The nation is divided on rap and hip-hop. On one side, you have people calling it “un-understandable”, or saying it has “too much cussing” or just “doesn’t make sense.” But then on the opposing side, those who support rap say it contains a “strong message” and “represents” other populations that pop and rock and roll don’t. It’s no secret to the majority of the student population of Cathedral Prep, that rap is a genre that is widely accepted. Students enjoy listening to rappers all across the spectrum from A$AP Ferg, K-Camp, and my personal favorite T.I., to others like Death Grips, and Young Savage.
Many refer to the rap industry, or rapping in general as “the game.” Working, and producing music to win the game, or get to the top of the industry. But this takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
There are many different kinds of rap, and many different kinds of rappers. Our school has a copious amount of rhymers and rhythmists. From Young Toilet, to Truth the Kid, to Jacob Labonte we’ve got rappers who take the game seriously, and we’ve got rappers who just pick up the mic, hit record on their iPhone, and then upload their video to Soundcloud.
Malano Jones is someone who takes the game seriously. Since he was in third grade, he had aspirations of becoming a rapper, writing down lyrics on a piece of looseleaf paper ripped out of his notebook. This is the hard work and dedication Malano Jones, more commonly referred to as Kid Lano in the rap community, puts into his craft. He and his grade school friend, and also another Prep running back, remember to this day seeing Malano scribble down lyrics in a classroom of Roosevelt Elementary School.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Kid Lano, to ask a few questions, and to catch up on his poetic efforts.
Q: Who or what influences your rap style?
A: I don’t think no one influences my rap style but people like Young Thug and Future kind of give me new ideas on how I can switch up my flow and try something new. My inspirations / role models are Tupac and Michael Jackson.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years in the rap game? Will you still be rhyming?
A: I think I will be famous by then, but if not I’m pretty sure I will be doing shows and getting paid for them. Whether it’s rap or a different career though I will be successful at whatever I’m doing in five years,
Q: Do you like more exciting and happy rap like Wiz Khalida, or music that conveys a strong message like Nas?
A: I like more exciting rap mixed with a strong message so it blends both styles together. So people can be hype and feel it at the same time. I like people to like the beat and lyrics not just the beat.
Q: Have you or would you ever do a live performance?
A: Yes, I have done a live performance before. My older brothers opened up for a Meek Mill concert a few years back so just seeing them make music made me want to do it also.
Q: What inspired your name of Kid Lano?
A: My first name was MJ Jones. Then it was Young Mars but those were before middle school. In the 7th grade I changed it to Kd Lano and I kept that name. I use to listen to Kid Ink then; that’s what made me change mine to Kid Lano because everyone called me Lano so I just put Kid in front of it.
This was an extremely rewarding experience. Respect has to be given to all musical artists. Regardless of your own personal opinions, you have to respect the efforts of individuals to put the time and effort into bettering themselves and trying to improve their musical careers.
I encourage all of you reading this article to roll down your windows, take a nice drive down I-79, turn up the volume and turn on some Kid Lano; you will not regret it.