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K Camp gets candid on ‘Lyric Ave’ EP: ‘I am not a rapper’

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Photo courtesy of K Camp

K Camp has been fairly quiet since dropping his K.I.S.S. 3  mixtape back in December 2015. Some critics think his career may have even run its course, but contrary to popular belief, K Camp was simply regrouping to put out his best work yet. Since then, the Atlanta-raised rapper has released a new EP titled Lyric Ave pairing it with his first headlining tour. K Camp will be performing both nationally and internationally hit singles like “Cut Her Off,” “Money Baby” and selections from his new body of work.

Rolling out spoke with him recently to discuss the concept behind his new project, details on his upcoming tour and how he handles the pressure of being in the limelight.

In the beginning of your Lyric Ave EP you opened with a controversial statement, “I am not a rapper.” Why are you choosing not to classify yourself under that title anymore?

A rapper is just somebody who just raps. I do more than rap. I’m an engineer and [I’m] behind the scenes. I do a lot of things other than just rap. I believe my talent is way great[er] than just being a rapper. I had to let it be known that I am not just a rapper. That’s the first line I hit them with this so they understood it.

Were you offended when people called you a rapper?

I wouldn’t say [I was] offended. … I just thought I should let the world know even if they didn’t know what I do behind the scenes they know now. I do more than rap and I’m a great artist in my opinion. I make No. 1 records. Rappers don’t just make No. 1 records like that.

What part do you enjoy more about your craft? Is it performing or getting in the studio and recording?

That’s a hard question. I love performing, you know what I’m sayin’? Ain’t no high like performing in front of thousands that know your words. The creative process is my favorite [part], but I would have to say performing and then making the music. Those are my top two.

Do you feel like you get the credit you deserve as an artist?

Hell naw! I still feel like a lot of folks [are] sleeping on my campaign and my artistry. I can’t do s— but keep working because I’m pretty sure every artist in the game went through the same s—, so I can’t just be sitting around crying about the s—. I’m just going to keep proving myself.

Typically when rappers are put on the XXL “Freshmen 10” cover they are bombarded with this intense pressure to be the best in hip-hop overnight. Did you feel stressed once the issue dropped?

Yes, and at the same time no. When it comes to making music for me personally I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t know about any other artists but when it came to me I’m a hitmaker. I don’t stress about the music part. I did my research on the XXL. Unless you feel that breakthrough at the time you hit the cover, they always find that one artist that’s already going up but as far as the artists that are still in the game it takes at least two or three years to be running the rap game. I’m on my way. I think I’m doing what the hell I’m supposed to be doing.

This is definitely a different trajectory for you in terms of the overall sound. What was your goal for Lyric Ave?

It’s really simple. All of the previous projects y’all heard from me [were] produced by Big Fruit and this new project is produced by Bobby Kritical. I switched it up a little bit so that’s probably why the sound is different.

It sounds like Camp still; it’s just different beats. You gotta grow, you feel me. I couldn’t keep sounding like the same thing every year so that’s why I used new producers and I tried to take s— to another level. The next project might sound different. I make so much music that I don’t just stay in one box. I just like to create and push the sound to a different level.

You recently moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Has the transition influenced your new sound?

Most definitely, I go out to L.A. to record and just to feel a different vibe and be around artists I’m not usually around. L.A. is a big market and controls a lot of the top stuff. I am always in Atlanta recording but I can’t just stay in one spot. I have to feel some different sh*t.

What is your favorite track from Lyric Ave?

I would have to say “Hunger N Lurkin” and of course the intro. I love all my sh—, man. I play my music like it ain’t mine.

Why did you decide to go with only one feature this time around?

I don’t have a problem with doing all my s—. I am never pressed for a feature or into begging an artist to be on a track. I’m not with that s—. I can hold a whole song down by my damn self. That one feature was on some spur-of-the-moment s—. Jimmy just pulled up to the studio and that was the first record we cut and I needed some club bouncing s—. That record doesn’t even sound like me. It sounds like a Rae Sremmurd record. I knew I had to throw that sh*t on my project just because I f— with them so strong. We got a good relationship so I was like why not. The fans instantly gravitated to it.

Although you made the decision to do the majority of your EP solo. Now that you’ve listened to it all the way through, will you be collaborating with any artists for a couple remixes?

I’m thinking about. The single is probably going to be remixed. I might just take a couple of records, remix them myself and just drop them on the internet. Remixes ain’t the same. So much music comes out that everything is a damn remix.

What can fans expect from your upcoming tour?

The tour starts at the end of this month. This is going to be my first international run. As far as surprises, if one of my rapper friends is overseas then I’ll bring them out. This is also my first headlining tour and then I’ll be coming back to the States to do my first national tour. We were in the clubs the past two years so I had to switch that s— up. That’s why I’ve been quiet for the last four months. I basically restarted my whole campaign and got new managers. There was a whole lot of stuff going on and now it’s time to do it the right way. We’re going to Amsterdam, Berlin, London. I’m excited to go to all [those places]. I know the food ain’t going to be the best but hopefully, [I’ll] find some good stuff.