THE KID ERA (September 2011) | Interview By:
It’s ‘The Kid' better known as That Kid ERA! Most notably known for his smooth flow and catchy hooks, Era has proven to be a well-rounded and respectable emcee with his story-telling abilities and real life lyrics. Want to meet Era? Go and look for the kid you catch rapping in the corner of a party.
Supplying the people with witty, down to earth lyrics to the point where you don't know whether to laugh or to cry. So if you feel undecided just bob your head because as Era will tell you, life is too short and this is the only moment where everything feels timeless.
Dubcnn sat down with the highly-buzzing artist, “That Kid Era”. In this exclusive interview, we discussed his influences, who Era is as an artist, the ongoing beef with Mac Miller (in which he has a lot of choice words), working with Curtis Young (Dr. Dre’s son) and much, much more.
Interview was done in September 2011
Questions Asked By: Chad Kiser
Dubcnn: For those who haven’t heard your music, describe yourself as an artist.
I think my music is personal, and something that everyone can relate to. I want people to be able to listen to my music and be able to say, “Damn, I just went through that yesterday”. The reason I make music is because of the way that music has touched my life. The first time I picked up a pen was when I heard “Illmatic”, and it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. If I could ever give someone that feeling to my music then my job is done.
Dubcnn: What’s the significance of the name That Kid Era?
Era was created when my boy was beat-boxing back in 7th grade. He used to beat-box and say “era, era, era” as the sound of a scratch on a turntable. For whatever reason, I just ran with it. Most people think it means something that has to do with time significance, or an era of time, but it’s actually just because of my boy beat-boxing and imitating the sounds of scratching. The first tracks I recorded were on cassette with two turntables & a mic and my boy scratching "Era Erraaa" when we were 12. It represents the essence of hip hop.
Dubcnn: Who produces most your work?
I have a set production team that I work with called Up North Productions, who are my boys Frank 'Whyte' Bellantoni, and Tim 'Slim' Mitchell, and I also get beats from my boy Danny Gallardo. They’re incredible, they do more than hip-hop, they do everything from House, R&B, Pop, and the world has only heard a sample of their music. Once they get a platform where more people can hear them, people will see how talented they really are. They’re part of my team D&CMG. I also get a lot of hip hop beats from my boys SJ Beats & 2mindz who are dope too.
Dubcnn: You recently released the mixtape “Dedicated & Careless”. Why did you title it that?
Well, me, Danny and Up North set up together our own independent label and it’s called Dedicated & Careless. The mixtape was something I put out in anticipation for my next mixtape “Let’s Get It”, which will be more of an album. I have a track on “Dedicated & Careless” called “2,000 Bars”, where I just rap for 10 minutes, where the aspect is that I’m so dedicated, but at times I could just care less; we work hard, but we also don’t give a fuck!
Dubcnn: Any plans for a full-length project from you?
Well, like I said before, I have the upcoming mixtape “Let’s Get It”, which is like an album. It includes original production from Up North & Danny Gallardo as well SJ Beats & 2mindz. I have a track on there called “Hi & Low” featuring Styles P from The LOX. That’s been getting a lot of buzz around my hometown and the 914, Westchester. “Let’s Get It” will definitely have more of an album feel, it’s only titled a mixtape because it’s going to be up for free download with other mixtapes. I’m working on finishing up these next few videos for the release and then trying to get the tape out there. I feel it really represents me as an individual and represents the Dedicated & Careless brand. After the tape drops, we’ll see where that takes us, and see what we need to work on next. But we’re still working on tracks as we speak…dedication (laughs).
Dubcnn: Who are a few of your biggest influences in, or outside of hip-hop?
My biggest influence is probably my father, who passed away when I was young. Before he passed away, he was a lawyer, and he had a case on court television. I remember him telling me that ever since he was young he wanted to be a lawyer like Perry Mason. He grew up in the Bronx in the projects and worked hard to provide for his family move us to the suburbs and become a successful lawyer. So to see him to be able to achieve his dreams and do what he set out to do really set an example on my life that you could do whatever you really wanted to do. Just go get it.
Music-wise, I would say Nas because that was the first thing I heard that made me want to pick up a pen. I listen to everyone, but definitely, a lot of New York mid-90’s music was what really got me into it. A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang, The LOX and producers with that soulful feel like Pete Rock, and DJ Premiere.
Dubcnn: Being that this is Dubcnn, who are you checking for from the west coast?
Obviously, I love listening to 2Pac, but as of who am I checking for today, I’m interested in hearing from Dr. Dre’s son, Curtis Young. I really love what Kendrick Lamar is doing, I like Fashawn he's got a lot of hot stuff, Jay Rock is dope, too! I like some of the hyphy stuff out there, I’m not big into it, but I check it and rock with it from time to time.
Dubcnn: Have you ever tried to reach out to Curtis Young?
It’s funny that you mention that because I've been in talks with him and his team. We’re planning on working together. I've been going through a few beats looking for something that could work well with both of our styles. We'll see what happens; stay on the lookout because if we do put something together it's going to be dope. I’ll make sure Dubcnn is the first to know.
