Lifted Research: Kid Daytona Interview

Lifted Research: Kid Daytona Interview

While hip hop continues to be drilled with an onslaught of mixtapes, free EPs, and albums that have more copies pirated than purchased, the genre waits for another artist who can build upon its rich history and create the next truly classic album.

Kid Daytona – aptly named after the famous race when he took a car for a joy ride at the age of 14 and ended up crashing into a row of parked cars — was raised in the South Bronx, the neighborhood that gave birth to hip hop by way of Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa, among others. Growing up surrounded by such history, Daytona feels compelled to rejuvenate the sound that helped hip hop explode into the cultural movement it is today. Daytona’s 2010 release The Interlude presented by clothing brand Lifted Research Group (LRG) took samples from classic albums such as Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Nas’s Illmatic, paying homage to his favorite albums while attempting to build upon the sound that he was raised on.

After landing appearances on BET’s 106 & Park, MTV Jams and MTV2, Daytona is looking to escalate his name and the reach of his music and hoping to develop his own sound rather than continuing to rely on the assistance of the music of others. This summer will see a collaborative release with Action Bronson, as well as his sophomore project under the L-R-G flagship, The Interlude 2.

What made you fall in love with hip hop?

Basically man, I was born in Antigua, and came over here at 3 years old to NY. I had an uncle 13 years older than me that was a real influential part of my life. He used to be in the crib cutting up records on the Technics. When I came through, I was hearin’ him cut up Rock the Bells and Slick Rick, EPMD, KRS-One. I looked up to him so much, that’s where I really fell in love with the culture. Growing up in the South Bronx, seeing different things and being around different situations.

Tell me about The ACES Click [the group that you first started making music with].

That was a group we got started in high school. It was me, Loaded Lux, and Harlem’s Cash, we were the ACES. We came straight outta high school, took some meetings, it was way easier back then. We got in the room, spit some 16s, and we got a deal. Then, three months after that, the dude who signed us ended up getting fired. Our project got turned over to another A&R and everything went downhill from there. We’re talkin’ 2002. Now it’s 2002, just that long journey of pickin’ things up and finding out myself as an artist, and getting to where I am now, it’s two completely different situations. There’s the artistry and me as a person. I’m grateful for that experience.

What was the transition from the group to [working] solo like?

After we lost our deal, we tried to get back into another situation. I was signed to a producer at the time, Megahertz. He did [Diddy’s] “Bad Boys for Life”, [Jay-Z & R. Kelly’s] “The Best of Both Worlds”, Nas’s “Got Yourself a Gun”, this dude was poppin’ at the time, and we were signed to him as a production company. This started to turn into either they wanted me or they wanted Lux to do solo projects, so Lux went on to do his thing, and I started on my solo projects. I ended up meeting Busta Rhymes through Megahertz in ’06, and we started to click. [Busta] took me everywhere; he took me to Miami and LA when he was recording The Big Bang album. This is where I started to take off as a solo artist. I met Cipha Sounds, and ended up putting out records on the radio in New York, on Hot 97. I still didn’t find myself until me and Cipha put out The Tribe Called Fresh mixtape in 2008. It was a long, crazy journey.

How did the relationship with Busta form you as an artist?

I got to see him perform, record and interact with other artists/producers. I watched Raekwon record Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt II, I was in the studio with Q-Tip, with Pharrell, with Timbaland, with Scott Storch when he was huge, getting $100k-$200k/track. Just being out in Miami around all this energy, as a young artists on the come-up, I couldn’t ask for anything more, I got to see all these people I looked up to for years. The interaction, and being a fly in the wall, helped me learn a lot about my craft. From a business sense, I learned a lot about putting records out. Then, meeting Cipha was another groundbreaking moment. From Cipha I learned how to be independent and how to go out on my own. I developed my own company, Community Juice. From there, I started making my own music, and my own videos, connecting with the blogs. That’s what really took me from point A to point B.

Yet you don’t rely on a co-sign from any of these artists.

I’ma tell you the truth, if you look at all the artists right now, pop artists and all of my peers, all of them got some kind of co-sign from somewhere. I take pride in that everything I have ever achieved, has been things that I had to work to get. I got shots and opportunities, and I just drove them home. I take pride in that. If a co-sign were to come along, it would have to be the right one. I’m not gonna stand by someone I don’t fully respect. That’s just me, I’m a prideful person, I’ve been like that since day one. I’ve always wanted to stand out on my own, and not stand behind anyone else.

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Category: Music, Z-Homepage


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