I’ve been a fan of Kamron Bahani since learning about him a couple years ago. Since then the New York emcee has cemented himself as a prolific artist. Last month Bahani released his EP “Menace” a more experimental take on his music and process. I had a chance to sit down with the lyrical fire starter to talk about “MENACE” and his growth as an artist thus far.
Dead End Hip Hop: It’s been a minute, how are you living and for those who don’t know; who is Kamron Bahani?
Kamron Bahani: I’m doing really well; kind of in that element where it’s become necessitous to further my craft. It’s something that’s slowly becoming an integral reflection of who I really am. I’m a hip-hop artist from New York, about 15 minutes north of Manhattan. I really got into hip-hop when I was young, it’s changed my life ever since. I used to be a writer for PaulMeara.com at age 17; I’ll never forget that the first article I wrote was about the 2011 XXL Freshman & my opinons on them.
I was a rapper, but just wanted to expand my repertoire. I was a young dude just really trying to get recognition &respect from the culture that I love so much. The profound effect that it had on me enacted my decision to actually become a rapper. I always wanted to get on that freshman list, but whether I made it or not, I’ve always been the man to make sure I push past the barriers.
Kamron Bahani is the type of rapper that doesn’t stop until he gets what he wants, I’m not stopping until I’m a GOAT; when I say that, I don’t mean out rapping the greats (even though I do plan to get there), I mean that I want to inspire someone to enough to make them pick up a microphone. That’s what Hip-Hop is about. I’m a rapper with a fragmented mind who’s trying to pick up the pieces. I’m a creative because of it; I want everyone else to find that within themselves. That’s why I do this.
DEHH: Last time we spoke you had released your sophomore album “Magnum Opus Open” what was the reception like for that?
KB: The reception was cool, my problem is that I hate every project I put out after the fact; not because it wasn’t a dope project, but because I think in my mind, “ahhhh, I could have done this better, could have cut this better, etc.”
The reception was overall positive, but there was something missing. What was missing was that I was trying too hard to be the rawest; it was a project that was recorded in about a month and a half. There’s 11 tracks on it, that’s three tracks a week. I was writing constantly, but I was only writing to prove how talented of an MC I was. I didn’t write with emotion. Everything was very cut & dry, or “yo, I fuck with this, let’s record it.” There was no meaning behind ANY of the songs, besides, “I”.
That’s where I started to think that I need to develop my song craft even further. I sat down, said to myself that I would not only make an album with rappity-rap, lyrical-miracle empirical bullshit, but I also wanted to engage with my audience emotionally.
So the reception for its technical prowess on “MOO” were positive, but I didn’t enjoy it because I felt like a robot who just spit rhymes.
DEHH: So here we are new EP, “MENACE”. What brought its creation about?
KB: What brought about its creation was actually getting myself in a really-weird place mentally. Think about method-acting, in method acting, you don’t break character even off camera. That’s what this was; I secluded myself from my friends, my family, everything that meant something to me, solely because I wanted to spark my creativity. This album was a 2 month span of sacrificing everything to get everything.
I would sit down, think about the topic, create a narrative, rinse and repeat. I also wanted to reach a more experimental side of me; everyone knew I was a rapper. I don’t think anybody knew I can write a song. I chose to balance melodies & have more fun.
On MENACE, I became more & more integral to myself. I’ve expanded my craft, I reached a demographic that I’ve never reached before. I had women sliding into my DM’s telling me how much they love “Energy” & “I Made a Song For U”. Stuff like that may not fly with my core fanbase, but just because I make a couple poppy songs doesn’t mean I won’t make stuff for the fans still.
Wait until the next project. You guys will be happy.
DEHH: Tell me a bit about the process of making this record and the producers you worked with on this one.
KB: The process was dark, super-dark just like the producers I purposely chose. I had to get myself in an emotional/mental rut purposefully. That’s where my creation thrives.
What people don’t know is that, my creativity was spiking so much, that “Energy” & “I Against I” were both improvised, off-the-top of the head songs. They each took about 4 minutes to record. They were both inspired by that in-the-moment, emotional pain. Sometimes, pain really is gain.
That’s why the album was called MENACE; I really felt like one making it. I do not regret it.
DEHH: On “MENACE” you collaborated with Sheila Carlito on “Lights On” and the duet sounded heavenly what was it like working with him for this joint?
KB: I’ve known Sheila for years, he actually hopped on my first track ever when I was 13. It was called “Confrontation”, I’ll never forget that. Sheila is one of the most prolific writers I’ve ever met. You ever go into a studio with an artist and say “yo, fuck this dude”, just because they’re too talented and you need to do work? Yeah, that’s Sheila.
Working with him is a pleasure, we actually have discussed dropping an EP together in the near future, we won’t stop until we make it. We’re both one another’s elixir if we’re battling something. That’s my brother. We’ve taught each other a lot; when you teach one another, that’s when friendships cohesion is inseparable. Y’all better peep him on Spotify.
DEHH: Now at this point in your career you’ve become quite the prolific emcee, while managing to stay consistent, why is that so important and how have you maintained such consistency all this time?
KB: Because I don’t believe in failure, I believe that failure is the building blocks to success. I also believe that empiricism & learning from experience guide you to the light. Luckily, I love my craft, more than I’ve loved any woman. When you find your passion, you have to let that shit kill you, let it consume you & let it guide you. That’s where euphoria kicks in; music is my euphoria. So is slaughtering a beat.
DEHH: 2018 isn’t over yet and if I know anything about its that you’re planning your next move. What can we expect from you to close out the year, will we be seeing you on stage this winter?
KB: I’m performing in the city a lot within the next 3 months; Piano’s, Arlenes Grocery, Oden, Delancey, etc.
My next move has to be watched carefully. Let’s just say, Hip-Hop heads will be satisfied. I made MENACE for the mainstream, next project is for the hip-hop lovers.