King Krule – out getting ribs is how I would describe myself as an artist
A while back I got the chance to speak with one artist I’ve been paying a lot of attention to recently. I often find myself catching onto tons of different ways that artists can differentiate themselves from the modern styles of art that circulates our phones now. One artists that has defined his own style over a long history of living in paint, Kill Che has imprinted himself on the rap game with his hand painted cover art, but Che isn’t just a cover artist. And he plans to show this to the rest of the world. It’s not easy being able to do what Kill Che does and it’s apart of the reason I wanted know more about him and where his inspiration for his art work comes from. This interview is only old because of project reasons, but I feel that Kill Che’s words and origin story is one that should be documented for his supporters as well as those of you all who seek inspiration from artists as such. Below you can read our short talk as well as look at some original images all made by Kill Che himself.
When did you first start painting? Like how did you know you were good at it if that makes sense?
Kill Che: Ummmm…. Honestly it’s like the only thing I’ve ever been good at.
Why do you say that?
Kill Che: Like besides talking to people and socializing yeah, just art. I mean like I always been horrible at school, just something about sitting for hours at a time and people telling you what to do all day and shit. I just hated it I was always like a class clown jus fucking around getting in fights smoking weed hahaha I don’t know I was young, and I’m also like pretty tall like I’m not a lil nigga so people were always getting me to do sports and shit but I was ass at that too so…
Kill Che: But art? Man, since before I could remember people been telling me I had a good eye or girls always paid attention to me because I could draw and I was nice. My grandmother was a painter too and I had like weird breathing problems (I almost died when I was baby) so far a while when I was a kid all I could really do is like stay in and paint. All I could really do is like stay in and paint and play with Lego’s and shit but I grew out of that, that all kinda has to do with the Kill Che thing.
How did you first get introduced to painting?
Kill Che: I got introduced to it because my grandmother was a really good painter and my mother always had her art around our house. My grandma died when I was pretty little so her art was kinda like her still being around in a way to me if that makes any sense? I’ve painted since I could hold a pen or brush, I don’t know if I ever knew that I was doing it to be honest I just really liked doing it hahaha like it’s kinda a form of meditation for me I just happened to be good at it always.
Kill Che: My mom was really encouraging but she’s my mom so I didn’t really believe her till like grade school when everybody would always want me to be apart of their group project to do all the art stuff. Then I was like “Oh shit I might actually be good.” I still don’t really believe I’m good sometimes.
Do you have any inspirations?
Kill Che: I feel like I’m inspired pretty easily. People inspire me, animals, movies. I don’t know I’m just looking for a reason to be great. David Choe inspires me a lot he’s crazy painter and he generally doesn’t give a fuck. You have to not give a fuck to be successful, like he went to college for a year just to steal art supplies… like that’s my nigga. As well as him my peers; other artist from rappers to drawers to writers to fucking YouTube vloggers, just the youth in general. We all have the capability to do such sick shit when we come together. All the niggas in Glone, Nell, Haley, Kodone, Ron, Icey, Crunch, Nolan, to my homies Peter, Lord Fubu, Yung Bans, Kyle, Johnny, Caius, Grayce my wife, Shit even you Norrin. Just people who when I was dropping out of school to save up and move back out to LA told me they believed in me. Music is an overpowering influence in my life if I didn’t mention that already or if it wasn’t very obvious.
Kill Che: Also cheetahs, The fact that they can run as fast as they can is so inspiring, wild animals in general like animals that don’t live by any rule but their own I really appreciate that hahaha. Picasso, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, and Basquit. Picasso because he was bout that money, Salvador because he was just so fucking crazy, but still made insanely detailed surreal paintings. Van Gogh and Basquiat because they just really lived for the art and didn’t really care about life. Van Gogh barely saw any recognition for his work while he was alive and Basquiat saw a bit of fame but didn’t really seem to care just painted and did drugs.Not that I’m going out like him but it’s inspiring.
