Kay M
Gig Seeker Pro

Kay M

Rahway, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Rahway, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


ARTIST NAME: Kay M
ALBUM/MIXTAPE: Been Winning LP
RELEASE DATE: March/April 2012
In 2009 Kay M became BET’s 106 & Park Freestyle Friday’s First Ever Grand Champion. Since then he has worked with Grammy Awards Winning producers Deezle and Bangladesh, opened up for Talib Kweli and traveled through North America on the Jay Z, Blueprint 3 Tour for 2 months. Because of his success Kay M was able to headline his own 3 month tour in the United Kingdome in 2010. The most recent accomplishment was competing in the World MC Challenge in Paris, France and becoming the first USA representative to become a "World MC Challenge Champion". Now with the itch of competing behind him, Kay M is finally settling into his artistry the right way by releasing his first full lenght solo debut dropping late March or early April 2012. In preparation for his LP, the “Been Winning” promo tape will be released via Kay M’s twitter and other affiliated social sites out now!
Benzo: What’s good Kay Thanks for taking your time to do this interview with me! The first question I ask all people that I interview... When did you fall in love with hip-hop
Kay M: As accurate as I can be, I fell in love at 19 but I’ve been infatuated since about 6 or 7 years old
Benzo: For the people that have been sleeping under a rock and don't know, where are you from
Kay M: Benzo if they aint know, I’m from The Garden; New Jersey ya dig I always have to act ignorant when I say that just so it’s understood haha
Benzo: *laughs* I feel you on that bro! How’d you get into hip hop and how long you been actually spittin'
Kay M: I got into Hip-Hop when I was 6 or 7 years old. I had a trip to the nearest Bodega and heard LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out. After that it was over. But I always was spitting before that. I actually started rapping at 4 years old. I didn’t know what it was at the time. I just liked hearing words sound the same.
Benzo: I wanna say congrats on your win on BET’s 106 and Park Freestyle Friday Competition. I remember being in my hometown watching you on TV like “This kid is ill!” lol How old were you when you competed in your first battle
Kay M: My first real battle took place when I was 15. But I had been battling on the block since I was about 9. I just wanted to perform, get attention and prove that I had something to say.
Benzo: I actually had the pleasure of personally meeting you at a “GrindTimeNow East Coast” battle a few years back that we both did judging. Shout out to the whole GTN family! May I ask you, how does it feel to actually give your input on others that are emerging in the game like you have
Kay M: Honestly, I’m a fan of the culture. Giving input is coming purely from a fans stand point and not from an egotistical view. - ThatsHipHop


YouTube and the BET airwaves are fill of hip-hop's Kay M mercilessly tearing down
opponents in battle raps. The Rahway rapper won BET's first "106 & Park'' Freestyle Fridays battle rap championship in 2009. Now, it's time for something different.

"Green Lights,'' the new release from Kay M, will show a side of the emcee beyond his usual pose of his leaving battle rap opponents' tongues tied.

"The toughest thing was gaining everybody's trust again,'' said Kay M, born Kevin Minton in Brooklyn. "Battle rapping showed one side of me but I also know how to make music. It's taken a long time for me to get into a comfortable place.''

"This is Kay M the person, not just the rapper.''

The album's lead single, ""What I Gotta Do,'' available on www.kaymonline.com, is a club burner framed around bumping rhythmic synths and Kay M's rapid fire delivery.

If you hear a little bit of a British accent on the track, it's no accident. Kay M several
months performing in the U.K. following his "106 and Park'' victory, appearing on Brit radio, including a BBC station, and live shows and workshops.

U.K. hip-hop fans are big Freestyle Fridays fans.

""I'm a lucky person,'' Kay M said. "I was involved in community activities and I was
really able to acclimate myself to the English. I was dealing with them for weeks and I had a chance to grow with them and when you teach somebody something, you learn something in return.''

Kay also toured North America with Jay Z in on the Blueprint 3 tour and performed with Talib Kweli at last spring's RutgersFest in Piscataway.

Kweli had judged Kay M's winning battle on Freestyle Fridays.

