Eddie Kaine interview: “Staying consistent is the key”
ThrowUp Magazine interviewed Eddie Kaine, rapper from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn (New York), who told us how difficult it is to stand out and remain relevant in the competitive Brooklyn Hip-Hop scene, about his musical influences, his last projects with RIM and Wavy Da Ghawd and much more.
Peace man, first of all, we would like to thank you for letting us ask you a few questions. That’s truly appreciated. We love the music and the work ethic you’re putting out and we are following with great interest what you’re doing. So we would like to start by asking you to introduce who Eddie Kaine is to those who may not know you: What’s your story and Which part of Brooklyn are you from? Maybe we’re wrong, but we read somewhere you also have a background of musicians in your family, isn’t it? How has it influenced you?
EDDIE KAINE: Eddie Kaine is my name. I was born and raised in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, the home of Big Daddy Kane, Jay Z, Biggie Smalls and many others. My dad was a DJ and my mom sang in the church choir, so there was music all through my house. I’ve been listening through CDs since I was a kid: I was always infatuated with hip-hop and the lifestyle.
I’ve been through a lot growing up in Bed Stuy – Brooklyn: I’ve learned a lot of lessons good and bad, but it made me who I am today and it helped me develop the ability to turn music into my personal diary. So in my music you get many life experiences and stories about things I live through and prevailed. My music is my life literally.
It might seem like a naive question to you, but for those who are living on the other side of the world, it is not easy to imagine what it was like for a kid growing up in a place like Brooklyn, where Hip Hop culture is so rooted and so many rap legends walked that ground. How has this influenced you? Who were your Hip Hop idols as a kid and did you ever meet them? If you could choose to collaborate with one of them for an entire album, who would you go with now?
EDDIE KAINE:Growing up in Brooklyn was a learning experience. All of the kids grew up fast out here, since the day you step outside and Brooklyn if you want to be popular, you’re jumping into the competition: It’s about who can dress nice, have the most girls and get the most money.
I have many different idols as a kid, believe it or not, one major influence was Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I never got to meet them but I was intrigued by the music and style growing up. But if I could do a whole entire album with someone it will probably be Biggie Smalls LOL.
From your point of view, How difficult is it to emerge and build a Rap career in a place like Brooklyn with so much competition, especially if you do not omologate what’s trending?
EDDIE KAINE: You have to have a serious case of faith: Brooklyn is a place where you can easily get sidetracked or discouraged.
You have to put in a lot of work just to maintain relevancy in the underground or local circuit. If you want to consider that consistency is the biggest key for me, for example, I’ve been through so much on the music level, but I never stopped. If I did we wouldn’t be having this interview right? And though a lot of rappers do try to be trendy, that’s not a comfortable place for me to follow trends. I had to be original and stay original.
In fact, although many listeners (including us) may have noticed you in the last couple of years, you are not a rookie and indeed you have been active in the underground scene for several years… Can you tell something more about your path? In what way do you feel you have evolved the most over the last few years?
EDDIE KAINE: I feel like, over the years, I’ve grew to understand the business aspect more. Rapping is really the easy part of the career.
When and how do you think your name started to have a significant buzz? With which of your projects? And What are your favorite albums among yours? And why?
EDDIE KAINE:I started gaining my buzz when I drop the album Aruku, which is my favorite because it’s my first album. This is after I met RIM. Everything else before that I feel like was an attempt to gain a buzz. Aruku was after the buzz finally started picking up.
“Twelve 24” was the last album you released, entirely produced from Wavy Da Ghawd: we heard the title comes from the fact that you were both born on December 24th, isn’t it ? How did you meet? And how did this album come about?
EDDIE KAINE: Me and Wavy were both born December 24. We met through mutual friends. When we linked up for a day, I noticed that he used to finish my sentences and once I asked him his birthday it was a weird coincidence that we both were born on the same day. Since that day we basically decided on buckling down at some point in time and drop in a project on our birthday. After Covid it made sense while we were quarantined to put the project together and we got it done in a month.
One of your projects that we loved the most, is the one with RIM, “BK Caminantes”. Your chemistry sounds immaculate on this project: how long have you and Rim known each other and how was the process during the making of this album? You had on it, also, some of the finest underground emcees as Rome Streetz, Bub Rock, Ty Farris and others..How were these collaborations born?
EDDIE KAINE: Me and Rim knew each other for a couple of years, but once we started working the chemistry was immaculate: me and Rim can sit and write music all day, it was an easy process to put the album together. All of the orchestra featured on the project is basically home team, guys that we all speak to each other frequently and work with each other musically.
In the last few years, a new “golden era” feeling is pervading the underground scene, with many dope spitters like you, finally, getting some deserved love… But what do you think about this renaissance could have had its epicenter far from the Mecca of Hip Hop ( New York City), but, instead, around the Upstate region, in places as Buffalo and Rochester?
EDDIE KAINE: It’s good. It’s refreshing for the culture, no matter where anyone feels the Golden era sound re started, I’m just happy is back and people are finally wanting to tap back into real hip hop music. If you listen to my old projects you can see I never stopped trying to give my supporters the feel of some good ol golden era hip hop vibes. Salute to everybody around the world keeping real hip hop alive. No bubble gum bull.
Recently, It has come to the surface this “posse track”, called “The Walkers” that features different spitters, including you, and produced by Wavy Da Ghawd ..Is that just a single or is it part of a bigger project coming soon?
EDDIE KAINE:It’s just a single, even tho the gang have more tracks cooked up I’m not sure when they’ll be released.
What more can we expect from Eddie Kaine coming next?
EDDIE KAINE: We can expect a new album, more visuals and definitely some merch dropping this year for the supporters. EddieKaine.com is where it’s at just stick around. This is never going to stop!