When people think of Miami the nightlife, beaches, and beautiful women come to mind, but local rapper Flo Kid wants the world to know that Miami is so much more than its attractions. Building his buzz for being one of the city’s brightest new talents we sat down for an in-depth conversation about what has shaped his sound, what Miami’s rap community is missing, his entrepreneurial side, and using his music to deal with loss.
On how he got the name FloKid:
“When I first started rapping I couldn’t come up with a name, so I guess when I started putting out little freestyles and stuff one dude came up to me and was like, “damn man, you could flow kid!”. So I took that flow kid, I just put it together. I looked it up, it had an essence to it and it meant kinda cool, like a person who’s real cool, who’s very fluorescent, colorful, out there, so I was like alright, so I took it and ran with it.”
On why he calls himself NMB’s Savior:
“I felt like there was not a voice for the people that was from NMB that was doing music. I know everybody that does music in NMB, nobody stands for representing the city in a positive conscious manner. Everybody talking about the killing, the drug-selling, the fighting, police brutality and all that stuff. Well, them getting messed up by the cops not really focusing on police brutality, so I wanted to take another point of view on what NMB stands for. Really just trying to save the city and trying to shed light on what’s going on around us and how we can be more positive.”
On how his sound differs from the traditional Miami sound & his influences:
“Nas, off rip. Nas & Cole. When I first started doing music I was really into the Miami scene. I thought that was what I was gonna go with which was like the jooking, the fast-paced music, the strong bass, the booty shaking, the poppin bottles, I was gonna go with that. That was my initial set up when I first started doing music. I don’t know I just felt like I was giving myself the short end of the stick. I don’t think I was really doing my history, my research and seeing what I could do that’s really best for me. So, I started studying the greats like Nas, Eminem, Pac, I listened to Pac a lot, and Cole had just come out around that time so I started listening to Cole a lot and I was so infatuated with J. Cole it was ridiculous!”
On why Miami lacks the collaborative spirit that Atlanta has:
“I feel like there’s more to what we see. I feel like in Atlanta there’s a godfather who’s putting everybody on. I figured out who the godfather is, I might think it’s Gucci but there’s no godfather in Miami. There’s no somebody in Miami where if they really fuck with you they gonna put you on and connect you to all type of artists that’s booming no matter what level of stardom that you have. In Miami it’s just, “man I don’t need you!” It’s really crabs in a barrel in Miami. It’s so many talented artists out here. And let’s say someone does unite, you do a record together, they not gonna help you push it. They not gonna help you do certain things cause it might be your single and not his so they not always gonna put 100% effort that you put in. That’s what I see around me, I don’t know about no other states, I don’t know about no other cities, what I see around me and what I go through is that right there. Man, everybody wanna be number one, nobody wanna chill and see what one person could do then elevate off that or piggyback off that success. Every artist wanna tell the next person I made it on my own. They want that, they want that credibility when it’s like, who gives a fuck as long as you make it, right? Trust me I’ve been in that situation man, everybody always ask me “yo, if so & so is on, why he not?” I can’t control that person. I know when I get on what Imma do so until then I can only work on myself I guess.”
On what inspired his entrepreneurial ventures:
“I pictured myself when I first started doing music like where I was going to record. Now I didn’t know nothing about [it], we were basically getting fucked by studios, it was all about the buck only. So when I actually started doing music and taking it serious I was like oh man damn when I first started rapping, I was going to studios and paying this much and they didn’t really give a shit about your record they just wanted to take your money. So when I started my studio I started at a reasonable price, reasonable rate for artists who were very serious and we’re going to help you out. We’re so small to the point where we can give feedback. We’re gonna seem like brothers and sisters, like somebody who really cares about your music. So that’s why I created by studio, it’s more small, it’s more closed, you can’t bring in that many people. It’s like going to study hall, you and the tutor. That’s how I wanted my Victory One Studios to become and that’s how it is right now. And it’s picking up pretty well, I met a lot of unsigned artists who are trying to strive and do their thing. I tell them my story and they feel inspired and it feels good.
The nonprofit I started because I felt like I needed to give back, I felt like I wasn’t giving back at one point. So I wanted to give back in light of my brother, Rest In Peace, he was the type of person when he was out here he was working for the city of NMB and the city of Miramar so he was working with kids a lot, just working with the community a lot as well so I feel like that what I was lacking, I felt like I wasn’t giving back as much so I started doing that. I’ve been giving back to the homeless as much as possible. I donated clothes, shoes. I’m speaking to kids on career day.”
On the loss of his brother:
“Before that I was more on just spitting bars, don’t have any concept towards my music, actually when he passed I wanted to quit but the amount of love shown and the amount of feedback I was getting on not to do so kinda made me go back on the drawing board to basically see where I could put my music in a further position. It helped a lot, now everything is more personal. I rap with more meaning, I rap with more feeling. It might be a negative feeling but if Imma go negative Imma go hard. Like Imma make sure it touches you. If Imma make something relatable Imma make sure you can relate to it and actually cry to it. I get so many inboxes about people crying to my music it’s ridiculous.”
On how his loss impacted his live performance:
“Even though I haven’t had as many shows, I feel like my energy is still there. Now everything is more interactive. I shout this one saying “when I say long live ya’ll say Jo-Z” and everybody says it with HUGE respect and HUGE applause.”
Biggest moment in his career so far:
“I haven’t done my biggest moment yet, I don’t think so. I’m still in search for it, I’m still grinding, I’m still at the bottom man. There hasn’t been one biggest moment yet.”
What he would say to young kids coming out of NMB/Miami with dreams of being an artist?
“Yo, all I can tell you, to be honest, do you man. Let me tell you something man, you gotta do you! You guys be so quick to put your success or decisions in other people hands, don’t do that. That’s where I messed up at.”
What he wants people to know about Miami?
“It’s not what they think it is. If you’ve been here you know what Miami is, if you’ve lived here all your life you know what Miami is. If you not from Miami just know it’s more to the beach, more to club Liv, more to Ivy, it’s a whole different world, man they need to experience it. Take Chicago’s murder scene and Los Angeles beaches and put em in one that’s Miami right there.”
What’s next for FloKid?
“On Instagram I’m trying to do this thing every weekend where I’m tryna drop these one minute freestyles that’s getting a lot of attention right now actually it’s giving me crazy buzz. Ever since I dropped that Real spill I gained like 500 followers, no lie! So I wanna focus on that, drop people all over sharing my music and get more fans.. So I just wanna focus on my fanbase. I could sit here and tell you yo, I’m dropping out this I’m dropping this, I’m not. I’m just thinking about dropping probably two more visuals that I got done already my song called “Mama” I got that one dropping next, and I got “Typical”.”
Follow FloKid on social media (@FloKid88) & check out the visual to FloKid’s “NMB Savior” below:
Interviewed & written by: Chrissy Dru (@chrissydru_)