Kansas City rapper Joey Cool has been making a huge splash in 2015 and now finds himself as the only guest for CES Cru’s upcoming Recession Proof EP.
We talked to the very talented emcee about what his journey has been like from local cat to being featured on records from KC titans Tech N9ne and CES Cru. The confident rhyme-spitter gives us a peek into his writing process behind “Off The Hook” on the Recession Proof EP and also what he’s got coming up in the near future.
Our readers might know you from appearing on Tech N9ne’s Special Effects this year. Obviously that was a big appearance for you. But give us a low down of how long you’ve been doing this. Just a quick synopsis of your journey to where you’re at now.
I’ve been rapping for 10 or 11 years now. As far as Strange affiliation, it really started with JL about 5 years ago. And got Tech on board when he saw a couple local shows of ours.
Same with Godemis actually. He’s been part of one of my projects before. Then things caught on. After the Special Effects thing, everything kind of snowballed. Then I got asked to go on tour with CES. And here we are now.
KC has a pretty tight knit community when it comes to the hip hop scene. What’s your relationship been like with CES Cru over the years?
They’re big homies. Definitely some guys that we’ve all looked up to. I’ve seen them multiple times at Riot Room, Record Bar, shit like that. We kind of just built that relationship from the local scene; basically just being out and seeing everybody rap. But yeah they’re the big homies. We’re friends.
What do you think of them as artists and emcees?
They’re fucking great man. Lyrically I’d put them up against a lot of people in this industry, coast to coast. Obviously not on as big of a scale as everyone, like the TDE guys, but I feel like they can out-rap a lot of people.
Now as far as getting on this track. I take it it wasn’t too difficult to make the connection. Did Ubi just hit you up and say “Hey you wanna be on this?”
Actually, Ubi wanted me on a different track for this EP and I did a hook for it over some production team that they were messing with, and then he actually had to scrap that track.
Then there was another track. A Seven track, the “Off The Hook” shit. He said “Why don’t you just do a verse on this shit?” I was like “Dope, cool.” It was more of an upbeat track anyway: a fun, party track called “Off The Hook”. So it was pretty easy for me to knock out.
Now talking to them also, Ubi said he gave you like “the pressure spot,” which I take means you had to follow CES Cru. After they ripped it did you feel any pressure? After hearing their verses?
Definitely. That’s always the thing. If I hear their shit first, I’m gonna try to bite their heads off when I’m in the booth, just because I’ve already heard their verse and I know it’s gonna be dope. It was like friendly competition, so it was good.
For sure man, and he said you definitely delivered. You killed that shit. Now if there’s a word I would use to describe your verse on this song, it would be “relentless.” What was your thought process behind how you wanted to attack your verse and attack the beat?
Well, Godemis’ verse is a little more straight to the point, a little more straightforward. And Ubi is Ubi and fuckin’ all over the shit.
So I was just trying to incorporate a little bit of both. Kind of make it funny and kind of display this rhyme skill. So little bit of choppin’ here and there but it was pretty straight forward. Ubi was like, “It’s off the hook” and I was like, “Yeah. Okay, okay, I got it.”
Yeah it seems like it came pretty naturally to you. Now, what did you think of Seven’s production? This is, I think, the second Seven beat you’ve rapped over this year.
Fuck man, it was great. I actually just heard the instrumental first. And I was just like “Aw yeah! Yeah, I want in on that.” Then I heard the actual vocal track, so I was definitely all about that. Fuckin’ genius. It’s always fun to hop on one of his tracks.
Definitely man. That’s pretty much it as far as this song goes. But I wanna give you a chance to tell us about what you have going on.
Obviously, you’ve been having a good year. You had the tour with CES, you hopped on Special Effects, you’re on this EP, things seem to be going pretty well for you. What can we expect from Joey Cool in the near future?
Near future? In the studio right now, working on some stuff. Working on the 3 The Hard Way project, with Dutch and JL. So that should be out before the end of the year sometime. I’m also working on my next solo project, called Swank Sinatra. That should be out before the end of the year too.
I’ll be rockin’ the stage with JL at the Midland. That’s about it; studio, work, work, work, doing shows.
Dope man. Anything you want to say before we wrap this up?
Just want to say thanks to all you Strange folks. You guys are fuckin’ awesome! You made my 2015 a great year.
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