This interview/inner view with KIIIA honestly helped me re-align and continue with what I’ve been sent to do. I, myself had been in a dark and lonely place for the past few months and it had intensified the day before and day of the interview. I laid in bed, struggled to get up and thought about rescheduling, shit, or even callin’ it quits. Anyways, I made the call and through this conversation the Universe, our Ancestors, the Forces that be spoke to both of us. Definitely beyond blessed to have had a chance to talk with such a rare and beautiful soul that’s bound to do phenomenal things. Eternally grateful for his time, words and inspiration and hope y’all appreciate it too.
Who are you? Where you from? Where your people from?
KIIIA: Shit, so, my name is Kia. That’s my real name I just spell it differently and my rap name I wanted to keep it as authentic as possible. I already got a weird ass name, you feel me. I added the three “i”s because, you know that’s a whole little swag with the 3rd eye thing going on and HiiiPower and all that. Because, you know I fuck with T.D.E. like that. I’m from Inglewood but I stay in South Central for the moment. I’m all around L.A., really. As far as my family, I’m Moroccan, I wasn’t born here either. I’ve been in L.A. my whole life but I wasn’t born here. I’m not a citizen. I don’t know if I should put that citizen part in the interview but fuck it, it is what it is. Yeah, I’m just an alley cat, I’m everywhere. You were born in Morocco?
KIIIA: No, I was born in Europe. I was born in Belgium, similar to Soul and Q - they were born in Germany and that’s right next door. And similar type reasons.
Yeah, what were you doing in Belgium?
KIIIA: They had refuge there. It’s a deeper story behind all that but they moved and they went there because they speak similar. They both speak French but it’s different dialects but that’s why a lot of Moroccans be going over there because it’s the same language, it’s easy. I don’t know why they fully went over there, I know some parts of it but I don’t even know anything about over there. I was just born over there. I came here when I was probably 1 or 2. Being outside in California, when we first moved out here when I was real real young from Europe it was straight to Oakland because my dad had family over there. That was for a couple years of my life, while I was young, then the rest I’ve been in L.A.
The two main cities in California, fr. I definitely didn’t expect that. You feel like that experience has influenced how you navigate your world? I guess, it always does - in which ways has it?
KIIIA: For sure it has because growing up I really didn’t have a relationship with my parents like that and that carried onto my life now. You know, I’m real distant and it’s weird to say so nonchalant but I don’t really have good connection with my family like that. I think it’s something I’m trying to work on but it’s like a mental, emotion, you know… everything. It’s like a toll but it’s something I’m used to because I’ve been taking care of myself for a good minute. That’s a whole ‘nother story. It for sure affects how I navigate everyday life. Shit, on my own. Outside is my friend, you feel me, I’m mostly outside. I’m really walking outside, all day. Really outside while everyone is inside. It for sure affects a lot of areas and everything. The way I look at things or the way I move, the way I react, for sure.
So, growing up - did your parents expose you to Moroccan music? Like what type of music did you grow up on?
KIIIA: Yeah, it was a lot of traditional music I would hear but at the same time it was a lot of what was popular in pop music. Michael Jackson, like shit like that, that type of music. I would hear Snoop all the time, I’d hear Biggie but that was just off radio. I don’t think they really knew what that was, for real but they playin’ tho. I can remember things like driving in the car and my mother randomly playing some Kanye or some shit and I just be like, “what the hell, what you know about this?” It was popular at the time I guess.
Everybody got a little Kanye.
KIIIA: Yeah, but music definitely was a huge part of my life. My dad would like play the guitar and stuff like that. There was always music around in my house.
How would you describe the type of music you make?
KIIIA: That’s a good question ‘cause the easiest answer would to say I rap and I make Hip Hop music. To me, I feel like it’s more than that. I can’t describe the way things just flow out of me. You know, when I hear a song and the way I start thinking of lyrics and the way I just start flowing and stuff like that - it just feel like it’s more than I’m just rapping stuff. I for sure make Hip Hop music. I make boom baps and all that and I’m a fan of Hip Hop at the end of the day. Before I started rapping I would just listen to music heavy and using it to guide me type thing or teach me things. I would take advice from certain songs and artists and I would apply it to my life because I would relate and it would be in front of me and I’d be like, “oh, that’s how…” and move accordingly. I’m for sure in that realm of musIc.
Is No Hooks your only project?
KIIIA: Yeah, it is and it’s really just like a little surface level. I just wanted to put something out, you know, because I had no project out. So, I just wanted to put out a quick lil EP. It’s definitely not in depth like I’m really just talkin’ real general.
