Collectives have long been a staple in hip-hop. Today, Brooklyn’s own Progressive Era — led by rapper Joey Bad$$ — is among the leading groups of producers, emcees and talented artists in the game. Not far behind their frontman is the group’s multi-talented beat-maker and wordsmith Kirk Knight, an established success story and budding star in his own right. Yet even with numerous hits under his belt and a new project on the way, Knight’s career is just beginning.
At just 22-years-old, Kirk Knight is already incredibly self-aware. By 16, he was producing for his fellow Pro Era collaborators, including Bada$$. While many his age are still in their freshman year of college, a 19-year-old Kirk Knight released his debut album, Late Knight Special, which peaked at 33 on the Billboard charts.
IIWII (short for It Is What It Is), his forthcoming sophomore effort, “is a very personal album,” Knight told The 10,000 in an exclusive interview. With no features, a rarity in today’s hip-hop landscape, Knight has put added pressure on himself to succeed. “If I fail, it’s on my terms. There’s nobody else to blame.” A staunch supporter of Pro Era, Knight also wants to give his fans something uniquely him. “Yes, I’ve made hit records with Joey [Bada$$] and [A$AP] Ferg, but this is about me standing on my own two,” said Knight, who not only loves ‘90s-era rap, but counts experimental indie rock bands like Animal Collection among his favorites.