Q&A With Bay Area Underground Hip Hop Veteran Kayer

Q&A With Veteran Bay Area Underground Hip Hop Artist Kayer

Kayer! Much respect to you for really holding down the underground Hip Hop culture out in the Bay Area! How long have you been spitting? What specific area code do your rep out in the bay? Kayer!? Very creative MC name….How did that MC name come about?

Lets see I had some kid raps in Jr. High early 90’s but things got serious around 1995 is when I dedicated myself started rockin’ parties, freestyling, writing and recording. I’m originally from the Northwest scene Portland Or. Forgotten Dialect Crew. As a Graffiti artist I was known as “Kaer AOM” is how I got my name. I added “Y” in the 2000’s so it would be easier for new fans to pronounce correct. My Bay Area life began about 15 years ago in 2002, right now I live in 707 Santa Rosa area but spent alot of years in Oakland 510 and I also lived in Redwood City some years. So I just rep The Bay and support all sides are great places to be.

Underground Hip Hop is all about ORIGINALITY!  Please tell us how important is ORIGINALITY to you?  Also/ in one simple sentence, how would you describe your sound?

Yeah originality, staying humble, and respect. I’m from an era where you had to really come with it and be original to get noticed. A lot of styles get passed form the OG’s on but as an artist it’s important to build on it and apply your own personailty and character is what makes the music unique and original. My sound is just me, I stay in the spot where I need to be and ride the beat, my instinct keeps it poetical and concious but at the same time keep the tone of voice and elements of party rockin’ in there as well.

Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences?  Any Bay Area influences?

I was raised on Jazz and Rock albums all the classics on vinyl is what my family collected. I’m fortunate I got to expierience Hip-Hop as a kid in the 80’s I lived in Baltimore Md. before I moved out West. We played all the late 80’s Hip-Hop classics then once the 90’s hit we were bumpin alot of Native Tongues. I moved to Oregon in 1993 is when Innercity Griots, 93 til Infinity, Del’s first album and Bizarre Ride to The Pharcyde were in heavy rotation. I think those 4 albums along with some others really opened up the eyes to the world what West Coast Hip-Hop is all about. Eventhough they came out on known labels the beats and style of writing really set the the blueprints of the West Coast Underground in my opinion.

Since I lived in the Bay I have been blessed to be working with Spoon (of Iodine) and P.E.A.C.E. became close friends over the years, lyrically those guys have shared knowledge about song writing, freestyling and just overall history lessons that are priceless to me. Producers Cosiner and Kegs One also helped me out alot back in the day. To name a few Bay Area crews and homies I look up to would be Hobo Junction, Bored Stiff, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Hieroglyphics, The Dereliks, FTA, L’Roneous, SFSM, Mystic Journeyman, Eddie K, Z-Man, Kirby Dominant, Dave Dub, Sacred Hoop and the list goes on, a lot of great underground Hip-Hop roots out here. Shout out to P-Minus ATAK is the OG that helped alot of us sell tapes back in the day.

Please breakdown the creative process of your latest album “Permanent Knock”.  Also, you have 2Mex on your album!!!  Wow, that dude is true LA underground Hip Hop legend on our book!! How did that collab happen?

I made Permanent Knock over the last couple years, only pulled a few things from the vault but overall wanted drop something solid for everyone and leave my mark. Got the fresh B-Boy character by Skill One represents the release. I’ve spent years working with all the artists on there Spoon (of Iodine), DJ Icewater, Vinroc, Deeskee, Maleko, Ian Mckee, 8:35 are all family. To have Myka 9 on there is an honor, him and Spoon go back to the days of Mc Aces so alot of Freestyle Fellowship fans hittin me up for wax and CD’s right now. And of course lenendary 2Mex is La2thebay family, Deeskee helped me with that collab. I have alot of respect for 2Mex reaches out and helps everyone, we built on that song 6 months or so before his leg amputation after that I pretty much planned on rockin’ it solo, until one afternoon months after his recovery him and Deeskee hit me up and sent his verse. It’s amazing how much strength and love for Hip-Hop he has to get up and keep going for everybody while battling diabetes. 2Mex is the definition of “Permanent Knock”. Go check out that song

Rappers nowadays think by throwing up a few videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not to many quality music.  From what we understand, you have been rapping for several years, right??

Been puttin in work for over 2 decades and I ain’t the type to knock the next man’s hustle, but yeah it’s crazy out here now. The Internet changed everything. I don’t let it get to me though cause most that stuff ain’t even Hip-Hop. True School Hip-Hop is it’s own genre at this point and it’s in the streets, live shows and records we make.

Can’t depend on the Internet as your only outlet, we don’t even own these accounts can be erased in the press of a button. When you look up any serious artists or labels on Discogs from our era, all that music is out in the world on vinyl, CD’s and tapes. It’s alot more work and patience to press everything but it’s definately the reason why we’re still here years later making moves .

Out the box type question,  If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground Hip Hop album would you consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.

Freestyle Fellowship “Innercity Griots” by far one of the dopest Hip-Hop albums of all time and one the most significant chapters in the history of West Coast Underground “Respect Due”

Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?

Beyond the business side of things, Underground Hip-Hop carry’s on original Hip-Hop culture the way it was ment to be lived. It’s a mindstate and a way of thinking that overcomes the stereotypes and mainstream influences. It’s a culture that has committed to spreading the truth, teach, open eyes and pass on for future generations.

Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.

Check out my records “Permanent Knock” & “Rewind a Decade, Check out “Dad’s Day Off Tour” Megabusive and Kayer shows. kayermusic@gmail.com for booking and heres my links.

Kayermusic.com

Sublevelepidemic.com

kayer.bandcamp.com

Soundcloud.com/kayermusic

Instagram.com/kayermusic

facebook.com/kayerhiphop

Lastly, and shout out?

Shout out to my wife Ruthie and my 2 Boys. Shout out to anybody that has been part of my music past to present, all the DJ’s, Producers, Engineers and Promoters that make this possible. Big ups to Sublevel Epidemic, Forgotten Dialect, LA2TheBay, Freestyle Fellowship, Project Blowed, Stealth Melters, Isolated Wax and Gurp City for everday inspiration and support. Peace to all the B-Boys, B-Girls and Graffiti crews showing love, check out AOM, UTI, OFA, HTK, LSD, CBS, EMT and it don’t stop!

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About Armando Urena Jr

Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I’m dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.