Washington State seems capable of only churning out so many fire MCs at a time. A group called ILLFIGHTYOU broke that mold by featuring three equally talented rappers, each with their own interesting spin and style to bring to the table. Member Khris P stood out as the group’s only producer and rapper. Production is a good skill for a rapper to have, especially if said rapper wants to go solo.
“You know like Wiz [Khalifa] say, everything’s better when you high. It just makes shit better.”
And Khris P has taken the solo route, though not exclusively. ILLFIGHTYOU is still together, but Khris P has also ventured out on his own with his latest album, Fireman, which is a solid rap effort with addictive trap and bassy beats that will make you want to bump it in your car, your house and on the dancefloor—wherever you may be. CULTURE caught up with Khris P to find out how his latest project came to be, as well as how cannabis inspires him.
We know you started out in ILLFIGHTYOU, but tell us about your personal path as a musician.
When I moved out here from St. Louis in 2006, I started putting out beats under a different name, Octopus Jones. The beats started getting really popular, started to get popping, not to toot my own horn. As that was going on, it started landing on blogs, etc. all that. And I was starting to get to know people out here in Tacoma, just moving from St. Louis. I had met a guy named Swanks [now goes by Leon Swanks], and he was rapping. He had a group of friends I got along with pretty good with, and we started kicking it and making music together. During that time, we started Sandlot, the group/collective together. When that happened, we started putting music out. We did our first show at Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma. We had some people come out. We had this little CD we had made with all of our songs we had made, we were passing those out.
At that time, I had just started to rap, Frank [from IILLFIGHTYOU] had just started to rap, and we both had songs on there, we all had songs on there, and they started getting popular. So everybody was getting popular, and I was just making a name for myself through my production, and then through the crew, and then I wanna say in 2011, we went to this show, and it was a show Glenn [from ILLFIGHTYOU] was at, and he was performing with a guy named Tom Crown, and he was killing it and all this other shit. Again we go to a show at Bleach, and Glenn was performing at it again, but this time he’s just like laying on the floor and getting in people’s faces, just making a scene. […] So show’s over we were drinking a beer, and Glenn walks over to the whole crew, he had already known a couple of guys, but he didn’t know me and Frank yet. He walks over and is like “Hey, what’s up my name’s Glenn I’ve been checking yall’s music out, and you guys are nuts!” and we were like “Well that’s what’s up, because we think you’re nuts.” You know? So we decided to make a tape together and became ILLFIGHTYOU. And so we started putting music out together, the rest is history. It kind of took off from there.
What were some of your musical influences for this album?
Motörhead, I wanted to make heavy shit. So, I just listened to anything that was heavy. Lot of bass heavy music, trap type shit. Shawty Redd, Three 6 Mafia, Kanye West. Honestly I think that’s it.
How has cannabis affected your music, your creative process, or even your relationship with your audience at all?
It’s made me listen to it a little closer. Other than that it hasn’t really changed anything. If you’re already doing music that’s something you’re already in tune with, if you actually like it anyway. Smoking just makes it better. You know like Wiz [Khalifa] say, everything’s better when you high. It just makes shit better. Everybody smokes weed; everybody enjoys it. I’m smoking with my OG right now.
What’s your favorite thing to listen to when you’re smoking cannabis?
Heatwave, “Star of the Story.”