Savannah, GA-based rapper and Dope Sandwich label head KNife presents the self-directed music video for “Most Entertamed”, the new single from his new album Iconoclast, featuring Miggs, Allone and Electric Grandma. Milwaukee producer Mammyth handles production on “Most Entertamed” as well as the entirety of Iconoclast.
The son of a US diplomat, he was raised in Canada, Singapore, Cameroon and his mother’s home country of Liberia, where he bore witness to Liberia’s gruesome civil war. After relocating to Savannah he began the Dope Sandwich crew – a collective of rappers, breakdancers, deejays, artists and producers – and released several albums. He has shared stages with Curren$y, Hieroglyphics, J-Live, Masta Killa, Louis Logic and more. The debut video “Dienasty” from Iconoclast, has also been lighting up YouTube. KNife says “Most Entertamed” is about “being a drone to pop culture”. Iconoclast is out now. A few exclusive words with KNife…
What do you think people expect from you musically when they see you? What tends to be the reaction after they hear you?
It tends to be sort of an unassuming effect. I’m a small guy so and I have no fashion sense, so people never expect me to be a rapper, let alone thinking that my voice is a deep or loud as it is. I’ve been rapping since I was in high school and every reaction I’ve gotten for my live show is that it’s dope. I incorporate a lot of freestyle into my set, so I never do the same show twice and it always ends up giving people the impression that what they saw won’t be seen anywhere else. that’s flattering.
How do you think your style has evolved since you began rapping?
It’s hands down in the political nature of my music. I’ve always been technically savvy at my approach. So when I started it was mainly about shock, jokes, and how well I could mix those motivations with dense rhyming. Now, I feel a lot less pressure to ramble off super-duper complicated rhymes in every single bar cause I don’t have a need to prove to anyone I can rap anymore. That, and just getting older, my stuff is more about the song writing now than it was before. I’ve lived a life and developed experiences so that’s what my focus is. You just have to be yourself, when all I cared about was doing drugs and telling dick/battle jokes, it felt right, so that’s what I did. Now things are a bit different.
What one album affected your musical style the most?
Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP. There were others of course, but that’s the joint that made me even think it was a possibility that I could rap and that rap fans would want to hear what I had to say. My interest in hip hop as a craft, art and culture started around then. I got in late.
What do you look for in a beat?
I can really appreciate minimalist beats. Stuff that’s actually made for people to rap over. That’s probably the biggest thing for me with beats. when a beat is dope and simple, you have to work harder with your words to make it a dope song. I don’t like competing with 20 different sounds and melodies in my stuff.
Do you believe America is in decline? What do you think that means for the world? And Americans?
I think America is awesome if you’re fortunate enough to be rich, or in a position to be rich. I think it’s in decline for those who aren’t, and will get a lot worse before it gets better. I get cynical a lot, so I’ll just say that people should think about life a bit more outside of their various bubbles. I think that perspective would do wonders for America right now.