But it is, it is in depth at the same time.
KIIIA: It is, you right but I feel like I can go way deeper than that.
I feel that for sure, that’s what it felt like - you were kinda giving us this little taste of what’s to come. Like, literally, no hooks on that shit. When I was going through it I was writing down hella notes and shit and really what I kept writing down about No Hooks was like, underground poetics. Like real underground poetry. I ain’t heard this type of vibe in a minute.
KIIIA: That’s what I was about to say. I feel like this project I put out was real calm, it was a calm vibe and I feel like that hasn’t been around in a cool lil minute. And I just felt like putting something like that out, something different. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I’m in the middle of working on a couple EPs right now and some albums too that’s in the cut too, that’s already finished, but I wanna put out more EPs. Definitely the next project I put out will be more turnt up and rowdy.
What was your creative process with No Hooks?
KIIIA: Shit, so, we were in the studio and my big bro, P, he’s also my producer and he’s like my mentor. We were just sitting and stuff and I was like let me just do something because, me, when I rap I really just wanna rap a whole long ass verse, it’s like a bad habit of mine. When you make music you really need to break it down, you need a verse, a hook, a chorus, you know. But we were like fuck it, lemme just put out a project called, “No Hooks,” and just straight raps, straight bars and stuff. But, I think I made it in a way where some songs were still on the story mode feel, like you didn’t even notice it needed a hook in it, to me. Short songs, it’s a little ride, something you can ride to.
So, when you were making it did you make more songs and you just chose those five or were you intentional about making those 5?
KIIIA: I definitely made a bunch of songs and for some reason those felt like my most solid ones and they fit together because they’re all on the same vibe. Calm and stuff, I thought it was perfect. We were already going to to 5 songs for the EP cuz that’s a little sampler especially in this time where everything is real microwaved society. You know, everything goes so fast - artists just be dropping projects left and right and people just be forgetting about them real fast.
I see, makes sense. When and how did you start rapping? Where did your inspiration come from?
KIIIA: Really just going through regular life and I just started listening to music in a different way. For some reason I started researching all my music and just listening, looking back and digging back on old records and stuff like that. At the time, I guess, we always go through shit but at that time I was going through a certain thing in my life and I felt like music was helping me and guiding me. Most of my life I’ve been alone and at certain times things get dark so it’s like you use those people you hear in your headphones and it’s like, “let me see if someone else can relate to me.” That’s really why, I love the feel of that and I really liked how I can relate and how certain things were like, “holy shit, this is happening to me right now.” So, I wanted to do that for someone else and I wanted to be a part of that feeling so I just started. Really, I just put on a beat - actually, no I just started writing shit in my notes on my phone, like acapella. Just writing out what I was feeling, a beat would come on and I wold put it to the beat and it would just fit and that’s how it started and I just kept going. It’s really like it turned into a real passion because I’ve done a lot of things and never fully went through with it. But with this as soon as I started I just keep going and I could do it forever, really happy about that.
That’s cool, so the time you spend alone gets alleviated with the time you spend with your passion. So, you do you have a crew?
KIIIA: It’s for sure Pakk Music, that’s my crew, it’s really like family, for real. When I met everybody, they really brought me in on some family stuff. Like I said, I’m really alone out here and plus I just turned 23 and I met everybody I know now when I was 19 or 20. Like these last couple years we all really bonded and they took me in and they see that I got it in me. They believe in me and that really helps. I feel like I say this is my passion and I love it to do it but it gets more intricate in this game where you have to know certain things and do things a certain way. They really helped me realize all these types of things and learn these things and they force me to practice it and keep going and ask questions and all kind of things. I’m real grateful for it, my team.
KIIIA: Until the end.
How did you end up at Pakk Music?
KIIIA: Really it’s cuz I ran into Yoshi, random as hell, like she ain’t even from over here. She from a whole different state, she from Flint. It was crazy, we had no idea that each other existed. I first seen her in Watts at the T.D.E. Christmas, that’s where I seen her at but I still didn’t know her. A couple weeks later I had met her and long story short she kinda brought me into the camp and everyone was really fucking with me for real so I stayed around. Universe stuff.
Yeah, yeah, real Universe shit. I don’t know much of your life before Pakk Music Group but it sounds like it was a lot more lonelier.
