People always complain about the demise of real music, but REAL music is alive and well in the underground. Ray “Kincaid” is an underground artist that puts his heart and soul into the music he creates. We got a chance to hear him for the first time last year at the 3rd Eye Music Festival and his nostalgic and unique sound is what caught our attention. The Jackson, Mississippi artist took a leap of faith by quitting his job and pursuing music full time. He’s been rapping since he was in the 7th grade and has been pursuing music professionally for about 3 years.
Ray recently dropped his EP Artistic Depression and we were able to listen to an exclusive un-mastered version. His sound is very reminiscent of 80’s and 90’s hip hop which you can hear in his flow and delivery, and even in the soundbites and samples he uses throughout the album.
Ray told us about his love for ole school music:
“I feel like the 90s….was the last great decade of soul touching music….with the 70s being the foundation of great black music. …now in the 2000s we had a few golden pieces like L.Hill, Jill Scott, Lupe, Kanye and etc….but the 90s gave us so much greatness. Anita Baker dropped Rapture in the 90s. I think Nas came with Illmatic, Tribe blessed us with Low End Theory. ..80s gave us the king Michael Jackson (my favorite artist of all time) .70s….gave us Marvin Gaye….so these are the time periods I draw most of my inspirations from.”
Artistic Depression touches on diverse topics like the difficulty of being a black man in society today, pursuing dreams, the male ego, and personal topics like depression and suicide.
Some of our favorite tracks off the EP are The Shameful Turn Up, The Handshake, In Search of Good Vibes, The Rope and Radio Theory and Dreams of the Otaku.
The album opened with The Shameful Turn Up featuring Cymone, another talented artist from Mississippi. We all can relate to indulging in bad habits to take our minds off of our problems.
“Suicidal……trying to find my salvation in this bottle……”
The Handshake is a more radical track speaking on what it’s like to be a young black man in America today.
“I know America hate it……. A young black man self-aware and educated…”
“With this pain in my brain it’s hard to maintain a humble mind frame because every time I turn on my tv screen I see a dead body that looks like me……”
The Rope and Radio Theory speaks on depression and how most of the mainstream music is doing nothing to help ease the silent suffering many people are feeling.
“Fuck feeding you knowledge…….I’m trying to feed my wallet….”
“Fuck you going to college…..I’d rather put you in a coffin…”
Ray opened up to us about how has suffered from depression since he was 13:
“Creating art seems to be the best medicine. ….it really helps me cope with it…..that and the love from my family and friends. …without them I have no idea where I’d be. I hope that one day God will bless me with the ability to get rid of depression and also help me help others who also suffer from it. People take depression so lightly. ..but its real…very real.”
Dreams of the Otaku is a very relatable track. So many of us are groomed to go to college by our parents so that we can live the American dream which for most of us, it’s working a job that we hate. It almost feels like a prison sentence.
Ray talked more about quitting his job and pursuing his passion:
“I really don’t want to settle working a job that I hate. I quit my job and it was one of the scariest things I have ever done because I always followed the rules, but as I sat down at that desk wearing that suit and tie a piece of my soul just vanished. Every time I punched that time in. Now with the help of my friends and family I’m here following my dreams.”
Check out Artistic Depression here.