Meet Bandman Kevo.
He’s the 24-year-old rapper signed to Twista’s GMG Entertainment and a sure candidate for success in the rap game. Born and bred in Chicago, Kevo represents his city and aims to put his name on the worldwide map.
Because Chicago is heavy in the rap game at the moment, Kevo is placed in competition with many others. Rappers like Chief Keef, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Dreezy, Mick Jenkins, and many more are coming out of the city and creating their own lane. But Bandman Kevo sees himself as growing within and representing Chicago in a positive way.
He just released a mixtape titled Fast Life, which received a lot of positive reviews and thousands of streams on hip-hop websites. GlobalGrind had the chance to chat with Bandman Kevo about working alongside rappers like Chief Keef, Soulja Boy and King Louie, his close relationship with Twista, and his inspiration behind the music.
Check out the interview below.
GlobalGrind: What made you start rapping?
Bandman Kevo: Basically, I seen a lot of people in Chicago coming up off of rapping and I was like ‘Man, I want to get more fame.’ I don’t really care for the income; I just wanted the fame part, really. To get more known around the city and to get my name around the world.
How old were you?
I was 20.
Being that Chicago is heavy on the map in terms of the rap game right now, how do you stand out compared to the rest of them?
I think most of the rappers talk more about guns and gang-banging. I don’t gang-bang. I really want to catch a different crowd of hip-hop. Everyone thinks that because you’re a Chicago rapper, you’re into selling drugs, but I just want everybody to listen to me. I rap most about money.
What was your biggest inspiration behind Fast Life?
I look up to people like 50 Cent and basically, I just linked up with Soulja Boy, Keef, and King Louie. I’m just trying to make good work and put on for the city. Then, hopefully the right person hears it. My newest mixtape, which I don’t have a name for yet, will have DJ Drama hosting it. I’m going to start working on it. I’m going to have Meek Mill, I’m trying to get Wiz, and all these real big people for this next mixtape. We’re just starting off slow right now, trying to get it out more and put a $30,000-40,000 budget for right now, and MTV does it.
How did it feel, as a rapper, to actually be working beside artists like Soulja Boy, King Louie, and Chief Keef?
When Keef first got on, I actually followed him on Twitter and I had met him at the park. I had a Maserati when I was 19, so he saw me and was trying to get my attention. At first, I didn’t know who he was and I hit him up on Twitter and told him that it was me in the car. Then he started following me, and he’s been following me ever since. With Soulja Boy, I flew out to California and linked up with him. He seen I had a decent income and we started working from nothing. Basically, the difference between me and a lot of Chicago rappers is the income. I’m straight. A lot of people in Chicago look up to me because there are still rappers out here that have record deals and don’t have as much as I do. So I’m doing pretty good as a rapper and I feel like I got everything I wanted. I can push for more, but I’m pretty good. I’m thankful for everything. I’m doing pretty good for myself.
Who are you listening to?
Drake, King Louie, Chief Keef, ScHoolboy Q, Tyga, Kevin Gates, and a little bit of everybody.
What’s your favorite part of this newfound fame?
I really like that Twista and I are close. We go out of town and do shows together. We talk about how to basically be a better person and a better rapper. He tries to build me up to the top, so I don’t make bad mistakes. I’ve been learning off of him a lot and that’s the good part of this whole thing. Basically knowing that I’m going to make it, because I know for sure I’m going to make it.
How did the whole relationship with Twista begin?
I had a song out and he heard it. It was on the radio stations and he wanted to do a remix to it. His manager found out who I was and he let him listen to the song. He liked it and he remixed it, and when he did that, he saw my push and we started getting together, meeting in clubs and going to parties. Eventually we started linking up all the time. Then I told him that I want to take my music to the next level. I wanted to make all the blogs and do all types of interviews. I want to be major like a Chance the Rapper kind of guy. There are a lot of people doing their thing and Chance is doing a real good job for Chicago.
Any groupies running to you yet?
(Laughs.) In New York, me and Twista had a show and every time we perform, the girls go club to club with us.
What’s your favorite city to visit?
I shot my video “Baller In Me” in Miami and I love Miami. They’re not strict on anything, letting you rent cars and mansions. I love the city.
Can we expect a lot more up next?
I’m working on getting bigger features and attaching different crowds. I want looks from different ways. Being from Chicago, I want people to be shocked, like ‘Wow.’ Maybe even a collaboration with Chance.
You can stream Bandman Kevo’s latest mixtape Fast Life below.
Stay updated on Bandman Kevo on his Twitter (@BandManKevo).
PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter