Kevin McCall Talks 'Naked,' Debut Album And 'Fan of a Fan 2'

After breaking out with his memorable contributions on Chris Brown's chart-topping single "Deuces," Kevin McCall has left the behind the scenes action and is now bringing his artistry to the forefront. As a multi-faceted producer/songwriter, his songwriting and production credits run deep, but now he is ready to put his own aptitude for singing and rapping on display. With his new single "Naked" out and an album on the way, the California artist is continuing to make a name for himself and showing everybody who Kevin McCall really is. K-Mac recently dished to VIBE on his upcoming debut album, new single and Chris Brown and Tyga's Fan of a Fan 2.

VIBE: You’ve got your single “Naked” out right now. When can we expect an album?
Kevin McCall: We’re gonna see how this record does. I believe it’s gonna do very, very well. Hopefully it does so well that it makes us push the album up because I was expecting early next year but I think with the single doing well is gonna cause us to push it up so that’s what I’m hoping for.

What direction would you like to go with the album?
I would say the overall direction is heavily R&B driven. I’m gonna showcase my singing abilities, my writing abilities and also my production. I kinda just want to let people see who Kevin McCall is in all areas of music.

So no rapping? Or a little bit?
Definitely rapping. I missed that one. Cause that’s how I was first introduced. I was rapping on “Deuces” so I’m gonna continue.

Will there be another mixtape in between?
Yea I’m thinking about doing a new LP. I have a couple of ideas going for it. I believe it’s very important to put out mixtapes in between to keep up the relevancy of an artist because everyone has such short attention spans these days. I’m definitely – For my fans because they support me so much, I’m gonna give them another LP, about six songs. They can expect that soon. I’m also gonna be working on the Fan of a Fan 2 with Chris and Tyga.

Are you going to be on it in terms of songwriting and producing or are you gonna be featured on it like you were the last time?
Well the last time, I wrote on it, produced on it, sang on it and rapped on it. I did all of those things. I was not as known because I was a newcomer. You know “Deuces” is from Fan of a Fan. “No BS” is from Fan of a Fan. I was featured on “No BS.” A lot of people don’t know that.

Have you guys started working on it already? Or is it just getting ready to be in the works?
It’s gonna be in the works because we can always go in the vault and pull out new songs that we’ve never released. But I think we wanna give ‘em something really new. It’s all gonna be new to them anyway. We wanna vibe off of current events going on Today. Tyga’s really hot right now, Chris is really, really hot right now so I think we want to use that energy and create some new stuff.

So there’s no idea of when it’s gonna be released?
I have no clue. Whenever they call me in, I’m gonna be ready to work.

So are you gonna be doing the same thing on Fortune? Will you have any features on Chris’ Fortune album?
Besides the “Strip” record, you might see me a couple more times on the album. I definitely did a lot of writing. I did some production. I think the overall product of the album is something new and innovative. I believe Chris is gonna set a high standard for R&B music and pop music with this album.

What was it like transitioning from behind-the-scenes to blowing up with “Deuces”?
You know, with “Deuces” it was like an overnight type thing. I wasn’t really prepared for it because I was still living in a poor area, didn’t have much money. But I was on TV. It was kind of like a Cinderella story, a male version though. I would go and be with all the celebrities doing red carpets and then I would come back home to Watts, to my grandmother’s house telling stories of who I was with and they didn’t believe me. Once the video came out, they saw that it was true. Now I’m at a point in my life where I’m really blessed. I’m songwriting and producing for a number of artists and I’m able to support my family. It’s a great feeling.

You said you were writing for a number of artists. Who are you writing for besides Chris?
Besides Chris, I’m trying to work with Ciara. She’s about to make a killer comeback, so her. I’m working with 2 Chainz. Me and him have a song together for my album. It’s real crazy, just rapping crazy on it. He’s really, really hot right now in the streets and the hip hop community. Tank, I’ve done a lot of work on his album. His first single “Next Breath” is a song I wrote. Just showing people that me and Chris might write about “No Bs” and all this other stuff but we can write real love songs too that women really gravitate to and can play at their weddings. Stuff like that.

