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.
1. Wow you have quiet the story. How did you know music was your calling?
Music was my calling since I can remember, at 7 I remember making remakes of songs I knew. I always heard music in my head, I knew I could do the business side of it for 6 years.
2. In your teens it’s known you were running the streets and that soon caught up with you. When you look back now at your past…what do you think?
That everything I did led me to being the man that I am today. I have no regrets. I use the past as a guideline.
3. So how long were you locked up for and what happened exactly, if you don’t mind us asking?
I did 3 years out of 3½. Charged with armed robbery.
4. Did you write any music behind bars?
I filled books while I sat up north.
5. Not to glamorize anything but for those of us who never been to prison is it really like an episode of OZ?
OZ was a show made for entertainment. There are days in there that are boring as fuck. At any moment it can get crazy, but it isn’t always crazy. It mainly depends on you and how you carry yourself.
6. Since you came out you started a new radio show. Can you tell us about that and how it’s going so far?
It’s a morning show every Wednesday at 8AM on 88.1FM, DYNASTY DAYS MORNING XPERIENCE. It’s a wavy experience, my bro DOO DOO Boy Fuge hosts with me and an off shoot of the show he hosts every Monday night on the same station SRL (Sophisticated Ratchet Life). DDMX is an underground show mainly, I play mostly up and coming artist and my personal picks, we discuss a lot of issues. I have had A Mafia on the show, BBOD, and more.
7. You have a very smooth flow almost melodic in a sense. When would you say you started using the cadence that makes you K.Y.D. Works?
Honestly, I don’t use shit (laughs), I just spit what I feel to the beat. Beats talk to me and call me to tell my story in a way that I understand so that I talk with the beat, not over it. I feel like that’s me in conversation depending on who I’m talking to, sometimes I’m hype as fuck, sometimes real laid back.
8. So lets talk your catalog. What have you released to date as for as mixtapes or albums?
Mixtape release just one thus far. Stress Test VOL.3 (Hosted by Tha Advocate). And a few singles that can be found on Itunes, googleplay, spotify, etc.
9. We know you have a new mixtape on the way, “The Lost”. What can we expect from that project?
Just the multiple sides of me that exist. My story, my pain, anger, hope. Some fun shit of course, life isn’t all doom and misery.
10. Any solid release date yet?
Honestly, I’m aiming for the next few weeks, I just have a lot of promo to do to feel comfortable with that.
11. Any features or Producers worth mentioning?
Features, J Clyde, Jamall Ray, Years Lata, Benny Deveaux, and more.
12. After all these mixtapes do you have a plan to drop an album?
EP first, then if the buzz is where I need it, album drop.
13. How will K.Y.D Works differ on an album over a mixtape?
It will be a deeper story.
14. What is your long term goal for Hiphop?
Make money and make an impact. Build a brand.
15. 5 years ago today where were you?
In Downstate Correctional Facility.
16. 5 years from now where will you be?
Making money and music.
17. Before we break out of here we hear you mention your squad L.D.L.E.G. a lot. Who makes up that crew and do they rap too?
J Clyde (rapper), Jamall Ray (singer/dancer), Years Lata (rapper/producer), Dolla Billz (Rapper), Blake (GAINSGANG), Fuge (ABW), Benny Deveaux (Soul Food Family).. The League is a team of leaders, bosses, GODS of our Arena.
It was great chopping it up with you, hope to talk to you again in the future.
No doubt, I look forward to it. Follow me on IG/TWITTER @KYDWORKS