Life sometimes affords us second chances. Such is the case with hip-hop lyricist KYD (“killing your demographic) Works (Hassan Barrow). Hailing from the Boogie Down Bronx, NY until relocating to Westchester County when he was 6 years old, KYD Works had a strong family foundation, growing up with his mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. He started rapping at 14 years of age, battling other rappers at 16, and pretty much had a smooth life, until things began to get bumpy for him, causing a lot of downhill moments for the young KYD Works. He ultimately journeyed into the correctional system, with his first case at age 16. He subsequently went through the correctional system for three years, at 22, which took him off the grid for a while. However, his period of incarceration afforded him ample time to regroup, refocus and map out his plans for the future. An introspective person, he believes that everything happens for a reason. And unlike so many others, he followed through with his exit plan, recording and releasing his first mixtape, Stress Test, Volume 3, two weeks after his release.
A formidable young man, KYD Works could have opted for a path other than rap music. At 6’3 and 223 lbs., he studied nutrition at Westchester Community College, and is a trained, qualified sports, fitness and wellness trainer. It’s a career skill that he often still utilizes, and has his own successful fitness company. He also studies Global Business. Multi-talented and self-made, he is also a proficient vocalist, and sings most of his own hooks in his rap songs. And to make ample use of another one of his talents, he’s also the Hip-Hop Coordinator at radio station 88.1FM WARY and also hosts a show on the station called DYNASTY DAYS MORNING XPERIENCE.
However, music moves KYD Works’ soul, and is his passion. Putting his creative juices to consistent use, he has 400 songs under his belt, from which to choose the 18 gems that will comprise his next mixtape, which he’s dubbed The Lost. He will also release an EP called Rise of The Lost. His songs are fact-based, covering his experiences and personal beliefs, with his rhymes reflecting both the dark and the light side of his life. KYD Works is active with an organization called Stop, Don’t Shoot, which he got involved with through an associate that he’s known since he was a teen. The organization stresses that most violence, regardless of who causes it, takes place due to the inappropriate use of firearms. They hope to get celebrities involved as well, to spread the important message about anti-gun-violence.
KYD Works’ squad is called L.D.L.E.G, meaning Lost Dynasty League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In it, there are in-house producers Years Lata, Julius Myth, Benny Deveaux (featured on party track Get Loose), Vivify and Downstate. Also in the L.D.L.E.G crew are vocalist Jamal Ray and rappers Dolla Billz and 20 year old J Clyde.
KYD Works wants to effect change, and sees that in his future. A self-determined man, it’s certain that he will, as he did with his own life, make significant inroads toward some societal changes. He’s well on his way toward that goal, recognizing that his second chance was a gift, which he can now bestow on others.
If you never read part 1 of our interview with K.Y.D. check it out here–
1. So it’s been almost 6 months since we last spoke and out of all artists we interviewed on the come up you are leading the charge when it comes to a serious grind. We heard you just knocked out an official video with the high profile Monstar Films. Can you tell us about that video and when its slated to drop?
I appreciate ya’ll keepin up with me. The video is different from all the others I’ve done thus far. It is sexy, fun, and real, look out for the WorldStar drop and catch it on most digital platforms. I’m aiming for the middle of September to launch. I thank Monstar Films for coming through in the clutch, they are some real stand up guys. Much love to the homie George.
Buy Lay You Down here – https://itun.es/us/ZnlO9
2. That “Lay You Down” record is super smooth. Did you want to make a joint for the females as the first official release when you first recorded it or did it happen kind of spontaneously?
Thank you. The song was planned, once I heard the beat I knew what I was going to do with it, and I knew it could open doors for me if heard by the right people. So I put a lot of time and energy into this, but the first release off of The LOST was actually Gift is A Curse. I knew I had to show more of me than that if I really want to win in the end.
3. I know in the first interview we touched on your smooth cadence and your style but again it’s really catchy and smooth. On your next project do you plan to do more hooks?
I do. I completed many songs that show my range, for me it’s just a matter of putting my project together in a way that allows me to tell my story and show my diversity as an artist.
4. So we heard you got a new mixtape in the works? Can you tell us the title and about it?
The mixtape on the way is The LOST, featuring “Gift Is A Curse,” “Wolf Unplugged,” “Lay You Down,” and more. I give all of me on this project, the good, the bad, and the crazy. I’m not trying to follow the path that has been takin already, I’m staying true to myself and doing me. So for those that want quality music.. I’m here. This tape is going to lead into my EP Rise Of The Lost.
5. Any features or producers you want to share?
I have Years Lata, Downstate, and Pdub The Producer on the project. They are truly talented producers, dope as hell. Years Lata is featured as a lyricist as well. Free my bro Years Lata.
6. We see you been crazy active on the show tip. Once you hit that stage what does it feel like?
It’s a natural high, nothing like it. When I do my set or a cypher, I feel the energy of the crowd when I say a dope line that they catch it’s like drinking 10 redbulls at once (laughs).
7. 6 months ago when we spoke we talked about your prison bid upstate and your transition back into normal life. Now 6 months later does your years in the pen seem like a distant memory or do you still think about it daily?
I don’t dwell on it, but I do think about it daily. I gave 3 years away that I can’t get back. I didn’t come home to play catch up, I’m here to move forward. So I always look back at my past, it is a reference point, but I never stop and stare.
Get KYDs latest single here-
8. A lot of people have said this summer may have generated some of the worst hiphop music on a mainstream level ever. What do you think about what’s come out since we last spoke and the state of hiphop in general?
My belief is that mainstream music has been diluted so much that many people no longer understand the concept of quality Hip Hop. Country music, rock, jazz, etc they all still retain what makes that genre what it is. Hip Hop has “grown” to the point that I’m not sure it’s rap music a lot of times. But I’ll say this, the underground is boomin, and cats like Kendrick and Cole are “mainstream” but keep one foot in the underground. Hip Hop will never die, because we keep it alive.
9. We see you been real busy with your radio show. How’s that going and are you trying to shop it to any satellite outlets?
I took some time off from the show to get other ventures together like Alpha Fitness LLC. I am starting it back up September 9th, and I will begin digitally recording the show and uploading to Soundcloud. At that point I will begin shopping it around. For now it can be caught if you are in lower Westchester on 88.1FM every Wednesday morning 8-10 AM. Also some of the interviews are on the Dynasty Days youtube channel.
10. We never really got to talk you and chop it up personally so lets dive a little deeper. How old are you?
11. Where’s ya favorite food spot in NY?
Mannas in Harlem on 125th.
12. What album can K.Y.D. Works listen to that he never gets tired of?
Tupac- Me Against The World
13. Who is the baddest chick in the game in Kyd works opinion?
Zoe Kravitz, she’s dope.
14. Aright back to the norm (laughs). We got a few months left in 2015 .. what’s on the agenda and what goals are you gonna knock out before you clock out of this year?
I’m aiming for A3C Festival in Atlanta in October, launching the video for “Lay You Down (Enough)” and doing a few more big shows.
15. Last but not least, it was good catching up with you again bro, let our readers know where to check you, plug your links, whatever’s clever.
Always a pleasure, I appreciate it. IG/Twitter @KYDWORKS
Facebook, Soundcloud, etc KYD WORKS. I’m on spotify, Itunes, Apple Music, TIDAL, Iheart Radio, Slacker Radio, and much more. Just look for KYD Works.