Kirko Bangz will always throw it up for Houston.
From the huge inked image of the cityscape on his forearm to his buzzing single, “Drank In My Cup,” Bangz reps his city first before anything. His slow-downed melodies are double cup doses of the Screw sound infused with his own flavor.
The follow-up to Bangz’ underground hit “What Yo Name Iz” has helped him rise to hip-hop notoriety. While both buzzsworthy singles have made waves on the radio, Bangz is already hearing the rumors about his longevity. A one-hit wonder is a popular curse in hip-hop but instead of letting the rumors affect his work ethic, he uses the talk as motivation.
The Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa has set the bar for his growth as an artist. For this installment, Bangz went into the studio with a mission to prove himself. The results can be heard on tracks like “Knowmtalmbout” featuring Paul Wall. The H-Town rapper says he perfected his rap game over the years, adding more variety of records to the 11-track mixtape to widen his audience.
Just days before the release, the Warner Bros Records artist talked to VIBE about The Progression 2. The 21-year-old was strictly here for business, but we got him to discuss his thoughts on comparisons to Drake and Lil’Wayne, the difference between the first The Progression, down South legends co-signing him, and more. --Eric Diep
On the history behind his Progression series:
“When I was in college, I was doing a mixtape series called Procrastination Kills. That was like my album/mixtape at that time. And my mixtape in between, I would do a Progression release. I just did Procrastination 3 with Drama a couple months back, this is like my off-season training right now.
The first one, I was in college, two years ago. I was really freestyling on all different types of beats. I really was just working on my craft as far as rapping period. Not really just coming up with songs or hooks. This one, it’s a gumball of different things, for the girls, for the n*ggas for the streets, and we got storytelling on there as well, but it’s more put together."
On Recording “Drank In My Cup”:
"I just heard the beat and the hook came to my head. A lot of times [when] I was going places, a lot of people didn’t know where I was from. Sh*t I got to let these n*ggas know I’m from H-Town, so I just threw that “Drank In My Cup” in there because, believe me, all that sh*t started out here. I had to get that and bring that culture in a new style, a new sound in Houston as well as mixing in the old shit we on as well."
On the Drake and Lil’ Wayne comparisons:
"They’ve been getting their money for a while and I respect them as artists. Just for me to come in the game and have two singles and people start comparing me to [Wayne and Drake] is cool because a lot of times when you go hard they compare you to something because they don’t believe in you yet. I got to prove it to you. I’m hearing I’m a one-hit wonder. Now I’m hearing that I’m a two-hit wonder, and sh*t like that. My music keeps on getting better, people are going to respect it for me."
On having hip-hop heavyweights (Bun B, Slim Thug, DJ Drama, Paul Wall) in his corner:
“It helps you a lot. You know people like Bun, Drama and Paul have been putting in they work for years. So for them to co-sign me now is a blessing. It puts something on my shoulders beacause I can’t let them down. That’s why I really represent my city every time I rap, or anytime I talk. To put on and represent them and contribute to what we trying to do out here means a lot, but when you expect that, you gotta do something with it. Everything is all G. The co-signs are good, but I still got a lot more work I gotta do."
Watch Kirko's "Drank In My Cup" Video Below: