Keeping It Real K. Real

The music industry is probably by far the most popular career field that people want to be in; however, very few actually make it in and even fewer stay in. It is definitely an industry where you have to know who you are and what boundaries you will and will not cross to get you and keep you in the industry.

For most it may come as a struggle and they tend to give up, but for others, the ones who truly know who they are and where they want and need to be, they keep doing what they need to do in order to get to where they need to be and one person who has achieved that is a rapper who goes by the name of K. Real.

K. Real hails from Pomona, California and when it comes to keeping it real in the industry, he does just that. He doesn’t hold anything back, which is part of where he got the name K. Real from. “The name was given to me from my homies from Queens, NY. It’s short for “Keeping it Real” because that’s what I do. I don’t care about your feelings or trying to look kool in front of a good looking girl. I do me. I say whatever I want when I want. I don’t believe in holding in the truth when its in your heart. If I gotta loose people to say whats real that’s what it is. So that how I got that name Im brutality honest in everything I do in life,” he explains.

Now we all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” well sometimes that phrase can prove to be true and sometimes it proves to be the other way around. And then sometimes who you know can be used against you. For example, K. Real has family within the music industry that were close to the Jacksons; however, that just made things harder for him. After his grandfather passed his entire family had a bad taste in their mouths from some stuff that went down with the Jackson’s.

“I tried to go kill the beef at Mike’s funeral and start new but I got blocked at the final security check point at forest lawn after I was told I was kool to go in. Katie wasn’t feeling me. I gotta pay for almost everything I do even the little stuff because people think I got money bags stashed in the closet. Other people are silently jealous,” K. Real states.

For a long time, K. Real couldn’t go in a studio in California because people knew what would happen if he were to get on the mic.

“Everything that you see is my own work. Nothing was given to me except for the knowledge I learned from being around my family. All the game that they got from Barry Gordy I learned it,” K. Real said.

He stills gets edited out of the TV broadcast footage and magazine pictures and other sources of media.

With that being just one struggle that K. Real had to face, he had to go through yet another struggle. Like the first statement earlier, in the music industry you are constantly going to have to face struggles in order to be successful, that’s usually how you know you made it and that you deserve to be where you’re at.

When K. Real’s released his first album, he was coming out of the Military. He then started feuding with the White House because he stopped “being a good solider” and started thinking for himself. He ended up getting set up and kicked out of the service, “They tried to say I was a terrorist. When I got home no one understood what was going on with the war at all. People would be like ‘You’re a veteran, you look young,’” K. Real explains. “All the drama going on played a roll in me losing my wife, my crib and all my stuff. My family did not clearly understand what was going on with me then so I chose to live on the streets. I felt like that was my only option because no one understood what I was going through. So I spent 3 years on the streets homeless. But when you are beefing with the feds it helps not to have a real address. So it was a mixed blessing. That’s when I started recording my first album “The Corination” when I was on the streets.”

K. Real’s situation is a little better. People now know what’s going on and can understand a little better. He still gets harassed by the government at times, which slows down his productivity because he can’t live a normal life anymore like others.“ At the same time this country is still on some Nuremberg syndrome ish. Just look at all the mosque controversy going on this stuff is crazy. People are playing with fire, “ K. Real states.

With having nothing, he turned his knowledge into a full blown business and he now has fans in 45 countries which is still growing.

With all the struggles that K. Real has had to face, there has been some things that he has enjoyed about being in the industry, like the concerts. He enjoys the real concerts with the real artists. “You know you go close to the stage and just watch someone rock for a while. I’m talking about the artist who put the crowd in a trance. Once they come on stage everyone is caught up in the moment and there’s energy running through the crowd,” he explains.

During the last year people have started to notice his face more which allowed him to get the best seats on the plane. He explains how he also gets to pick the best ladies that he wants to be with.“ “To be honest if I wasn’t in the industry these women would be like this dude is ghetto. You wouldn’t believe the kind of women who try and hook up with me. But, chasing women makes you lose money so right now I’m just focused on writing and recording,” K. Real said.

Q & A with K. Real:

What type of things do you usually write/rap about?

I write about life allot of pain that’s what I have experienced in my life. Lately, I have been trying to push out of my comfort zone writing about other things so people can party and enjoy. Either way I try to give people something they can relate to. My goal in each song is to touch your heart and connect.

Once I got that I know we got something. If I play a song for people after I come out the studio and I see no emotional reaction in people its trash. Right now I have production that is gonna change the game. I am sitting on stuff that is one of a kind. So I am waiting for the write time or the right collaboration to put out certain records. Everything I am doing right now is gonna be a little crazy when the DJ’s play but have the everybody jumping.

What are some of the things that you would change in the industry?

Right now there’ s artist like me who are independent its not out of choice. There are artist who have put in allot of work and get overlooked by the booking agents, radio stations, labels. These record executives don’t know crap they all just follow each others moves. Right now they have been complaining about a decline in profits but look at the acts the industry pushes. This year has been a bit better but still come on man. You would rather take an the format from an artist like me instead of supporting that artist. Its allot of people stealing the creativity of other artist who are underexposed with no compensation. Let me continue to do what I am doing and they will see how to do this in the digital era. Even when I got to 100,000 fans on Myspace my account got temporarily taken away. You think all those people would be down with me if my art wasn’t quality? There’ s lots of artist I know around the world just trying to get the exposure.

Some people believe that the more attractive you are the more likely you are to be successful within the music business, despite how talented you may be. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? And why or why not?

You mean Tila Tequila but she’s not even cute. For rappers it doesn’t matter how you look as long as your music is good. Right now success has to do with the amount of marketing dollars spent to generate a buzz for an artist. I am not trying big headed about my looks. I know women like me and I like them period that’s a win win for me. Women are the biggest supporters of musicians. So right now with the economy down if you got women in your fan base you have a fighting chance. Dudes don’t want to spend money on anything. Women will gossip about you, promote, come to concerts, hold you down! It’s good as long as your swag is on point and your not being a pretty boy. Once you do that your careers gonna end if your rapping.

What community events have you contributed to/in?

I have been kinda disgusted by allot of the so-called organizations in the community. So I stay in the streets with the gangsters, dealers, kids etc. My contributions on the street corner in ever city I go to. I always go in the ghetto to kick it and spread knowledge to people. Every now and then I go to those celebrity charity events but I’m not into all the Hollywood drama. Plus I after I leave I wonder who is really making sure something good happens with that money. People just go so they feel good about their messed up life’s. Oh, Look at those unfortunate people like poor people live in the zoo. I love the hood.

Why is giving back to the community important when you have reached a point in your career where you are able to give back?

People helped me get this far when I had nothing. Those people had allot of heart knowing hey this kids in allot of trouble. They took a major risk helping me out because they could’ve got caught up in what I was involved in. So if I didn’t have anyone to stop and say this dudes got talent where would I be? I am pretty sure you already know I can use a gun correctly so you know the possible answers to that question. Everything in life comes and goes before I wound up homeless I had so much money stacked it was nothing to blow $5-10,000 a day who cared. The rich can become poor. The poor man can become rich. You’ll keep what you got allot longer by giving some of it sometimes.Giving back doesn’t have to be financially either. The OG’s used to school the YG’s on the streets. We learned their wisdom so we would not make the same mistakes they made. That’s real love!

What advice do you have to youth who want to pursue a career in music?

Almost every interview someone asks me that. If they didn’t already peep I don’t have anything to say.

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Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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