On September 3rd, 14KT releases his fifth album titled “Nickel & Dimed” via Mello Music Group. In a label with so many talented artists, 14KT stands out with his boombap beats that’s been graced by some of the biggest hip hop names in the indie scene, yet many are unknown from this veteran musician. Well URB had a chance to chat with the musician, see what’s going on in his head and find out who is 14KT.
Click here to pre-order “Nickel & Dimed.”
Thanks for taking your time to talk to URB. To start off, who is 14KT?
Thanks for speaking with me! To quickly introduce myself, 14KT is a Christian, recording engineer, producer, artist, DJ, brother, uncle, and entrepreneur. 1/7th of the Mighty Athletic Mic League crew from Michigan.
In September, you’re dropping your fifth album called “Nickel & Dimed” via Mello Music Group. Can you share the concept behind the album?
The concept was inspired from the phrase of “being nickel and dimed to death”. I believe that nickel and dimed is when something or someone is very taxing or expensive, or when something or someone is being very frugal or cheap. When I was creating this album, certain frustrations of being a producer/beatmaker/artist began to weigh on me and this phrase best described my feelings. Since I aim to use my music as diary pages in my life, I felt that statement and phrase reflects on a personal moment I had, and a moment many others have felt before in theirs. Musically, you’ll be receiving a 14KT album, in the same vein as my previous releases. The concept merely lies in the action of me releasing the album- watch what happens to it.
For the first track of the album, “Five & Ten,” you set the stage by laying your own vocals. Can you share your thoughts on the creative process involved in producing a track versus rapping on one?
I’m a huge jazz fan. One of the things that intrigued me about jazz music was that the musician would create, with no lyrics or words, and give the song a title. So based on the music and emotions in the music alone, you were forced to make sense of the title or try to hear what the musician was trying to relay without words. So when I produce, I create, attempting to accomplish things the same way.
When I rhyme on tracks, it’s only different than producing because I can verbally describe what message I’m trying to relay. With this song, most of the lyrics were already in my head. They were in my head for a while, so when that happens, I take it as a sign to record it. I don’t rhyme as much as I used to. I only rhyme when I have something to say now. I live by what emcee Chuck D of Public Enemy said, “I don’t rhyme for the sake of riddling”.
Was there a reason you thought it was necessary to explain “Nickel & Dimed?”
Yes I did. There are many layers as to why. There are spiritual, personal, hip hop, and world standard layers to it in my perspective. I felt that is a phrase that sums up how we view the value of each other in life sometimes. I’ve seen people nickel and dime others in life, just because of how much value they feel that other person is. I’ve also seen people nickel and dime themselves in terms of their self-worth. It happens a lot within the realm of art and music, so I used what I do as a beatmaker as just a simple example on a minor scale of it all. Spiritually, the title “Nickel & Dimed” actually came to me from God sending me to Ecclesiastes 2:17-25 in the Bible and relating it to how many of us out here that work hard feel sometimes as well. That’s another interview on it’s own though.