Kill Che: Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino, Lars Van Trier, I really like blade runner like I could watch that movie with the sound off, I don’t know I’m inspired by every little thing, love, sadness, destruction, it all makes me wanna paint.
Fuck comfort, don’t half ass your dreams.
Small Gallery of Paintings by Kill Che
How often are you working on your art?
Kill Che: Well I try to paint as much as possible, like I hand paint all of my art. I’m no graphic designer turning out shit ever 40 minutes like it takes me a long to time to paint a lot of these covers but it’s cool. I love painting, it relaxes me. I like to treat my painting like a job too, because it’s really what I care about and even if I’m tired from work I still like to paint because every painting makes me feel one step closer to quitting the job you feel me. Also I hate sleeping like I probably sleep like 4-5 hours a night if I’m lucky I just don’t really mind feeling tired never have, sleep is the cousin of death I don’t need that shit.
What is your favorite piece you’ve made so far? What qualities about it make it your favorite?
Kill Che: That’s really hard to say because I’ve been making art since I was little I mean just off the top my head I really like my cotton candy coupe painting with the Beamer and dogs because the colors, I love pastel colors & pink in general. I think I love pink so much because when your a little kid people always telling you boys aren’t supposed to like pink so me being me I was like this my whole thing and it really shows what I can do if given time.
Kill Che: Another one that I kinda hate/love is this old painting I did for my bro BigBabyGucci. I think it was the first art I did for him; it was this George Condo style painting I did for him that fundamentally I hate it because I literally copied another man’s style even though he’s way bigger than me that’s still lame.
Kill Che: If we talking covers I’ve done a lot now so I don’t know if I would b able to pull from top of my head but most recent probably the cover I did for “War” by Famous Dex & D Savage produced by Yung Icey, the cover I did for Nolanberollin’s song “First Day Out.” I really love this cover that I did for Lord Apex, he’s still waiting to use it. He’s from England and he told me he showed his mom and she loved it haha that made me happy. Oh and the cover I did for my most recent exclusive “OLD HOE” by RON$OCOLD jus cuz how simple it is, and I love that song, it’s my first exclusive. I plan on doing a lot more where I get one of my homies song to do a crazy cover for it and drop as a Kill Che exclusive. My goal is to eventual have an art show with all the biggest covers I’ve done on the walls. The people I did the art for perform their songs at the show and all that. That should happen in LA this year, I’ve been planing since late 2015.
Kill Che: I mean my relationship with my art is weird, like once I finish a piece it means nothing to me, not like I don’t care about it but I don’t really like it of course. I like my paintings but I’m always looking at what’s next trying to surprise myself with what I didn’t know I could do.
Where do you see yourself in these next few years?
Kill Che: I thought about it for a whole day and honestly I couldn’t decide, I read the question out loud to my friends and my friend Sasan said “free form tactical.” I don’t know what that means but I fuck with it. I’m not a cover artist, I’m just a painter and that doesn’t even mean I won’t use other mediums but I love paint that’s what I mostly use that what I will probably use for the rest of my life but you never know. I could wake up and be a sculptor I don’t know bro. In reality I’m a rapper I just don’t rap, that’s why I be getting along with my rapper friends. I’m a fucking rockstar without a band hahaha.
Do you have any words of advice for the people following your footsteps?
Kill Che: No, I mean I’m not really shit haha I’m like an 18-year-old high school drop out I probably shouldn’t be giving advice. I mean when I accomplish what I see in my head I’d tell the person to not listen to anybody and be yourself, all that cliché shit because I like that shit but most of all I’d say if you put 100% of yourself in to anything and your consistent then there is no way you can fail. But when I say one hundred of yourself I don’t mean 60%, I mean like drop out of school, quit your job, live on the street, do whatever you have to do to get you closer to your plan. Fuck comfort, and all the people thinking in their head ” oh nahh some time things just don’t work out ” those are people who aren’t working on their dream. Fuck comfort, don’t half ass your dreams.