I was recently introduced to the music of hip-hop artist Ray Kincaid and he’s definitely dope. Some of his music is sprinkled with a distinct 90’s vibe (my favorite era) and his love for music and the creative process shines through on his newest effort. Touching on the often taboo and misunderstood subject of depression on his new one, aptly titled Artistic Depression, it’s definitely worth a listen for those that appreciate hip-hop at its most artistic level.
Q: Starting off, can you tell our readers who you are and where are you from?
A: My name is Ray Kincaid. I am 25 years old from Jackson, Mississippi. I attended Jackson State University (JSU) and graduated with a BA in Art.
Q: How long have you been doing music?
A: I’ve been doing music for 3 years, but I’ve been into music since I was like 6.
Q: What made you decide to start really taking it seriously?
A: Once I heard Kanye West’s Through the Wire, it showed me that I could rap and tell my story. I was a nerdy kid from the hood with a different message besides the average money, cars, clothes, and hoes.
Q: Cool. Other than Kanye, who are some of your other influences in rap?
A: Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Odd future, TDE, Wu-tang, Jayz, Big Krit, MF Doom ATCQ…
Q: How many projects have you released? And what’s your newest project and when did it drop?
A: Three. The latest one is called Artistic Depression… and it dropped January.
Q: Artistic Depression is an interesting title. Is there any particular meaning behind it?
A: I’ve had depression since I was 12. Art is the best medicine. I actually made Artistic Depression when my best friend died.
Q: Do you touch on those topics on the project?
A: Yes. On songs like Rope and Radio Theory and The Shameful Turn Up, I talk about stages of depression and how we try to hide the pain with drugs and etc… but it never works.
Photo Courtesy of Sneakerboxx Photography
Q: Many artists are afraid to open up about things like depression. Was it difficult for you to put that particular theme on the mixtape?
A: No, not really. I’ve never been one to shy away from the truth. I always try to give people the real me… flaws and all.
Q: Has your degree in art influenced how you make music at all?
A: Yes. Being a JSU art student opened my eyes up to a lot of things. I was surrounded by a bunch of geniuses and all we did was inspire each other to do great art. The teachers were great too.
Q: What do you hope listeners take away from your new project when they hear it?
A: I want them to see that there is real art in Mississippi. Also, the power of music and how it can help those with depression.
Q: That’s dope. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. Are there any certain songs from the project you want people to especially check out?
A: Yes. The Rope and Radio Theory because it touches on having depression and also the struggle to create something real when most people would rather listen to trendy pop rap that glorifies a fake or dangerous lifestyle.