Today, Nashville rapper Kaby releases his gritty Machiavellian styled music video “Soon.” Directed by Kaby and Nix, the “Soon” music video delves further into the duplicitous life that cunningly shifts between daydreaming and reality, a central theme to his Era of the Try Hard project releasing later this Fall.
“Soon” is the second installment in Kaby’s ongoing narrative following last week’s stream of consciousness styled “Everything.” Whereas “Everything” was a fever dream that planted the seedlings of idea, Kaby brazenly warns haters to step aside or get on board “Soon” as he’s done scheming and ready to execute and jump outside the box.
Kaby explains, “As creatives, we see ourselves in all of these places and doing all of these things, but often don’t know how to actualize them. The videos in this series show events that are all happening parallel to one another. There’s ‘dreaming’ in the ‘doing’, and vice versa. In “Soon” we see a plan being put into motion.”
Today fans can catch Kaby at Nashville’s Breakaway Festival alongside performances by Wiz Khalifa, Russ, Lil Pump and GriZ. Tomorrow the Southern rapper heads to Atlanta to perform at the A3C Festival.
Tennessee artist Kaby (pronounced KAY-bee) defies expectations. Born and raised in Nashville, Kaby was influenced by New York heavyweights Ghostface Killah, Pete Rock and Detroit legend J. Dilla as much as Southern titans Juicy J and DJ Paul. He finds inspiration from a wide variety of sources, so his sound is not easily defined as merely boom-bap, Southern, or any one thing. Kaby doesn’t wear his influences like a costume, but like a tapestry made up of different textures and colors. Both musically and visually, Kaby has a style all his own.
He started making and selling his own mixtapes at 17, and as he grew older, music remained his singular focus. From freestyling at open mics to performing at college shows, Kaby continued to refine his sound. Thankfully, the city’s music community was an open-minded group that gave him space to be creative. “Nashville’s hip-hop scene is almost like a trial run. You get leeway with things that you wouldn’t be able to do in other places,” Kaby says. The city reciprocates that love anointing him with Nashville Scene’s Best Hip-Hop Album for his 2013 effort H.E.R.E.
His new album Era of the Try Hard is a culmination of those years of hard work and inspiration from his many influences. He, along with longtime collaborator Nathan Zensen, and Mike Ewing — who have produced for everybody from the Maybach Music Group to the legendary Gladys Knight — and several talented session musicians, worked on the album for two years. Era of the Try Hard is a fully-formed statement about Kaby as a man and artist. The songs reflect his persona: making sharp turns from rapid-fire flows, melodic anthems, brazen lyrics and vulnerable themes. The result is Kaby’s best work ever. “At the end of the day, I want to contribute to the culture. Not to extract.”