KIIIA: It was a lot more lonely, for sure. I was just bouncing around everywhere just trying to figure it out. Like just figure out life like what I’m going to do with my life or I’m not trying to live like this forever. But then I found music and I’m like, “okay, I think I can do something,” because the people who were around me at the time, anyone who was around me at any time they would tell me, “yo, you’re actually kinda good at this music stuff, keep going.” And I just kept going. We’ve all been through things. I’ve been through a lot of weird things in my life. Seen a lot of weird shit. Done a lot of weird things. But still, things are still active here. Still things haven’t changed, we’re not on some famous rappers, yet. It’s still the come up, so things still go down, things still happen and we still gotta do what we gotta do. But at the same time this music thing is still looking like it’s finna happen for us. It’s like part of our life project.
Universe shit like you said, for real.
KIIIA: There’s no other explanation. I don’t know how I got here but I’m here now.
I know how that go. Who would you say are your influences? Musically or not, who influences you?
KIIIA: It’s cool that we’re kinda tight knitted with the whole situation but T.D.E., for real. Like those times when I was listening to music, doing my own research stuff like that, T.D.E. was really them, the 4 horsemen, you already know who they are. Jay Rock, K.Dot, Q, Soul, like they’re really like the 4 horsemen. It’s just a whole different level over there with making music and they still show it to this day. You already know, they’re different and they run this shit too. Who else better to look at? I’m too young to have that whole Dr. Dre era and stuff like that, that’s not my era. My era is T.D.E.
There ain’t a better group.
KIIIA: There ain’t, but for sure pay homage to the greats who influenced them. Like Jay-Z, shit, Lil Wayne, Dre, Snoop, everybody, East Coast to like everybody. The list can go on and one, just really good music, stuff that really moves you, inspires and makes you think for real. It’s easy to think about pussy, money, weed all day, that’s too easy to me. I wanna think of something, I wanna figure something out and I feel like that comes with all that. Like that style of music and what they do.
Quality, real quality shit.
KIIIA: Quality, for real and really connect. Really just different as a whole, all around. Musically, instrumentation, just everything flows. Shit, everything. They definitely the blueprint to this shit.
I feel that for sure. It’s crazy because most of the interviews I’ve done this far, I haven’t even done it a full year yet but a majority of people have mentioned T.D.E. or a member as their influences. Almost everybody references T.D.E.
KIIIA: That’s how you know. Here’s the thing, I wanna be that but better. I wanna be that thing that’s better. I’m competitive in everything that I do. For sure, respectful and always pay homage but I’m trying to be better than everyone and I’m trying to have Pakk Music be better, I’m trying to have Pakk Music be the next T.D.E. That’s how we movin’.
I can see that, for real. You have a lot of content from what you talk about and the way in and out of different topics. It’s real laid back but it’s also not laid back boring. You got a lot of stories to tell and I think that the stories you gotta tell are hella important. And then you got Python P on production, that’s real timeless shit. I’m excited to see what you do.
KIIIA: Me too! I’m excited. It’s all the process but the process is fun tho.
So far, what’s your proudest moment?
KIIIA: I feel like the day P kinda told me to pull up to Interscope, Interscope Records. So the whole process of getting there and going up and passing security and just the whole thing. It was a cool ass experience. It’s mad artists and crazy people who are just way older than me that’s been struggling to get up because that’s where you go and when you get up there. I was able to just stroll in there, pants saggin’ just like high as hell just on some cool shit. That’s the first time I met Soul so it was cool to be walking around and Soul just come out the studio. “Ayy, what’s up” and dap it up and whatever and just being able to fit into that type of studio environment and feel what it’s like. P kinda showed me what the future could look like if we keep going. That was kinda early on too and I think that’s dope as hell. You know, you get up there and the elevator open and you go through the hall and you just see paintings of all the greats and stuff. Just being at the very top of the building and just seeing the whole crazy view and stuff. It’s like, “man, the greats that I listen to they be working up here.” It show you a different perspective of life and how it can get. For sure, that’s one of my proudest moments besides me making a hard ass record and I’m like, “wooo, I can’t believe I just did this right now.” I’m forever grateful for that and my family in this music thing.
I know that shit felt amazing, I already know.
KIIIA: It did, I walked in there and the employees already knew my name and stuff like I’m already in the system and stuff like that. I popped up and they were like, “you Kiiia?” and I’m like, “what, how y’all know my name?” It was cool, it was for sure an experience.
That’s alignment, real alignment.
