Kirko Bangz needs no introduction to the BET.com fam. After building his buzz with a series of mixtapes and his hit “What Yo Name Iz?”, the Houston-based rapper/singer has been shaking up BET's 106 & Park for weeks with his hit “Drank in My Cup,” which also just recently broke into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, a huge feat for a 22-year-young artist who has yet to even name — let alone release — his debut album. In light of the big accomplishment, Kirko recently sat down for an exclusive interview with BET.com to talk about cracking the charts, hustling his way through college and getting snubbed by XXL magazine.
BET.com: How does it feel to reach the top 10 on Billboard? That’s a big deal.
Kirko Bangz: It’s cool. Actually your boy was number one on the urban [charts] originally. It’s a dream come true, it’s a blessing. But I want to keep on going and get a couple of them under my belt.
What inspired “Drank in My Cup”?
Well, really the record is about a girl. Like, when [her] dude’s tripping, and somebody [else] can come in on that player tip and play him. That’s my whole persona. I just wanted to [give] that Houston feel to it as well — everybody know where the drank come from. I wanted to mix all them elements together and really just put my city back on the map and let people know that Houston ain’t going nowhere.
Rap is a competitive sport. How did you manage to get your foot in the door?
The mixtape hustle, and college. I went to college for three years. I really wasn’t into class like that, I was more into girls and networking. I networked through the school [with] my mixtapes and freestyle videos and created a buzz out there at Prairie View A&M University and in Houston as well. So when the label came to see who was hot in the area, I was flaming. We’ve been working — we’re trying to keep that momentum going and become a household name.
Though everyone knows the words “Drank,” not everyone knows who the man behind it is. How can fans get to know you better?
For the most part I’m just a very private dude — until it comes to the music. I feel like anybody that wants to get to know me you’ve got to listen to the music. That’s my diary; that’s my notebook.
Tell us about your debut album for Warner Bros. You’ve got a lot of love for Houston and they show it right back — will you be collaborating with any of your hometown heroes on the LP?
Man, you can look forward to seeing all them mother---ers on there. [Laughs] I don’t really have a title yet, but you can look for it at the bottom of this year or the top of next year. I’m about to drop another single real soon, probably within the next few weeks, and hopefully we can get to that number one again so when the album come we can do them big numbers. I’m trying to go platinum, man.
We were looking for you to be on the XXL Freshmen cover — what happened with that?
I was too! [Laughs] It is what it is. It’s just another challenge and more people I have to prove wrong. I feel like that’s what my whole career and my whole life been about — getting over the road bumps. People just doubt me, so [I] got to just put more gas in the tank.
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(Photo: John Ricard/BET)