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San Diego rapper Kayo self-released his first EP, Konfessions of a Kriminal, in 2005, at the age of 22. At least four other recording artists in different cities are calling themselves Kayo.

The Kayo in Dallas, Texas, is 15 years old and described on his CDbaby page as “Kid friendly, cute, and you will turn it up.” Sweden’s Kayo is a female disco performer, Japan has a Kayo Taizan, and Kayo Dot is an experimental rock ensemble based in New York City.

“I have been using the name Kayo since 1998, [my] freshman year of high school,” says local Kayo. “I started rapping a year before that. The name was given to me by my good friend Smokey, aka Smoke Mack, who was killed earlier this year. The name later stuck with me after an altercation I had, where cats started calling me K Knockout, then Kayo. Once they figured out it was my stage name, it was over.…

“I’ve been in many publications under the name Kayo, and the name has been poor-man copyrighted to myself.” A “poor man’s copyright” is accomplished by using registered dating by the post office or a notary public to stake a copyright claim (though U.S. copyright law doesn’t include any provision regarding this type of “protection”).

Kayo released his newest album, One Hundred Percent Hustle, in 2008. He’s also been performing and recording around town with locals Young Mass and Play B in a trio known as the Three Rappers.

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 8, 2009 @ 7:19 a.m.

Local Kayo says “Many projects have been released with my production credits to that name, and that’s how cats know me in the streets. I am Kayo.”

Related Reader links:

WHERE'S THE READER'S HIP-HOP COVERAGE? We get a lot of emails asking this, and (hopefully) readers have noticed increased coverage throughout the music section, including Blurt, Lists, Of Note, and Club Crawler... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/aug/30/where-is-the-readers-hip-hop-coverage

Wal-Marts, Best Buys, and Strip Clubs - Everyone performing at the Casbah’s first local rap showcase next month was nominated in the Best Hip-Hop category at this year’s San Diego Music Awards — everyone except Kayo..... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2008/nov/19/blurt4

Let It Flow - Hip-hop artist MC Flow -- a.k.a. Abby Schwartz -- raps about politics and women's issues. Though she's won Best Hip-Hop at the San Diego Music Awards, many locals cried foul to see a white Jewish woman take home that particular prize.... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2007/sep/27/flow-it

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 8, 2009 @ 7:21 a.m.

TEN SONGS THAT DEFINE SAN DIEGO HIP-HOP - 40oz Chris

Young Mass f/Digital Underground - “Blue Skyy” (Young Mass)

Kayo - “Mill Sh-t” (One Hundred Percent Hustle)

Jayo Felony - “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (Whatcha Gonna Do?)

Mitchy Slick - “Drug Flippin” (Urban Survival Syndrome)

Mitchy Slick - “Regular Nigg’n” (Triggeration Station)

Cherry Chuck Gang - “Beer N Big” (Cherry Chuck Gang)

Smigg Dirtee f/C.G., & Dago Braves - “Push” (Forgotten City)

Play B. f/Young Mass, & Kayo - “Angel” (Unreleased)

Dido Brown/Bonafide Camp f/Domino -“California” (Independent Out The Trunk)

Tre "Tha Bizness" (The Real)

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