Rap veteran KOVE sat down with Miss LIV for an exclusive interview.
Has the music industry lost its flavor in “Hip-hop”? What ever happened to the true lyricist, who rocked the mic, entertained the crowd and told an actual story? a time when there was no such thing as “Gangsta Rap” or taking it to the streets in “Battling” and violence being the outcome. A time where everybody who’s anybody went to the club, room full of dancing where the fellas showed off there break-dancing skills and watched the lovely ladies do their thang on the dance floor.
Some can relate to when Big Daddy Kane “Aint No Half Stepping” and years following 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” word play and poetic flow blowing up the air waves. They are but two of many masters in the art of hip-hop who paved the way for the MC’s of today. Needless to say I had an awesome over the phone interview with a good brotha I admire and he was anticipating my call so he could share his story with your girl Miss, LIV. In the words of K.O.V.E. “ThatDude” (Pronounced “KUV”) hip-hop is what we do, hip-hop is what we wear, hip-hop is B-boy, hip-hop is expression, pain, poverty and love. Hip-hop is a lifestyle! –KOVE
Miss, LIV: How did you get started in the music world?
KOVE: I took a 4 year hiatus in 2007 from music. When I came back I had to sit down and encourage myself “You set out to do something do it” I’ve always written music, always did cyphers and back then I did it for the fun of it, it was a hobby for me. Listening to Big Daddy Kane, the culture and the vibe of hip-hop itself is what made me fall in love with music. 2010 is when I started to take music seriously and I been going hard ever since.
Miss, LIV: What’s your stage name and where do you originate from?
KOVE: The name is “K.O.V.E.” ThatDude that is and it’s pronounced “KUV”. The meaning of my name stands for “Knowledge Of a Versatile Entertainer”. I’m from the Bronx, New York repping the DMV area. Not the “Department of Motor Vehicles” DMV HAAA!! No but by DMV I mean the DC, Maryland and Virginia area.
Miss, LIV: LOL! Oh because when I see those acronyms I’m like DMV! DMV! and the “Department of Motor Vehicles” is what came to my mind. I knew it wasn’t that but for others I know they would have thought the same thing as I did. (Both Laugh)
Miss, LIV: Do you write your own songs and lyrics?
KOVE: YES! I take pride in writing my own music. I have a hunger and I feel my music. I say “if it’s difficult to remember and feel your music, then it aint you”.
Miss, LIV: Are you looking for an independent or major label deal?
KOVE: Independent for now, but if a major deal comes along YES! I’m one of the few “Indi” artists that get paid every quarter for my work. “I learned a lot since I been back in the business” Every song is better than the last. “I’m never satisfied”
Miss, LIV: If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
KOVE: I wouldn’t limit myself but I’m not a gangsta so I’m not a gansta rapper I’m hip-hop. “First, it was rap and r&b what’s it gonna be rap or r&b”
Miss, LIV: Who are the artists you listen to the most on your IPad, PC, in the car etc..?
KOVE: I listen to independent artist. Why? We need support, we know who dope, and we know who nice, nothing against mainstream artist or anything. But listen! “Listeners follow trends” If Trinidad James songs weren’t playing on the radio and I played it for a fan “Garbage” on the radio “HOTT”. My music plays in my car, so when somebody is in my car and they listening bobbin they head they say “Who that?” I say, “That’s me”
Miss, LIV: What do you think makes you and your type of music unique from other artists?
KOVE: My sound is different and the subject matters are particular. The way I craft my songs and how every line plays in the hook of the story line is what makes my sound unique. My song “Perfect 10” was lead single on BET’s “Rap it Up” Tour mix-tape. All the attributes in “Perfect 10” is my definition of the perfect female. I’m slick and intriguing in each verse. I wasn’t ranked too far from Jadakiss and 2 chains. “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it” I wrote and recorded that song in 3 hours
Miss, LIV: Oh wow I know that had to have been the best feeling in the world beings that you were ranked close to a few mainstream artists. I listened to “Perfect 10” I loved it. Has there been one particular moment in your music career that you’re most proud of?
KOVE: In 2012 I won Ice Cubes “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” competition. It was like 1, 000 people in the crowd. The best feeling in the world
Miss, LIV: How was it meeting Ice Cube?
KOVE: It was a pleasure to meet and be judged by an iconic legend and he was very down to earth. For me it was another show and I was another competitor. I’m nervous before any show, but once the mic is in my hand nervousness is out the door.
Miss, LIV: How do you prepare for your shows?
KOVE: I drink a lot of water before a performance. I never rehearsed for a show… WHY? “I want everything I do on stage to be in the moment” However; I do strategize my set, me and the DJ are on point, he is good at what he does we get in the zone, feel the music so no need to rehearse.
Miss, LIV: Awww! shucks oh so that’s why you “ThatDude” hunh! You be doing the thang like that. No rehearsals! That’s straight skills and a gift. Dope! (In my KOVE voice) LMBO! (Laughs)
Miss, LIV: When was your last performance?
KOVE: UHHH! December of last year 2012 a local event called “Bar 7”
Miss, LIV: If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what could it be?
KOVE: One main thing is I would like to bring social commentary back to the lime light. “Hip-hop is losing its essence, women, men and its creditability “for the record and a little bit off the subject matter, I just want to say “Everybody is not a hater, I don’t have haters”. –KOVE
Miss, LIV: Well okay LOL! Do you have songs that are focused on actual facts?
KOVE: Yes! I’m a story teller like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Big Sean
Miss, LIV: I agree with you K. Lamar has been banging in my headphones on a daily, love BIG Sean’s steelo and J. Cole. Those are my fav’s of the current lyricist because they have something to talk about.
Miss, LIV: If ever the opportunity who would you collaborate with?
KOVE: I look forward to challenges in the studio, so I say Dr. Dre and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Why? Dr. Dre is a “Perfectionist” and Diddy is a “Visionary.
Miss, LIV: What’s your opinion on the rap artists of today?
KOVE: Rappers want to be ballers and ballers and trappers want to be rappers. It takes away from the essence of hip-hop when you hear of beefs. Rap beefs are street beefs; they don’t want to compete on a lyrical level so they want to take it to the streets.
Miss, LIV: I agree with you totally on that one KOVE.
Miss, LIV: Tell me! What is your definition of Hip-hop?
KOVE: Hip-hop is what you do, hip hop is what you wear, hip-hop is B-boy, pain, expression, and love…..
Miss, LIV: Any special shot out’s KOVE?
“I would like to give a shot out to “TEAMKOVE” no need for names they know who they are. I salute every Indie artists on his grind he’s goin make it. Special shot out to UrbSocietyMagazine for having me and one love to everybody worldwide.”
To hear more from ThatDude KOVE check him out at http://reverbnation.com/KOVEXL and download single “SuperBowl BIG” also available on iTunes and Google Play. Get your copy and see what the streets buzzin, also follow him on Twitter & Instagram @thatdudekove on FaceBook: KOVE
Miss, LIV rates this interview as “DOPE” LOL! PHILLY BABEEY!