I am now joined by up and coming artist, Milwaukee, WI native, Khing Ceaze, Ceaze, thank you for the opportunity for this interview. To get things started off, please give the readers a description about yourself.
A little bit about myself, I am 27 years old born and raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I currently reside in the Savannah Georgia area. As an artist I like to call myself an intellectual savage, I am smart and optimistic but do not mind handling business when the time is appropriate.
Formally, your namesake was TatAddikt Ceaze, what initially lead to the name change? How important to you is your new name, and how to plan to solidify your “King Status.”
What led to my name change was, simply understanding. I researched the pharaohs of Egypt and really began to understand their philosophy and daily way of life. They held responsibility for their people and I feel I carry the same duty as a black man. Therefore up on my release from prison, a Khing was born. My name is very important as well as my brand Kingz of Honor.
It is a lifestyle, which holds us accountable for our every action. As a king you must think before you move, you must ensure that the decisions you make hold the highest opportunity for not only yourself but for those around you. I plan to solidify my status simply by leading and education my people. Not just my family but also the people in my community whom I cross paths with. Most of all I have to lead by example. You never know who looking at what you do and how you move so be strong in how you carry yourself and always live by a code of honor.
With the power of the internet, at the tip of our fingers, it is easier than ever for an artist to pursue music independently. Nevertheless, there are many hardships being an independent artist. What three things do you think are the most positive of being independent, and three most negative aspects?
My three positives would have to be number one, the freedom to create as you please. Number 2 would have to be the ability to be yourself at all times. In addition, number three would be the ability to maintain ownership of your music. Three negatives, in my eyes only limited by your character and work ethic, would be the fact that in the beginning almost all the weight of your career falls on you and only you.
Number 2 negative would be marketing and promotion for yourself because it is a lot of money that goes into this but it is necessary to invest in yourself. Number 3 would simply be staying motivated. People don’t see that side if an artist before the money roll in when you got people breaking down statistics and how likely it is to really be successful in this business but the truth is you are as successful as you tell yourself you are.
The landscape of Hip Hop and Rap is undoubtedly fluid; do you like the current state of the genre? What do you think you can personally contribute to help continue the growth of the culture?
The current state of “rap” right now is different from the CULTURE of hip-hop. Hip-hop is never gone change. That is the story telling of the current times, the Nas, the Kendrick Lamars, the J. Coles, Kevin Gates and Dave East. The culture of Hip Hop will never die. Now as far as Rap, I mean the young generation has what they want to hear. I think I contribute more towards that early 2000’s era with the T.I., Young Jeezy, Ludacris vibe.
They made music we all could relate to and that is what made it great. From the 80s through the early 2000s, even up to the years of 2005-09 when Wayne was killing the mixtape circuit, which was hip-hop and great music. I just feel we need to get back to that authenticity and real rap and hip-hop. I think I can provide that.
Being from Wisconsin, you are well aware of our status in the rap game, as a whole, which leaves a lot to be seen, at this current time. Why do you think Wisconsin, and the Midwest as a whole, has never had their time to really run the game, like all the other regions have so far?
In all honesty, the Midwest has always had a spot in hip-hop. From Bone Thugs and Twista to Durk and Chance now. Now the state of Wisconsin might be over looked but that is because of the way the rest of the country sees Wisconsin. I learned that when I moved down to Georgia. They think Wisconsin is all farms and rural areas.
Honestly, the time is now for most of us Milwaukee artists and Wisconsin artists because the rap game is so wide open. It is all about numbers and we have to be willing to travel and expand our fan bases in order to get those numbers. With distribution companies like distrokid out there helping us as independent artists the time is now.
You attributed your name change to further educating yourself. I often feel with the high speed times we live in, people try to take a short cut on proper learning. How important do you think it is to educate oneself in a proper manner?
As an individual who has a strong spirituality, I feel education of oneself is a hug factor in how much you progress and evolve as an individual. I do believe in the development of yourself as an individual. Knowledge is power, and with that, power comes wisdom. I believe that the universe only brings gifts to those who search for them. If you want to know something, educate yourself on it.
Only a fool takes the word of another without researching it for himself. Even in today’s society, which is so fast paced, it is important to make time for the things that interest you. I tell my daughter that the most important factor in life is education and not just the education she receives in school.
