PhotoView #2: Kavyy

***Originally Published on Medium***

With The Renaissance Project launching next month, Editorial Revolutionary Juwan J. Holmes is publishing his 3 PhotoViews from his time at Humans of Hip Hop in their originating, unfiltered format, in addition to two previously unreleased PhotoViews. This serves as a preview of the kind of content or topics of discussion that will happen at The Renaissance.

Kavyy is a Harlem-born rapper, director, and creative artist with a track record of loved, innovative releases, including his most recent EP, Club House Rules, released earlier this month on all major digital streaming platforms. A member of the record group Sharp Shooters Club and cover star of G-Mix Magazine, Issue 5, where he was quoted “I know how to hustle already, just sit back and watch me do it,” Kavyy has remained pretty consistent in his message over almost a decade of artistry. He speaks as a warrior, conquering battles that haven’t even begun yet. Speaking in the shadow of the “World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden, was no challenge for his mind at all.

“I don’t think I’m going to make that point, that I made it. Even if I do make it to everybody else, I probably still won’t have that point where I’m satisfied — I don’t be satisfied, so I’ll be doing this shit forever, I can tell you that much.”

First, tell us who you are.

“Kavyy Garcia, man. Rapper, Director…whatever box you want to put me in, man, as long as it’s creative. I can do a lot.

What makes you a Human of Hip Hop?

“I’m just walking and breathing and living this shit, what else? You can see it — see it, you can hear it…I am hip hop. I dress like it; I smell like it.”

How long have you felt like you are hip hop? Straight out the womb or did it take some time?

“Nah, that was straight out the womb, not even capping, that was straight out the womb, man. For real, for real, real shit. I never had to think about it, I never had to second guess it. I never even told myself, ‘this is what I want to do’, it just happened like that. Literally.

What’s your favorite thing about hip hop?

“It’s changed so much, that’s what it is — I liked that it catches everyone off on their toes, to be honest with you.”

What about the change — do you feel like the change is good or bad, or both?

“It could be either way, it’s subjective. You could adapt to the change, [but] if you can’t…that’s fucking terrible. But shit happens.”

What have you learned being a creative that lives hip hop? Like, what’s the one lesson you’ve taken away so far?

“Don’t take the shit personal! *Laughs* Can’t take none of this shit personal. People do not give a fuck.”

If you couldn’t do hip hop, what would you do?

“I would…I would either be a boxer or still be doing film. I was just thinking about that earlier, too.”

Boxing? What- I couldn’t see you as a boxer.

“Nah, what? I’d be knocking niggas out, for real, for real.”

Would you be more of a Canelo [Alvarez] or a [Floyd] Mayweather? Or an [Muhammad] Ali?

“Probably a Canelo. Or just a Floyd that don’t mind getting hit, because you want to do some damage, type shit.

“That’s the first thing I was doing. One of the first things I was doing, boxing. It was rap first, and then boxing…And then the basketball team, but that didn’t go far.”

When you make your videos or film, what’s the one thing you try to bring with you, like…provide, or, you know, drive through [to the viewer]?


Outfits? *Laughs*

“Yeah, I want to make sure I have some good outfits. Nah, I’m being dead serious with you. That’s the one thing I make sure, I’ll make sure I’ll have like, 5 outfits. But it got to be entertaining though. Outside of that, it got to be entertaining. Some kind of entertaining, to keep you watching. Don’t want to watch no boring ass video.”

Do you feel like hip hop has been good to you?

*Laughing* “What kind of question is that! Um…I don’t know, I never thought about that. I mean…I’m free, if that makes sense. I’m free. I’d rather be free from this than performing for society, you know, scheduling and the job you gotta do, so if anything, this makes you more free.”

Do you think you’ve had the impact [you wanted], or do you think you have further to go?

