September 2022 - PROFILES: AK24-7
How did AK247 come to fruition?
In grade school, I remember my older sister writing poetry, making mixtapes on a cassette recorder, and compiling songs from CDs and the radio. She would play music and write, and I would draw pictures and listen to music with her for hours and listen to her recite her writings. It later inspired me to write poetry of my own, but as raps over instrumentals, I would find on Single CDs of artists like Lil' Zane and 112. My first and middle name is Aaron Keath. My father would call me his Lil' AK. I remember him often quoting Ice Cube's It Was a Good Day, where Cube says, "Today I didn't even have to use my AK." So I started calling myself Lil' AK, recording my cassette mixtapes, and rapping over instrumentals as a hobby. It was around the time I was in middle school. When I became a sophomore in high school, I met a friend named Rashaad. He would freestyle endlessly over any beat I would play for him. Inspired, I downloaded a free DAW on the computer and invited him over after school. We began recording songs with a USB mic meant for basic web chat. The quality was terrible, and so was most of the content, but we started compiling mixtapes on CDs. I dropped the "Lil" from my name, and we started burning and selling these CDs throughout school and at the mall. We were about 15 years old. Over time I realized "AK" was a common and bland name. I played with the concept a bit and turned AK-47 into AK24-7, which symbolizes me (Aaron Keath) being me, all day, every day.
What rap lyrics still inspire you when it comes to the music you make?
Call it cliche, but I am a huge fan of Tupac Shakur and Tech N9ne. Both artists touch my heart and soul and inspire me more than others because of their strong ability to genuinely express themselves with no filter and no influence from what other people think they should say or put out. Their lyrics reflect their pain, their passion, and their true feelings. I don't hear a facade when I listen to their music. I hear the truth, and I can relate. It inspires me to do the same in my music.
What are the pros and cons of being an artist in New Mexico?
The Southwest culture is a pro for being an artist in New Mexico. It is a very rugged, dangerous place. Yet beautiful and diverse. A lot is going on here to be inspired by, including the pros and the cons: strong family-oriented Hispanic culture, the art, the food, etc. A lot of us 90's kids grew up having drug-addicted parents, poverty, and making bad decisions from lack of supervision and guidance. To grow and break these cycles and write stories about them is a huge advantage for having content as an artist.
What do you feel is missing in the current rap scene?
I think the current rap scene in New Mexico could use a little more humility among artists. Although rap is a very competitive and cocky genre, I think it's important to be humble and supportive of others and their creative contributions to hip-hop. The rap scene here was described as a bunch of crabs in a bucket - all trying to reach the top. Recently though, I've had the privilege of seeing more artists support each other, and it's a beautiful thing to witness.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you learned as an artist?
I have learned strangers will listen to and appreciate your music and support your movement before your people will. There's just something special about somebody discovering your music for the first time, especially on their own, versus someone who knows you and what you are trying to do as an artist. There's no bias toward strangers.
What upcoming gigs can we expect from you in the future?
I recently released my first official debut album, "Aaron Keath," along with two featured singles accompanied by music videos. I've also recently released my thirteenth mixtape entitled "#FreeSmoke Tha Fixtape" and two new singles not featured on any other project. I have a few collaborations with local New Mexico artists, such as Kang Versatile, Ironic In The Flesh, and John Blaze. I will soon be recording a song for a compilation project in the works by local producer Dom Major, and I am preparing to start writing and recording my next album. I've taken a hiatus from performances to focus more on personal things, like family and work, but I plan to get back into the performance scene with my next project.
Where can people find out more about you and your music?
My official website is www.ak247music.com. There, you will find exclusive content and merchandise, as well as links to various major music platforms, such as Spotify, apple music, and YouTube. You can find me on almost any music platform as Ak24-7. While my first few mixtapes are unavailable, check out Audiomack for my older mixtape material.
Author: Teresa Robinson