Interview with Kent Washington
Colorado State University student, Kent Washington, is the president of the United Men of Color, event coordinator for RamEvents and the co-founder of the No Coast Company. Not only is he active on-campus, but off-campus he is a local rapper. Last Thursday, I met with him to discuss his music.
Henry: When did you begin rapping or when did you begin to pursue it seriously?
Kent: I think I started rapping when I was at least 10 or 11. I was just kind of digging through my parents’ old cassette collection. And then, I was introduced to like LL Cool J, I was introduced to Run DMC, Uncle Luke, Beastie Boys and I just fell in love with hip-hop from there. And it’s like through my curiosity, to be honest, so I think I started rapping on cassette tapes when I was like 10 or 11.
H: What subgenres do you consider yourself to delve into?
K: Oh man, I don’t know. I’m like all over, so I can do like old school, 90s, conscious, boom bap style raps … swag raps, I can do it all. I try to be as versatile as possible so I can reach as many people.
H: So like a plethora of various genres would you say? Subgenres?
K: Kinda like a Childish Gambino, like Schoolboy Q, Kendrick type style.
H: A$AP Rocky?
K: Little bit of Rocky. I would say more like A$AP Nast and maybe A$AP Ferg. If all of A$AP was melted into a creative person, maybe it could be me.
H: Who are your biggest influences would you say?
K: Biggest influences … I would say Tupac Shakur, Kanye West, James Hetfield from Metallica, Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, Cory Taylor from Slipknot, Jonathan Davis from Korn, Ice Cube, and Jay Z.
H: What would you say your biggest accomplishment in terms of music has been so far?
K: Man … that’s hard. Cause I’m kinda like a Renaissance man. I DJ, I rap, I do event programming and promoting. And then also being the RamFest coordinator and knowing the process and like choosing the artists for RamFest I think is really awesome cause you know CSU is lacking a little bit for hip-hop and R&B culture. But, that’s why students like us have to step up to the plate. As far as my biggest accomplishment, I would say doing a show with Waka Flocka Flame in January. That’s probably like my biggest show with the biggest artist. It was a sold out show in Denver. I had a lot of my friends and family there and new fans and it was just a positive night, it was an amazing night.
H: What exactly is No Coast Company?
K: [No Coast] is an independent hip-hop collective and I’m the co-founder of No Coast Company.
H: What was your favorite [venue to perform at] of all time?
K: I would say … I would say Cervantes’ [Masterpiece], man I’m not gonna lie. That place just has history. It has a very rich jazz history in that building. As far as like a lot of prominent jazz artists that performed at that venue. It’s a spirit. It’s just a feeling at Cervantes’. And especially at a thousand-person capacity like performing for over a thousand people is like amazing. Especially, if like the energy is reciprocating on what you’re bringing out. Always had good times at Cervantes’.
H: Do you produce your own beats? Or, do you have someone else produce them?
K: I have other friends who produce my beats, or just beats I find off of YouTube or SoundCloud that are really cool.
H: What do you consider your favorite album of all time?
K: I would say my favorite album of all time is “Reasonable Doubt” by Jay Z. And that’s because no one knows this, but he was independent when he made “Reasonable Doubt”. And Rockefeller Records was completely independent at that time. So, everyone’s like yeah Jay Z is the big millionaire, but he kinda made himself, he’s a self-made millionaire with Dame Dash. So like the whole story, the structure, the journey behind the “Reasonable Doubt” is like my favorite.
H: What upcoming projects do you have and where can people currently find you?
K: Dope. So, I’m currently working on a project called “22". I’m releasing it on my birthday March 16, so it’s coming next month. It’s not really a surprise anymore. I was gonna make it a surprise EP.
H: And where would [people] find that? On Spotify, iTunes, personal website?
K: So right now we’re still doing SoundCloud, we’re trapping out the SoundCloud right now. But, I think “22” might be released on Bandcamp. We have a YouTube you can find us on No Coast Company […]. Same thing with the Instagram, the SoundCloud, the Facebook and the YouTube is all No Coast Company. And you can find all the new releases from not only myself, but 11 other members of No Coast who are extremely talented in making waves within the state.