The Royal Chief
Could Kansas City Rap Have a New King?
At Tim and Tom, we are big fans of many different types of music, but we especially love some really good rap and hip hop. So, when we discovered The Royal Chief on social media, we knew that we had to talk to this amazing Kansas City rap artist. Therefore, we did exactly that on Episode 6 of our podcast.
What’s in a Name?
“I wanted my name to represent us.”
The first thing we wanted to know about is the name. Obviously influenced by the local professional sports teams, The Royal Chief wanted to represent Kansas City as a whole. “I wanted to do something for the city”, said The Royal Chief. “I wanted my name to represent us.”
“I’ve always felt like, Kansas City, we’re the underdogs”, said The Royal Chief. “I’m just trying to push the brand, live the culture, and give Kansas City something they can be proud of.”
Putting in the Time.
“For a while it was really bad, but you stick with it.”
The Royal Chief has been rapping for 13 of his 26 years; that’s half of his life. As a result of this revelation, we wondered, how does a 13 year old kid begin a career in Kansas City rap?
The Royal Chief said he attended an Usher concert at Kemper Arena in 2004. During this concert, the opening act was a fresh face on the rap scene at the time, Kanye West.
The music and the message of that concert inspired The Royal Chief. As a result, he decided that rapping is what he needed to do with his life.
Becoming an artist of any kind can be a long, humbling journey. As such, The Royal Chief did not put out the best product when he first started.
“I kinda picked up the pad and started writing”, said The Royal Chief, emphatically adding, that he “started writing some very terrible stuff in the beginning. For a while it was really bad, but you stick with it.”
“I always hated reading but my mom forced me to read, which was probably one of the best things for me.”
Working on an art form like rapping takes continued effort to improve over time, so The Royal Chief dedicates himself to growing as an artist.
“I always hated reading but my mom forced me to read, which was probably one of the best things for me”, said The Royal Chief, concluding that “it allowed me to build my vocabulary.”
The Royal Chief also considers himself a perfectionist. As a result, this can lead to over-stressing on details. The Royal Chief tries to remember that during his creation process.
“You can’t put that much pressure on yourself”, said The Royal Chief, thus “you have to go ahead and just do what feels right, and what comes out is what comes out.”
Writing and Performing
“I always love performing because that’s when you can have a direct connection with the people you’re making the music for.”
Rap is a beautiful blend of poetry and music, so that gives the rap artist a unique, difficult task of blending two art forms. The Royal Chief has his own method of making his songs.
“I like to get the beat and kind of sit with it for a while”, said The Royal Chief. After that, “almost let it talk to me, or feel what the feeling is from it.”
Being a Kansas City rap artist can be a full time job, but that doesn’t make it joyless. “Performing is always the funnest part for me. I love it”, said The Royal Chief. He added, “I always love performing because that’s when you can have a direct connection with the people you’re making the music for.
Learn more about The Royal Chief at his website: www.theroyalchief.com
We got into all of this stuff and so much more when we interviewed The Royal Chief on Episode 6 of our podcast. He told us what he considers his style to be, his thoughts on the Kansas City rap scene, how long it takes to make an album, and who his inner circle of influence is. He even tells us about his time living outside of Kansas City.