"(Kweli) asked me to come down the day before the show,'' said Kay M of the Rutgers performance. "I got nervous because I thought the security guards wouldn't believe that I was going to perform on stage.''

Hitting the road on the Blueprint tour was a learning experience. Kay M was the featured performer in each citys' afterparty show.

"I was lucky to get ask to go on the tour,'' Kay M said. "By watching how Jay-Z moves
around people, it taught me a lot. You have to be strategic in this industry.''

Such strategy, no doubt, includes artistic growth. See Kay M perform his new material, which drops today from WSI Records, on Sunday at the open-mike night at the Pyramid Club in New York City.

"I've done everything now, I've done the battle rap,'' Kay M said. ""Now it's time to step out in front.'' - Courier News, Home Tribune


The tour kicked off at Mountain Creek where nearly 150 of the best riders in the New York City region threw down for prize packages valued at over $3G’s for each category. As near blizzard like conditions fell on a crowd of several thousand the Vicsous Styles graffiti crew pieced a 10 foot by 36 foot dedication to the late Biggie Smalls. The 3rd Rail is the illest. Simultaneous to the painting and on snow acrobatics “The Battle Below Zero”took place in the Under Armour Bunker. The first ever mic battle on snow showcased 8 seasoned MC’s hailing from DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, and NJ.. The crowd packed tight to witness Kay-M, (current 106th and Park Battle Champ) claim sub zero supremacy.


As the rail jam concluded and the votes were being counted, the Under Armour Bunker erupted with freestyle rhymes for the second “Battle Below Zero”. MC’s from Baltimore, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia all contested but, repeating victory was Dirty Jersey’s Kay-M who took the jacket. It was Kay’s usage of “Skull Candy” in a rhyme that won the crowd in what was a dramatic 3 round finale. - Snowboard Magazine


The Battle Below Zero has pushed its past winners into the limelight. Last
year’s two-time winner (at the New Jersey and North Carolina tour stops),
Kay-M, went on to open for Jay Z. - Transworld Snowboarding


Looks can be deceiving when it comes to battle rapper Kay M of Rahway.

"People see me and there's this guy smiling, joking around, not focused," Kay said. "People want to go against me thinking they'll win, but fortunely for me it doesn't turn out that way."

It certainly doesn't. Kay, who calls himself a rapper who happens to be very skilled at battle rapping, is undefeated so far on the BET's "106 and Park" Freestyle Fridays battle rap competition.

He goes to championship round against Newark's R.A.P. Phenomenal in an all-Jersey final at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, on BET. He got there on March 20 by vanquishing Hydro from Connecticut, a diminutive Latino who's quick on the mic.

Kay deliver the coup de grace in Spanish to the delight of the crowd and judges.

"That last round when he called him Marc Anthony and kept going in heavy, I was like "dammnnnn!' " said judge and rap star Fat Joe on the show.

Kay is fast being a battle rap legend thanks to his BET appearences and his many YouTube-posted battles from locales like a bar — where he demolished a performer named Cortez — to Times Square, where he won a clear victory over a rapping security guard.

"I think (the security guard) was fired after that got posted (to YouTube)," Kay said.

Such are the spoils of war. Battle raps have been around around as long as hip-hop, but only in the last few years, thanks to the Internet and shows like "106 and Park," has it seen such a high profile. In the battles, contestants perform freestyle raps that diss, or insult, their opponents. Victory is decided by judges or the crowd in attendence.

Battle rapping was a central theme in Eminem's hit movie "8 Mile."

Kay, born Kevin Minton in Brooklyn, uses his lethal wit, barking voice and an arresting stage presentation for his victories. He rarely goes the easy route of attacking one's perceived sexual preference or by threatening physical harm.

"I'm one that pays attention to detail and improvises on the spot," Kay said. "I have a great sense of vocabulary and humor. Those qualities sums up any great battle rapper."

Kay started rapping early — at 4, he remembers — and was battle rapping when he was 14. Starting out, he was a regular at open mic nights at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick and in New York City.

He's proud of his hometown of Rahway and has received support form local businesses there, such as Sound-A-Rama on Main Street, which sells his independently released CDs.

