Artist Spotlight: Kid Cali
In the grand scheme of hip-hop Nipsey Hussle may be a new artist, but he’s already learned it takes more than simply making music to get ahead. Nipsey’s boutique record label All $ In, No $ Out (pronounced “All Money In, No Money Out”) is a stable of young, hungry West Coast MCs, including Marques “Yung Brodee” Edwards and Justin “Kid Cali” Lishey, 23, who’s pictured with his “big bro” in the above photo.
A Los Angeles native (as he says, “I grew up in the city of survivors where the good die young”) Kid Cali’s just released his boisterous debut single, “And I’m On.” The phrase is also the name of his upcoming mixtape, due for release this Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The rambunctious member of the crew, Kid Cali was first featured on Nipsey’s posse cut, “C.E.O.” We caught up with him recently to talk about his relationship with his boss, his upcoming mixtape, fashion, ladies and more.
You’re signed to Nipsey Hussle’s All $ In, No $ Out independent label. How would you describe your relationship with Nipsey?
“All $ In is more than just a record label; it’s bigger than a movement. All $ In is a way of life and I’m living it. With that being said, Nip is like my big brother. We’re family. All for one and one for all. We all we got.”
Your debut single’s called “And I’m On.” What’s it about?
“People hear ‘And I’m On’ and they automatically think about money, but being ‘on’ has several different meaning’s. A fat girl could not have eaten all day and finally get a piece of chicken—and she on. I could be in the studio sober turned down and my connect pull up—and I’m on. The title of my debut single speaks for itself. ‘And I’m On’ is all about getting on, being on and staying on.”
You have your first mixtape coming out on the Fourth of July (also called And I’m On). What kind of music can we expect from it?
“My music is universal. Listening to my music is like reading my personal journal. I rap about all my life experiences. The ups and downs, smiles and frowns. My music is full of passion, drive and ambition so you can expect to hear something new, something different, something epic. I’m in my own lane. When listening to my music, expect the unexpected.”
How would you say your personality is different from the rest of your All $ In crew?
“For starters I’m me and what I mean when I say that is I’m one of a kind. I’m unique. I’ve never tried to fit in. I actually take pride in standing out. My music is not only for people that share the same background as I do, but also for people who can relate to my everyday life experience regardless of their race, creed or social status. I have a very distinct voice which makes it quite difficult for people to compare me to others.”
Changing the subject to fashion. How would you describe your personal style?
“I’ve been told that I’m a reincarnated black James Dean. Very well groomed and dressed to impress every time I step out. Even when wearing all black I seem to steal the spotlight. Known around town as the Polo Don, I stay draped in Ralph Lauren. On my breath you can smell a hint of mint Listerine and my scent comes from my favorite fragrance of choice, D&G.”
And finally, for the ladies, what can a female do to catch your eye?
“I’m attracted to women with star-bright smiles and smooth skin. I’m very big on personalities and I always pick brains over beauty ’cause how beautiful can a woman be if there’s nothing upstairs? I love independent and competitive women. Also I’ve recently grown attracted to freckles and reading glasses. I’m a very affectionate person, so I need a lot of attention from the one I’m with. For a woman to catch my eye she would have to have confidence in herself and an idea of what she wants out of life. A woman filled with uncertainty is annoying and no one enjoys being annoyed.”
Listen to “And I’m On”:
Watch the video for Nipsey Hussle, Kid Cali and Yung Brodee’s “C.E.O”: