One of New York LGBT rap’s most controversial and innovative pioneers, K2 Cocky (formerly known as Cocky da Homo MC) returns in ’18 with Spice Cadet, a full-length album chock full of bangers as well as some very shocking lyrics.
K2 Cocky has shown much versatility over the years, with styles ranging from boom-bap to trap, horrorcore and even industrial rock. Now he is on his new-wave kick, with tracks inspired by Future, Kodak Black, Post Malone and Lil Pump.
1) Talk to me about the making of your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?
My new album Spice Cadet was largely influenced by Future’s Astronaut Status mixtape, as well as by new wave acts like Kodak Black and Post Malone. It’s some of my best work so far. The standard version is 11 tracks, but I’ve added all kinds of bonus tracks and outtakes from the sessions on its Soundcloud playlist.
2) With the music industry tanking and record sales falling, how do you currently make money as an independent hip-hop artist?
I really don’t make too much from music. I’m not a good businessman. I give out physical copies to my fans for free, and they have the option of buying the digital files on my Bandcamp (https://cockaveli.bandcamp.com).
This is effective in that I’ve garnered mad buzz but it is overwhelmingly stressful financially. But I have the fortitude to stick it out for the long run until hopefully something big happens.
3) From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?
Despite what many hip hop heads think, I believe the new wave talents like Fat Nick, Pouya, Lil Uzi, Trippie Redd are pushing the boundaries.
Critics complain they’re making hip hop “devolve” but that isn’t the case. They’re making better, more entertaining and addictive songs.
4) What business lessons have you learnt from the music industry so far?
Never ever trust A&Rs. Industry people are conmen. I worked with the man responsible for Korn and Linkin Park and he conned me out of nearly $10,000.
5) What do you love about hip-hop music?
Hip Hop is truly my first love. I got into it at the age of 8 after buying 2Pac’s Makaveli cassette. That album introduced me to rap. I was astounded that music could be so passionate and emotional. I was an angry kid so it provided and still provides me with an outlet to vent.
6) What still surprises you about hip-hop?
I love this new Soundcloud generation. There’s so much diversity in so-called “mumble rap,” be it production, arrangement of song structure, or the simple fact kids are more open to rapping about their emotions other than playing the dry, boring tough guy act.
I love old school hip hop and I enjoy witty lyricism, but these kids have actually developed a subgenre in rap where personality is the substance behind the song, and to me that’s thrilling.
7) If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists – what would it be?
Statistics, be they YouTube views, Soundcloud plays and likes, etc. I’d do away with them completely. Many, MANY people fake their stats. Word of mouth is a much more effective way to gain buzz than buying false hits.
8) Who do you think are top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?
Future, Young Thug and Kodak Black are killing it right now.
9) So what are your plans for the future?
I have an EP dropping in a few months called Spicewalker. And I’m always recording. I also have a surprise for my hardcore fans towards the end of the year that I just finished.