Slidin’ Thru: Page Kennedy

November 26, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Page Kennedy is here to put on for real hip-hop, no matter who is listening. With 907K followers on Instagram alone, the Detroit native stays entertaining the masses with his jokes and dry sense of humor, which naturally carries over into the music as well. Coming up independently and funding each project on his own, the Torn Pages rapper proves he has the talent and skill sets to spit just as hard as some of the greats. Read more…

Moving to Los Angeles to fulfill his dreams of acting and rapping, the real name Felton Eugene Kennedy II quickly established a name for himself online, on the big screen, and on the microphone. His recent endeavors including starring in The Meg, which coincided with the release of his project Same Page, Different Story. In addition, him and his son Wolf God have created a full album called K2, which stands for 2 Kennedy’s.

For those who don’t know, who is Page Kennedy?
Page Kennedy is a father, rapper, actor, social media content creator. I’m very fun. I do Shakespeare, a lot of people don’t know that. A n*gga from Detroit who does Shakespeare.

Being from Detroit, how does that play into your life and career?
It’s just that go-getter spirit. You have to be a go-getter to live, survive, and make it out of Detroit, so I brung that with me to Hollywood. I kept that same spirit and that’s part of the reason I have been so successful, because of my willingness to keep pushing forward.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
For me, it was necessary because all my hopes and dreams were actually realized here in Los Angeles. Being stuck in Detroit, I couldn’t really be an actor or a rapper that was trying to make it universally. I needed to come to Los Angeles so I could foresee all of my goals.

Did you come out here for acting or music?

What came first?
Acting happened first because a month after I got here, I snuck into an audition for an aspiring DJ, ironically. On a show called The Kennedys, ironically. I ended up getting casted as one of the series regulars. That got me an agent, that got me auditioning for real shows, and I’ve been continuing to work as an actor ever since. I never had a record deal, I’ve been an independent artist. Finally, I pushed myself through social media and ended up gaining a following through comedy, enough where I could put myself out independently. I was a rapper first for sure, but to make money, I was an actor first. The acting was what paid the bills.

Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
I think I fit in the lyricist category. ‘Cause I flourished in 90’s rap and I still kind of have that feel to it. I still have the feel of storytelling, of concepts, of bars, of that mattering more than everything else. My selection of beats is a little more current, but when it comes to the crux of who I am, it’s that real hip-hop feel.

What was the inspiration behind keeping your name?
That was back in the 90’s when I used to be King Ice. I was also Mr. Rampage. In high school, I was a dual personality. It was a weird kind of gimmick because King Ice was the clean side of me, and Mr. Rampage was the harder, edgy, more gritty side of me. I was a solo group called Double Impact, so I was both characters.

You released your project Same Page, Different Story. Talk about the creative process and how long it took you.
It took me like a year. I knew that I wanted to do it because after Torn Pages, which was my first effort, I was like “you know what, we had a good run with this. I got this big huge movie coming out, The Meg, and I think we can even go further if I put an album together to coincide with The Meg’s promotion.”

I love going to the movies, but wasn’t able to catch The Meg!
November 13th, it comes out on DVD.

On “Nice Guy,” you go in on yourself. Talk about being your own self-critic and how that motivates you.
Because I have humor in me and because I like rappers that are self-deprecating and funny. Like Redman, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, that’s my thing. That’s my favorite type of stuff. My personality is a self-deprecating one as well. It allows people to laugh more when you’re not afraid to make fun of yourself. And that was the truth. My teeth were fucked up and kids on Vine used to make fun of it and call it ‘white picket fence.’ I talk about it. Even from the first verse, I talk about the Vine career being gone, I talk about my past. Just my real stuff, but I do it in a humorous way.

Talk about linking with Nick Grant, Anoyd, and Elzi on “One In A Million.”
Aw man, that was dope. The way that came about was through Twitter. I met Anoyd and Nick Grant at SXSW last year in 2017, when me and Elzi went to do shows out there. Elzi and I went to high school together, so we been rapping together for 20 something years. I just posed the question on Twitter, “What would a Elzi, Anoyd, Nick Grant & Page Kennedy song sound like together?” Before any of the fans could even chime in, Nick Grant and Anoyd were like “let’s do it.” But then I had to wait like 8 months for their verses. [laughs]. But look, they came through, and they came through fire.

You have a song called “No Cosign” on the album. How important are co-signs in the game?
I guess they would be important. I wish I had more of them. A co-sign from a respected artist or a respected juggernaut is huge because that gives you a step ahead. Because they say you’re good, then that tricks the brains of people who are acknowledging that person and what they like about them, to automatically go into it with open ears wanting it to be good. When you don’t have a co-sign, then it’s just you and your own lyrics. A lot of times, I don’t have a co-sign because I just feel like it’s just me out here against the world.

You say acting paid the bills, talk about your journey as an independent artist.
I’m with Empire through distribution, so they only pay me what I make. Technically, I pay them.

What did you do with your first check?
Put it in the bank, ‘cause that’s where it is supposed to go. [laughs] I mean, I have what I want. I’m not in a space where I’m like “man if i got this check, I would go buy this.” I’m past that part in my life. I just want to have financial literacy, and be able to maintain my money so that I can have wealth that spreads through generations of Kennedy’s.

How important is social media for your career?
Social media is one of the most important things because that’s how you are able to get your stuff out there to people who support you. For me, I take social media very seriously because I have garnered all of these Pagers. I don’t call my fans fans, I call them Pagers. Pagers are people that actually love, respect, and support my music. Because you could go watch a movie, see me and enjoy me in that movie, but you were gonna see that movie anyway. I am just a part of it.

But as far as my music, it was something that was nothing, and then I created it. You had to specifically go get my music, specifically going to support and love me. I go on IG Live pretty much every day just so I can bring my fans on Live with me. See which of those people are Pagers, and then give them a platform. If they got things that they’re doing in their life, I allow them to share it with my audience to show my appreciation.

3 things you need in the studio?
Shit, all I need is a mic, the beat, and the engineer.

Nothing else?
Nah, I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs, so I don’t need anything.

Ever in your life?
Never, I’ve never even tasted alcohol. Dead serious. It was just a choice that I made. Because I have an addictive personality too. If I was to try it and like it, I would abuse it. Then I would be in trouble.

Favorite song to perform in a set?
“Torn Pages,” 100%. Even if people are talking, even if people are doing their things throughout my set, when I do “Torn Pages,” they are lock steady with me. They’re not checking their phones, they not even filming. They just stuck there watching me, because I get to pour my raw emotions out in that song. Then Marsha Ambrosius was so kind….

She’s fire!
She’s so amazing. She was able to give me her voice on that song. When I perform it… man.

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I’ve had some really dope encounters with my Pagers on Instagram Live. Because they come from all over the world and they are so young. They found me from Vine. Vines are still relevant because they’re still on Youtube. People still watch them all the time. My fanbase is still really young. Just having all these different young kids that I get to talk to that live in Croatia, Europe, and all over the place. Having them in their accents tell me what songs they like of mine and why, is dope.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Myself. [laughs] Eminem or Royce 5’9”.

Dream collab?
Eminem. Because on my Torn Pages album, I’ve already got every rapper that I wanted. Eminem is the only one that I didn’t get.

What advice do you have for an aspiring Page Kennedy?
Consistency and fortitude to not take no for an answer, and to push through. Consistency is everything. To have the will to want to be great, to want to be the best.

Anything else you want to let us know?
Follow Page Kennedy on all social media platforms: @pagekennedy. I converse with my Pagers.

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