Dubcnn: What’s your favorite past time?
Playing ball is my biggest thing. Besides that it’s just being in the studio, but I love playing basketball. That sounds cliché especially in hip hop, but I think they go hand in hand. I remember rapping at 5star basketball camp as a kid and having the whole camp in a cypher getting hype until the coaches broke it up.
Dubcnn: I heard your studio got messed up by Hurricane Irene.
Yea, actually two of the studios that I record out of got flooded! One of them had just been completely re-done, brand-new, but they both got hit pretty bad. Thank God the tracks were still there though.
Dubcnn: Tell me about the beef between you and Mac Miller. I saw the video of you guys stepping to Mac over some production credits for “La, La, La”, is that how it got started?
The whole story behind that is that my boys from Up North gave a track to Darelle Revis, the corner back for the New York Jets. He had handed the beat off to Mac, and we were unaware that Mac Miller had used the beat and shot a video to it, until we saw it up on WorldStarHipHop one day. We were cool with him using the beat and everything; we just wanted credit for it as we thought that was necessary respect. We weren’t trying to take money from him, all we wanted was credit. They were just giving us the run around and doing a lot of shady business.
He wanted us to tweet this person, email that person, and contact his manager, his publicist, etc. A few months pass by, long story short; he stopped answering us all together. He had a show coming up in New York City; we happened to be there and saw him outside of the show and ask him what was going on with the credit. We gave him respect for the song and asked him who made the beat. He looked shocked and very scared! I don’t think he ever expected for us to actually show up in person. (laughs)
We didn't show up trying to fight him. After his manager or publicist (I didn’t know who he was) got a little disrespectful, my boy Frank from Up North got in a scuffle with him. You can’t see it on camera, but Mac's dude got thrown into a fence, then the cops ended up showing up. Mac Miller ran away like a little bitch and disappeared into the subway. The cops left and we were out there kicking it. Chris Webby and some other emcees were chilling too and we were outside of SOB's freestyling. Later on, Mac’s team texted my boy Tim from Up North and said they’d put up the correct production credits, if we’d take down the video. We didn’t like how they handled their business, and we thought it was shady that all of a sudden they wanted to comply. After months of asking the credits appeared up 2 minutes after the confrontation. So then, we came out with the diss record “Whack Miller”, and that was that.
Dubcnn: Tell us more about the single “Whack Miller”?
The first few lines actually talk about Darelle Revis, which not a lot of people have realized. The funny thing is I'm a Jets fan. I got my Cromartie jersey though, so it’s all good (laughs). This is hip-hop, its competitive. Whack Miller is a light diss record and trust me, he isn’t fucking with me lyrically at all.
That’s why he's tried to avoid the situation, Why do you think he never even responded in an interview except one? You think people weren't asking him about the situation? Of course they were, he just refused to answer because he's a scared punk and there’s nothing for him to say. And I just found out last week he responded about the situation in Complex. Before that, he was singing lullabies; then the interview came out and he was saying mutha-fuck this and mutha-fuck that.
I don't know where that came from because you could stuff pillows with his music then – and now he's trying to big league us and brush it off as if we were in the wrong. On top of it, he goes on to say that he saw us at one of his shows and we just stared at him. I don't know if he was seeing things, or why he thinks we would show up to another one of his shows. Why would I do that? (laughs). If we showed up to his shows again he would know we were there and he would get shook and hide again.
Dubcnn: So the beef is still on…
Man, everyone he was with was mad shook and I was only with 3 other kids. If I saw him again, I don't know what would happen. I don't think he would say anything if he seen us. And he's too scared to respond in music either as it’s not a good look for his lame career. It would open up the platform to where people will have to look at the lyrics and that plays to his disadvantage.
Mac Miller is gimmicky and he sells records to 12 year-olds and his type of music will come and go quick. It is what it is to me, so really, that’s not real beef. He doesn’t want to take it there out of obvious fear.
Dubcnn: What do you think of the notion of being a white rapper?
As a white rapper, I don’t compare myself to other white rappers. When I first started rapping, Eminem was the only white rapper out there so everyone would compare you to Eminem. And now, of course, I’ll get more attention because I’m white, but everybody is still going to compare you to Eminem or other white rappers. Dirk Nowitzky isn't trying to be the best European basketball player; he’s trying to win a championship. I’m not trying to be the best white rapper, I’m trying to win.
Dubcnn: Random question, do you think Eminem is better than Jay-Z as an all-around emcee - - and just artist in general?
Wow, I don't know. I have this argument with one of my best friends all the time. I say album for album, Jay's arguably the greatest as far as consistency and content. But Eminem is so dope and his classic albums are so hard to touch. “Renegade” is super crazy; and in my opinion, one of the greatest hip hop records of all time. Eminem went HAM on that record!
Dubcnn: That kind of wraps it up for me, so how can people get in touch with you?
Facebook.com/thatkidera and you can download all my music for free at thatkidera.com