Up and coming rapper Kells (@lastnamekells) has been certainly making a buzz lately, from performances at The Cool District to The Pine Mixer this MC is leaving his mark all over the bay. An Oakland native with a strong stage presence and a very humble demeanor, we sat down and talked about his influences, favorite artists coming out of the bay and why we should shut down any Kendrick Lamar comparisons when listening to his music, check out our Q&A below.
So I’ve been keeping up on your latest releases, what inspired your latest tape “Good Shit”
Funny thing is, I was working on this project, making new music for it and a lot of my patnas were just like ay yo man, this is good shit good shit, so you know I just thought it was only right to make that the title. I get a lot of influence from old school rap, listening to old Pac, Nas, and to get that bay vibe I put on E-40, RIP Jacka, and I just get in my zone.
What artists in the bay are you currently working with?
Right now R.O. Todda, GQ, NB’z all names you should look out for.
Alright so you know here at Nook and Kranny we’re all about the ladies, so in your opinion who are the dopest female artists coming out the bay right now?
Damn, well first off young Tia Nomore, she be going. This chick I saw at Fresh Steps one time named Darling Bonnie, she was dope, and a beautiful songstress named Bianca Ray.
Listening to your music I can’t help but get reminded of an earlier Kendrick Lamar, you seem to really be passionate about your art and it shows, does it bother you when people make those comparisons and what do you think sets you apart from him or any other rapper?
Man I feel like a lot separates us, like Im me and he is who he is, let Kendrick be Kendrick. I think the passion is where it comes off as similar, but Im still learning myself as an artist so people can say I sound like him now but a year and a half later I might sound completely different. Im still growing.
What do you intend people to hear when they listen to you?
I really want people to hear my soul in it, I want you to hear the stories i’m telling you, i’m not just another BS rapper from the bay i’m really tryna bring real town shit back.
Whats the message you want to portray in your songs?
Just a little bit of positivity, and again you know i’m from the town so we like to talk a lot of shit. Its like every song I’m making my statement like, yeah I’m here. Mostly i’m tryna spread the love to everybody.
Check out Kells latest tape Good $hit and his new single 25/8 ft. Louey IV, the track is easy listening, with a melodic and catchy hook reminding everyone to keep it going because the grind never stops. You can see Kells live this Thursday, February 26th at The Pine Mixer at Shadow Lounge, this event is guaranteed good vibes, you dont want to miss out!
20$ at the door
15$ presale tickets
341 13th street, Oakland Ca.