"I came up to Hal Horowitz, (Sound-A-Rama owner) when I was 16 and said "Hey, I got music,' " Kay said. "Hal was definitely able to se that different side of me."

Kay M will appear briefly at 6 p.m. tomorrow on "106 and Park" to hype the coming battle next week. The 22-year old, who has just returned from a series of performances in England, is looking stardom squarely in the eye.

"What's the Biggie quote: "I never thought hip hip-hop could take you this far?' " Kay said. - New Jersey's Home News Tribune


The Battle Below Zero has pushed its past winners into the limelight. Last
year’s two-time winner (at the New Jersey and North Carolina tour stops),
Kay-M, went on to open for Jay Z. - Transworld Snowboarding


On Friday, April 3 New Jersey’s own Kay M beat out R.A.P. Phenomenal in the finale of BET’s Freestyle Friday on “106 & Park.”

For months now, the show has pitted emcees against each other in weekly battles. Several weeks ago the top four Freestyle Friday contestants battled each other leaving Kay M and R.A.P. Phenomenal as the top two.

“It doesn’t feel any different,” Kay M explained to HipHopDX of his win. “It’s great though because this is the first time ‘106 [And Park’], BET did anything like this…this is a great look for the underground because it’s something that we do, we do often.”

Kay M has come along way since his first appearance on the show months ago.

“They pulled me out the crowd…They just wanted to showcase the talent and just get everybody ready for Freestyle Friday, but after I had won they just felt like they just didn’t have enough talent,” Kay M told HipHopDX. “So they kinda [restricted] Freestyle Friday for the moment. They revamped it.”

Judged by DJ Premier, Lloyd Banks [click to read], and Talib Kweli [click to read] the finale battle consisted of three rounds and a surprise fourth round.

“When they called the fourth round I didn’t see it coming…They definitely didn’t tell us that. It was a little different, but like I said, I live for this,” Kay M explained.

With an interest in music since the age of four, Kay M has already accomplished a great deal musically. He’s had the opportunity to open for 50 Cent, he’s performed at the Rocksteady Anniversary several times, and along with his label-mate and brother Ill Answer, Kay M has performed at open mics and showcases across the Tri-State area including End Of The Weak and the Faces In The Crowd showcase.

“I’m kinda trained to do stuff like that,” said Kay M. “From doing a lot of showcases and open mic’s. Cause truthfully I’m an artist. I decided to go the battle route only because at the time showcases didn’t feel like showcases. I felt like I knew what I wanted to do was gonna be very big, but I needed a [space] to do it at and 106 was that opportunity.”

As part of the $200,000 prize package Kay M will receive beats from producers including Ron Browz, Diesel, Bangladesh, and Chucky Thompson. Kay M’s upcoming album may also include production by David Banner [click to read].

Kay M’s album is expected to be released some time this August. He also has plans on touring in Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, the UK) and Uganda later this year. For more information on the upcoming album and tour dates visit www.itskaym.com. - HipHopDX


Congratulations on being the Grand Champion of 106 and Park’s Freestyle Friday. At what point did you feel you had it locked down?

The only point where I knew I had it locked down was when I had won the semi-finals. I remember in an interview Terrence was asking me how I felt and what was going on and I said to him, “This is something that I do.” I’ve been trained to do events like this, big events like this and really show and prove my skill and my craft. Right when the finals started, it was automatic. The cameras were on and there was no pressure. There was no doubt and “can I do it?” It was just home to me right then.

What does the Grand Champion title mean to you?

I mean, honestly, I’m the first to do that. First of all, just to have a tournament on television, that’s big for hip-hop, period. That’s underground, from things like End of the Weak, Grind Time, just all the competitions and stuff like that, we finally got to bring that to the public eye and mainstream. So it’s a big deal because it’s like I was able to help set a mark in the industry with that and also because I’m from Jersey and it’s a rarity for any of us to hold a title like that and be known for that and to have that shine. It’s been building and it’s a great situation and it makes me feel like I’m one step closer to me doing what I was meant to do in the first place.

How do you prepare for a battle?

