Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
It’s Kenny Boi, AYE! Even though I currently live in Jersey, I come from Harlem, New York and I rep it til the death of me. I’m ya girl’s fave but don’t be mad cause all she gettin’ from is some Fenty and a designer bag. First and foremost, I hate heights and autotune. LOL! Just kidding. Honestly, I’m an artist who raps and sings and I just happen to be gay but I don’t rely on that to sell or market my music. I hate to put my sexuality out there as a badge of honor or something but I feel as though I have to say it. There are a lot of us out here now but, and this is no offense to anybody, but I don’t feel like there’s an out gay rapper in the mainstream really doing this for the LOVE of the craft. It’s a lot of gimmicks and a lot of fame chasers. We’ve never had an artist get on and just be like, “I’m gay. I’m dope. And I can hold my own on a track with ANY of these dudes.”…but now we have that in Kenny Boi.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
First of all, I’m not afraid of stepping outside of the hip-hop box. I LOVE to experiment with flow and sound, which is why my upcoming album is called “Universal”. I just feel as a rapper a lot of people get stuck JUST rapping when there is SO much more music to explore. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you step out of your comfort zone. Also, I have it harder than most male rappers. I can’t rap about the girls I’ve slept with cause there are none, the drugs I’ve sold cause I don’t sell drugs, or the arrest record I have cause I don’t have one. I feel as though I have to actually PUSH my pen when it comes to bars and lyrical creativity, I have to make people like me off my personality, wordplay, and the vibes of my songs.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I have to say I’ve always known I was born to do this but it was solidified a few months ago actually. I did a performance and when I was done, all these HOOD make artists and men were coming up to me giving me my props and telling me how dope my set was and when you start your set by shouting out all the gay rappers in hip hop, to me, that’s a big thing. It made me feel like I was a part of this hip hop conversation finally after all this time of doing music. I realized that my fear of being rejected amongst my peers because of my sexuality was null in void because like I’ve been told, as long as the MUSIC is good, I’M good.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
For me it’s probably been bridging the gap between being my real authentic self as a gay man and being a dope rapper. When you’re a rapper you’re supposed to rap about things you’ve lived and experienced and even though we’ve made progress, I’ve always felt if I spit about “gay things”, no one would wanna hear me. How do I be real and true to me but still be marketable? So I really started focusing on changing my flows during a song, writing better metaphors, and just playing on the fact that I’m gay but I can still take ya chick if I wanted to LOL!
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Honestly at this point whoever manages Lil Nas X cause his marketing is ridiculously genius LOL. No, any manager really. Also, Nicki f*ckin’ Minaj because she is probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to writing, my work ethic, and her fearlessness when it comes to experimenting with sound. And lastly, Usher or Akon because they found Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga who are two of the biggest artists in the world…they have an eye for talent OBVIOUSLY.
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