‘Beast Be Still’ by Kid Mango

In his new release, Kid Mango delivers his breezy flow over a haunting beat by Robert Don

  • Please introduce yourself

Hey, I’m Kid Mango. Much appreciation for this.

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

Experimental, considerate, happenstance.

  • What is the story behind your name?

Mangoes are perfect. I aspire to be one when grown. I was spitballing names with my producer and this one stuck.

  • What is the main topic of your lyrics? Tell us a few things about your creative process.

I guess the main topic is my own experience with life. It’s the universal struggle to come to terms with existence and, we’re all trying to find something in it. It’s nice to have a moment to reflect when one isn’t struggling. What does it mean to live a meaningful life? No idea really, but it feels like this is part of it. Being able to experience the hardship, joy, etc. and then letting it go. Music is a way to do that. Why make it? Because we’re alive and, if you’re willing, let’s talk about it.

I basically listen to the beat like 20-30 times before I try to write. Then I see what it brings out and try to piece together a song like a mosaic put together with random crap I’ve lying around. Hopefully, it finds its own direction, if it feels like a force, I’m okay to abandon it. Not saying it must be easy, but it must have a vitality of its own.

  • The beat in “Beast Be Still” has haunted me. How many beats do you listen to before you end up using one?

Robert Don has always done the beats. He’s sick at it. Pretty much made this happen. I usually grab some booze, pull up at his house in the morning, and then hang out all day as he busts out beats. I’ll go between kicking it with his roommate (a friend from college), to getting food, to making inane suggestions and getting wasted. I’m more attached to the beats if I watch them grown from a drum loop or sample into a full-fledged beat. Even though I’m not doing too much, it feels like part of me is intangibly woven into the fabric of the beat. Then I hang out with these beats as I ride the subway, walk the city, sit in my room unable to sleep, etc. If I’m returning to it and Don’s about it, we’re making a song.  

  • Who is your favourite beat maker and which rapper’s flow do you enjoy the most?

Nujabes. MF Doom. Wish these were more left-field, but hitters, ya know?  

  • Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

I wouldn’t say so, but there are a bunch of underground sounds. Honestly think the UK is killing it right now too. Like from across the world people are taking their lives/sounds and melding it with hip hop. From like high schools in Chicago to like street rats in Bangkok. I feel like what makes it underground is that people can dig a bore well be nourished by the water that flows freely below their feet. That non-commercial, possibly political, from the heart shit is still alive. It just sounds a thousand different ways now and some of the bars are in languages I can’t speak.  

  • Are you critical of rappers that perform concerts using playback?

I guess it depends on what they’re about. Like some rappers are really pop artists or a dj who just throws on a playlist (no disrespect to ppl who still use the decks) at this point, people just wanna watch them jump. They almost like there just to be a physical focal point for the music. Def not what I’m looking for in concert, but I’m not really in a position to be critical.

  • If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?  

I do wish it was less about looking cool. Like it’s that weird high school energy and I’m sure I could be accused of it as well. It’s pretty unnecessary and some artists are good enough to break away. Still, it’s all about being ‘that guy’ and honestly, who fucking cares. It is important if you can hang, but I’d say what I value in people if different than the industry or society as large.

  • One last thing we should know about you? 

The world makes little sense to me.

  • Thanks Kid Mango!
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