Kevin "YK" Mitchell is a man of many talents, he is a self-sufficient rapper, producer and engineer. He releases himself from the chains of today's hip-hop and writes about his true convictions. Mitchell is one of the most versatile artists of his time with an untouchable confidence. Not only does he bless the microphone with vivid words and punch lines, he produces his own music and is a self-taught recording engineer.
Mitchell is the youngest of sixteen children and was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. His family moved to southeast San Diego in the 80's where he was raised. It was there that he developed his love for hip-hop music. He began free-styling in middle school initially through peer pressure from his older brothers. The inner-city he knew to be San Diego was nothing like a tourists perspective of it. Mitchell explains, "It was easy to get into trouble in Southeast. Drivebys, murders, drugs and everything else under the sun makes it easy to distract the youth from following their dreams. Music was my piece of sanity." In San Diego he performed at school functions, church events and house parties but it was not until he moved back to Little Rock during his senior year of high school that he began his very first recordings.
At his new high school he formed a musical group called the “G-Riders”. With the help of YK’s older brother David, the G-Riders later transformed into the name G.R.I.M. Muzik. David also, found the group a local recording facility but they were not satisfied with the studios quality. YK decided to learn what it takes to produce his own music and through knowledge from the local studios, he learned how. "I would listen to mainstream recordings and wonder why my music wouldn't match up with theirs. It drove me crazy! I had to figure it out on my own, although I'm still learning," said YK. The brothers slowly pieced together a home recording studio and opened their doors to other local artists. They used the money they made to fund personal projects.
Now their production credits include E-40, Young Bleed, Juvenile, Paul Wall, DC (Get Money Ent,) Tum-Tum & Lil Ronnie (D.S.R.,) Mistah F.A.B., & former NFL star Reggie Swinton (Dallas Cowboys) just to name a few. YK has even landed movie track placements with Tyler Perry and Nick Cannon, and has a featured track on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16." YK believes, "It was God who put me in the right place at the right time to work with these artists.”
After several group members decided to part ways with G.R.I.M. Muzik, YK was ready to pursue his solo career. "Everyone was growing up, having babies, making career changes but I know music is my calling. I have a fear of falling so I rap like it's my last chance. Plus, I have my family as my support. It's almost impossible to chase your dreams when your most beloved ones are betting against you. I thank God for family and friends. I never would've came this far without them," he says. With a distinctive powerful and gritty voice, people from all over came to love his music. Among a long list of his biggest influences are Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Tech N9ne and 2Pac. YK said, "I'm drawn to artists who speak like they demand your attention. Domination. I was taught to speak the peoples language. That's how I developed my style." He has a versatility to his music that can suit almost any occasion.
A solo artist, co-parent and an icon to his city Little Rock, AR. Success is the only option for the country-bred, city-raised Kevin "YK" Mitchell. Good MC's come and go, but great MC's live forever.
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