Danville native, Kevin M. Harper, better know as K-Lo Master Outlaw first introduction to Hip Hop was when he first heard Tupac’s “Until The End Of Time”.
Growing up in Danville, Illinois, Harper was surrounded by the sounds of Too Short, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and Biggie Smalls. All of which his father would listen to while working out and lifting weights. Although Harper was not sure at the time the music was called Hip Hop, he tried to listen as much as he could without getting caught by his mother. She wasn’t a fan of the language in the music.
Still the music remained instilled in Harper, who later decided to become a music artist. But, for Harper it is all about the message in the music. Music which he calls Soul Rap.
We caught up with the talented artist that is K-Lo Master Outlaw as he prepares to release his 16th studio album.
When was the very first time you really fell in love with Hip Hop?
What made me dive deep into Hip Hop was hearing Tupac for the first time. I was watching 106 & Park with my cousins. Our auntie had a big screen Tv. That song “Until The End Of Time” had came on and I remember asking my cousin, “Who is that fam?” Cuzo said, “Aw he dead.” But to me the words captured me. So I began to listen to Tupac more. Then I learned about the Outlawz as well.
Coming from Illinois are there any home based artists who inspired you?
I would have to say Twista & Do Or Die. It’s alotta people I don’t wanna misspell their names. But I am inspired really by everyone in some way because I feel that everyone in this music world contributes to it.
When did you realize you wanted to become a music artist in Hip Hop?
Well, really in honest terms, there was a group we was gonna have. Fam said, ‘Cuz I wanna be a Rapper.’ Then I and other fam said, ‘I wanna be a rapper too.’ But at that time I didn’t know that it would come to where I am now.
Because we started recording on cassette tapes and karaoke stuff. (Laughs) I realized I wrote songs everyday without beats. I did not know how to count bars back then. I just stopped rapping on the song when I was listening to Twista, Bone Thugs N Harmony, 3 Six Mafia and so on. I wrote so much raps it filled a suit case. But I burnt them all one day when I was homeless, because to me the message in that music was misleading to the minds of listeners. But I still use raps that sticks with me from time to time.
I realized it also when people at school use to ask me to rap in front of everybody and that was dope. Plus I rapped in class room projects and people from my school years can tell you that.
How important is the message in the songs. Do you feel every rapper should take responsibility for their raps?
It’s very important. It’s the life and blood of it all. We as artist are responsible for what we say, because we have others listening and when we make it and make money people can easily be mislead.
I am here leading by example, whatever they throw out in the game Ima send a message back and flood the earth with my energy through their ears. They should take responsibility but most are ego driven. I express hip hop but it’s soul rap for me. I do soul rap, because if they do not take responsibility, you see it every time, it’s the law of attraction. There is a lotta things that you will not hear me say in my music, because I understand the power of words.
Some of them do not really know the power they have when attention is shed upon their expression. It’s like the blind leading the blind like Scarface said. And shout out to O.G. Scarface. I met him in Chicago at his concert.
They are gonna have learn from somebody like me. And for some reason I am not able to stop putting out music which is great.
You talk about the message in music and the power of Hip Hop. Which artists in 2021 do you feel has that message?
Definitely the Outlawz, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole. I’m really entuned with my message in my music the most. Bone Thugs N harmony, Rapsody, Neelam, 3d Nae Tee, Big Sean recent album I felt that. E-40. There’s a lot but everyone has a message about using discernment and stuff like that.
Speaking of your music. You have 15 albums in the catalog. With your 16th studio album coming out in February of 2021, what is the direction for the new project.
Every album I do, I notice evolving and growth. Ima fan of my own music.. But the direction is to reach a new audience that never heard of me before.
What features and producers can we expect from the new album?
The new album will be produced by Grammy Nominated Multi-Platinum producer Known as Wysh Master who has worked with Lil Wayne, T-pain, Lydia Caesar, Pitbull, E-40, Tech N9ne, Rick Ross, Nelly and more.
There will be no features on this album. I do not allow features on my series of albums for “Freedom Of Expression” it’s my catalog for people to listen to if they wish to work with Me. I also have a series of singles coming out with Lydia Caesar which are all produced by Wysh Master.
I release singles every two weeks. So far I have released “Guns n Gold“, “Round & Round”, “Good Love“, and the next single is called “Winner”. All those songs features Lydia Caesar, She has a very dope voice, she’s an ASCAP awarding winning song writer. I am very glad to work with them. The music sounds and feels good.
Speaking of singles, you have one coming out with Aktual. Can you tell us about that single?
The beat on that one is produced by Insane Beatz. I had reached out to Aktual because I know he offers other artists the opportunity to connect for a feature. I been a fan of Aktual every since I first heard him on “Haters Get Cho Paper” with the Outlawz on his project. I still remain as a fan as well. It’s a blessing to be able to work with the brother.
I did not put anything on the track when I sent him the files, because I wanted to let the brother use is full creativity and that’s what he did. Aktual snapped on that song. I just about know his full verse. Plus he just released a new album it’s fire music to hear. I was excited for this project to once again work with someone that I am actually a fan of. I appreciate the opportunity. He mixed and mastered everything after I finished the last verse in the midst of my busy schedule.
The name of that single is called “Hallways”. He’s speaking the hustle language, so I spoke from that same place and added some other types of expression to my verses due to growth from my backgrounds.
Aside from the 16th studio album, what else can we expect from you in 2021?
You can expect singles on the 1st, 15th, and 29th of each month. Plus some more features and a music Video for my single “Welcome To L.A.” in March which will be done In L.A.
Roku, Amazon Fire and apple Tv Channels will be up and and running this month. Plus fans will be able to have a chance to win $1000 when they help me achieve my goal in my contest. The contest will start before march.