Kingpen Slim is beaming up to the next level. Representing DC to the fullest, this up and coming hip hop artist is breaking through. “The Beam Up” set the stage, “The Beam Up 2: So Cinematic” takes him to the main event.
You have been doing your thing for a while, but most of DC first noticed you with “The Beam Up”. Tell the people about Kingpen Slim. Are you from DC? What got you started?
Kingpen Slim: I am from DC! I grew up in between the LeDroit Park and Adams Morgan neighborhoods actually. I got started rapping in a go go band around my way in like 9th grade called The Young Buckz and have been into it ever since. I think I bring a fresh perspective to the game, distinctive voice and style as well. I don’t really sound like anybody or remind anybody of anybody consistently.
You did a collaboration with some of DC’s more notable hip-hop music artists with “Capital Music” on the first Beam Up… How did that come about? Do you think it’s important that the DC hip-hop artists show love to each other?
Kingpen Slim: Yeah that track was fun and came out well. We probably should have shot a video for it and matter fact I might revisit that idea. I think it’s important to cross fanbases and just let people know about the talent collectively so collabs are always a good way to do that.
In the second album, “The Beam Up 2: So Cinematic” you sort of changed up your style a bit. A bit more diverse. Is that how you’d like to be viewed? More than just a rapper? Or just one style?
Kingpen Slim: Well I didn’t wanna make the same album twice! I wanted to show growth and frankly after the first Beam Up I experienced more then I ever had industry wise up to that point. I decided on The Beam Up 2 i was gonna go deeper into what actually makes me who I am and also make some bigger sounding records so that’s why you hear the difference in the two albums. I love them equally though.
DC is well known for it’s Go-Go scene, but not as much Rap. When you see DC artists like Wale and Don Juan getting some national publicity, do you think that the glass ceiling for DC rappers is finally breaking? Are you on deck? Do you think it’s your turn next?
Kingpen Slim: Yeah man it’s only a matter of time. There are 3-4 rappers here right now with a legitimate chance of going national this year and with the impending success of Wale going over to Maybach/Warner I know that by playing my cards right I am right in that mix. It’s like a playoff atmosphere in the DMV right now for Hip Hop and I love it.
Who were some of your inspirations growing up? Did you get into the go-go scene or were you always hip-hop?
Kingpen Slim: I grew up off go go for sure, Backyard Band was real popular in my neighborhood. As far as rappers I am most heavily influenced by Jay Z. I own every project by him and think he is the best example of success in hip hop so why not follow the best?
You currently have the single “Goosebumps” featuring Emanny on iTunes. How does it feel to get to that level? And what’s the next single or album that will be on iTunes?
Kingpen Slim: Feels great! DMV artist are notorious for complaining about the lack of radio support and this record just shattered all expectations. It’s performing well on Itunes and with the video and remix I expect it to get even bigger.
You’ve done a lot of collaborations. Who are some of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Kingpen Slim: Good question. I like working with Raheem Devaughn because each one of our like 4, 5 collaborations are classic records in my eyes. I also like getting on records with Wale, it’s always good to see how you stack up against the best artist in the city.
With the NBA playoffs getting started, who do you think is taking the title this year and do you think barring a lockout that the Wizards have a chance to make the playoffs next year?
Kingpen Slim: Wiz can make it next year but I look for them to be real competitive year after that! We got some draft picks coming in as well as some trade bait plus John Wall will make that jump in his 3rd year the way Derrick Rose has. This year I’m going with the Lakers although they haven’t looked so good as of yet. I see them getting it together that’s what champions do!
Where do you see Kingpen Slim in 5 years? Does it matter if you are signed to a label or would you rather remain independent?
Kingpen Slim: In 5 years I see platinum plaques, grammies and the baddest R&B chick on my arm you know? I see me giving back to the community and being one of the ambassadors of DMV hip hop for years to come as well as introducing new talent to the world in a boss type capacity.
Where can people scoop up the latest from you and are you performing anywhere? Tell the people where they can see Kingpen Slim in action…
Kingpen Slim: Tonight I am at Lux for the Capitol City Cipha Sunday I am at Sutra Lounge for a special performance. May 6th through the 9th I am in Miami for the Core DJ’s retreat. My website thebeamup.com has all my projects and my youtube channel has all my videos. Follow my twitter @kingpenslim for day to day updates or add me on facebook at Kingpen Slim as well.