“I got an impact, but it’s not what I want, yet — it’s definitely an impact, but it’s still not what I want, or not where I can be at yet. I know I’m not done yet, so…I got way more shit to do, way more. Hopefully I can get everything done before it’s time to go, for real, you never know. I ain’t going nowhere, but when it’s time to go-”

What’s next for you?

“In 2019 or period?”

In general.

“I mean…the only thing next for this year is moves, but what’s next, period, is like movies…businesses…I’m just really trying to keep this shit going, honestly. Like, my thing is, if I can find a way to keep it going without stopping…that’s my next state, balancing this. I’m balancing it now, but I’m trying to find a better way to balance all this shit.”

What does balance look like to you?

“Family happy, money is a good situation, shows out the ass so I don’t have to fucking work…business is booming, to me, that’s my balance. Still reading and doing all that other shit too.”

How do you think your peers think about you? The people you work with, or the people you go up against?

“I know for the most part, everybody fucks with me, but there’s always a guy that gets jealous and shit, but it’s nothing though, it’s kind of wack, but it is what it is. After a while, you come to peace with it. I know niggas think I’m talented, but it’s like… [they feel like] ‘he’s a little bit too talented’, that’s the energy I get.”

So if you could change the perception, would you?

“No! That’s not my problem.” *Laughs* “I ain’t got to die with those thoughts or sleep with those thoughts, so I don’t care.”

Do you see yourself performing here [Madison Square Garden] one day?

“Yeah, I see myself having plenty of performances. Not even one, but a lot. At least…a lot.”

Like, a residency? “Kavyy at the Garden”?

“Yeah, pretty much. ‘Kavyy at the Garden’. We gon’ make it happen. I know it’s gonna happen, so I’m not even sweating that shit too much.”

What would be…do you feel like you’ll reach a point where you’ll like, have ‘made it’, or you’ll just keep going forever and never reach that point?

“I don’t think I’m going to make that point, that I made it. Even if I do make it to everybody else, I probably still won’t have that point where I’m satisfied — I don’t be satisfied, so I’ll be doing this shit forever, I can tell you that much.”

How do you feel about hip hop?

“How do I feel…what aspect? Overall, or the benefits…”

Like, as if it’s a person. How do you feel about hip hop, the person? In general, the state of, the personality…

“Uh, I like it. I think you really have to be yourself in this, that’s what I like about it. You can bullshit, but you know you’re cheating yourself out of this shit. It makes you stand on everything you saying in your life, period. If you really want to be a stuntin’ ass nigga, you gotta stand on that. Good or bad, and see if it’s flex, if it’s really for your lifestyle type shit.

“People want to get in this shit, they want to do it…but most people don’t stand on the shit that they say, and it makes you realize, you got to stand on the shit you say, you can’t say — like, certain shit you can’t say if you’re not about it. I definitely like that aspect of it.

“What was the question again? I feel like I didn’t answer it.”

Nah, you did, you did…

What was my follow up? Um, If it comes to a point where hip-hop changes and it doesn’t favor you anymore, what would you do?

“Let’s hope it don’t come to that! That’s all I can say…I mean, I would find someway to adapt. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen. I don’t got time for that.”

(*Nearby pigeons attack — I mean fly really close by — to us*)

Has hip hop made you happy?

“Hell yeah! I’m happy as shit. I don’t gotta wake up and do certain shit, I can do the shit I want to do — hell yeah, I’m happy, man…hell yeah. There be those days where it’s be like, ‘fuck this shit’, but for the most part — yeah, hell yeah. I don’t know what it’s like to not do what you want to do, what you love to do. I’d probably hate that shit. I see why people be doing certain shit, cause of that.”

What would your advice be to other Humans of Hip Hop?

“Stay true to yourself, and stick with it, man. Stand in your shit, stand on your shit. Don’t say shit you don’t mean, don’t be around people you don’t want to be around, just be real through all this shit. You gon’ have good days, you gon’ have bad days — that’s inevitable. As long as you stay true to your shit…most times, you’ll be alright. That’s all I can really say. I got all the answers, I’m that type of happy around now!”

