Words and Photos by Robert LeBlanc
You know when you hear someones music for the first time and you’re like “HOLY SHIT! This is what I’ve been waiting for for this whole time and I didn't even know it” Well that’s the way I felt when I first herd a Knxwledge track. It was his rework of Outkast’s “Da Art of Story Telling pt4” on his “Hexual.Sealings.LP” and I was blown away and continued to slap that joint on repeat for a good 3 days easy. His rework of hip-hop and rap classics are simply incredible. Still keeping their grimy elements that make them so great to start with, but by adding his special touch he is able to breath a fresh breath into these tracks and bring you a whole new experience. If you haven't herd of him yet then you’re blowing it in a major way, and it’s probably time to climb out of the rock you’re living under! But to make you not feel like a complete pile of shit there’s probably a good chance you have already herd one of his productions and just didn't know it. He’s produced for artists such as Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, SiR, Earl Sweatshirt, Roc Marciano, and Kendrick Lamar just to name a few. He’s also has over 83 releases via Bandcamp, and impressively released a 53 track retrospective compilation all on cassette tape. Knxwledge has won a Grammy for the production of “Momma” from Kendicks Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly”, plus he’s one half of NxWorries along with Anderson Paak. But what’s even more impressive than all those musical accomplishments is his down to earth and well-grounded personality, his humility, kindness, and hilarious sense of humor. I had the privilege to get a tour around his neighborhood in Hollywood, and bullshit about life, living in Los Angeles, our equal love for Carhartt, castles, and were to get fire smoothies…all while I snapping some photos. Below are images and a little blip of our conversation that day.
I instantly get inspired to take photos from random things throughout my day. Like when I come across a beautiful assortment of colors or a shadow that covers a person so perfectly. What are the things or situations you find yourself coming across on a daily basis that gets you hyped to make music? Man honestly I'm getting to an age where I'm just literal and aware of everything around me. My environment is always the canvas for my creativity. I’m on a plane from Dubai right now making new joints. Honestly just thankful for my health & my real teeth still.
I know you grew up in the church, and your music is influenced by gospel music from time to time. What did you pick up from all those years in church that still influences your music today? Absolutely. I’ve actually just fully completed my dream setup so far… actually I still need a drum set but shit they keep making new ones, and I need NEW SHT ONLY. But yeah I grew up playing instruments in church dabbling on everything, and its all right here when I wake up to make the next joint.
What's one of the most incredible or life changing experiences you experienced because of music? Being able to work for myself I think. Sustain paying to exist off my craft. Making my parents and family proud. Blessed.
What were the biggest changes coming from Philly to LA, what shit tripped you out the most about LA when you got here? LA is just a big place lot of different environments out here a lot of different people from different places which is why its so ill. Not really much, it’s just like any other hood I’ve lived in. That LA accent is wild tho, niggas really talk like “Boyz in the Hood”.
What would be the ultimate Celebrity Deathmatch episode, if you could make one today? Man that’s too crazy. I’ma have to say like Jean Claude Van Damme vs Jean Claude Van Damme. Like “Double Impact”.