October 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
I’m not above promoting old friends trying to do big things…peep my interview with aspiring rap artist Kishan Patel aka “K-19 The Prince” as he attempts to dive into the hip hop game.
Don’t ask rapper on the rise Kishan Patel aka “K-19 The Prince” to define his swagger because it’s indescribable. He’d rather let his talent speak for itself. The 23-year-old South Asian MC is ready to make history with his first LP, Outta The Ashes. Released in September 2009, the album takes listeners on a journey through the eyes of the young artist as he chronicles the past few years of his life, which haven’t all been pretty, but have given him the fuel necessary to turn his life experiences into something people can relate to. “I’ve been doing it for about four years now,” Patel says. “It started back in 05, when I was going through some trials and tribulations…family issues, social issues, trouble with the law. I basically got into some stupid shit that I didn’t need to be involved in and my uncle who I was really close to had just passed away. He was like a mentor to me, so I began writing all my frustrations and anger down. It began as poetry and gradually became music.”
Born on April 18, 1986 in Jersey City, NJ and raised in the suburbs of Edison, NJ, Patel had a traditional Indian upbringing. His parents wanted him to become a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer, but he had other plans. He rebelled as a teen, selling drugs and falling into trouble with the police often. After graduating from high school, he went to Penn State University, but eventually dropped out. “I ended up hustling, getting into trouble, and wilin’ out…which is why I moved to Georgia to go to school out there and help run my parents’ business alongside my sister, while they stayed up in Jersey,” he says.
Trouble still seemed to follow him in Georgia as he made a name for himself by hustling out of his parents’ store. But after awhile, Patel began to see that he wanted more out of his life and saw first-hand the toll poverty, violence, and drugs took on people. So he decided to take all the negativity around him and turn it into something positive. He always had an affinity for rap music, citing Nas, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Jay-Z, and Biggie as some of his influences, so he started spitting for his friends. Before he knew it he became a “neighborhood superstar,” freestyling and battling other rappers in the area. “People weren’t used to seeing an Indian rapping around there, so it was like, oh, shit! Look at this dude!” he explains.
The rest is only history in the making, he hopes. Now back in New Jersey, Patel has already performed at five live shows in New York City, spreading his fan base. Despite these accomplishments, he takes it all in stride because he knows that there is a lot of competition out there. Sure, he’s a realist, but he’s also hungry and patiently waiting for his chance to shine. Making music is what he was born to do, he says.
Currently, on the independent label Royalty Family in conjunction with Hiz and Herz Entertainment, Patel continues to promote his new album and perform. His manager and friend, Sagoon Gulati has been influential in helping him establish himself as an artist with the hopes of helping him lock down a major record deal. His album, which he wrote and made in just over a month, is blazing in terms of its production quality, compliments of several producers including up-and-coming producer Sean Divine.
For his next album, the young rapper looks forward to getting in the production chair and dropping some of his own unique tracks which he says are Indian-oriented in that they use tablas (Indian drums), sitars, flutes and other instruments. That is one thing that Patel doesn’t shy away from—his heritage. He even sees it as an advantage in the hip hop industry because people aren’t used to seeing someone of his ethnicity rap about the things he raps about. “I’m so motivated and determined, and I’m sure all aspiring rappers are, but I feel that ain’t nobody messing with me,” he says. “I am a beast! And my lyrics are just another way of getting a message to others like myself who want to get into the game because there aren’t many Indian-American hip hop artists out there. You wanna be able to be successful so that others who are trying to aspire to this know that the possibility is out there. I want to set the standard.”
For more information on K-19 The Prince, visit www.k19theprince.com