Truthfully, when you battle somebody, whether you write or you don’t write, you have to have the mind state of being quick. Anyone can answer this question about me. I’m an improv guy. I’m very sporadic. Being able to think and act upon it is nothing, but to have the wittiness and a sense of humor to have the things that people will like, you can’t train for that. You just have to have that, period.

But when it’s time to battle, the day before, I will purposely sit and look at battles. It’s not about just saying the line. You have to literally take the guy next to you out. You have to take him out. Your life depends on him and it really does. Your career depends on him. There’s no time for the regular freestyle about how dope you are and how you’re so whatever. It’s, “You’re wack and this is why you’re wack.” Don’t worry about me. Let’s just talk about why you’re garbage. That’s a mind state that a lot of battle rappers who claim they’re battle rappers get in trouble with and that’s something that a lot of people need to understand. This is more than just rapping. You have to really be willing and able to destroy somebody lyrically and make them feel like crap at the end of the day.

There really haven’t been any Freestyle Friday champs who have gone onto long, successful careers and after Postaboy and Jin no one’s really made a name for themselves. Do you feel like there’s a stigma attached to winning there?

I definitely do and I see it. The excitement and the whole time when I got called in to do the season, after the first battle, I said to Terrence J on air, I said, “Whatever you want me to be, the next Jin or Postaboy or whatever, I’m going to show you the next side of entertainment.” From me making Terrence finish my lines to having the crowd finish lines, that real MC quality, I feel as though was brought back this year because a lot of times, as you said, after Postaboy and Jin, it just looked like a bunch of people who happened to roll out of bed and put on a hoodie and said, “Okay, I rap today.” Shout out to the ones who actually tried to make a difference. And I was glad that I was able to make people watch that again. When you have Jadakiss meet you on the set of another television show and he’s telling you that he was just talking about you, that’s when you know that you’ve made an impact and that’s a great thing.

Can you break the stigma of 106 and Park champs not having great careers?

Yeah. I mean, there’s people that are on Freestyle Friday that have lost and made careers. A lot of people say Postaboy this, Jin that. First of all, Postaboy battled Immortal Technique and we know how his career is and how many shows he gets. That’s not an issue. Hell Rell was on Freestyle Friday and lost and he has a career. It’s not really that serious when people say, “Oh, Freestyle Friday, they don’t really make it.” Whatever.

Me, personally, I know I have people around me that are smart and they’re intelligent. Besides, I was doing songs and opening up for artists way before anyone thought I could freestyle let alone battle. When I was 17 I opened up for 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Ciara, Lil’ Jon, Pitbull…I’ve opened up for tons of artists and they only knew me for doing a song. So breaking the mold, if there is a mold, yeah, sure, I know I can do it. I don’t think it. Yeah. That’s not an issue at all.

You won beats from some top-notch producers. Have you gotten the beats yet and what are you going to do with them?


I’ve gotten production from Grammy Award winning producers. I’ve gotten product - HipHopGame


On Friday, April 3 New Jersey’s own Kay M beat out R.A.P. Phenomenal in the finale of BET’s Freestyle Friday on “106 & Park.”

For months now, the show has pitted emcees against each other in weekly battles. Several weeks ago the top four Freestyle Friday contestants battled each other leaving Kay M and R.A.P. Phenomenal as the top two.

“It doesn’t feel any different,” Kay M explained to HipHopDX of his win. “It’s great though because this is the first time ‘106 [And Park’], BET did anything like this…this is a great look for the underground because it’s something that we do, we do often.”

Kay M has come along way since his first appearance on the show months ago.

“They pulled me out the crowd…They just wanted to showcase the talent and just get everybody ready for Freestyle Friday, but after I had won they just felt like they just didn’t have enough talent,” Kay M told HipHopDX. “So they kinda [restricted] Freestyle Friday for the moment. They revamped it.”

Judged by DJ Premier, Lloyd Banks [click to read], and Talib Kweli [click to read] the finale battle consisted of three rounds and a surprise fourth round.

“When they called the fourth round I didn’t see it coming…They definitely didn’t tell us that. It was a little different, but like I said, I live for this,” Kay M explained.

