The Ultimate Grand Supreme
Hip hop duo Lil Kids have really been making a lot of noise in Brooklyn lately. Playing more shows coming out with more music, and increasingly bizarre videos. ML.com got a chance to sit down with Nick Adams and Adam Kane and talk about what inspires them, what’s up with all these crazy video ideas and what the future holds for Lil’ Kids.
ML.com: Tell me about growing up in Virginia and what brought you guys to making music?
Adam: I grew up in Hampton, Virginia and then I moved to Williamsburg, Virginia where I met Nick in middle school. We didn’t really hang out and he moved to Atlanta in the middle of middle school. Then he came back in high school and we had some classes together. We were always friendly in class but we didn’t hang out or anything like that in school because we were just on different grinds at the time.
Then I moved to New York and Nick went to school in Richmond. I heard his beats on SoundCloud and I was rapping and making music but nowhere near as good as what we’re doing now. I was hitting him up like “Yo dude, your beats are sick!” He came up here one weekend
Nick: Spring Break weekend.
Adam: Yea! We recorded three songs which are still on SoundCloud and are very good songs still.
ML: Which songs?
Adam: “Zoophilia,”” Mom Jeans” and “D.E.V.O.” You can hear me pitching my voice up at the time and my name was “Adam ATLM Kane” at the time, then we switched it to Lil Kids. Then he moved up here (New York) because we were both like “This shit is dope and everybody is fucking with our tracks.”
We’ve been living together for about a year now. I’m not always recording tracks but HE is (points to Nick)
Nick: I’m always making beats.
Adam: Yea I’ve been slacking but we’re working on our third mixtape right now.
ML: I know you have so many different influences from movies, music, and art. Can you name some of them?
Nick: Musically, a lot of my influences come from 90s underground instrumental hip hop stuff. I like early Herbaliser. I still come back to that stuff because it’s pretty awesome. I’m still influenced by nerdy shit like anime and video games that’s definitely still in the mix.
So yea, it’s just a mix of nerdy stuff, underground hip hop and straight up soul…UK Garage…all that shit.
Adam: I really like Beck, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beastie Boys, a lot of the shit from the 90s. Rock is like my favorite shit. Still to this day I don’t think anyone is making shit that compares to stuff I grew up on. I think that the 90s was the best era ever, arguably the best decade.
Better than the 60s! I feel like there was less political strife in the 90s. It was just as revolutionary as the 60s but without all the crazy social unrest and shit which made it even cooler.
Nick: Just a lot of apathy.
Adam: Yea. A lot of apathy in the 90s. A lot of people ask like what rappers I fuck with. New people that I like are Action Bronson, Das Racist and Leif is just sick.
As far as shit that inspires me visually are crazy colors.
Nick: Shit that hurts your face when you’re looking at it.
Adam: I’m really easily pleased visually because I just like shit that is like strobe-y. A lot of our videos have that element to them. So I want to do something with more plot devices than random shit because it’ll make us have to think harder.
ML: (laughs) Speaking of videos, your video for “Coitus Interruptus” has a lot of crazy shit going on. You’re naked in a tub, dry humping mannequins and shit.
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Nick: Most of that comes from no shame.
Adam: No pride either.
Adam: We did that video with the dude who does projections with us, he’s real cool and he’s in school in Michigan right now for film. Shout out to my friend Hanna Black! We filmed in the hotel that she was at so it made the production cost of that video only a couple hundred dollars which was cool.
All the green screen shit was paint and then we made some feedback loops on his computer and I was in the tub and the paint kept coming off. Then the water kept turning blue and when he green screened it that’s how it came out. I was mad scared because I thought it was gonna stain the tub. There’s a few shots looking back where you can basically see my dick. I was like “Yo why is there a champagne cor…ooohhh.”
Adam: That was mad fun. We just made another video where we just have a bunch of crazy shit popping up on the screen.
ML: Poison Control?
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Adam: Yea. Video is definitely an area I want to get into more but you have to have time.
Nick: Rendering is like… if you make beats all day then start on Final Cut like the workflow is not there.
Adam: Yea like “We’ll see what that looks like in two days.”
ML: So I read your interview with Interview (Magazine) in which you stated during the making of Slow Rainbow you were full of sadness.
Adam: Yes. Sad time.
ML: and during Young Hercules you were half sad
Adam: I was coming out of a very deep sadness
ML: With your third mixtape coming up, what can we expect from you emotionally?
Adam: Well, we’re gonna do a collaboration with Caitlin Seager from Night Manager, she’s gonna sing on one of the tracks. That song…
Nick: It has a message
Adam: It has a message; I’m kind of serious on that one. We’re calling the mixtape Ultimate Grand Supreme. Like when a kid wins the pageant, the whole thing, the Ultimate Grand Supreme.
ML: (laughs) Awesome!
Adams: I’m taking a lot longer to write the rhymes and I’m kinda hesitant to do things because I’m not as worried about getting it out there quickly. I think we put out like twenty songs that are good quality; I don’t think we have any songs out there that are total garbage which is good. I’m proud of everything we put out.
Like I think Spank Rock’s Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo is a classic record.
Nick: It’s like a landmark for classic records.
Adam: His new shit is good too but it’s doesn’t have the same classic vibe. I want my third one to be the charm. I’m in a good spot in my head now; I was just mad bummed about some shit but now I’m doing better.
ML: That’s great man! I’m excited to hear that you’re happy.
Adam: Yea man, its good stuff.
ML: I know eventually you (Adam) want branch out and do other things besides rapping when it comes to music. What are some of those things?
Adam: Whenever we play shows a part of me feels like I’m not doing enough. I feel like I’m just talking and I use to play a lot of guitar. Sometimes I wish that I was in a heavy duty psych rock band.
Nick: That might be the other move if we stop doing this.
Adam: I don’t think we’ll ever have to stop Lil’ Kids because Nick has over 4,000 beats that if people hear them they’d be like “that’s the craziest shit I’ve ever heard and he’s just like “eh..I don’t like em.”
So there’s always beats on deck. I don’t ever want to stop Lil’ Kids at all but I think it would be interesting to write songs with a bunch of people in a different way because when we make music it’s like he’s making the beat and I’m writing the rhymes.
Nick: Except for some of the new stuff we’re doing, we’re actually recording instruments.
Adam: I played guitar and Nick plays the bass, so we’re trying to branch out. We’ve got some pedal steel on some tracks.
Nick: Americana vibe
Adam: We can make Lil’ Kids really crazy you know. We can go anyway with it really.
Nick: We thought we were gonna make a dance album but then we decided not.
ML: Some are the beats totally have a dance feel to them.
Nick: We have stuff that is REALLY dance-y.
Adams: He’s got shit that I couldn’t even rap on because it just crazy shit. It’s sick though! He’s got this one beat that is sick and he should just put out. I really want to rap on it but I don’t want to fuck it up. I definitely think that Nick should play more shows that are straight beats. He’s been DJing a little bit.
ML: Really? Where?
Nick: Free Candy a few times, Muchmore’s, and a hotel for a cancer benefit.
ML: That’s pretty sweet. Any shout outs?
Adam: Shout out to Andrew Prato, he put us on. He basically gets us all of our shows. Big shout out to him. Shout out to my family. Shouts to Nick, Shout to my friends and people who come to our shows, Shouts to the people who come up to me at shows and are like “Yo that was good.”
Nick: Yea, he covered everything.