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Seeing Sounds

Kirko Bangz’ scheme of progressive tunes is changing the canvas of Houston Hip-Hop.

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“As an artist you gotta evolve but you still gotta know where home at.” So says 22-year-old Kirko Bangz, a rapper at the forefront of Houston’s new generation. While chopped & Screwed has been a recycled flavor of the month for the Lone Star State for years, the town’s signature rap style is being rehashed, seeminglymaking a comeback into the mainstream arena (Think, New York emcee A$AP Rocky’s breakout single, “Purple Swag,” and his self-proclaimed “Trill Wave” sound which employs Houston’s sonic fingerprint in abundance).

The emcee/vocalist born Kirk Randle began rapping at age 15 when he found that it was the best means of release for his personal angst. “I didn’t want to talk to nobody about shit, you know n**gas got pride. So I’d sit outside with a radio on the table while everyone was playing and just write,” he recalls. Hearing the name Kurt Cobain on TV, the aspiring spitta gave the spelling his own spin, completely oblivious to the star status of his stage namesake. While attending Prairie View A&M University in 2009, KB cranked out his first two Procrastination Kills mixtapes, the first of which included his Auto-Tuned buzz starter, “What Yo Name Iz?” The single, along with the heavy viral campaign that followed, resulted in Bangz’ leaving Prairie View and enrolling at Warner Bros. Records in late 2010. Soon after, Bangz went to work with DJ Drama on his heavily-downloaded PK3 mixtape which saw “What Yo Name Iz?” peak at No. 41 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts. As if that wasn’t enough, a star studded remix was also released featuring Big Sean, Wale and Bun B.

Since the top of 2012, Kirko’s latest effort, The Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa, has seen the singsongy act revisit the R&B/Hip-Hop charts with “Drank In My Cup” climbing into the Top 20 along with 5 million hits on its accompanying music video. Kirko describes the project as “real purple with a little orange at the end (the orange being storytelling records).” Carrying the tape by himself (Paul Wall is the sole guest), Bangz bravely takes on a handful of well known Drake cuts on TP2 which highlights Kirko’s appeal for a mass audience.

Raised on Eminem and Lil Wayne, Bangz still wants to show his hometown roots. “I mixed Houston into everything I was about because I’m gonna have to represent this mother**cker the right way.” And while Kirko clearly swoons the ladies on the mic in a fashion similar to Drizzy’s, the harmonizing lyricist insists, “My main thing is to prove to n**gas I can rap. People be like ‘You shouldn’t worry ‘bout that ‘cause you got the girls and you got hits.’ But to me it’s just a ni**a thing. I want to show you I can dunk.” And with a jam that’s getting plenty of airtime, why expect anything less? 

Nate Santos (@MidtownNate)

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TheSource.Com


Visit streaming.thesource.com for more information

Seeing Sounds

Kirko Bangz’ scheme of progressive tunes is changing the canvas of Houston Hip-Hop.

Advertisement

“As an artist you gotta evolve but you still gotta know where home at.” So says 22-year-old Kirko Bangz, a rapper at the forefront of Houston’s new generation. While chopped & Screwed has been a recycled flavor of the month for the Lone Star State for years, the town’s signature rap style is being rehashed, seemingly making a comeback into the mainstream arena (Think, New York emcee A$AP Rocky’s breakout single, “Purple Swag,” and his self-proclaimed “Trill Wave” sound which employs Houston’s sonic fingerprint in abundance).

The emcee/vocalist born Kirk Randle began rapping at age 15 when he found that it was the best means of release for his personal angst. “I didn’t want to talk to nobody about shit, you know n**gas got pride. So I’d sit outside with a radio on the table while everyone was playing and just write,” he recalls. Hearing the name Kurt Cobain on TV, the aspiring spitta gave the spelling his own spin, completely oblivious to the star status of his stage namesake. While attending Prairie View A&M University in 2009, KB cranked out his first two Procrastination Kills mixtapes, the first of which included his Auto-Tuned buzz starter, “What Yo Name Iz?” The single, along with the heavy viral campaign that followed, resulted in Bangz’ leaving Prairie View and enrolling at Warner Bros. Records in late 2010. Soon after, Bangz went to work with DJ Drama on his heavily-downloaded PK3 mixtape which saw “What Yo Name Iz?” peak at No. 41 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts. As if that wasn’t enough, a star-studded remix was also released featuring Big Sean, Wale and Bun B.

Since the top of 2012, Kirko’s latest effort, The Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa, has seen the singsongy act revisit the R&B/Hip-Hop charts with “Drank In My Cup” climbing into the Top 20 along with 5 million hits on its accompanying music video. Kirko describes the project as “real purple with a little orange at the end (the orange being storytelling records).” Carrying the tape by himself (Paul Wall is the sole guest), Bangz bravely takes on a handful of well known Drake cuts on TP2 which highlights Kirko’s appeal for a mass audience.

Raised on Eminem and Lil Wayne, Bangz still wants to show his hometown roots. “I mixed Houston into everything I was about because I’m gonna have to represent this mother**cker the right way.” And while Kirko clearly swoons the ladies on the mic in a fashion similar to Drizzy’s, the harmonizing lyricist insists, “My main thing is to prove to n**gas I can rap. People be like ‘You shouldn’t worry ‘bout that ‘cause you got the girls and you got hits.’ But to me it’s just a ni**a thing. I want to show you I can dunk.” And with a jam that’s getting plenty of airtime, why expect anything less? 

– Nate Santos (@MidtownNate)

About The Author

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