After spending his youth in Pittsburgh, Eddie Kane Jr moved to the state of North Carolina, where he enjoyed better prospects for his emerging hip hop career than in the overlooked Pennsylvania. In Raleigh, home of Petey Pablo and Little Brother, is where the charismatic rapper developed a distinct rhyme acumen.
Kane came to the fore when opening up for the likes of Lil’ Jon, Mya, Trick Daddy and toured with Shade Sheist in Asia. The latter obviously did not want it to be a once-only team-up and invited Kane to join Put Yourself Out Entertainment, a platform for upcoming artists. Being under the wing of West Coast veteran Shade Sheist, Eddie gets to know the tricks of the trade on the highest level in hip hop and doubled his chances to cop a label deal.
Read on as Kane gives us the scoop on his new group and talks about his current mixtapes and upcoming album Contradictionz.
You were born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and now live in Raleigh, North Carolina. What would you say are the biggest differences between the local hip-hop scenes in both cities?
Being that I was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA and now living in Raleigh I can pretty much tell you that the biggest difference is that Raleigh has a bigger hip hop scene due to the success of Petey Pablo & Little Brother. Pittsburgh never had and still hasn’t had a breakthrough artist come into hip hop and have any kind of impact. Until they do, they will be just another overlooked state that has a lot of talent. Although North Carolina unsigned artists are starting to get more exposure from labels, we still have a long way to go in terms of getting respect down here as lyricist. Everything is not snap and crunk music in terms of Southern hip hop, that’s just one small aspect of the music. I also think Raleigh NC, has a bigger platform than Pittsburgh in terms of exposure based on the fact that every label is now trying to get at Southern artists because the movement is so powerful.
What was it about hip-hop that made you want to be part of it and how did the people around you respond when you decide to pursue hip-hop professionally?
The thing about hip hop that made me want to be a part of it was just being a part of the culture as a whole. I remember when I was a youngin, my older cousins rocking the radio’s on they shoulder bumping KRS, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, NWA… I remember my cousins breaking and spray painting all kinds of shit on buildings and just loving the whole essence of hip hop as a culture. I love the culture and being that I was always nice with words, I evolved naturally. Doing talent shows, recording little demo’s tapes on 4 tracks would only be the platform for the launch of the artist I am now, tha MC. I started pursuing hip hop professionally around the age of 20 and I always got love around my hood for being sick wit the flow, now it’s time to let the world hear what I gotta say.
What are you trying to accomplish when you get on the mic and what audience do you want to reach?
I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be nice to sell millions of records but that’s not what I started doing music for. I started doing music because I love doing music. If record sales and mainstream success come with my career, so be it. If not, I’ll continue to do music the way I wanna do music and the way I see fit. I just wanna touch on a lot of different subjects and have the people relate. Not everybody can relate to going out partying. Everybody can’t relate to hearing bang bang shoot em up shit, everybody can’t relate to being a pimp, that’s why I spit on a variety of different subjects. If I feel like angry one day, that’s what you get angry, if I feel militant, that’s what you get so on and so forth. I’m not trying to cater to one specific target audience, I’m just tryna do music! That’s it, real talk. If you like it listen, if you don’t turn the shit off, simple as that. I like to call myself a walking contradiction because even though I may feel strongly about something and say one thing, I’m human and can sometimes do the exact opposite. It’s human nature. I think more artists need to actually man up and be real with themselves. This shit is just entertainment.
What’s the hip hop game missing besides that?
I think this thing we called hip hop is missing a lack of creativity and honesty. A lot of new and established artists are scared to talk about certain things, experiment with different genres of music and tell the truth about themselves in general. It’s time to stop letting these corporate big wigs dictate what’s hot or what’s not. A new artist doesn’t have to bust his gun 24/7 or talk about who much coke you slanging. I been shot 3 times in 2003, I don’t brag about it on record like I’m the hardest person out here in the street. I came from the hood and was fortunate enough to go to college and graduate. I talk about things on both sides of the fence. This in turn makes people able to identify with me because people from both sides of the fence can identify with both sides of the struggle. For all the kids out there wanting to be rappers, “Going to school is cool”, don’t let anyone tell you different.
Your stage name used to be Mr Ruccus. Why the name change?