KIIIA: And it was the day after my birthday. So, Nip passed on my birthday, on my 21st birthday. The day after I was at The Marathon and just paying homage or whatever, I lit a blunt and all that for him and stuff. Then I get a call from P and he was like, “ayy, pull up.” When I went up there, while I was up there I was still in a weird mindset because there were just a bunch of things going on and I was being all mopey and stuff and just feeling like shit was weird. It was my birthday and it wasn't feeling like it was and then that happened.
It seems like everything is moving fast for you. Not too fast but swiftly.
KIIIA: I feel you, it’s moving fast enough. It makes me feel like I’m ahead in a lot of ways and people in the game. For me, these things happen so naturally. I don’t even push for it to happen, it’s the Universe, it just happens like that and I just accept it and it just confirms for me and makes me feel better about the situation like, “I’m really supposed to be doing this.” I’d be a fool if I stopped doing it and stopped taking it seriously.
A fool would be an understatement. KIIIA: Yeah, for real. Because you know, I’m over here listening to music before getting into rap and then the homies start telling me, “oh you sound like so and so or you sound like Soul, like you’re part of T.D.E. or something.” Just stupid jokes and shit. Then not even too long down the line all these things kinda appear infront of me and I start getting in the mix of all these things. You know how many people do music on this planet? You know what I mean, I know so many people that make music and rap and stuff like that.
Especially in L.A.
KIIIA: Yeah, just even in L.A. and they’re not in the situations that I’m in or that Yoshi’s in, you know. We really chosen out here on some chosen shit.
I feel it, and just like how you were saying earlier that y’all don’t have to be all over social media. KIIIA: Right, and at least for me I wasn’t on it before this music stuff. I’m just learning how to post pictures and how to get pictures taken and post ‘em and then put out content and stuff. I’m still not that good at it but it’s part of the whole process.
So, you didn’t have no social media at all?
KIIIA: I didn’t, I wasn’t messing with it. I don’t know if you’ve seen but not too long ago I wasn’t following nobody. I followed 0 people and some people were like, “oh, you think you’re cool?” and I was just like, “nah, I didn’t feel like seeing what people doing all day,” it just distract me from I’m supposed to be doing. I’m just that type of person. I’ll get distracted and start scrolling and looking and then I’m like, “why do I even care that this person is making pancakes at 7AM?” They about to eat their dinner and shit, I don’t give a damn. It’s weird, it’s a distraction to me but gotta have it though, it’s part of the music thing.
I feel that, on my personal Instagram I don’t have very many posts because I feel similar about it. A lot of times when I use social media it’s people’s thoughts intruding my own thoughts. I want the space and peace for just what is going on in my head. I ain’t got time to worry about all that other shit.
KIIIA: Exactly, it’s just like corruption. You see how it is when you just be chillin’ and having your own thoughts and going about your own day - things really go good, it moves different. I don’t know if you’re into psychedelics and shrooms and acid and all that.
I ain’t tried ‘em yet but I’m on my way there. KIIIA: Aight, aight, well when it happens is when it’s supposed to happen. Don't force it, for sure, for example when you’re on things like that you really see how the world really is. You really see what is alive and what’s really dead. You’ll see things like your phone and social media and you just don’t even wanna look at it because it give off a weird vibe, like an evil vibe. You kinda just put it away and just stick to the real world and the nature and the plants and the animals, the people. The shit that really matters that you should be focusing one. More confirmation that we ain’t really crazy and why we really don’t like the social media shit and why it’s not connecting with our soul because it’s not real. It’s another part of the system of trying to keep us down and all that.
Truly is, you really have to use it as a tool and that’s it.
KIIIA: For real, that’s a fact because look how we doing this interview right now and talking about having this good conversation and it’s because of social media, it’s through social media. So, it’s not bad fully, there’s still good things that come out of it. It’s still part of the agenda but because people like us don’t give a fuck about the agenda we use it as a tool for a good purpose.
Get what you can outta of it, for real.
KIIIA: It’s like money and stuff. Money is a weird thing but it’s useful at many times.
Where you see yourself in the next 5 years?
KIIIA: Man, hopefully in a big ass house. A big ass house and the whole world know who I am and I’m still movin’ how I’m movin’ and I’m still, I’m not bougie and stuff like that, I’m still humble and grateful and still really making music for real and still trying to change people’s perspective. Keep it pushin’, comfortably.
That sound beautiful, for real.
KIIIA: I’m gonna be comfortable out here but not too comfortable.
KIIIA: Balance, yin yang.
ALL PHOTOS BY: MPVINNY300
KIIIA's Music: https://songwhip.com/kiiia/no-hooks