Meet Brandon Perry, a 24- year-old rapper who goes by the stage name K.A.A.N which stands for Knowledge Above All Nonsense. He’s from Baltimore Maryland, and is an underground rapper with a slight squeaky execution in his flows, which descends to more screech-gruff parts as his production progresses in his music, with a fast, comprehensible yet nonstop delivery, paired with his extensive vocabulary and ability to rhyme on modern day hip hop beats that streamlines old school samples and vibes and adds in those soothing spiritual sounding female vocals that echo parts of the song, which has led me to get the vibes of the more mainstream emcees of today like Logic and Kendrick Lamar while listening to his music. With this he has gained over 18,000 followers on soundcloud all on his own with barely any collabs or support from big time rappers or producers stating that he wants to make it on his own terms without any help. Many would be surprised that K.A.A.N is actually working a normal job by day, doing masonry work for a contracting company, and after working long hours, comes home and writes and records his music at night with his producer ORBT. He has stated before that pursuing music as a career isn’t about the money, the fame, or the women that comes with the territory, but about getting to do something he loves everyday. Hearing his impactful rhyming capabilities which distinguishes him from many others like him and also realizing how humble, and diligent he is to be working a full-time job and writing quality thought provoking music, I was fortunate enough to ask him some questions relating to himself and his work.
*Interview with K.A.A.N*
1. What are some of the main themes/subjects you like to rap about?
Just life honestly. Day to-day struggles everybody deals with that are only talked about sparingly.
2. Has the way you were brought up impacted your music if so how?
In a way. My upbringing has given me a lot of stories to write about. A lot of different life experiences to implement into the lyrical content.
3. What is the purpose or story behind your latest project Eclectic Audio?
There really wasn’t any thought behind it. I just wanted to make a project with my engineer Jason. It was definitely the most fun I’ve had making music period. It took us about three months to complete it. All the lyrics were written while he was working on the beats, so I feel like it has more of a cohesive energy because of how the project was cultivated.
4. How/when did you know music was something you wanted to pursue? How did you get started in music?
around 20, 21 I just said fuck it, and started writing. I just really enjoy writing, and reading so I didn’t have to force my self to do it. I’ve free styled my whole life. I saw logic at soundstage in Baltimore 3, 4 years ago and he made it look so easy I was just like fuck it. Went home the next day, and started taking writing serious.
5. What is your favorite song of yours and why?
I honestly don’t listen to any of my music. I get to caught up in what I hear as imperfections. I’ve never been able to listen to, or enjoy the music I make.
6. One of my favorite songs of yours is “Kaancepts” what made you create that track and what is it about?
I always liked that beat, and wanted to write to it. With that song I wanted to do something lyrical. I hadn’t been writing for too long when I wrote that so I was just trying to use different flows, and different vocabulary to see what I could come up with.
7. The way you rhyme is very impressive tell us how it’s like coming up with a song how do you do it exactly?
I’m still learning about writing music every time I write. I don’t pre write anything. I’ll just sit down with the beat playing and just start writing. Sometimes I have a theme in mind to write about, but for the most part I just see where the beat takes me mentally and go from there.
8. How did you come up with the concept for your latest music video Phoenix what is the video about?
we shot it out in Oklahoma city with my boys Josh Sallee, and Logan Meis. We were out there for a week, and Josh had a lot of ideas that we were trying to act out. In the video its like I get kidnapped while walking listening to music, and put in the back of a car. Then I get thrown out the car on the ground, and start digging a ditch. When the person that kidnapped me turns around I hit him with a shovel. When he’s on the ground I take his mask off, and its me. on the surface it just looks like I kidnapped my self, but its supposed to represent me, holding my self back. It starts with me listening to music then I get kidnapped. It represents multiple personalities, so me kidnapping my self is like my negative, or insecure side of my self holding my self back from doing what I should be doing.
9. What do you think makes you stand out from others?
I honestly don’t know what draws people to my music, or makes me stand out. I feel like it could be the flow, or the content. I don’t know. People are drawn to different things for different reasons.
10. Being an underground rapper have you ever felt like giving up? And What keeps you going forward?
I think bout quitting everyday for real. I work a lot of hours at my job. I’m stretched for time everyday. Everyday I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off to get shit done. I’ll work till 5, or 6 and then I’m rushing to go record, or write, so I’m just constantly fatigued and out of it. I just really like writing honestly. I’ll wake up, and say I’m over all this shit. I’m just wasting my time, but come 5, or 6 I’m hitting my boy up to record, or writing to something.
11. What is your favorite song from 2015 by any artist and why is it your favorite?
A song called colors by an artist name kweku Collins. Guys from Illinois, but he’s got some really tough sounds out. I just liked the energy of the song. I’m still trying to figure out what its about, but its definitely one of my favorite songs to smoke to.
12. Tell us some of your musical plans for 2016 what can we expect to hear from you?
More music honestly. I’m always working on something. I’m trying to put out more music than I put out last year, so just a lot of music.
Listen to K.A.A.N’s latest project and music videos below!