Born Ken Johnson in Chicago, IL, and raised in the South in Jackson, Mississippi, by a single mom who played guitar in the gospel music industry, BiggKen is a producer, songwriter, rapper and entrepreneur. He grew up on Hip Hop and in High school often competed in rap battles making a name for himself as competitive rapper. After graduating high school Graduated high school and did a couple of tours in the Army, he came back out and jumped right into the music scene again starting as a part time DJ and jingle maker for the local radio station WJMI 99.7.
Then known as Mista Naked he dropped his own single, entitled “Girls In Da Club”, which caught the attention of program director Stan Branson and soon got him added to radio, escalating the track into a hot single a hot single getting regional airplay. The exploit landed him a deal with Liquid 8/Interscope Records who at that time had artists like Silk, Smokey Robinson, and Keith Sweat, making BiggKen the first Hip Hop artist on the Label.
After a few record releases, BiggKen also pursued a career in business, starting BiggTruck Carriers – his own still active trucking company. Next up was 4535 Music – a music consulting company, which manages artists and consults labels.
All the while, in the background, BiggKen has not stopped doing his own music as a side hustle, and is currently bouncing around the single “Grade A”. A prominent snare and rattling hi-hat percolate alongside the rumbling bass motifs, as the rapper rolls in.
BiggKen wastes no time whatsoever on the track, getting at the heart of the groove, and asserting his status within the hip-hop scene—all while packing punch after punch, of big booty joy. “Pop it. You know you got that Grade A,” he exclaims.
The energy of the beat and bass pairing grips listeners and has them riding shotgun to BiggKen’s straight-off-the-cuff affirmations. Under the surface it easy to note how BiggKen is able to pack so many words into his flow.
When he switches gear, BiggKen’s flow is on fire, and his words are as sleek as a pimp’s suit. While the beat is animated, the rhyme pattern for the verse is a mouthful. BiggKen comes in like a rapper with something to prove, showing that technical prowess in Hip Hop still has a significant place, despite all the modern leanings toward ‘vibe’ and ‘sound’. That said, modern sensibilities keep BiggKen grounded in the current musical landscape, while the desire to showcase his craft will affirm his credibility among purists.
Those in tune with “Grade A” will decidedly vouch for BiggKen’s aforementioned capabilities. In switching up the flow, BiggKen rises to the challenge, doing what many have failed to do in recent years: retain interest for three verses, in what essentially is a straight-out banger.
The track remains intensely listenable, with no shortage of witty lyricism and clever musical ideas. Though some artists can get lost in the ambition of their own musical grandeur, BiggKen never sets himself up to fail, let alone falter…not in music, nor in business!