The Bronx, NY is the mecca of hip-hop. The evolution of music that started all from that borough has been tremendous in the last 30 plus years and it still continues to grow and thrive. Although the BX is the birth place of rap, it hasn’t produced a huge rap artist since Big Pun. We can always throw Fat Joe in the mix of this conversation as far as widely known musicians hailing from the boogie down BX but when it comes to lyricism, it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen one from this particular borough. King Bless, rapper and young entrepreneur is here to change that perspective.

Born and raised in the Bronx, King Bless found his love for music through battle rapping at an early age. Using his musical influences from the birth place of hip-hop, Bless began to write rhymes and he used this as a way to express his creativity. The young MC became more and more popular throughout his borough but little did he know that was all about to come to a halt when he was arrested for multiple felonies and sentenced to spend some time in prison.

This helped humble and focus Bless but more importantly, the circumstances he was now facing helped him draw inspiration and further his creativity with his music. “You ain’t got nothing but time in there,” Bless says in regards to him working on his music in prison. “All you can do is work out, sleep, and write.” Upon his release, King Bless managed to stand firm on his two feet and show that everyone must capitalize off of the second chances. He opened up a boutique right in the middle of his city called Lavish Lifestyle and then he went on to start his own label, Blue Chip Music Group.

After battling multiple ups and down, King Bless has shown that when we’re given second chances to do right by ourselves and our future, take full advantage of the opportunity. Nothing comes easy in this world so, in order to make it, hard work and dedication must be implemented in order to succeed. We sat down with King Bless to speak on his music, his new mixtape, Fruition which is dropping this summer, his album which is dropping in the fall, his music group and of course his brand new record featuring Dizzy Banko called “Back On My Bullshit.”

Listen to the brand new song below and read the full Interview.

What was your process like creating the “Back On My Bullshit” record?

King Bless: The way the record came together is my videographer was telling me about this kid name, Dizzy Banko so I listened to “Back On My Bullshit” that’s the first record I heard from the kid and I heard that and I said that’s a smash.  So we linked up told him to come through to the studio. I told him to lay that hook down “Back on my bullshit” and from there I started thinking about me just getting “back on my bullshit. I’ve been through a lot of this shit man, fake people, phony people, people sleeping on me, it’s the perfect introduction record. I just wanted to address a lot of things and that was the perfect record to do it.

What was it like growing up in the  Bronx and how did that have an influence on your music.

King Bless: It’s a mix of good and bad. It’s very rough coming up in the Bronx, there’s poverty, the moral is very low. It’s a lot of shit you have to deal with, there’s a lot of shit going on in the streets. I pretty much tried to steer clear of getting into to much shit but in the Bronx, you really can’t get away from it. In my teenage years I was fucking around with the wrong people, getting into trouble and that’s what led to me catching my first case, I had a state case, I had a gun charge. That shit knocked me off for a second. The Bronx is definitely tough.

I saw you started off Battle rapping. Aside from the musical inspiration you had growing up in the Bronx would you say that battle rapping sparked your love for creating music?

King Bless: Absolutely, it was an outlet for me too. It was an opportunity for me to be creative, at the same time be competitive and prove that I’m the best. It kept me out of trouble at times, just going to the studio writing. I had my little job, I would go pick up my check, go to the studio record my first records.
 

You spoke earlier about your the time you spent in prison. After your release did you ever think you would get back to rapping although you had a passion for it did you think you would get back in the booth?

King Bless: When I was sitting down I was actually writing every day to stay sharp because you ain’t got nothing but time in there. All you can do is work out, sleep and write. I was in the feds so I had my little MP3 player, I was buying records off iTunes just listening to the beats and rapping. I definitely knew it was in the plans to get back into the booth. I felt like it was just more for me to talk about, it just added on to my story and gave me more for me to talk about to motivate people that been through the same thing I been through.
 

Do you feel like that experience kind of help you in a sense? Did it make you more of a humble rapper? Did it make you understand what you do have as far as your freedom? In what way did that spark a new motivation for you to get back to rapping.

King Bless: It definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things. Before I took a lot of things for granted. Once I sat down I was able to really think and say to myself that I need to take life more serious and my craft more serious. Music is something that can save me and can really change my life, the people around me and even the people I don’t know. It humbled me and made me a lot more mature and gave me that extra push, and motivation to get it popping.
 

What has been your process creating “The Fruition” mixtape, what can we expect and will “BOMB” be on it?

King Bless: “BOMB” is actually not going to be on the mixtape, it’s just the single I’m pushing right now. You know we got that all over the radio, we getting traction, a lot of love, a lot of support. As far as “Fruition”, it’s kind like my baby. It’s my first project since I been out. I came back in 2014, I had to get a few things right, get my business right, my money right, so I could start investing in myself again.
 
This project is pretty much talking about a lot of the things I been through, it’s life, where I’m trying to go. I’m trying to inspire, motivate. I got my man Dave East on their, we got a flamer on there that’s crazy, I got some more production from the homie Dizzy Banko, another upcoming dude named Duke Dolla, fire, Buda and Grandz, you know them, there everywhere. I definitely looking forward to people hearing this here, I’m excited.

