Kosine is the genius behind Nicki Minaj’s standout smash “Anaconda,” which recently hit one billion views on YouTube and counting. Coming up as one-half of Da Internz, a production duo based in Los Angeles, the Chicago native is a 9x-GRAMMY-nominated producer, rapper, and host of BET’s Man Cave, DJ on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio, and father—the true definition of a jack of all trades.
While his all-star catalog of hits does not go unnoticed, from “Eenie Meenie” for Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston to “Dance (A$$)” for Big Sean to double platinum “Birthday Cake” for Rihanna and Chris Brown, Kosine is finally ready for his newest venture: stepping into his own limelight as a recording artist. In fact, his song “Everybody Vote” was even used as the anthem to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ campaign in addition tapping R&B superstar Jeremih for his latest single “Transparency.”
Now 7 years later, Kosine finally releases his highly-anticipated debut album titled Truth Serum, with a cinematic short film to match. Flaunt caught up with Kosine at his screening at Neuehouse, as friends and loved ones gathered to watch the short film prior to its release. Read below as we discuss the new project that was 7 years in the making, Nicki’s “Anaconda” hitting one billion views, his song “Everybody Vote” being the anthem of Biden’s campaign ad, being a jack of all trades, fatherhood, and more!
How does it feel to have Truth Serum out now? You’ve got your friends and loved ones out here.
It’s an answer to prayers. My heart is full. I’m so grateful to my team, everybody around who really made this happen. Everybody who came and sent love. I got my homies here. I got my dawgs in the building. Realizing that it’s those genuine relationships and these are people that can take you to where you’re going, you become more intentional on loving on the people next to you. Really appreciating those that believe in you, so I’m super grateful.
A young Kosine coming up in Chicago, did you think you’d be here now?
Nah! Of course, I didn’t think I’d be here like that. That’s why it’s so unbelievable ’cause you got to goals, you know what you want to do, but the music business is so saturated.
I feel you! What you were saying about Hollywood… fuck this shit.
Man fuck this shit! You hit that little breaking point man. That’s the motivation you need to just go in your room, blackout, and make the best music that you can. Know that at some point that music is undeniably going to get you to where you’re trying to go.
How’d it feel to have Nicki’s “Anaconda” reaching one billion views on YouTube?
That day was so crazy. The day I made “Anaconda” is the first time I ever watched “Purple Rain” by Prince. It was so inspirational. That was a game-changer. Nicki is the real deal. I’m always looking to be challenged in the studio. Her personality is so big, she knows what she wants. It was the ultimate challenge. I felt that brought the best out of me as a producer. We at a billion, we B’d up out here on these views. Song is multi-multi-Platinum. The arrangement of “Anaconda”, it’s because I went to Florida A&M University. Being in the band, the Marching 100, those arrangements were so crazy. Using what I learned at an HBCU, Marching 100 on Nicki Minaj, changed the game.
You do it all, co-hosting, producing, rapping, acting. Talk about being a jack of all trades.
I get bored easily. [laughs] I like to do a lot of different things and have fun. Everything works with each other. I’m a fan of music. Of course, I’m a DJ at Apple Music for 5 years. I love playing the top music in the world. My show is every Sunday at 11am and 5pm. Play the top music in the world, tell you why it’s cold and who these people are. A lot of them are my friends.
Summer 2020, your song “Everybody Vote” was the anthem of Joe Biden and Kamala’s campaign ad. How did that happen?
My services were called upon. I’m open for business. I’m not deep into politics, but I knew it was time for some change. I knew that people needed to utilize their voice. So to be able to write a song that’s going to inspire people to get out there and get active as far as change, I’m all for that.
I saw your post that said it took 7 years for this EP, why’s now the time?
Now’s the time because I have the right people around me now. The right people that say “Alright, you want to release music consistently, you can release music consistently.” That’s all I want to do, all I ever want to do is put my music out. People around me that are really encouraging the projects, that’s the difference.
What’re you most excited for as it releases?
I’m excited for people to drive in the car and blast my music. If you got a little 30-minute ride, 20-minute ride, and you just need that moment. I’m excited for the car rides to the music. I’m excited for the conversations that are going to come from seeing the film and listening to the music.
What song means the most to you and why?
I’ll go with “Change.” The sample is something that my mom used to listen to Sunday mornings, WGSI Chicago, gospel. Being raised in the church, being a man of faith. It represents the change: moving back to Chicago, leaving LA, taking a break from the scene and getting back to me. I did a TED Talk called Professor Kosine Presents: How to Rewrite Your Life. That came from going home and doing a rewrite.
Were you nervous for that?
Oh yeah. But because I was in an acting class, I looked at it like a 20-minute monologue. They taught leaders to do the speeches.
What did it mean to get Bria Myles in the film?
Oh man, come on man. Bria’s one of the most beautiful subjects walking planet earth. When it comes to quality in film, if you ain’t got no baddies, was it a good film? But she’s not just looks. As you can see, her acting skills are real. That’s really my homie so I know that genuine chemistry cut through.
What’re you excited for this year as the world starts to open back up?
I’m excited that music is back out. People are being able to experience live music because there’s nothing like it, nothing like being able to see somebody vibing out on the keys and all that. I”m excited for live music to be a thing again.
How’s fatherhood treating you?
Oh man, that’s the best part of life. That’s the motivation. Now that I have a daughter too, you’re now getting the best version of yourself. Daughters bring out the best in their dads. Any relationship I had in the past, I know the woman was counting on the potential. “I know he’s going to be this one day.” My daughter’s bringing out that potential now, so I’m grateful for that.
Amazing. Is there anything else you want to let the people know?
Share that Truth Serum man. Share it, make TikToks to it. Play it on your radio stations, play it at your parties, play it in the car. Stream the movie. Have it on the background while you’re working and you finesse.