“Rapping is my only therapy. People need to vent and the studio is when I come to bare my soul.” says one of Houston’s rising stars, Keing Rico.
As a youngster, the challenges of the streets were common to he and his friends. But rather than resorting to a life of wrongdoing, he instead chose to take his frustrations, his anger, his joy and his hopes and put them down on paper.
“I was a writer in high school. I wrote lyrics and kept them to myself”, claiming he studied and dissected Jay-Z’s Blueprint album inside and out, borrowing how HOV charted out his rhymes, mapped out his subject matter.
Ink on one page lead to the next page, then went to another, then another. Soon Rico was collecting anthologies of poetry and song lyrics that he felt captured his rawest essence, his deepest self. It was only a matter of time before writing then turned into full on rapping, when he started laying his lyrics onto homemade beats and bootleg albums on his laptop.
Feeling like it was a deeply therapeutic exercise, Rico felt it extremely important to keep his artistic productions to himself, shying away from any notoriety stemming from his powerful deliveries and masterful wordsmithing.
It wasn’t until one of Keing Rico’s high school friends, who was known in their community for creating many popular mixtapes, heard a snippet of Rico’s work. Blown away by what he had heard, he urged Rico to do more with his talents and demanded that he put those talents on display. Rico says from there, a monster was created.
Now signed to Houston’s legendary Rap-A-Lot records and managed by James Prince Jr., Keing Rico believes the authenticity of his musical style has him destined for next-level success.
“I let it all out in my music and I do it for me, I do it for the people that can feel the music. I stay true to who I am, what I’ve been able to see over the years,” said Keing Rico, in an interview done at Houston’s famed Take Over Studios, “….and the people listening, who know that what I have to say isn’t a story – isn’t a fabrication for the sake of bringing attention my way – well they can feel that.”
With a ink made of gold and pipes made of platinum, Keing Rico knew that in order to make a career out of what started as a personal escape, he had to get serious with his business side. “It wasn’t until I was advise by to file for a DBA and councilled by a proper CPA that I started taking the business of rap and hip-hop seriously. I owe a lot of my success to the guidances of my mother. She opened my eyes to bringing in like-minded people to come help me achieve more.”
Despite being a loner at times, he calls networking “amazing” and “the key” to having success in the music industry. He believes that the key to his success in networking comes from showing love and offering a personal touch. “When you start shifting from thinking ‘how can this person help me?’ to ‘how can we both team up and make each other better off?’, you’re so much better off.”
As for the future, Keing Rico is working hard to reach greater heights. Often turning in schedules from dusk until dawn at the studio, Rico remains relentless in his goal of representing his city. “I want to be the face and the voice of Houston…I think there’s an opportunity for me to be that guy.” declared Keing Rico, “and I will be that guy”.