We had the pleasure to catch Chicago’s own K’Valentine performance at North Coast Music Festival. She was the guest rapper during Talib Kweli’s set. K’Valentine’s love for words and music has birth some of the most lyrically divine work. Her writing proved to be not only a talent but also a form of therapy and an outlet during trying times in life. K’Valentine introduces herself to the world with her well written flowing and stylized rhythmic music. Experience K’Valentine and enjoy.
Who is your biggest competition and why?
K’Valentine: Honestly speaking, I would have to say myself, for two reasons. The first being that I’m not worried about anyone else, a flower does not compete with the flower next to it, it just blooms. The second reason would be that I’m continuously growing and therefore I try to “out-do” my previous work. I’m also the only person that can get in the way of my own success by either by my thoughts or my actions so sometimes there is a little friendly competition between the negative K’Valentine and the Positive K’Valentine. The Positive K’Valentine be whooping ass tho lol.
Do you think Chicago female emcees get enough exposure? Why or why not?
K’Valentine: I’m receiving more exposure now and I know it will expand in the near future. I say just work hard and the right people will eventually take notice, that’s how the universe works.
Do you get hate from other female rappers?
What’s your take on the whole Nicki Minaj vs Iggy Azalea beef? Why do you think female emcees nowadays can’t get along?
K’Valentine: I didn’t know they were beefing.
Honestly I don’t know, but I guess a lot of female emcees want to be the “only woman” for some reason… But in all actuality they’re not even the “only woman” in their own relationship, but hey that’s none of my business *sips Green Tea*
Who were some of your influences/idols?
K’Valentine: I love Drake as an artist, Tupac, Talib Kweli of course, Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Dido, Jay Z and so many others. They have all influenced me in some form.
So you decided to take a different approach to the ChiRaq Remix and instead of glorifying the catch phrase you instead went on a #AntiChiraq approach. Why is that and how did people receive it?
K’Valentine: Why? Wow…Because I have witnessed and experienced significant loss due to gun violence in Chicago. Because I believe children should have the opportunity to grow into adults. Because I know and believe that my people are a very special, creative and gifted people with so much more to offer than bodies. Because life is a very rare gift when you consider the abortion rate combined with the fact that out of all those hundreds/thousands of sperm the one that actually fertilized the egg ended up being you. I could go on and on about this but these are a few of the core reasons I chose the #AntiChiraq approach and for the most part others received it well, I feel like it was embraced.
The song “Daddy” is about your father that was gunned down. How hard was it to pen your feelings and let the world know about his death?
K’Valentine: It was very emotional, extremely emotional because conveying my feelings was a collective effort amongst myself, my sisters and also my mother. I was very little so I had to speak through some of their memories of him as a father and as a man. I basically interviewed my mother and sisters and doing so I found out even more about father. The song “Daddy” is the perspective of all of his children collectively I just put it into song.
What can you say to a child or young adult that grew up without a father like you?
K’Valentine: That would vary depending upon the reason for the father’s absence but generally I would just encourage the child to continue living and trust that his/her Heavenly Father (GOD) is present when no one else is.
You went from being a poet to a rapper. Why become a rapper?
K’Valentine: Rap is the acronym for Rhythm and Poetry. I was already Poetry…. A little rhythm never hurt nobody so I added some.
Have you ghost written for any artists? If so could you name a few?
Who are some of your favorite Chicago rappers?
K’Valentine: Myself, Twista, Kanye, Lupe, Mikkey Halsted and a few others.
Rate the Top 5 Hottest female emcees in Chicago based on talent.
K’Valentine: In order to accurately carry out that task I would first have to listen to all of their music and so forth so I’ll just go ahead and rate those of whom work I am familiar and a fan of…
5 It’s a tie between K and K’Valentine lol…. This is how I feel, sips tea.
It was 3 years ago you dropped your first single “Dream On” are you happy with your progress so far?
K’Valentine: Yes I am. Of course there are times when I’ve wished for things to be accelerated but more recently I have been diligent in practicing non-anxiousness if that makes any sense.
You recently were a guest performer during Talib Kweli’s set at North Coast. How did you two meet and talk a little bit about the relationship ya’ll have?
K’Valentine: I actually met Talib here in Chicago. He had a show at Metro and my friend Ashley asked me if I wanted to go so I ended up purchasing two tickets and taking my sister. My friend Ashley had a friend that was working that event so he was able to get us back stage. As I was taking my picture with Talib my friend came up to him like, “hey you need to check my girl K’Valentine out she’s dope!”, so he was like, “Aw you spit?”, I’m like, “yea”. Then he asked where he could go to hear my music and I said, “You can visit my website K’Valentine.com or you can just give me your phone number and I’ll send you the links.” I got the number
Talib and I have a very real and professional relationship, more like a mentorship because I admire that man so much from his artistic ability to his work ethic all the way to him being one of the most kind, humble and compassionate human beings of had the opportunity to be in the presence of. I am learning so much from him and I try to soak as much in as possible when he speaks. He’s a genius and a Leader.
What is one of the best advice he has given you so far?
K’Valentine: I don’t need the industry, the industry needs me.
Do you see yourself being more underground or mainstream?
K’Valentine: I think in either of these categories I will be successful, so with that being said. Where ever God leads me.
What is next for K’Valentine?
K’Valentine: I’m in the studio now working on new music for my forthcoming project “Organically Earned” and I was just in Miami shooting a video with Talib for a song called Quality over Quantity that will be on his mixtape. Currently working on the treatments for my next video shoot as well. I’ll be in Atlanta for the A3C Festival and I’m super excited about the opportunity. I have a lot of great things in the works, you can stay in tune by visiting my website K’Valentine.com. God is Amazing and I’m favored, thanks for having me.
Interview by: Chantal Cook