With the recent release of Kafani’s Bay Area Boss album, SOHH hit up the West Coast rapper to find out who his three biggest inspirations were coming up.
Asked to specifically name Bay area-based emcees, Kafani’s Top 3 included late rap star Tupac Shakur.
“My Top 3, I gotta say Too Short, E-40 and Tupac,” Kafani told SOHH. “I was a real big 2Pac fan. E-40, I got to work with him and Too Short, they’ve been doing their thing in the Bay for a long time. So if you don’t know those dudes or have a connection, then you really aren’t doing nothing. So I gotta say those dudes were my biggest inspirations to see cats that really made it and had longevity in the game. That’s what I’m all about. I’ve been grinding for a few years now and that keeps me in the game. My music went from local to people all over starting to hear about me and my music.” (SOHH)
Kafani also recently hit up SOHH and spoke on making a name for himself via the independent hustle.
“The independent game is pretty good, I mean, anything you do you have to work hard at it,” Kafani told SOHH. “On a major label, you have to work but not as hard. There’s a lot of money that the label is going to put up to get you out there. So when you’re independent, you have to grind much harder to do it. But the thing about it that I like [about] being on the independent side is that you have more freedom to do what you want to do. Everything you’re seeing is my creation and what I”m putting together. I want to be able to be independent and make music the way I want to do it. I was on E-1 Music for a minute and it was cool. It’s an indie label but still had us working off of a major scale so a lot of things that were going on with the project, I didn’t know about. So I like to be kind of hands on with my stuff. At the end of the day, I know what’s best for me.” (SOHH)
Over the winter, fellow Bay Area rapper E-40 said he favored indie labels as opposed to majors.
“You caught up in a deal and a lot of times they’ll water your a** down,” E-40 explained in an interview. “They gonna be chasing a single and water it down. They want to hear a single before they actually start investing their money in you. They’ll sign you but while you working on your album the A&R’s coming in there like ‘We got one!’ Now it could be good if you got a single that caters to the hood and it got crossover appeal, that’s the blessing. But that’s like one of them ones when you hit the lottery. That shit don’t happen all the time. A hit don’t just happen. A hit comes out of nowhere, like a real contractual hit. You can’t force that sh*t. It’s gotta come natural like an afro.” (Hip Hop DX)
Recently, Kafani told SOHH what three celebrities he would love to see perform his “Baller Roll” dance.
“I would love to see Puffy and Jay-Z doing the ‘Baller Roll’ dance because they’re trendsetters,” Kafani said. “A lot of stuff they do end up popping. And then for the chicks, I would want somebody like Kim Kardashian doing the ‘Baller Roll’ dance. You gotta have a lot of swag.” (SOHH)
Check out Kafani’s “Baller Roll” below: