Kayo: MC

Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap

RIYL: Young Mass, Play B, Nipsey Hussle, YG, Mitchy Slick, Damu, Cee Wee 3, Kendrick Lamar, Gaslamp Killer, Vokab Kompany

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Inception: San Diego, 1998

Influences: Pac 10, One Hunned, Vision, Ace the General, Kalifornia Bears featuring Bucky Adams


“I call my genre of music reality rap,” says hip-hop impresario and producer Kayo Hustle (formerly known just as Kayo). “It describes the things that I went through. It’s reality because I used to write the songs to myself — to motivate myself, to overcome my worst situations. That’s why I say in songs like ‘True Story’: ‘I’m tired of walking, I wanna ride in a Caddy.’ I wrote that in 2005. Well, I drive a ’Lac now, so the self-motivation worked, didn’t it?”

He started spitting rhymes at the age of 14. “The name was given to me by my good friend Smokey, aka Smoke Mack,” he says. “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.”

At 22 he dropped, sold, marketed, and distributed his first EP, Konfessions of a Kriminal, followed by One Hundred Percent Hustle in 2008. “Money is a bigger motivation for me than sex. I could care less how pretty or good a female is. I got goals to accomplish. If she wants me, she’s gotta be helpin’ out.”

A full-length called Lifestyle of a Hustler was recorded and planned for 2009, with a lead single "2 Tha Hataz (I'm Hot)" released in March. The single was produced by Young Mass, with whom Kayo sometimes performed in a trio called the Three Rappers, along with Play B, but Lifestyle of a Hustler was shelved after only a few copies were circulated.

Lifestyle of a Hustler was partially redone and finally released in June 2012 on the On Fyre Entertainment/Go Reala Music Group label. With most of the beats by Kayo, other producers include San Diego’s own Dave Moss and Mass, as well as LT and DJ Blaze One, with the track “I’m Bout Money” also featuring I Rocc and Play B.

XVI Khronicles Deluxe, released in September 2015, features production from locals Dave
Moss, Cricet, Kurt Nitty, and Ma$$.

A new album was released in November 2018, Executive Orders, followed in 2019 by Lifestyle of a Hustler Vol. 2.



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