writing left, right, and center, just making beautiful songs, or hard songs, or just experiment, and trying stuff. So yeah, I just find a way to tap into each mode whenever I need to tap into it. And it allows me to do many things at once, which is a beautiful thing.