Kid Ink is instantly recognizable. That’s not just because he lives up to his nickname with tattoos from head-to-toe either. Whether he’s rapping or producing, the Los Angeles artist approaches music from a limitless perspective. That’s his stamp. He can go hard over a verse with the best of them, but he can also craft an anthemic beat from behind the board. As soon as you hear his full-length debut for Tha Alumni Music Group/88 Classic/RCA Records, you’ll know it’s Kid Ink.
Check out his new single “Show me” featuring Chris Brown!
For as long as he can remember, he was surrounded by music everywhere. “When I was growing up, my mom had a grand piano in every house that we lived in,” he remembers. “Music is life for me. I had no choice but to pursue it.”
Starting his career as a producer provided the perfect platform for him to eventually rap. At 16-years-old, Ink taught himself the art form and began to amass his own collection of gear. Professionally, he honed his production skills by collaborating with the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs, Sean Kingston, Yung Berg, and more.
“Producing was a great stepping stone for me,” he goes on. “I built relationships, and I learned a lot of things that help me now as an artist. As far as getting behind the mic goes, I had so many records lying around, and I just went for it. Now, I look at my songs how a producer would. The potential is unlimited.”
In 2010, he kicked off a series of acclaimed mixtapes, beginning with Crash Landing. As a result, he set the Internet ablaze and accumulated a fervent following in the process. To date, that fan base exceeds 300K Instagram fans, 325K Twitter followers, 612K Facebook likes, and 80 million YouTube/VEVO views and counting.
“I was a fan of Ink before I even did business with him,” says Ink’s business partner and Tha Alumni Music Group CEO, DJ Ill Will. “We talked about what we wanted to do collectively and we just had the same vision. Crossing paths at that point in our careers wasn’t a coincidence and I think we both challenged one another to take it up a notch from that point on.”
Along with his XXL magazine “Freshman Class” cover slot, Ink reached a new plateau in 2012 with the release of his independent album, Up & Away. Without major promotion, the album broke an iTunes record by reaching the Top 5 of the site’s Hip-Hop Albums Chart before its proper release. Upon its official debut, it hit #20 on the Billboard Top 200, selling over 20,000 copies during the first week. Up & Away managed to sell more than 500K singles and garnered strong praises from hip-hop outlets and tastemakers – which includes a shining XL rating from XXL. The 12-song-set also spiraled the infectious “Time Of Your Life” hit video/single.
However, his biggest and best chapter has just commenced. Ink’s first major label single “Bad Ass”, featuring Meek Mill and Wale, slides from an impressive verse into a hypnotic and hot hook that’s bound to get bodies shaking and sweaty. It’s certifiably club-ready.
“It’s definitely directed towards the club,” affirms Ink. “There’s a party vibe, but it’s still relatable. It could work in the strip club or on the dance floor. Wale and Meek Mill killed it too. It was great working with them.”
Ultimately, he’s got the ability to resonate in a big way worldwide. “I want to reach as many people as possible, while staying true to myself,” he concludes. “This isn’t downer music. I’m always going to make energetic songs. I want you to feel upbeat. I want you to feel that energy. I want it to come across in the whole vision too. This isn’t about one record. It’s about a career.”