‘The Whole Woo Wop’: an interview wit’ Kmaxx of KPOO’s Ghetto Gumbo

by POCC Minister of Information JR

k-maxx-the-whole-woo-wop, ‘The Whole Woo Wop’: an interview wit’ Kmaxx of KPOO’s Ghetto Gumbo, Culture Currents Definitely it has been a long time coming for one-time Coup bass player Kmaxx to drop his latest release, “The Whole Woo Wop,” which is in stores now. For people who are tired of that hyphy sounding youngsta music that is drowning airwaves, Kmaxx is bringing that mature, sexy and conscious sound back to the Bay Area soundscape.

This is definitely an album for the over 30 hip hop generation, but it is also for youngstas who like to listen to music with adult situations, instead of just fairytale rhymes. The only thing wrong with escapism is when people don’t want to come back to reality, because I will be the first to say that I listen to music with all types of positive and negative messages. I just know what’s real.

And when you look at Bay Area music in the last three years with all of its creativity, it makes me question why radio plays the same ‘ol shit, when you have talent like Beeda Weeda, Mahasen, Chela Simone, Ledisi, Kev Choice, Vernon Hall, Martin Luther and the likes in your midst. The answer is mainstream corporate radio is, for the most part, only going to play music coming out of big record company plantations.

So if you’re dope but you’re not signed to the label Keyshia Cole is on or Kanye West, you’re out of luck, unless you got the hustle to sell your own product on the independent network. Kmaxx is a dope musician, as well as a radio broadcaster on KPOO who opens up doors for other artists. Check out one of the Bay’s underground music and radio kings in his own words.

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MOI JR: Tell us about how you got into music? What went into creating your new album, “The Whole Woo Wop”?

Kmaxx: I’ve been playing instruments since I was a kid, just being fascinated with records and the sounds that came off of them. I started writing songs and making beats, which led to me working with other cats in the Bay. I’ve been doing my radio show, after dropping two projects in the late ‘90s, one of which, “Still Rollin’,” is one of the top sellers to this day on CDBaby.com, the internet distributor for many artists. The response from that project, along with recently working and producing for the Bay’s own R&B legend, Lenny Williams, Andre Nickatina and more cats, motivated me to release my new project, “The Whole Woo Wop.”

MOI JR: What did you do on the album? Rap? Sing? Play instruments? Produce? How long did this project take for you to complete?

Kmaxx: I did everything on the album. I sang the hooks, performed the verses along with my guest artists and played every musical note using real instruments. I work this way because it helps me realize my ideas better. For me, it feels the most organic. It took a little under two years to complete, but only because of planning and scheduling. Actually making the tracks and songs doesn’t take a real long time the way I work.

MOI JR: Be it that you play instruments, do you respect the music of MPC producers who produce with one finger as much as you respect the music of producers who use people playing live instruments?

Kmaxx: Good question. There’s a lot of debate and discussion on this subject. My opinion is yes. I respect the music no matter what method you use to make it. If it resonates with me, I’m down with it. Especially with Hip Hop, we’ve always used whatever we could get our hands on! If it’s dope, it’s dope.

MOI JR: What motivated the good feeling of this album? What kind of music inspires you?

Kmaxx: Thanks, I’m glad you got a good feeling from the album. Some of the songs have something real to say and others are more fun, but I wanted it all to have a hopeful feeling to it. That’s the kind of music I like. The music that inspires me would be music where I can feel the artist and the love and passion they put into it.

MOI JR: Can you tell us a little bit about your Friday night radio show, Ghetto Gumbo on KPOO?

Kmaxx: Yes, it’s on Friday nights from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on 89.5 FM KPOO or KPOO.com. I’ve been doing it since 2001, and I called it “Ghetto Gumbo” because there is so much variety in our music and culture. I wanted the freedom to play whatever, whenever and have the listeners ride with me. It’s a musical gumbo, and much of our creativity comes from the ghetto.

MOI JR: How can people hear samples off of “The Whole Woo Wop” and get in touch with you online?

Kmaxx: You can go to iTunes.com/k-maxx and hear samples and/or purchase songs or the entire album. You can also go to myspace.com/thewholewoowop and hear something and hit me up. Thanks, JR.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR at blockreportradio@gmail.com and visit www.blockreportradio.com.