SD Kong: «The Spanish underground scene is getting warmer now»

We exchanged a few words with SD Kong (also member of Natural Spittaz) who has become one of the leaders and major interpreters of this movement in Spain and Europe, thanks also to frequent collaborations with some of the dopest exponents of the US and European underground panorama.

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Peace SD Kong ! We are glad to host you on our platform. We like what you are doing out there in Spain. You, in fact, are a Madrid native, correct? We imagine that when you were a kid in Madrid, as in many Italian cities, Hip-Hop was not as rooted as it is today: what was your hometown hip-hop scene like when you were growing up? Who were your local and international influences?

Peace, peace! My pleasure. Well I was actually born in the US, Charlotte (North Carolina) to be precise. Half my family is spread throughout the States and I came to Madrid with my mother at the age of 2.

I was heavily influenced by my cousins who listened to rap music, made a lot of trips to the motherland and learned a lot about the culture, it pretty much took off from there, personally I didn’t have much examples or scene near me when I was growing up other than the records I could gather and very few friends who also listened to rap. That was it.

First records that come to mind are “Beneath the Surface” by GZA, “Are You Hip Hop Biggest Fan?” by VVAA or “Hecho Es Simple” by 7 Notas 7 Colores.

What prompted you to embrace Hip Hop culture and pick up a microphone?

I was enchanted by all of it, the music, the aesthetics, graffiti…everything just felt right, like it was a tailor made suit I was destined to fit in. It was the perfect vehicle to express myself as I was growing up.

When did your name start to emerge and what were the first projects that made your name known?

I’d say it was around the time I was making “Code Name Bang” and “2 Slangs 1 Ghetto” with Habil Harry (Natural Spittaz) & Allan Parrish. That was our first vinyl edition ever (props to Viniloyalty for that one) and also the time I decided to push it a little bit further with the executive production and created my label/studio Where Lords Chill.

You recently released a new single called “Neròn II”, along with Allan Parish. Is this single anticipating your new album and how was your collaboration with Allan Parish born? Can you tell us about your next album and where the title of this single comes from?

SD KONG: You are absolutely right, like I was just saying Allan and I go back man. We started making music together along with Hábil Harry and it just led us to do this project, S.O.D.A. We always wanted to do a project hand to hand just him on the beats and me rappin’ really.

Nerón II would be like the emperor’s son, his descendant, and like his father he’s kind of an arsonist when it comes to burning old bridges to build new ones, you know, rise from the ashes.

We really enjoyed your latest album “Savoir Faire II” produced by C. Spaulding, previously released this year. How was this album born? It also features  Benjamin Epps (a French rapper who has achieved good success by spitting bars on “classic” beats, like you) and the New York Mc, The Musalini. Can you tell us how these collaborations were born?

Cheers man, we appreciate that. Had to come correct with the second installment right? Spaulding and I have good chemistry going on and it just happens organically. We had a beat that was perfect for Benjamin Epps to hop on and he just released his first single so he was really on the come up at the moment and he was feeling the beats we were sending him…next thing you know he sent us the verse and voilà!

With Musalini was pretty much the same thing. We had 2/3 beats that were screaming his name and he just heard the call. I obviously showed them some of our previous work and they where down to work from the get go.

What are your other projects that you consider fundamental, for someone who has just known about you and why?

Well I would suggest listening to my work with Natural Spittaz, Gully Dunnz and “Code Name Bang”, my first solo album. That’s a good place to start.

It is clear that you are inspired by the underground hip-hop movement overseas, the Griselda Records, Roc Marciano etc etc: where does your inspiration exactly come from? Is there some space in the Rap scene market in Spain for this underground movement and are there other rappers who are equally involved in it?

Oh for sure. I fuck with all that, it’s no secret. The list is endless…Roc Marciano, Sean Price, Prodigy, Griselda, Action Bronson, Mach-Hommy… I was particularly drawn to it from the minute I heard “Marcberg”, like a lot of us I guess. I’d say the Spanish underground scene took some time for the fire to start over here but it’s definitely getting warm now.

Even the cover artworks of your latest albums are very artistically curated . Who made them? And why do you think it is important that the cover artworks are as curated as the contents?

I’ve always paid special attention to the details in covers and artwork in general. I like my covers to be in perfect sync with the music, it’s usually the idea first and then I look for a way to break it down. Sometimes I do that with Xerö from Ladiëresis, others with Collageteral Damage (Savoir Faire) or my uncle Joaquin Clemente who painted the 3 canvas that formed the artwork for “Alla Prima.

Do you also have any connection with the Madrid graffiti scene?

I’m no expert but I do have friends inside the culture and riding the wave intensely. If you happen to come to Madrid I strongly recommend buying your material at Writers Madrid. That’s family.

What can we expect from your music in the future?

There’s a lot going on lately so I believe it’s safe to say that you’ll be hearing from me very soon!

 

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