By Andrew Greenhalgh
A good student of the Christian music scene won’t need anyone to tell them that KB is one of the hottest rising stars on the hip-hop horizon, having garnered a No. 1 debut on Billboard’s Christian Albums Chart, a Dove Award and plenty of critical acclaim from outlets near and far. And while the artist’s musical talents are on display for all to see on his latest effort, Tomorrow We Live, did you know that the artist got laughed at during his first recording session? Or that one of his favorite movies of all time is a Pixar favorite? For this and more, keep reading!
1. KB’s first recording experience was a bad one.
“The first song I ever wrote was horrible. I’m not sure what I was talking about, but it was with the help of another artist who was a lot better than I was at that time. And that was the first song that I actually went in and recorded. I remember it was a terrible experience. I brought my friends with me, and they laughed at me the whole time; and I walked out thinking, ‘Man, I’m probably never gonna write again.’”
2. KB loves Wall-E.
His top three desert island picks include the Pixar classic, Wall-E (“Wall-E makes you feel good.”), The Count of Monte Cristo for something old-school, and the recent Christopher Nolan epic, Interstellar, offering, “Interstellar was phenomenal.”
3. His same love for children’s movies extends to his music collection.
“The Lion King album is one of my favorite guilty pleasure albums. I’m not proud of it, but I love that. CeCe Winans’ The Throne Room is another that I’d put in there. If anybody else came out with that album today, I wouldn’t listen to it, but it’s just something about the place I was in then when that album came out.”
4. KB’s last day job was as a bag boy for a grocery store.
“I was a proud bag boy every day at SweetBay. SweetBay was a grocery store chain down here in Florida, and that’s where I worked when I was 16. It was our thing telling customers that ‘it’s a sweet day at SweetBay.’”
5. KB has a “Battle of the Bands” win in his list of credits.
“My first performance really rapping was in this thing called ‘The Battle of the Bands’ in Gainesville, Fla. And you know, folks were playing their guitars behind their backs, had their banners behind them, and looked very established. I think some of them were on labels, and there was a friend of mine and me with my beat CD. So we went up and did our thing and, long story short, the judges were so moved by the passion that we did it with and the audience’s response that they gave us the competition on that alone. And that’s when I had the realization that I might be on the right path.”
6. He will always take playing live over living in the studio.
“I would rather play live because joy is never finished until you share with other people. And neither is art, in my opinion. It hasn’t reached its full potential until you’ve invited other people into it. I don’t make art for myself; I make it for the world. So performing it for the people is where the joy is full and fulfilled.”
7. His biggest career disappointment came just last year.
“I had planned on being on a major tour. They’d shown interest in me, and basically we thought it was a done deal. We had blocked out the schedule and were getting everything ready when we got a call from them that because they got a new headliner, the new headliner they brought in wanted to make some adjustments; and I was one of the first people removed from the tour. It was just kinda devastating.”
8. He had no clue what he wanted to be when he was growing up.
“I never really thought too far into that. I thought maybe a doctor or a lawyer. I mean, I love basketball, but somebody gave me some real sobering advice early on that you shouldn’t think that you’re going to the NBA, because you probably won’t.”
9. He is not a fan of snails.
“My worst meal on the road is by far the snails in Africa. They’re horrible. They were prepared like shrimp. They steamed them and had the dipping sauce and everything, and it was just disgusting.”
10. His main regret from his time in Bible college is that he didn’t wield his intellect with grace.
“I definitely used my intellect more as a weapon. It started to get to the place where the use of intellect was only for telling people they were wrong, as opposed to serving people with it. Right or wrong, you want to help people.”
For more info on KB and his new album, Tomorrow We Live, visit www.whoisKB.com.
Andrew Greenhalgh is a freelance writer and music critic who resides in sunny Sarasota, Fla. His work has appeared in multiple outlets ranging from The Sound Opinion and Relevant to Stereo Subversion and his personal labor of love, Soul-Audio.com.