You have been rapping for awhile it’s a shocker to me that this is your first project. What was going through your mind realizing everything you been through to get to this point and now your dropping your debut mixtape?

King Bless: I was like man, I got to bust my ass, I got to make sure this is it right here. This is the make or break. I put my heart into it, that was just extra motivation for me to say I’m going to sit down and take my time with this. When people listen to it, they are going to hear the emotion, the insight, you gonna feel me on this one. It’s a lot of real talk on there. I got some wonderful features on there from Shay La Fon, I got Dahlia, some real dope vocalists, and some real dope production. It’s a real dope project, I put a lot of work into it.
 

How did you link up with Dave East?

King Bless: So my man Franchise, who I have known for a long time since about 2007. I used to be in his crib recording my records, he used to help promote me back then, about 10 years ago. I saw that he was always running around with Dave. So I told him I was fucking with Dave and we really got to do something and he said that he would holla at him and put that plug in. So he spoke to Dave gave him the run down on me. He told me they would be at the Engine Room studio and to come through. I went over there, Engine Room, holla’d at Dave, we were chopping it up with the gallon of Henny, shit was like a motherfucking smoke room in that joint. He heard the record, vibed out, jumped in the booth did his joint and the rest is history. It was good vibes he was fucking with the record. I told him I’m about to be there with you trust me this is my year and he said: “cuzzo listen you fire, the lane is open, work.”

I heard you are dropping your debut album later this year is that true?

King Bless: Yessir

I know your pretty focused on your debut mixtape, but have you put any creative thought into building the debut album and if so are you using the same inspiration from your mixtape to put into the album?

King Bless: Absolutely, right now I’m in the production phase. Just going through production you know there’s a certain feel I want to have for it, but it’s definitely the same effort and energy that I put into this mixtape. Just telling my story, I got a lot to talk about and I want to push dudes to be creative, be great, be innovative and know no matter what it is you been through, it can happen. You don’t have to say because you have felonies, or you in trouble for this, there’s no excuse for nothing man and I’m a perfect example of that. Coming from the mud, being through legal trouble, everything and I’m trying to express that through the music. We can all be bosses and young dons, regardless of the history.

I know you have your boutique uptown in the Bronx and your record label popping. In today’s society and the world, in general, how do you feel about black-owned businesses and how strong is your faith in that?

King Bless: My faith in it is 1000%. It’s so important, that’s how we are really going to build. We don’t really own anything, we don’t have any real power and that’s why things are the way they are. Once we start owning more businesses and patronizing with each other and building up our own economy it’s going to start opening up a lot doors. Then we’ll be able to get a certain level of respect and were going to have a certain level power, it’s important. Every other background you got the Spanish folks they patronize with each other, they build they businesses, you got the Jews, the Asians, everybody rocks with their culture, they do business with each other. I feel like we need to do the same thing.
 
That’s why I put my boutique in the Bronx, in the hood, my shit is in the hood on purpose. I want the young homies to see that there is nothing you can’t do. Hustle hard, work hard, do what you got to do and you can own something. I tell them all the time, I say yeah you can have a car that’s cool, that’s impressive to people that ain’t got nothing, but it’s impressive to everybody when you got a business.
 

Did you see it as a challenge, that you were opening something in your own neighborhood and starting this label, coming out of jail?

King Bless: I knew it was going to be a challenge, but me as a person, I have always been a risk taker, always a hustler and everytime I put my mind to something I know can get it done. It definitely wasn’t easy but I knew what it would represent to me, to the community, and what it would represent on a larger scale to the black community as well, it’s big. For the fact it’s coming from someone like me, who looks like me, with my history, it makes the depth that much bigger. That was my drive I knew once I started I wouldn’t stop till I was at the finish line.
 

You have the Blue Chip Music group. How does that work running your own label?

King Bless: Knowing how a lot of this stuff works with labels, I didn’t want a boss. I was always my own boss, I wanted creative control of my music, when my shit drops, who I collab with. It’s just a certain way I want to conduct business. So I said I got to have my own label. I did everything I did, trademark, Tax Id, all of that. It’s another accomplishment that feels real good.
 
Even the name, I got it from the stock world. Blue chips are stocks that are known for their quality, their reputation and their ability to be profitable during ups and downs in the economy. I feel like that definitely describes me as a person as a hustler, it doesn’t matter what’s going on I’m going to get to it and just my reputation is A1 from the business to the streets and the music.
 

Now that you have your label, are there any new artist or any established artists that you would like to work with on the label?

King Bless: As of right now, it’s just me on the label. Of course, I want to sign artist and work with producers and everything but I want to put myself in a position to do it right. I want to gain that leverage so when I  start actually signing folks I can do something for them, put money in their pockets, I can put them in different situations. For right now I’m just focusing on me so then I’ll be in the position to change somebody else’s life.

Besides the mixtape and album, what else do you have planned for the rest of this year?

King Bless: I’m trying to buy some more property, get in this fashion world, I’m trying to get my hand in everything. Fitness, acting, the music is just going to be a gateway for me to get in. It’s going to be a Blue Chips take over for real.