ElectRow respects one thing — hard work. We enjoy showing off artists who have been grinding to improve their craft. Caliph Knight is a rapper from Texas that made his way to Korea and kept making music. He was kind enough to answer a few questions.
When did you start rapping?
Caliph Knight : Professionally, when i was 17 yrs old. I was performing for a talent show in front of my entire high school. The talent show winner was already chosen, but I wanted to give a good show since it was the first time anyone heard me rap in my high school. I was a singer and performer but then nobody knew what else I could do.
Why did you want to start rapping?
Caliph Knight : It was something fun I used to do with my half brother and cousins during the long summer breaks. We would scrounge up all the instrumentals we could find, and then put on a cassette on record and just see who could keep the flow going. You didn’t want to be the one to let the energy drop.
Any favorite venues in Korea to perform at?
Caliph Knight : Any venue is particularly my favorite. I have rapped all over Korea. I love Seoul, but the other cities such as Daejeon, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Incheon and Goyang have all given me a home.
What are some of your biggest influences
Caliph Knight : Actually, it’s a real funny question. I used to sing, so my stage presence comes from different influences from Opera singers to hip hop. When you perform Opera, it is you and the audience. You have to learn how to bring them into your world. I try to do that when I perform; but my style..there are too many. From a story telling pov – i will give it to Pac, Nas, Em, Slick Rick along with some others. Telling an abstract rhyme would be Mike Akioda, Big Daddy Kane, and Outkast. As a kid, I can’t lie, I listened to Beastie Boys, Ice T, Vanilla Ice, Mc Hammer, Mc Lyte, Queen Latifa, Kid n Play, and Fresh Prince. My delivery was something I thought I came up with on my own, but then I was introduced to Bone Thugs N Harmony, Twista, E-40, Outkast etc.
What is an ideal Saturday night?
Caliph Knight : If I am not listening to beats or performing, then going to movies or staying home for some R&R. I work a lot. If I am not working, then its the little quality time I need to get.
What equipment do you find essential when creating music?
Caliph Knight : I have tried to create beats. I am still trying. I use programs such as Fruity loops and Garage Band to make the basic skeleton. I am mostly the engineer though. I keep practicing on making a better sound.
Biggie or Tupac?
Caliph Knight : It is hard. I admired both for what they did. Biggie was a better freestyler while Pac was the better story teller.
#1 “make love/ get in the mood to make love” track
Caliph Knight : I am little guilty for this because i don’t have a number one track – I have a medley: 1. Wu-Tang Triump 2. Twista Get it Wet. 3. Bone Thugs n harmony – First of the Month 4. Montel Jordan – This is how we do it – then calm it down with Boyz II Men – I’ll make love to you
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Caliph Knight : Fly! I would love to fly and not have to get plane tickets. When I am ready to leave, then I will just leave.
What are some venues you regularly play at?
Caliph Knight : Some of the venues are RMT, Hongdae – Freebird, – in Daejeon – the place formerly known as Daejeon Cantina, but I am looking to expand.
What has been your proudest moment as a rapper?
Caliph Knight :I haven’t had one yet. Allow me to explain. I have had great moments. I have had my songs on the radio in Korea. I have had a song on radio countdown for K-pop. I have met andn worked with some great individuals. It just keep getting better and better so I don’t think i have hit my pinnacle yet. I was once the Freestyle King of Korea. All the experiences are getting better and better.
What has been your most memorable gig?
Caliph Knight : My most memorable gig for Korea, would be Symphonic Sessions. I tore the crowd a new one and they began chanting Encore. It always gives me goosebumps when I think about.
What’s the biggest life lesson you have learned while perfecting your craft?
Caliph Knight : You have to keep at it. Nothing is free. If nobody will help you, make your own way. Put yourself on blast. Do what ever you have to do to get heard and when you meet someone or people and they are not working along side of you then keep moving.
Who is your favorite new artist/song?
Caliph Knight : I don’t have a favorite new artist. I like looking for underground guys, but I have been jamming Macklemore – The Heist. It just something about his delivery and the old school energy of his tracks.
#1 get the party started track?
Caliph Knight : Maklemore – can’t hold us
How would you describe your life/time in Korea?
Caliph Knight : It has been an uneven road. It has had pot holes, sink holes, faulty tiles but for as rough as it have been, the blessings and knowlege I have received are priceless.
What are your future goals for 2015?
Caliph Knight : Finish up a project and get back out there.
Any shout outs to give?
Caliph Knight : Shout out to all the expats doing their thing out. Lets make this money. But most importantly, Kevin at 18puppies that helped me put the stick n move video together, JG for giving my love music a shot of adrenaline, Bold Coast for always including me in their projects. We are all family…Let’s make this money.
Be sure to check out Caliph Knight on Facebook and give a listen to his tracks on SoundCloud. Any other needs can be fulfilled at his website.We want to give Caliph Knight a big thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions and we wish him the best of luck in the future. Keep your ears to the street, you’ll be hearing him soon.