With an interest in music since the age of four, Kay M has already accomplished a great deal musically. He’s had the opportunity to open for 50 Cent, he’s performed at the Rocksteady Anniversary several times, and along with his label-mate and brother Ill Answer, Kay M has performed at open mics and showcases across the Tri-State area including End Of The Weak and the Faces In The Crowd showcase.

“I’m kinda trained to do stuff like that,” said Kay M. “From doing a lot of showcases and open mic’s. Cause truthfully I’m an artist. I decided to go the battle route only because at the time showcases didn’t feel like showcases. I felt like I knew what I wanted to do was gonna be very big, but I needed a [space] to do it at and 106 was that opportunity.”

As part of the $200,000 prize package Kay M will receive beats from producers including Ron Browz, Diesel, Bangladesh, and Chucky Thompson. Kay M’s upcoming album may also include production by David Banner [click to read].

Kay M’s album is expected to be released some time this August. He also has plans on touring in Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, the UK) and Uganda later this year. For more information on the upcoming album and tour dates visit www.itskaym.com. - HipHopDX


By the age of seventeen, New Jersey rap artist Kay M began his career opening concerts for 50 Cent. A few years later, after being pulled out of a 106 & Park audience on BET to battle live on air during the restart of the segment “Freestyle Friday”, Kay M went on to claim the title as the first ever Undefeated Grand Champion. The network hooked him up with over $300,000 worth of beats from some of hip-hop’s top hit making, Grammy award winning producers. His mixtape, The Down Payment, should be ready shortly which will be followed by a full CD called The Eviction Notice. Kay M performs at the Jay-Z Blueprint 3 Afterparty at Flashbacks following the big show at Prospera Place October 15th.

Q: What can you tell me about the Afterparty tour?

A: Jay-Z will do his show. After each show at the afterparties, me, my DJ Mell Starr and Memphis Bleek will perform. I’m basically opening for Bleek.

Q: How are things going with the recording of your new CD?

A: My album will be more of a mixtape. Chucky Thompson (who did much of the production for Notorious B.I.G) and David Banner are two of the producers I’m working with, as well as a guy named Appetite, a really cool London producer. There’s no freestyle – it’s all original and based on my time on 106 and Park. The mixtape is finished, it just has to be mixed and mastered.

Q: Because mixtapes are often free, will we be able to download it?

A: Yes. When I get back from the afterparty tour, it will be downloadable and free. You can check out my website at itskaym.com.

Q: What is it like trying to break into the industry despite having won such a prestigious rap battle?

A: Some say it’s a struggle, but I say you have to be proactive. It’s odd that nobody has made the transition to mainstream music from winning rap battles. People have shut doors on me because of that. Now that I’m tying to the Jay-Z tour I’m thinking I can get some help. It keeps me hungry. I opened for 50 Cent and Rick Ross when I was 17, so it’s not like I’m new to this – but it’s all new to me. One thing I’ve learned: you can’t deny great music. The result of your album sales doesn’t mean much. I’m confident of my abilities, and I can rap over anything.

Q: What kind of sound can we expect from you on your new tracks?

A: I’ll go through the ends of the earth to find that great sound. They call me a rebel, and as a battle rapper you’re supposed to have a format. Some of my producers are industry level in terms of sound quality. I may use a sample or two, but I wanna create that sound where people say, ‘Well, that’s KM.’ I’m an artist first, and an MC second. I know what I wanna say, and it doesn’t matter what beat I’m on, as long as it’s a great sound.

Q: Do you enjoy the recording process and how much are you involved in production?

A: People talk about work ethic, and I have a strong work ethic. I really love making music and it’s an honour and a blessing to reflect on things and make people feel a certain way when they hear me. I like to get involved in production, but only slightly. People will flip out when they hear these kids from New Jersey that I’m working with when they realize it’s not David Banner or Swizz Beats.

Q: What can we look forward to when you perform at the Afterparty?

