T: What made you decide to leave Alabama and go to Atlanta? And at what point?
K: Good question. It had gotten to the point where I really felt like a big fish in a small pond. I had top song on the radio there, had put out singles, had...shit, there was so much stuff, had put out an album independently, sold a lot of records...couple thousand anyway, which is good for Alabama. I kept realising, damn, I still don't have that deal. It wasn't until I realised, it wasn't that I was doing wrong, it was that I wasn't in a major market. I was kickin' up all this sand and at the same time, wasn't nobody hearing me. At that point I knew I had to leave and shit. Then it got to the point, in certain cases, to where because I was making all this noise, and other people who around, who definitely didn't understand that I had to get out of this market to make it happen, started looking at it like, dang, he done did everything, it just ain't finna happen for him. He chasin' a damn dream. One of them thangs with this (music) that I realised is, it's all about the energy around you. Anytime you set yourself out to do something and you got people doubting you and negative shit, then it can mess with you. So, I tried to get out of those situations and stay around positive people to keep it movin'. So, I knew Atlanta was the music market mecca, it was up and coming to be, and I'm like, I got to get there. I didn't have nothin' set-up, I just saved up enough money for two months of rent, and I was here. I figured I'd figure out the rest later. In the mix of that of course, I ran into my ups and downs. I ended up homeless for a lil' period but I never told anybody, not even my momma. When I left, I left to show people I'm about to go make it happen. Throughout that whole saga I stayed positive, stayed on my grind, and you know, made it happen.
T: Speak on this movie you've got coming out with Snoop Dogg and JT The Bigga Figga?
K: Well, it's a movie called Mandatory Business. It's a movie about really just reaching out to the youth and reaching out to people. It touches on gang violence like showing the sides of it and showing what not to do. It's really inspirational, you know that Tookie Williams wanted to get it out to the youth. It's real gangsta man. It's like a documentary, drama joint. You got Snoop and you got JT uniting two neighbourhoods that been beefing for years. They joined both of them together. A lot of stuff for the hood, which is what I'm all about. Then on my end of the movie it kind of goes into the point of where we took it to a whole 'nother level with the sweepstakes tickets and my way of how I'm giving back. It should be coming out real soon. We part owners of the movie. It's kind of more reflective of the West Coast. But we did do a taste of the south too.
T: I heard that's how you met up with Snoop Dogg in the first place, the sweepstakes tickets.
K: Not exactly, it's wierd, you know I'm a strong cat and I'm a strong believer, and if you put your mind to it and if you will it to happen, it will happen as long as you stay on it. The thing with Snoop is like I made a list a long time ago of artists I was going to work with. (I) didn't know how I was going to do it. Snoop was at the top of my list at the time because it was around the time of The Chronic and all that. Sure enough about a year and a half later, this was a while ago, I ended up doing a record with Snoop. A partner of mine, his cousin is one of the key, big time Crips out in Cali. He went on and set it up. Snoop heard the record and did a song with me. Then I lost contact with him. Then I ended up producing a record in Miami for this independent group and they got Snoop on the record. We linked back up when Snoop did the hook on there. Then we lost contact again and then we linked back up at the Superbowl...what year was that...was it in Tampa that year? That year it was in Florida. He was like, "nephew, I been hearing your stuff on the T.I. album and I been wanting to get up with you." So, we exchanged numbers again. Then there was the incident when Paris Hilton's phone numbers got leaked or some shit. So, everybody who was in her phone changed they numbers. So, we lost contact again. So, when Snoop got the movie and JT was showing him the footage we did in Atlanta and he saw the tickets, he paused the tape was like, "that nigga right there...I need to find him. I need to get up with this nigga right here." The rest was history.
T: Tell us about these sweepstakes tickets.
K: The sweepstakes tickets? Well, when Tye reached out to me it was right before King dropped and the Why You Wanna single hit. I was doing a lot of stuff back home, giving back, setting up the consulting firm and the studio and what not. In the mix of that, that's when Tye, who's originally from Alabama, who's the inventor of the peel and win tickets, he was like, yo, I gotta get up with this dude. So, he reached out to me and he wanted to get involved with what I was doin'. So, I went a Googled his name and saw what was poppin' with him, and was like, damn, this is the largest sweepstakes company in the world, I want to get involved with what the hell yall got going. We ended up partnering up on the enterprise end, which gave me what I needed to take the avenues of things I always wanted to do, but would have took major label money to do it. You feel me? With the tickets, what it is, it's a phone card but it works no different than a scratch 'n win ticket. The only difference is you peel it off instead of all that scratchin' and shit. Because it's a phone card it's legal in areas where the lottery is not permitted. Fuck it, I call it the black lottery. What I did was I took there things and I became the first artist...first person period, to have my face on a damn ticket. I took it and I'm like, I'm going to turn this into all the way good. The blessing of me being on here and we (Khao and Tye) making this whole connection is one thing, but all my blessings always came from giving back, even with the Jay Geda situation. So, I figured out that his sales people were making all this paper, man, and I'm like, I want to pick my sales people for this whole entertainment division and how I'm about to take their tickets to, not just gas stations and liquor stores, but music stores, beauty salons...the hood! I want the hood to be my damn sales people. He was like, how you gon' do that? I was like, anybody with some hustle in 'em, any ghetto USA, I'm gon' give you an opportunity to go to your stores in your same neighborhoods and get the tickets placed in the beauty salons, barber shops, clubs, strip clubs, whatever it is, and you make residual money off the tickets. And the way that works is, everybody's happy, 'cause with the tickets, there's three-thousand tickets in a roll right? And it's 65% winnings out of there. The stores, the black-owned businesses end up making money. They end up making over a $150,000 a roll. The consumers are happy because it's 65% payout. So, they're actual getting money, winning money. I get people all the time calling me like, Khao, I paid my rent off your shit this month. And then, the person who placed it in the store, they're making money off the tickets. They could be making anywhere from $50 to $75 per roll and that's residual. Shit, the tickets go fast. They'll (stores) run through three or four rolls in a week. If a person set-up three or four stores, and you making anywhere from $75 to $100 a roll, and then everytime they re-order from then on out you got residual money comin' in...I mean shit, that's why Snoop wanted to get involved. He's like, Khao, you makin' a way for niggas to get out the trap...a legalised hustle in the same trap. Gamblin' is just as addictive as drugs. All in all, it's a beautiful thing. That's why I call myself the Czar of the Streets.
T: What's comin' up on the production front?
K: I got a slew, a weekly list that comes in of people who is requesting beats. So, it's just a matter of me juggling time of being a partner with the sweepstakes business, being an artist, being a producer for everybody, and the head of production for Grand Hustle. But what we got going is, I got a Trick Daddy record coming, I just had a song on the Grand Hustle In the Streets compilation, I got a couple records on the upcoming Gangsta Grillz album, one of the records I did on there I produced for Pharrell. So, that was a major blessing on my end. That's gon' be a good look. I'm definitely working with my up and coming artists that finna take over like Yo Gotti. I'm working on the new Tip album, TI vs.TIP, and Big Kuntry's album. After I did two songs on the Rueben album, it's been opening up, a lot more R&B people have been trying to come at me. I'm ready to get into that pop money now.