Making Noise: Why an Up-And-Coming Rapper Uses LiveMe to Share His Music
LiveMe is chock-full of diverse talent, but few artists have made their mark in the community quite like KB The General (KBTG 🔥🎤☯LF). His natural charm and positive energy are contagious, so it’s no surprise that the rapper has amassed over 70,000 followers on the platform in only five months.
In a new installment of LiveMe Spotlight, our interview series highlighting emerging broadcasters, we talked to KB about his musical background, why he decided to create a song about LiveMe, and the ways he uses the platform to share his music and connect with other artists and fans.
The Beginning: Before LiveMe
Born and raised in Washington DC, KB realized his passion for music at an early age. In high school, he started making his own music but lacked the resources to release any singles. Later, when he attended Shepherd University in West Virginia, he was able to acquire the necessary equipment to officially begin his career. He started out creating his own beats but soon discovered that people had trouble seeing the same vision for his art when there were no words attached.
“Long story short, I stopped making beats to focus on rap,” KB says. In 2012, he began making music videos as the music business and the world, in general, became an increasingly digital place.
As a Communications major, KB envisioned using his radio and broadcasting education to network in the industry and later transition into music like DJ-turned-music mogul Ludacris. While KB was pursuing his passion for music during college, however, he faced financial and personal hardships that set him back both in his musical pursuits and his professional life. But KB remained optimistic despite his struggles and eventually found part-time work helping people with disabilities. Today he devotes all of his free time to creating and sharing his music.
Finding Success & Discovering LiveMe
While KB has been pursuing music for about 10 years, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that he realized he needed to create new opportunities for himself if he wanted to take his music to the next level. It was around this time in February 2017 that KB scored one of his biggest successes to date when the music video for his song “Won’t Land,” was featured on BET JAMS. The video, directed by Alex Acosta, who has worked with Flo Rida, Waka Flocka, Cassidy, and others, has over 35,000 views on YouTube.
After his BET debut, KB continued to share his music on social media, but he discovered that instead of making connections with new people that could appreciate his art for what it is, he was only meeting “friends of friends.”
“I used a combination of Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube but none of them gave me the results I needed,” KB says. “I used those apps for four years and never got the immediate and consistent response that I get from people on LiveMe.”
After seeing an advertisement for LiveMe, he decided to give the app a try. Initially, KB just watched other people’s streams, but after befriending a fellow broadcaster, he was invited to go live with their fans and share his music to build his own following. He then began to stream frequently on the platform. He liked LiveMe so much that he transitioned his following from Facebook Live over to the platform.
Today KB goes live at least twice a day for about two to three hours. When he broadcasts, he usually writes songs, talks about the things he’s going through in life or lets viewers sit in on his recording sessions with artists in his in-home studio. He features other artists on his channel too, as a way to “pay it forward” when it comes to helping other new artists on LiveMe.
One of KB’s signature broadcasts when he first started his channel was “Therapy Tuesdays,” live sessions where LiveMe users could join his broadcasts and just talk about the things they were going through. Subjects included everything from depression and religion to assault and abuse. KB says that some of his friends on LiveMe even thanked him for creating an environment where they felt comfortable talking about subjects they normally wouldn’t discuss.
The Story Behind His LiveMe Anthem
While KB had been on our radar for some time, it was his song all about LiveMe that really got our attention. He was browsing LiveMe and watching other broadcasters’ live streams when he noticed that some of them had the LiveMe Performer Badge. After finding out the requirements, KB set out to obtain his own badge, which he says really challenged him to tap into his talents and find new, interesting ways to stand out amongst the other broadcasters.
During one of his live broadcasts, KB started freestyling. When he noticed the fan interactions and the diamonds and other virtual gifts he was receiving, KB decided to make the app the focus of his rap and wrote and recorded the song live “on air.” But simply recording a song about LiveMe wasn’t enough.
“I thought ‘I’m gonna take it a step further and shoot a music video,’” KB says.
In just two months, the video, which was filmed by fellow artist and videographer Duke Gilmore partly while KB was live, has racked up thousands of views on YouTube and has even been featured on LiveMe’s social media accounts.
KB says there was a disconnect between who he was as a person and his music before joining LiveMe.
“I feel like my music comes off too serious than I really am sometimes. LiveMe has allowed me to showcase my personality,” he says.
“Now when I tell stories about my life and how I was raised and why I see things the way I see things… It connects it versus just hearing the music and you not knowing the story behind it… LiveMe has given me a fair chance I feel like.”
Building a “Family” on LiveMe
Along with the opportunity to express his true self, LiveMe has also allowed KB to connect with his fans on a more personal level.
“On LiveMe, people really interact with me. It’s more of an immediate response kind of. It makes me feel more gratified.” These interactions allow KB to build authentic relationships outside of his immediate circle which, in turn, helps him spread his music to a wider audience.
Like many broadcasters on LiveMe, KB prefers to refer to his followers as “family” rather than fans. In his short time on the app, he’s already collaborated with several other broadcasters and is building lifelong relationships. One LiveMe friend, in particular, Pamela, has been instrumental in his career; with the help of her daughter, she created a website for KB’s music. She also is one of his most avid supporters, encouraging others to support him through the ups and downs of the music business.
As KB continues his work as an aspiring artist, he hopes LiveMe will allow him to reach new audiences. He wants to eventually tour the world and meet more people he has interacted with on the app.
“You can be pigeonholed into a certain demographic when it comes to rap music. But I want to share my music with people around the world,” KB says.
He also hopes to connect with other artists for collaborations in the near future.