A: I’ll be performing my song, Look Up, which will probably the first song that I run with – it’s the one produced by David Banner. My set will be 20 to 30 minutes, but sometimes when I perform my set will turn into 90 minutes. I know I have something here; my job is making it happen. - Mark Stone


By the age of seventeen, New Jersey rap artist Kay M began his career opening concerts for 50 Cent. A few years later, after being pulled out of a 106 & Park audience on BET to battle live on air during the restart of the segment “Freestyle Friday”, Kay M went on to claim the title as the first ever Undefeated Grand Champion. The network hooked him up with over $300,000 worth of beats from some of hip-hop’s top hit making, Grammy award winning producers. His mixtape, The Down Payment, should be ready shortly which will be followed by a full CD called The Eviction Notice. Kay M performs at the Jay-Z Blueprint 3 Afterparty at Flashbacks following the big show at Prospera Place October 15th.

Q: What can you tell me about the Afterparty tour?

A: Jay-Z will do his show. After each show at the afterparties, me, my DJ Mell Starr and Memphis Bleek will perform. I’m basically opening for Bleek.

Q: How are things going with the recording of your new CD?

A: My album will be more of a mixtape. Chucky Thompson (who did much of the production for Notorious B.I.G) and David Banner are two of the producers I’m working with, as well as a guy named Appetite, a really cool London producer. There’s no freestyle – it’s all original and based on my time on 106 and Park. The mixtape is finished, it just has to be mixed and mastered.

Q: Because mixtapes are often free, will we be able to download it?

A: Yes. When I get back from the afterparty tour, it will be downloadable and free. You can check out my website at itskaym.com.

Q: What is it like trying to break into the industry despite having won such a prestigious rap battle?

A: Some say it’s a struggle, but I say you have to be proactive. It’s odd that nobody has made the transition to mainstream music from winning rap battles. People have shut doors on me because of that. Now that I’m tying to the Jay-Z tour I’m thinking I can get some help. It keeps me hungry. I opened for 50 Cent and Rick Ross when I was 17, so it’s not like I’m new to this – but it’s all new to me. One thing I’ve learned: you can’t deny great music. The result of your album sales doesn’t mean much. I’m confident of my abilities, and I can rap over anything.

Q: What kind of sound can we expect from you on your new tracks?

A: I’ll go through the ends of the earth to find that great sound. They call me a rebel, and as a battle rapper you’re supposed to have a format. Some of my producers are industry level in terms of sound quality. I may use a sample or two, but I wanna create that sound where people say, ‘Well, that’s KM.’ I’m an artist first, and an MC second. I know what I wanna say, and it doesn’t matter what beat I’m on, as long as it’s a great sound.

Q: Do you enjoy the recording process and how much are you involved in production?

A: People talk about work ethic, and I have a strong work ethic. I really love making music and it’s an honour and a blessing to reflect on things and make people feel a certain way when they hear me. I like to get involved in production, but only slightly. People will flip out when they hear these kids from New Jersey that I’m working with when they realize it’s not David Banner or Swizz Beats.

Q: What can we look forward to when you perform at the Afterparty?

A: I’ll be performing my song, Look Up, which will probably the first song that I run with – it’s the one produced by David Banner. My set will be 20 to 30 minutes, but sometimes when I perform my set will turn into 90 minutes. I know I have something here; my job is making it happen. - Mark Stone


Discography


"Green Lights EP" (December 2010)

"Been Winning Mixtape Part 1" (September 2011)
"Been Winning Mixtape Part 2" (October 2011)
"Been Winning Mixtape Part 3" (December 2012)

"Boarding Pass LP" (October 2013)

Photos

Bio

In 2009 Kay M became BET’s First Ever 106 & Park Freestyle Friday Grand Champion. Since then he has worked with Grammy Awards Winning producers Deezle and Bangladesh(Lil Wayne Carter 3 and4), opened up for Talib Kweli at London’s o2 Arena and traveled through North America on the Jay Z, Blueprint 3 Tour for 2 months. Because of his success Kay M was able to headline his own 3 month tour in the United Kingdome in 2010. The last and most dominant competition was the World MC Challenge in Paris, France where Kay became the first USA representative to be awarded "World MC Challenge Championship". Now with the itch of competing behind him, Kay M is finally settling into his artistry the right way by releasing his first full length project October 2012. In preparation for his LP, the “Been Winning Part 1 and Part 2” promo tapes were released via Kay M’s twitter along with a promo tour to Italy, Switzerland and Sweden set for late spring 2012.