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Interview: Q&A

No Sudden Moves: KIV gives the nod to Struggle Rappers on his latest release

London artist KIV started off the week by dropping a brand new video single titled “No Sudden Moves” off his forthcoming project titled Struggle Rapper.

Giving the nod the every struggle rapper on the come up, KIV provides a dialogue that’s equal parts realistic and cheeky. KIV is not throwing any shade; he’s simply pointing out that a lot of guys are on the come up. And a very small percentage of those guys are actually going to end up famous (or making any sort of profit off their craft).

If you’re a rapper, you gotta be rapping for the love of the craft. You’ve got to be looking to progress yourself and enjoy your process. That’s what KIV has been doing for years. And while – yes – the guy probably still considers himself a struggle rapper. He’s enjoying every minute of it because the dude just loves to rap.

The video was shot and directed by Koel Anderson of OMG #519 and the beat was produced by IGNORVNCE. Scope the video for “No Sudden Moves” and check out our Q&A with KIV below.


HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me what this song means to you on a personal level, and what prompted you to write this.

KIV: I was trying to touch on a lot of different ideas out with this track. At its core “No Sudden Moves” is a shout out to all the independent artist who dig the process itself… and keep plugging away at it; looking to make each piece better than the last one. As far as the hook goes, it’s a shout out to the whole Revelate team. We’ve been moving together as a unit since day one. And I feel like this track is a celebration of that.

HipHopCanada: I love how genuine this track is. It’s the complete opposite of a braggadocious rap track… it’s a self-deprecating rap track. Why did you take that approach, and how does that reflect how you see yourself as an artist within the rap game?

KIV: I wanted to make an honest, self-aware track with “No Sudden Moves.” As far as content, I looked back on some of the early shows that I had done, or tracks that I put out in the past when I just getting my feet wet and pulled from those experiences. Which are experiences I feel a lot of people can relate to. The classic rapper narrative is to achieve fame and fortune from hip-hop. But we all know that doesn’t happen to everyone who grabs a mic. “No Sudden Moves” is being aware of that reality and doing it just because you like to; as cliche as that sounds. The song is kind of a wink at rap bravado. You can’t rap the bad and bougie lifestyle if you’re not living it. Everyone who knows you will see through it. And that’s not a good look. I see myself as a hip-hop head who just wants to share experiences and make beats with the homies.

HipHopCanada: On that note, the title of your upcoming mixtape is Struggle Rapper. Talk to me about how that came about.

KIV: Struggle Rapper is essentially about the process. Every rapper starts off as a Struggle Rapper. An easy example that comes to mind is Drake’s first rap on Degrassi as Jimmy. You know what I mean? The whole mixtape is about growth and experimenting. Experimentation is a constant when an artist is starting off. And in the YouTube era, everyone can watch you do it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Struggle Rapper is also about taking these chances and embracing them.

HipHopCanada: What was your vision for this video and how did that all go down with Koel?

KIV: I’ve been working with Koel for a while now and he’s always down to try out new ideas. As far as a vision for the video, we just were aiming to get a day in the life vibe. Leave the apartment, grab some Arizonas from the variety story and work on music.

HipHopCanada: Tell me about IGNORVNCE and how you ended up collaborating on this one?

KIV: I’m a huge fan of IGNORVNCE beats. I’ve been checking his SoundCloud constantly and just reached out. I have another track over one of his beats on the mixtape and I’m excited to put that one out.

HipHopCanada: Give me your own personal definition of a “Struggle Rapper.”

KIV: A Struggle Rapper is just like any struggling artist. It’s just more interesting with rap because the genre is competitive. The struggle rapper theme song is “Survival Of The Fit” by Mobb Deep. The hook pretty much sums it up.

HipHopCanada: I don’t think being a struggle rapper is necessarily a bad thing.

KIV: I don’t think it is either at all. The whole Struggle Rapper mixtape is about embracing where you’re at… not even in rap. Just life in general.

Interview conducted by Sarah Jay for HipHopCanada

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