Hurdle Over Triumph: KC Wimbley shares it all on “Got it Made”

His passion for music is apparent in the discipline and strategic planning of his music releases. The video, shot by Chicago Creative Director Abiola Are, for his new single “Got it Made” is released at a time where teen and young adult angst is at an all-time high. It is about struggles, perils of choices, and being young in a city with limited support. Rather than depict anger and sadness through trauma, this video uniquely transforms the narrative that there is another way out of darkness. K.C is seen at each despairing moment in the character’s story, rapping to uplift them, then physically appearing to save them from a fatal decision. The video is brilliant in its illustration of issues that women suffer at the hands of environmental violence. The hardcore lyricism and New-York-like horns in the song speaks to the rawness and authenticity K.C. Wimbley feels about his music. This interview gave me insight into the man who envisions it all. I was delighted to hear his deliberate power moves that propelled his rap career. It brings new energy into the Chicago scene and it is refreshing to hear bars. By-way of Atlanta, Chicago-based rapper K.C. Wimbley should be heard because he adds depth and soul to each line in “Got it Made”. Check out the interview below!

rubyhornet: Let’s talk about your music. How did you get into it? What is your background, where are you based? What do you like to give to your audience?

KC: I grew up around music. My whole family had a passion for music, but it was church music. I had been rapping since I was 16 years old. I went to college and got my Bachelor and Master’s degrees and never planned on taking rap seriously. I knew that it was something that I liked and had fun doing but never thought about doing it seriously. The way that music is today, I thought that you had to have pink dreads and face tattoos. Around the time that I was about to graduate out of college, that was the time I realized that you, yourself, can make it–you don’t have to wait. Look at all these people that have made it and did not have to change anything about themselves. I never wanted to do that, I always wanted to stay true to myself. I have been taking it serious a little less than two years. I would put out music just to see the responses I get from social media. It was either: people are really liking this, or they just really support me. Either way, people are really sharing this and liking this. I had been taking it serious since September 2017 when I wrote my very first song.

rubyhornet: That’s wonderful! Let’s talk about that process of jumping in and writing your very first song. What was it about? How did you know when it was complete?

KC: 2017. Right, my very first song I wrote was called “Go For It”. I graduated in May 2017 and I wrote my first song in June 2017. You know, I was so pressed because I graduated, got a job and apartment and never realized how expensive it was to put out quality music or put out a quality visual. So, I wrote the song, I found this beat I liked. I didn’t really know the business like that, so I had found this free beat on YouTube and downloaded it like ‘you know, this is free FREE’. I wrote the song in June, recorded the song in July and it took me about two months for the music video. My whole first song was about what I was about to do–this journey I was about to embark on. It’s crazy because I go back and listen to this song, everything that I talked about in it, I’m currently going through or doing.

rubyhornet: Can you name specifically what that was?

KC: I said in the song “I got to get out my comfort zone, I got to get on the stage and do shows” For me, I always focused on social media, but now it’s like I have to get up and perform now. I have to get up and go hit the road. I had to move from Atlanta–I’m from Chicago, but I had moved to Atlanta–so, it was like I was half in Atlanta and half in Chicago. I might have to work 50 hours a week, then go hit the booth in the night shift. Just like making sure I had enough money to pay my bills and make music. I have two jobs just to do this music stuff…. the balance is really hard for me, but I am doing a lot better at it. I have met a bunch of new people and gained new support.

rubyhornet: I think that is cool that you slid in there real smoothly that you are based out of Atlanta and Chicago. I can hear that in your music as well and it’s important to highlight. You have that ATL cadence but Chicago flow. It matches perfectly in the song and the video you just released “Got it Made”. What has been your favorite song or studio moment in your career thus far?

KC: A little fun fact, my engineer that worked on my entire tape and first project is the same engineer for Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson and YFN Lucci. There were leaving out the studio as they were coming in, and vice versa. Seen them a couple times but never any cross action. My favorite song that I have created so far, I would say is “Got it Made”. I feel like there were 6,7, or 8 different angles that I view before I write a song. “Got it Made” was the deepest and realest song I ever wrote. It’s not a club song and not a turn up song, or you really can’t play in the church. But the song is just the realest I ever wrote!

rubyhornet: Where would you want people to play this song?

KC: I want people to play that song driving late at night when you are in deep thought. Even if it’s like in the bedroom at night, or anywhere that you can feel like you can be therapeutic mentally and actually focus. Some people take drives at night, or just drive for relaxation purposes. This is a song that I want them to listen to and completely focus

rubyhornet: Yes, I like that. I’m glad we’re talking about the song and that it is your favorite song, because I actually like the song and the video that’s attached to it. How did you and director Abiola Are come up with the concept?

KC: The thing about the video is that the first lady was going through depression and she was cutting herself. It was me that stopped her. I wrote the song from my perspective. The overall song was about how you struggle and how you make it through–you didn’t let that struggle take you out and cost you to do anything or make a bad decision. Even though I struggled, I still made it out on top. I wanted the video to be a certain way of showing struggle but also showing triumph. I’m the behind-the-scenes guy rapping my own struggle, while I’m also helping them through theirs. The second girl she had got pregnant, the guy didn’t want to raise the baby, she went to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion and I stopped her. The message that I was trying to get out is that you can struggle but you don’t have to make a decision based off of your struggle.

That was my biggest concept for the video. I wanted to make it relatable for people, because here’s the thing about people in 2019–people can smile in your face but be so broke on the inside, even for myself. So, I always do my best, no matter what you do, I’m going to treat you with respect, because you never know what people are going through. I know how it feels to be in the room full of everybody’s and still feel by yourself. You can’t talk to a lot of people about it, because they will judge you not really help. It’s just not a good mental space to be in. I always try to be that friend that people can reach out to be there for them–if you need people to talk to, we can be transparent. I’m really big on mental health. I just wanted to make it relatable to people to let them know you don’t have to make poor decisions from your struggle.

rubyhornet: I like that, and I thank you for that message because it is healing for people to listen to it. They can picture themselves in it, even from the small details such as the home. The home reminds me of an aunt’s home or grandmother’s home where there is a lot of hurt and sadness. You’re showing triumph and light in your video through it all.

KC: That was my grandmother’s house!

rubyhornet: Aye! That’s dope! I know that a lot of people can relate to that

KC: I had a lot people reach out to me and tell me how much–no joke, people have called me crying about the video. They had been going through certain things themselves and they can’t talk to people. The video really made them open up some wounds that they didn’t want to speak about. I have gotten calls, texts, and comments about how much people have enjoyed it. It really makes me feel good that I was able to write a song that people can relate to.

rubyhornet: What’s to come next for you? What’s next after the video release?

KC: I have some photoshoots scheduled and another video shoot that I want to release. I just want to keep dropping music. My approach is that I really want to focus on visuals–like a good visual to go along with the songs that I have written. So, my plan so far is I want to drop a video this summer and a EP at the end of the summer this summer. I will drop a new tape at the end of this year or next year.

rubyhornet:How can people reach you?

KC: Well my Twitter and Instagram is @KC_Wimbley and my YouTube: KC Wimbley

Jennifer Gardner