On The Rise: Kenny Runaways Expanding The Buffalo Hip Hop Movement

by Raheem Karim
Kenny Runaways

Kenny Runaways

Kenny Runaways The Next Buffalo Hip Hop Artist To Blow

There has been great hip hop artist emerging in every corner of the globe but Buffalo, New York has been a recent hotbed for new artist. Kenny Runaways is the next Buffalo native to make name for himself and expand the upstate New York vibe. The talented lyricist writer-producer and entrepreneur has caught the attention of listeners with his catchy single “Infinity” featuring Chris Awkward. The single has a laid back vibe as he speaks about not worrying about the world, just carving his own path to success. Listening to the single Kenny Runaways is a very skillful rapper with his play on words and cadence. I am anxious to hear more, but this is definitely a good start. We had a chance to do a Q&A interview with the Buffalo rapper, he speaks about his musical style, and his organization called the Dope collective. Read below to find out more about Kenny Runway and watch video for his single Infinity. Bookmark his Spotify channel, I guarantee I just found the next Buffalo artist to blow

1. Where are you from?
I grew up in Buffalo on the east and the west side. I started writing lyrics at 12 and started producing at age 13.

2. Do you think hip hop artists in Buffalo had been getting overlooked in the past?
Definitely, I think based on the stigma of the city a lot of artists weren’t given a chance we’ve always had diverse and talented artist but I feel our hip hop music was held to a generic standard

3. Describe your musical style?
Every word counts or adds up to something writing is my thing I would consider myself an essence based artist meaning that when I write to something there’s a certain feel that I’m capturing I just love when I get that feel to a song!

4. Who were their music influences and what hip-hop albums did they grow up listening to ?
There was a lot of underground music being played and mainly upstate NY music. People enjoyed Nas, Nipsey Hussle, Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, the Diplomats, Stack bundles, D block, 50 cent when “Get rich or Die Tryin” came out. Lil Wayne for sure was hot and Jay Z, people would talk about the Blueprint album and The Black Album. I personally grew up a Cassidy fan that’s why when I was younger all I wrote was bars. I’ve been rocking with the west coast sound for a minute artists like Dom Kennedy, The Internet, Kendrick Lamar, etc. Its a vibe for real.

5. When is your album dropping and what can listeners expect?
May 2020 just because I want to make sure it’s well completed. You can expect a lot of different elements you can expect some fire some water earth and even ethereal I have one song that may even take people to outer space, you can expect real-life stories and emotions brought to you by my very own experiences and no two verses are the same you will get a very diverse selection of music. I produced about 90% of the songs there is one track on there I think that wasn’t produced by me.

Recommended: The Top Buffalo Rappers Leading The Upstate Movement

6. What does hip hop music and culture to you ?
It’s a way of life it’s an instrument of expression and its something that has had a major influence on people and society. So what it means to me, in short, is energy and how I choose to utilize it like whatever type of vibe I need in hip hop to stimulate particular energy like do I want to feel motivated and listen to Nipsey Hussle or Kevin Gates. Do I want to get my energy up and listen to drill music do I need some healing from Jill Scott you know so that’s I see the culture

7. So, what are your thoughts on the current state of the game?
I think it’s great because there’s so many different types of hip hop music going on around the world all at once and the fact that it’s so easy for people to have access to it. I think it’s one of the best times on Earth to be an artist because no matter who you are or where you are you have just as much opportunity to be successful or as successful as anyone else. I feel like the access the audience and the fans have to the artists is much more open and direct than it has ever been before. I don’t think hip hop is something that will ever stop evolving because when there is a need or desire for a certain type of sound or sub-genre there will always be an artist there to fulfill that need or change something up.

8. How has your music evolved since you first began?
I would say my music evolves just as I evolve and even as hip hop evolves. I remember growing up writing lyrics mainly bars and a lot of it would sound real gritty hungry and animalistic and that also has to do with a lot of the music I was listening to, so as I expand overtime in my mind and consciousness, so does how I write my songs and what I choose to listen to and though I’m young I still choose to adjust to the way hip hop is evolving and that effects the way my music will evolve as well

8. What would be their dream collaboration with any rapper or producer?
My brother is one of the illest spitters I know so a dream collaboration or contemporary would be artists like king Los or MF Doom.
But for me for a dream collaboration, something with Kendrick would be crazy just off the strength of having no limits or bounds to the creativity. But is also hard to say too because I would consider it a dream come true to work with some of the artists from my own city just because I know the hard work and light that we put into making our dreams become a reality

10. Tell me about your organization called the Dope collective? How it started and the purpose?
Dope MEANS Dismantling oppressive patterns for empowerment
It started because there was a need for black and brown punk artist to have a space where they could perform and we wanted to make that a possibility being that one of the founders is a punk artist himself we started in 2015 I joined about 2016 and since then we’ve hosted numerous shows around the city showcasing local artist and artist across the country we also create workshops that provide healing spaces for people that are dealing with community social Injustices such as toxic femininity or toxic masculinity etc.

11. Where do you see yourself going with your art?
I think it’s all going to depend on how I feel after the completion of the album, I feel I’m always going to be working on music whether I’m producing or rapping. After the album is complete my main goal will be focused more on the business side of things and making sure my foundation is correct

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