Kickback with Kidd Kenn
What inspired you to start rapping?
My father was a rapper. But he didn’t really take it serious. He did it just to do it. So I was always listening to music growing up.
Where did the name Kidd Kenn come from?
I always had the name “Kid." It wasn’t a nickname or anything, it was just always what I called myself. “Ken” came from the idea of Nicki Minaj’s “Barbie." But I couldn’t be Barbie cause I’m a boy, so I was like I’ll be Ken.
What was your experience with coming out?
Okay, so I knew this boy, right. At the time, he was 17, so it was like a year or two ago. We took a picture together, we don’t date or nothing, but I guess it looked like we were dating so I was like fuck it, I’m just gonna post it. So it was up on Instagram for no longer than 10 minutes, and then it just kinda went off like that.
Do you think being gay and growing up in Chicago helped you or hurt you in your process to becoming an established artist?
I think it helped me a little bit. But nothing is forced. I’m gonna do whatever makes me comfortable, because I want to and because I like it.
In a recent interview, you said, “Everyone is talking about the same shit." How would you define your message as unique from that?
Be who you wanna be. Cause everyone else is trying to be somebody else. Create your own path, don’t follow anyone else’s.
Is that your motto? Where did you find such a strong sense of self?
My grandma. Her name was Linda, she passed. She taught me how to be myself and just not to care about what other motherfuckers think.
Could you tell me a bit about some of the popular remixes you’ve done so far and how you tweak them to make it your own?
So I did "Gummo" around the time it was poppin’. With "Slide," I was playing around in school with all the girls, cause I get all the girls in school, and the boys was singing the song and me and the girls started singing, “It’s a faggot party," cause I’m the only gay one out of the group. So my friend begged me to make it into a song.
So do your friends have a lot of influence on the kind of music you like to produce?
Yeah, it depends. My music comes from what the kids like. So whatever the kids like, that’s what I’m gonna follow to stay up.
How was prom?
It was fun! Actually, let me stop lying. The only fun part about prom was dressing up and taking pictures. We went to the actual prom event and it wasn’t fun. The food was so bad.
What did they serve?
First, we had salad. Then they brought us chicken and it wasn’t all that. The skin on the chicken fell off easy. I was like nuh uh. So afterwards, I went to McDonald's.
Who did you bring?
Somebody actually took me to prom. A lot of people asked me, but I didn’t know if I was gonna go forreal. I told her yes and I didn't want to let her down, so I was like I'm gonna go and make sure you have a nice prom. I wore a suit, I looked like a little boy. Half my head was red, half was black, and it matched her dress.
What’s your favorite social media app?
I go between Facebook and Instagram. I like Snapchat too. I was at my friend’s house one day and I was finna make a Snapchat video and as soon as I start, this boy texted me like “Yo” with the half smile emoji. So I’m like his ass is texting me and he told me he liked girls, what is he doing texting me? I posted the video of me reacting on Facebook and it got 700,000 views. After that, I started taking rapping seriously. I rapped over "Slide" in the car and it went viral. Then everything started buzzing - Instagram, Facebook, everything.
On social media you mentioned that your goal was “to be the first openly gay rapper to hit mainstream.” How do you plan to achieve that?
Out rapping everybody.
Anyone in particular that you’re coming for?
I think it’s just me. It’s just everybody, and I see an open lane where I can just go straight to the top and that’s what I’m doing - going straight to the top.
What’s your next step in taking over the world?
I got a new project coming out.
Do you know the name yet?
Yes. It’s called Childish. It’s all about me being childish and doing stuff a kid would do, but in a mature way.