Yeah, that was my name a few years ago. I got that name in school high because I stay in some shit causing trouble. My real name Eddie and I was watching that movie the five heartbeats and I like how that character Eddie Kane in the movie was at the top of his game, then fell off, then picked his self back up and overcame all his struggles. That’s a perfect example of my life. I was doing my thing at one point, had a tragedy in my life, and I got over the shit, picked myself back up and now it’s time to smash again.
You’re now smashing through Put Yourself Out Entertainment. What exactly is PYO and who are part of the movement?
PYO is a platform for artist to jumpstart their careers and put themselves out. PYO consists of Shade Sheist, N.U.N.E and myself. We are a multimedia company that does a lot of things, music being one of them. I am heavily affiliated with Shade Sheist and N.U.N.E and that is a label that we run independently. All of us are free agents on the market but a whole collective unit at the same time. I hooked up with Shade & N.U.N.E in 2004 and it’s been on ever since. I can actually say them dudes in the first one’s to ever give me a shot and I’m eternally grateful. They put me on countless releases and took me overseas on tour with them last April. I don’t know many unsigned artists that been overseas, got paid a couple grand to do some shows and stayed in 4 star hotels without so much as having an album out. Look out for PYO to do big things in 2007. We even got our own radio show on swurveradio.com. Shade & N.U.N.E are my dogs and I got major love for them no matter what the situation.
Does Shade have a lot of say in the material you put out, release schedules, image and so on, or does he give you free hand?
Both Shade and N.U.N.E play a major role in what music should be released to the people but I have the overall say so of what is going to come out. That’s why I love the PYO platform, because an artist can come over there, get they CD pressed up and mastered and have complete creative control. What more could you ask for. We handle everything from posters, flyers, tour bookings, club bookings, videos, duplication, imaging, and distribution. We’re pretty much a one stop shop. Anything I need from Shade or N.U.N.E is only one phone call away. From Carolina to Compton, it’s all good.
Before you hooked up with PYO, you must have been on a label hunt. How frustrating was it to knock on doors or see negotiations going nowhere? And what kept you motivated?
We still on a label hunt, so if you reading this; holla at ya boys! We already doing numbers so the movement will keep moving on. Day to day life issues keep me motivated. As long as there are current events going on in the world, I’m gonna have something to talk about. As long as shorty over there stripping, or so and so got shot, or this guy got the college loan people knocking on his door, the material will always be there. I do this for the people and I appreciate the listen ear. The grind will continue and sooner or later something big is gonna pop off. It’s only so long they can hear that knock at the door without opening it. Give us a deal know or deal wit us later!
Can you speak a little on the track “My Turn”, which you recently put out with Shade and Fred Knuxx?
Oh man, that track is bananas! It’s been getting good responses on a few other sites I leaked it to. The response has been lovely thanks to the people. When you got three people with talent like myself, Fred Knuxx, and Shade Sheist, it’s a no brainer. Expect more to come from Shade Sheist & N.U.N.E too, they got some heat in the stash. Shout out to the homie Fred Knuxx and StarCore Entertainment. He’s one of nicest, if not the nicest about to blow from Delaware.
What projects do you have coming up?
I got a mixtape ready that will be dropping soon. On the mixtape I got the homie Shade Sheist and Nune, Redrum187, Fred Knuxx, SUPe, Jon Notty, The Conference and a few other people. As far as production I got joints produced by myself, SUPe, Khrome (Ras Kass – Hush Little Baby Game Diss), Focus & Lano from B&W, and a few other people. The album is crazy trust me.
I also have an album or two in the can waiting on a situation to pop off. I talk about a lot of different things on my album some good, some bad, some contradictory. That’s why my album is called Contradictionz. I also got a group situation popping off called the Trifecta. It’s me, my homie SUPe from Cali and the homie Fred Knuxx. We basically came together to drop an album in where people get an MC from the South, the North, and the West Coast. It ain’t never been done before so be prepared for something of epic proportions!
Anything else you’d like to get off of your chest?
Shout out to Anne from Ballerstatus for interviewing me. Shout out to all my people in Raleigh, NC, PYO, Fred Knuxx, Supe, The Trifecta, Krazyeman, The Forum Inc., The Conference, Jon Notty, Jazzy D at Jazzy Management, Beads, my B&W folks and anybody else who rolling wit the movement!