Do you think you could do hip hop somewhere else, like if you weren’t in the [New York] City?

“Yeah — You mean like I have to claim somewhere else, and be there for the rest of my life? ’Cause I have relocated.”

Well yeah, but I kind of guess, permanently?

“Yeah, definitely. That’s because I don’t have a problem being around people. I kind of mesh with any crowd. So based off of that, I don’t have a problem. Would I want to…stay there, somewhere else for the rest of my life? No, hell no.

This is always home for you?

“Yeah, it could be, not-my-main home when I get my other homes, but this is always home. Where else are you gon’ go where you can experience shit like this?”

You ain’t got to convince me.

“You can get all the racists to love you and hate you at the same time. Come on, man.”

So what’s something that’s changed [in hip hop] that you really liked? A new artist or new sound?

“I’m more of a, I don’t know, I go with the times, I like everything that be happening, whether it was new or old, so I appreciate it, it’s not like I’ve been missing it…for mad of the new shit, I was around for, so some shit needed to go, some shit needed to stay. After this [era], it’s probably going to switch again. Probably, as soon as you put [something] out, it’s going to switch, it’s going to turn into some whole other shit, some new people coming in…”

It’s just the way it goes, right?

“Literally just the way it goes. You have to accept that shit. Shit ain’t never gonna be the same, but who wants shit to be the same anyway?”

That’s true.

What do you consider a person of hip hop, what’s the defining thing for you?

“You can kind of feel it — You know when somebody is. You feel it.”

So you can’t pin it, but you just know?

“Nah, you can’t pin it, ’cause there’s people in business suits bumping crazy trap music, you wouldn’t know that though, so you can’t — you feel it, you know, [and] you know when somebody’s about some other shit. I don’t know how to explain it, but you know, ’cause if they know their shit, they know all the old shit like Biggie, Big L, 2Pac and all that other shit…if they know that, I know they’re in it. There’s people I see in business suits all the fucking time, they’re always going into that Biggie hip hop bag, they don’t even look like they listen to that shit, even a little bit, but they know their shit, so I can’t say nothing.”

Is there anything you don’t like about it? You seem to be going with it, flowing with the tide for the most part.

“Because, you can pick on things you like and dislike on anything, for the most part, it’s not that important. What I don’t like about this shit…there’s a couple of things I don’t like, but I’m trying to think about it…I don’t like how people who are not in the culture try to use it though, like it’s a toy or some shit like that.”

A commodity.

“Yeah, like this is peoples’ actual lives and people died from mad of this shit, like it’s crazy…but I don’t like when people start playing with the shit, doing bullshit music, purposely, like what are you doing? Or they make a parody of this shit like — ain’t nothing wrong with it, I get it, it’s funny and shit, but like…why? What’s the point of that?”

How do you navigate the politics of it all?

“Build up better relationships. Then I boss up on a lot of stuff I did, so I don’t have to worry about too much of that. I feel like it’s part of the game.”

This is kind of dark, but…on your tombstone, what’s it going to say?

“‘He Did It’.”

Even if you died today.

“Yeah, ‘He did it’. Hell yeah. ‘He did it’.”

What does ‘it’ mean?

“‘It’ means I did a lot of shit I meant to do, I have a list of goals, talked a lot of shit, and I did it. It sounds so vague, but…it’ll be like, ‘Wow, he really did it.’ That’s what I want on my shit. I’m going out on a legend, though, that’s all I’m worried about.”

Any last words?

“You mean last words about this? You want last words about the interview, or…? Oh. This. Nah, this is really good, man, just everybody keep sticking to what you’re doing, man, for real, for real. I don’t know if this shit can hear me or not. *Directly into mic* Yo!

Kavyy’s latest release, Club House Rules, is available on all services now. You can keep up with him by following him on Instagram: @kavyy_ssc; Twitter: @KavyyGarcia_SSC; and Soundcloud — Kavyy Garcia.

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