You talked about who you’re working with right now but do you have anybody that you’re hoping to work with?
It’s a stretch but I would love to work with Adele. Just the way that she wrote a ballad and it took over the radio in a time where it’s all club music and pop music. I respect her for that and I’m a huge fan. I would also like to work with Missy Elliott because she was one of the first MCs to have that character in her raps. So, I would love to work with her and have some of that creativity rub off on me. That would be an honor. And of course Kanye and Jay-Z . I would love to work with them. I have some stuff ready for them too.

What inspired “Naked”?
There was a young producer/songwriter named David Wade, he came on the record and by the time the hook came in, I was like “this is nice.” It kind of reminds me of “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake. I just felt like it was really young and fresh and something different than what everybody else was doing. So, I had to go in on it and put my little twist on it. It came out great. We went and got Big Sean, that took it to the next level. Shout out to Big Sean for blessing me with that verse.

Was he the first person that you wanted on it?
We shopped it around a little big and played around with a lot of ideas and he was the person I felt was best for it, not just cause he’s hot right now. I had that relationship with him and he’s hot right now. He’s like really hot and he brought youthfulness to the record. Because when people hear the word naked, it’s like almost a taboo word. He kind of takes some of the edge off of it with his playful—he has kind of a playful approach to music and he made it extra fun.

What can we expect from the rest of your solo work?
You’re gonna hear definitely a lot more R&B and you’re gonna hear songs that show a vulnerable side of me, where men don’t like to go but I think it’s something women want to see more in us men and see how we feel on an emotional side. I’m gonna explore that in my music as well.

Is there anything else that we haven’t discussed that you’d like to add?
The video [Naked] should be out soon. It was directed by Chris Brown himself and Godfrey Tabarez and riveting entertainment. It’s gonna throw people off—Not throw ‘em off, but throw ‘em by surprise with how good it looks and how we played off the word naked in an artistic way. We’re in an art gallery, we all have on suits. It’s pretty high class.

Sounds intriguing and definitely sounds like Chris got his hands on it with the art and everything.
He’s really a—People don’t even begin to know how talented he is. Especially his artistic vision. I’m really impressed every time. I hope some of that rubs off on me. As he’s creating a song, he already has the video done and I think that’s very special.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Ella Mai Puts The Ball In Your Court With "Shot Clock" Visuals

Kobe, KD, Kyrie, how about Ella Mai?

Marking her third official single from her self-titled debut album, the 24-year-old dropped a new video from her charting project, bringing "Shot Clock" to life in her B-ball themed clip.

The Colin Tilley directed visual captures the essence of the young singer, framing her unique style and iridescent vocal abilities. The clip captures the various parts of Mai's magnetic energy, as she stars in her own thematic love story.

The two-time Grammy nominee goes through the many downs that occur in relationships while the red beams of shot clock shine in the background slowly reaching zero, a neon indicator of her lessening patience, the singer finds herself alone.

This visual was released in the midst of the "Boo'd Up" songstress' first debut tour currently venturing through the United States and Parts of Europe. Check out the tour dates below to see if R&B's new golden child is coming to a city near you and watch her video for "Shot Clock" above.


Jan 18 – Berlin, DE- Festsaal Kreuzberg Jan 20 – Hamburg, DE- Grosse Freiheit Jan 21 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Main Hall Jan 22 – Stockholm, SE - Berns Jan 24 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom Feb 14 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Feb 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom Feb 17 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades Feb 19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater Feb 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee Feb 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Feb 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Feb 27 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Feb 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater Mar 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall Mar 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall Mar 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Mar 6 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Mar 7 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda Mar 9 – Boston, MA - Royale Mar 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts Mar 15 – Silver Spring, M.D. – The Fillmore Silver Spring Mar 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage Mar 19 – Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle Mar 20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live Mar 21 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live Mar 24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Mar 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Mar 27 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Mar 28 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre

Continue Reading
Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

Continue Reading
Photo Rob

Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

Continue Reading

Top Stories