K-RINO – SATURDAY, 4/15 @ 3:00PM
There aren’t too many rappers in the game who can say they have stayed relevant and consistent for thirty years straight. But one of Houston’s most important pioneers can. K-Rino first started releasing music with his first group Real Chill in 1987. He was one of the first in Houston to release hip hop vinyl, preceded only by the LA Rapper in 1983, who alongside his band had a dance hit with the song “MacGregor Park,” and the original Ghetto Boys with their debut single, “Car Freaks.”
K-Rino hails from the South Park neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Known as one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city, it has produced some of the greatest rappers to ever come from the south. Many of whom are a part of the South Park Coalition, a group of rappers who worked hard independently to break out of their hoods and spread their music worldwide, with K-Rino and his one-time rival turned friend, Ganksta N-I-P leading the way.
“Back in the early days, if you wasn’t from the east coast or the west coast nobody believed that you had a shot,” K-Rino remembers. “We were young and innocent, and it was fun at times, but it was a learning process. We were on the job training at the time because there was no blueprint for us to follow. We were the guys who were blazing that trail and creating the way for the people to come after us. The SPC we were just street-oriented rappers. We battle rapped. We were caught in that culture in terms of trying to prove that we were the better rappers – skill wise, and lyrically. And we fought for supremacy.”
And that fight continues to this day. While so many rappers come and go, releasing flavor of the month styled albums and singles, one thing that can be said about K-Rino and his crew is that they have always remained consistent, putting lyricism, creativity and banging southern beats at the forefront, and eschewing trends in favor of keeping it true and real.
“Ganksta N-I-P signing to Rap-A-Lot and putting us (K-Rino, Point Blank and PSK 13) on his album, helped give the South Park Coalition a worldwide platform.” He explains, “Dope E and The Terrorists followed later signing with Rap-A-Lot, and then Big Tyme Records formed, and they signed Point Blank and PSK-13, and of course UGK.” But K-Rino always remained independent and put out an average of two albums per year on his Black Book International label.
Over the years K-Rino built his fanbase one listener at a time, and his independent approach has landed him tours in Europe, Australia, The UK, and Scandinavia. His catalog of solo albums is close to thirty releases, and he has been on projects with virtually all of the members of the South Park Coalition. Almost no one has done as much and reached as many people independently and to this day.
Now in 2016, he is set to do what no other rapper or even musician has done before. Before the end of the year, he plans to release seven distinctly different albums on the same day. “My view is that no matter what field you are in you should always strive to do something that no one else has ever done. Make history in some kind of way. And I know for a fact that nobody has ever done anything like this before, so that’s one of my motivations. Also one of the motivations is how rappers consistency falls off after a certain point. And this is just dropping one album every so often. My goal is to not just put out seven albums at one time on the same day but to put out seven quality albums at one time on the same day. And that’s the biggest challenge.”
Judging from his track record this far, K-Rino is one rapper who is surely up for this challenge.