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Kast XL
we're wild about pop culture!
WW: Tell us a little about you, your life?
KX: I grew up in California, living in a couple spots in the Bay
Area. Right now I'm going to school at UC Berkeley. I've been
writing raps since I was a snot-nose in elementary school. I
started recording and freestyling in '98. Right now you can
find me in cyphers on campus and at block parties.

WW: What made you want to become a rapper?
KX: Around '97 or so, the underground hip-hop scene was
becoming strong. Like when Rawkus had Mos Def and Kweli,
Pharaohe Monch, and all of types of talented cats like them, I
thought to myself, damn, that's what I gotta do. There were
a lot of rappers from the underground getting recognition and
releasing some really innovative shit. Of course there was a
lot of wack sh-t coming out of the underground too, but most
of it had mad energy and heart. I felt it and wanted to be a
part of it. That's when I would start saving my little raps that
I'd scribble on papers and whatnot. Pretty soon, I was freestyling and laying down crude amateur tracks.

WW:  Growing up, who were your musical influences?
KX: Being from the west coast, Tupac, Cube, Snoop, Del and Heiro were musical influences when I was growing up. But it didn't take long before I discovered and became influenced by other creative rappers like Common, Nas, Mos Def, and the Wu-Tang Clan. It might sound weird, but Wu-Tang being all into using Kung-Fu samples, made me a big fan cuz I thought that meant they were down with Asians. And back then, being Asian and blasting hip-hop music kinda gave other people the impression that you were acting hard and trying to be black. Anyway, as a kid I thought it was cool that they were rapping about Shaolin, Tiger Style and all that. Haha. Besides that, the Wu was dropping some heavy hard-hitting lyrics then. I knew everybody's verse on "Protect Ya Neck".

I've also got a pretty extensive background in classical music. Watching that "hip-hop violinist" Miri Ben-Ari, who has worked with Jay-Z and Kanye, got me thinking how I can bring my own piano and violin talent to my music.

WW: You have signed with Nemesis Records, How has that experience been?
KX: It's been great. The people at Nemesis have become my friends. They invited me to New York city and I got to meet their dedicated team and work with them. I hadn't been to New York before, so they showed me around and treated me like fam. It's a tight group and I see Nemesis blowing up and going far. They're gonna give a strong voice to the Asian community and wow all types of listeners.

WW: Can you describe the sound of your new solo album?
KX: The way the creative process has worked is like this. I've been making songs every week. Only the best ones will end up on the album. Since this is my debut record, I'm being very careful about selecting only the most quality shit. So right now, I can't tell you how my solo album will sound but I can say that when it drops, it's going to take the industry by storm. I am confident about this, cuz if you see my album in stores, it means that I am satisfied with it. If I dont have an album full of track after track of dopeness, I'm not gonna release it.

WW: What do you prefer, recording in the studio or performing live?
KX: Recording in a studio is dope cuz that's where the creativity takes place. You get to experience a song from its formative stages to its final form. That's a beautiful thing right there. But you know what, there's nothing like the rush of performing live in front of a fat audience. That's gotta be the best feeling in the world when you know you just killed it!

WW:  Wild Writings wishes you the best in the future!