Pepsi’s “Pop open music” event brought Kid Ink to New York yesterday to hangout with fans, giving us a chance to catch up with him about touring with Chris Brown and upcoming projects.
Pepsi’s all new app “Pepsi Pass,” which lets fans earn points by scanning codes on select Pepsi products, allows them access to prizes such as having a chance to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival or MTV Video Music Awards. Pepsi is also partnering with Live Nation to provide select fans with VIP access to some of the summer’s largest festivals like Lollapalooza. Essentially this app gives fans the chance to win tickets to their favorite concerts every hour, on the hour. Yesterday, Kid Ink appeared at Pepsi’s Pop Open event in Bryant Park to help kickstart the summer. Kid Ink and Jack Antonoff took pictures with fans as they enjoyed the music. We sat down with Kid Ink to discuss Tupac’s birthday, his plans for the summer and of course, his opinions on Pepsi.
Do you know whose birthday it is today?
It’s Tupac’s birthday today isn’t it?
Yup, are you a fan?
I have to be a fan of Tupac, I’m from the West Coast. No disrespect to Tupac’s birthday, but Biggie’s my favorite artist. Biggie’s my favorite artist overall, but I come from the West Coast so I definitely listen to Tupac because I understand the West Coast area and where he was coming from. I think Pac was a little bit more political for his situation than I was. I was a little bit more about flashiness and all that lifestyle so I kind of drifted off a little bit when I got older, but I get it a little bit more now than I did when I was younger.
The whole East Coast vs West Coast hip-hop, do you not feel like it’s as big of a conflict as it was back in the day?
I don’t think it’s as big of a conflict, but I still think there’s a difference in the sound and the style. In terms of the music traveling, I think we’re doing a good job of coming over here and getting more music over here, but I still think it could be better; it’s still a slow process. I think we still have to touch down in the city to make it heard and make noise. I feel like if you don’t actually touch down in New York City they’re not giving you a chance so you gotta make your way out here.
So who’re you listening to right now?
Listening to a little bit of everybody. I like good songs; I don’t necessarily listen to specific artists. Rae Sremmurd’s the homies, I give them a spin all the time, they got some nice records. Young Dolph got a dope record out right now, Shy Glizy the homie, these are all my underground artists. I listen to everything on the radio stations from pop to hip-hop. Lil Wayne got a crazy record out right now called “Glory.”
What was it like hear your music in Furious 7?
It was crazy because I had the intro song and the outro song. The movie came on and “Boneless (Delirious)” started playing, me and Steve Aoki’s record and I was like ooh this crazy. They don’t tell you what scene it’s going to be in. That was crazy and when the movie went off everybody that left the theater had to hear me talking again and that was pretty dope too. At the same time you’re looking around like man I hope nobody notices me while this is playing.
Are you excited to perform with Chris brown this summer?
Of course, I think performing with Chris this summer is going to be dope, not only because that’s the fam and we got a bunch of dope records together but Fetty Wap, Omarion, Teyana Taylor everyone’s gonna be there, but it’s my first time doing arena tours and it’s my first time doing 20,000 people every night. It’s like doing a Summer Jam every night. It’s gonna be bigger arenas so I’m going to have to do bigger stuff, bigger stage production, I’m gonna have to do a bigger set and really compete with Chris Brown. I’m not competing with other openers; I wanna have a dope enough show to where Chris feels like ‘man I gotta go hard tonight.’
Can you talk about working with him on “Hotel” and the inspiration behind the song and video?
That was a record that me and my bro Verse Simmonds wrote together, from there I just presented it to Chris in one of the studio sessions that he had, I went up to his studio and played him a bunch of records, went up there and played him “hotel” and played him another record and he ended up cutting both of them, so I still have the other one, which is a song that still made the album, but I have a version with him singing so I’m going to remix that somehow. From there though we got this “hotel” record which was pretty dope and crazy. It excited the label so much that I had to hold it back like, ‘guys we already got two Chris Brown records out right now, let’s do some stuff in between, I know this one’s a hit but lets hold it off.’ I think it was one of those ones that was a natural hit, the fans, immediately as soon as they heard that we had a record together, it was already piquing at top 10 on the hip-hop charts, it just said track two it didn’t even say who was on the song. I thought that was pretty crazy. For the video, we didn’t actually get an opportunity to get into video mode this year and we didn’t want to waste the momentum of everything that was going on so we put together more a cartoon video and I think that’s more of what people are into right now and the story in the video is kinda crazy. It’s about a girl lookin’ at me while I’m with my girl and me thinking she’s looking at me, but she’s really looking at my girl, which is something that I think happens a lot these days especially in Los Angeles.
Any exciting plans while you’re here in New York?
Right now we’re doing the Pepsi music pop open event. Today’s plans are to have fun with the fans. Giving back, that’s what I wanna do a lot this summer, I gotta a lot of time. I’ve been on the road so long, I don’t really get to give back or touch base with the fans and be on the scene and that’s something really important.
Anyone you’re planning to link up with while you’re out here, any collabs we can look forward to?
I’m tryna work on this “Be Real” remix right now so I might touch up with some people and see what I can do. I already got some new stuff with French. I need to touch up with Fab, need to go find out where Fab at. There’s a lot of people in New York that I haven’t touched base and worked with, so I definitely want to get back out here next month and record a lot.
Any new projects you wanna tell us about?
“Alumni” is the label I’m signed to and then I have my crew Bat Gang and we a lot of different artists and producers working on different mixtapes. I have Bricc Baby who just dropped “Nasty Dealer” and Hard Head who just dropped “hard pill to swallow 2.” There’s a bunch of mixtapes out and I think we’re all grinding and working so I’m working on their projects and at the same time hopefully we can do a joint project by dropping a crew mixtape and then this summer I wanna do new music.
Do like Pepsi or Coke better?
Of course I like Pepsi better, it’s sweeter. I’m a sugar fiend. I think the biggest thing is that they support music a lot in the past and even with me, this isn’t my first time working with them. We worked together last year for the Summer Solstice in St. Louis and then from there just seeing everything they’ve done with different artists, I think it’s pretty dope. The first time I saw them working with somebody it was like Luda and Beyonce and Nicki and thinking like ‘oh I wanna be on a billboard like this.’
Did you get to check out any of the Pepsi Cyphers at SXSW?
I missed SXSW this year, I was on tour for too long, but I definitely have seen the support, not only for music, but the hip-hop community so that’s something I definitely support.
-Nishat Baig