Hip Hop seems to be a genre that does not honor their legends, like other genres of music, why do you think that is. What steps can we take as music fans to curtail that sad trend?
I would have to disagree. Hip Hop as a culture always gives credit to the legends that came before us. It get over shadowed with the current drama of the music business. People like the late Tupac Shakur, Biggie, and the ones still living like Nas, Jadakiss, Dr. Dre, often are forgotten by these bubble gum rappers. I consider a split between the genres. You got rap, which is this new age music that is all over the radio airwaves, then you got Hip Hop. Today’s Hip Hop artists like Kendrick, J. Cole, Dave East, and myself are the ones who tell stories, share experiences and can take you on a journey through our music the same way that they did in the 80s and 90s.
There is no question you have exhibited growth from the time you were incarcerated. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your old self that could enrich their life?
If I could go back and tell the old me anything, it would be two things. The first one would be that not everybody is meant to be a part of the journey. I have grown to understand that more and more. Some people come as blessings, some come as lessons and some just come as a distraction to keep you from moving forward. The second thing in would tell myself is simple, think before you move. Assess the situation before acting on it.
You spoke of your brand Kingz of Honor, could you please give more information on your brand, as well as what you hope to accomplish with it.
Well, Kingz of Honor is more of a lifestyle. It is a way of life in my eyes, a philosophy if you will. I am big on Egyptian history and Afrocentric Spirituality. The pharaohs of Kemet carried themselves with the highest regard, as they understood they not only represented themselves but the culture of Egypt. Kingz of Honor is a representation of three things, the individuals who are involved in it, the culture of hip-hop, and the families that have supported us since day one. Family is not always blood either.
Musically, with the end of the year wrapping up, I imagine you want to continue the momentum with the music released in 2018, what could we expect to hear from Khing Ceaze in 2019?
Well, Smoke & Mirrors will be released the night before Christmas, and then I got a lot coming in the first quarter of 2019. Overall, expect to see me pushing my music as well as the brand harder than ever in 2019. Videos, singles, and hopefully some shows as well as the album, The Other Side of Sanity 2, in 2019. This is the first blog interview I have done since I have been back on land and I want to say thank you for this platform as well as the opportunity to bring the fans and supporters into my world and understand me as an individual and artist. I hope that this will not be the last. Follow me on all social media platforms: Twitter: @khing_ceaze Instagram: @khing_ceaze and @khing_sh1t
Before we officially wrap this up, time to have a little fun with the next few questions, firstly, if you could be King of the entire world, what would your first three orders of business be?
If I was Khing of the world? My first three orders would be as follows:
- Free healthcare for all.
- Free college education for all.
- Legalize marijuana everywhere.
You mentioned that you have strong spirituality, which brings me to this question about spirits aka ghosts, if you could bring back any artist from the land of the unliving , to collaborate with, who would you choose, and why?
If I could bring back any artist that has changed form, that is tough, I would have to choose three. My first being Tupac simply because he was amazing at making you feel, where he was coming from when he got in the booth. The second would be Prince because of his work ethic and creativity in the studio. The last one would be Doe B. Doe B was just dope. I think had he been able to make a run in the industry he would have definitely been a powerhouse in the hip-hop scene.
If there was one trend in rap you wished to ‘ceaze’ to exist, what would it be and why?
Any trend in hip-hop I wished would “Ceaze” to exist, it would be the trolling for clout. That shit do not make you no bigger than the next artist. I think now a days people want authenticity more than entertainment. The trolling for clout is definitely the one I would want to be done with.
You mentioned studying Egypt, which leads me to this question, if you had a chance to visit any city or country in the world, what would it be? If you could perform anywhere on the planet, where would it be and why?
If I could visit anywhere in the world just for leisure it would be the motherland of Africa. I always wanted to tour the continent of Africa and experience what life was like over there. However, if I could perform in any location on this planet I would have to say Dubai. I have had friends tell me that the energy in Dubai is just amazing.
Any last comments or words before we wrap this thing up?
Appreciate the interview; be on the lookout for Smoke & Mirrors, which will be dropping the night before Christmas. Be on the lookout for my first single of 2019 titled “First Glance” produced by JussBonafide coming in January. Thank you to all my fans and supporters who have been rocking with me for a while now and welcome to all the new and potential followers. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Again, shout out to the Fochshole for the Interview and hopefully this will not be the last one.