Tennessee artist Kaby (pronounced KAY-bee) defies expectations. Born and raised in Nashville, Kaby was influenced by New York heavyweights Ghostface Killah, Pete Rock and Detroit legend J. Dilla as much as Southern titans Juicy J and DJ Paul. He finds inspiration from a wide variety of sources, so his sound is not easily defined as merely boom-bap, Southern, or any one thing. Kaby doesn’t wear his influences like a costume, but like a tapestry made up of different textures and colors. Both musically and visually, Kaby has a style all his own.
He started making and selling his own mixtapes at 17, and as he grew older, music remained his singular focus. From freestyling at open mics to performing at college shows, Kaby continued to refine his sound. Thankfully, the city’s music community was an open-minded group that gave him space to be creative. “Nashville’s hip-hop scene is almost like a trial run. You get leeway with things that you wouldn’t be able to do in other places,” Kaby says. The city reciprocates that love anointing him with Nashville Scene’s Best Hip-Hop Album for his 2013 effort H.E.R.E.
His new album Era of the Try Hardis a culmination of those years of hard work and inspiration from his many influences. He, along with longtime collaborator Nathan Zensen, and Mike Ewing — who have produced for everybody from the Maybach Music Group to the legendary Gladys Knight — and several talented session musicians, worked on the album for two years. Era of the Try Hardis a fully-formed statement about Kaby as a man and artist. The songs reflect his persona: making sharp turns from rapid-fire flows, melodic anthems, brazen lyrics and vulnerable themes. The result is Kaby’s best work ever. “At the end of the day, I want to contribute to the culture. Not to extract.”
“WHAT IT DO”
ERA OF THE TRY HARD
RELEASING DECEMBER 14TH
Today, rising Nashville rapper Kaby is thrilled to partner with his hometown publication, the alt-weekly Nashville Scene, to premiere the music video for his sensual and smooth “What It Do.” Directed by Kaby and Nix, Kaby takes you on a fantasy-like journey to where the beauty of mother nature can inspire, elevate and empower.
“In my 6-part music video series, this third edition shows where we were going – and it’s a place I’d like to stay. The video was edited during a 36-hour trip through Colorado, Wyoming, and up into Montana. I’d never been to this part of the country or even seen real mountains before. It was definitely an eye-opening experience that left me awe-struck and inspired.”
Kaby continues, “’What It Do’ is an ode to creation and feminine energy; the maternal feeling of bringing an idea to fruition. It’s the power in expression and a trip to an artist’s playground.”
“What It Do” is the third music video of a six part series from Kaby’s forthcoming album Era Of The Try Hard. The first installment was the hard-hitting stream of consciousness styled “Everything” which received nods by HipHopDX and XXL. His second release was the gritty Machiavellian styled video for “Soon” that Earmilk premiered with the headline “Kaby will Soon be your new favorite rapper!”