Kidd Kwest Talks Debut EP, “DERTY”

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It’s been a few months since we’ve heard much from Kidd Kwest. Other than his recent sporadic release of the “Derty Summer Mix” the last we saw him was back in June when he played one of his best shows ever to a packed out crowd at Rack Em Billiards in Cape Coral, Florida.
After that show he made the decision to spend most of his time in the studio. It was time for him to continue his evolution. The only way to properly do that: record.
I caught up with Kwest last week and sat down with him to talk about what he’s been up to and his upcoming EP, “DERTY”.

N: What were you listening to during the writing and recording processes of “DERTY”?

KK: “I started writing it in January and finished up around March. The stuff I’ve been listening to all year has been Awful Records, Future, Rell, Pay Up!, Bugzy (Lavoe), but mostly I was just listening to the music I was making and worrying about that.
I did spend a lot of time listening to the music that the producers for “DERTY” make. I wanted to become familiar with them and what they do.”

N: What is the concept behind “DERTY”?

KK: “This started out as a project that had only one producer. The beats had some smoky, chill vibes and I realized I’d never made songs exclusively about smoking. It was kind of ironic that at the time I had two songs that already had that theme. I just decided I wanted to do a whole project about that.
So I asked myself ” If I’m going to make this project about smoking weed on probation, what should I call it?” And it was obvious: DERTY. I came up with the original track list right then and there.
I know it’s not the most complex concept but I’m proud to have made 6 songs that fit together cohesively with a theme but are all sonically unique.”

N: How long was the recording process?

KK: “Well, it was June when I re-did the EP. I started working on it in January and then in April things with the producer I was working with just weren’t working out.
Then I decided to drop “DERTY Summer Mix” to hold people over and show them that I’m working.
From there I had to basically re-do everything with all new beats. Now, the project has a different producer for every song. Six different styles of art that I’ve been re working my sound into all summer. It’s mostly space, etherial sounds although I know there’s a few outright bangers.”

N: Are there any features on the EP?

KK: Only one, Rell. I couldn’t be more excited to have him involved.

N: What does this project mean to you?

KK: Not only am I excited about this because it’s my first concept project but also this is really my first official packaged project. Everything up until now has been songs released individually.
I just want to participate in music. Whether it’s rapping or directing a video (Kwest just directed and edited the “DERTY Summer” music video).
In the process of making this EP I’ve realized I really have to depend on myself. At the end of the day I can’t rely on most other people.
Every producer on this record I was a fan of for a long time so it means a lot to be working with them.”

N: What does DERTY represent?

KK: “It might sound strange but to me I know I’ll always be derty. I’ll always be a dirty kid who came from the underground of Fort Myers, out of the dirty south, from the roots, from the dirt. You look at me and you think derty, but you think it with an E.
It’s a kind of compliment to me.”

Don’t miss Kidd Kwest LIVE with OG Baby Angel and DJ Dre @ Rack Em Billiards (1011 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33904) on 10/18/15!
Watch the self directed and edited music video for “DERTY SUMMER” below:

*Photo credit: Tyler “B0ne” Patterson
IG: B0ne
Twitter: @Listeriosis