Even as a new artist, King Harris has one royal foundation. Raised in Long Beach, developed in Oxnard, California the MC who uses his government name has collaborated with E-40 (“Thirsty”), toured the country with his cousin Jay Rock and Tech N9ne and been a fixture in the studio with Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. Now, he’s teaming with Gangrene’s Oh No for his debut album, Nightmare On WolffStreet, a breakthrough project in a career and a life that truly stands out.
“Oxnard has always been a breeding ground for that sound that’s popular,” deduces King in a year where natives Madlib and Anderson .Paak have been behind two of 2016’s biggest albums (The Life Of Pabloand Malibu). “When somebody from Oxnard gets on, that’s the little door, and then it turns into a big hole.”
By 16, dividing his time between the LBC and his grandparents’ place in Oxnard, King Harris began to earn off-the-books money “I was selling crack at 16 in Oxnard. All the stuff that I rap about now, more than likely, it happened in Ox. But as far as gangs and all that shit, that’s Long Beach.” While his cousin Jay Rock would sign a major label deal, Harris was not putting in the necessary work. “I was always serious about Rap, but I never wanted to take pointers from anybody.” In 2008, King would go to county jail and then prison for robbery. After serving his bid, Harris could not adapt. “When I got out from jail, I was trying to fly straight—but I couldn’t find a job to feed my family. I got back into selling drugs.” It was here that King Harris viewed his passion differently; and got the concept for his debut album (he was arrested on “Wolff Street”).
While incarcerated King sharpened his pen and wrote his way out of a criminal life. Seeing Jay and the genesis of TDE on prison TV sets inspired him. Upon his release in 2010, his cousin from Watts paid him a visit. “Jay Rock drove up to Oxnard. We did all the shit cousins do, go out to eat, catch up.” Before they parted, King wanted to show Jay what he’d been up to. “I wanted to kick somethin’ for him that I wrote when I was locked up. You know you spit a dope verse when the nigga you with gotta get his rhymes ready to come back at you.”
Between 2010 and 2012, King Harris would become a staple at Top Dawg’s headquarters. There, he fellowshipped with Kendrick, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q. In a tight-knit crew of visionary artists, Harris was embraced. “I was rollin’ around with TDE, I had just as much access to the studio as anybody else. King also fostered a bond with Strange Music, including touring with Stevie Stone, Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun and he was featured on Tech N9ne’s Welcome To Strangeland tribute “EMJ.”
After all of these opportunities, it is time for King Harris to focus on him and he refuses to rely on handouts. “Jay Rock and Punch are family and believe in me, but they always tell me it’s about quality, not cosigns” King asserts.
Teaming with Oh No, they hit the lab and created King’s debut Nightmare On Wolff Street; an album that effectively bridges 1988 with 2016 and is inspired by milestone Cali Hip-Hop classics like Snoop’sDoggystyle and The Game’s The Documentary.
Today, via an exclusive premiere with Hiphopdx, King Harris gets “Right Back To The Money” with The Game and Oh No. and King explains to Hiphopdx how the collaboration came about. “Oh No and I were in the studio just smokin, he was going through beats and it was late; real late. As soon as that beat came on, I bounced right up! O tried to skip it, I was like nah—go back. The first thing I heard in my head was Snoop. It had a Snoop feel. Fast forward, my album was basically done and I remember when The Documentary 2 was released; and we were listening to it for about a week straight. That’s when it clicked, I knew The Game would be perfect for “Right Back To The Money,” so that’s when I had to figure out how to make it happen.”
King Harris Nightmare On Wolff Street will be released on 5-13-2016.
Listen to King Harris f/ The Game “Right Back To The Money” (produced by Oh No):https://soundcloud.com/kingharrisii/right-back-to-the-money-feat-the-game
Checkout the Hiphopdx premiere: http://hiphopdx.com/singles/id.33627/title.king-harris-gets-right-back-to-the-money-with-the-game-oh-no
Listen to King Harris’ Nightmare On Wolff Street: https://soundcloud.com/kingharrisii/sets/nightmare-on-wolff-st
Pre-order Nightmare On Wolff Street at iTunes: https://itun.es/us/lT_gcb
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