Kalamazoo Rap Act Prime Suspects Coming to Lansing for Music Festival


Prime Suspects - Story by Anne Erickson, photo via Prime Suspects

Prime Suspects – Story by Anne Erickson, photo via Prime Suspects

This edition of the column discusses Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Prime Suspects, who is performing in Lansing at 420 Music Festival

420 Music Festival is set to return to Lansing, Michigan, on April 23. The second annual event, presented by LIV Cannabis, will feature a bevy of hot rap acts, including Bun B, Curren$y, Starlito and Don Trip, Willy J Peso, Prime Suspects, Kelsey Lynn, Bobbe Black, Caskey and more.

Ahead of 420 Music Festival, Blaine “Kid K-Zoo” Burnet checked in with Audio Ink Radio to talk about his musical roots, the group’s history and why they’re looking forward to performing for a second time at the festival. Read the full interview below. Prime Suspects includes Burnett, as well as Mario “Skeez” Burney, Ray “Cold Cash” Alexander and Brandon “Sino” Slaughter.

Anne Erickson When did you start rapping and develop a love for the art?

Blaine “Kid K-Zoo” Burnet: We started rapping in high school, really just for fun at the time. We’ve all been fans of rap music as far back as we can remember, but I would say around the time we put our first mixtape together was when we really developed our love for the art. To be our first time going through the whole creative process of selecting beats, writing, recording and then to see it through, put it out to the public and receive positive feedback was then, and still, continues to be a rewarding experience.

Tell me a little about the history of Prime Suspects.

We were actually a group of best friends since middle school, before we ever started doing music. When Cash moved back to Kalamazoo from Muskegon Heights in high school, he really put a focus on getting us all organized and doing music as a group. We started off recording on a basic computer mic at Skeez’s house with his big brother Burnna Dos engineering everything.

You’ve shared the stage with some great artists over the years, including T-Pain, Gucci Mane, Tech N9ne, Jelly Roll, Bone Thugz N Harmony and E-40. What’s it like to open for these amazing acts?

It has been a great experience for us! To walk out on that stage and feel the energy just beaming from the crowd is indescribable feeling. When we get opportunities to open for big names, we have always prided ourselves in hitting that stage and showing exactly why we belong there. Not only are these some of the most humble artists we’ve met, but it also gives us a chance to see how those winning teams operate behind the scenes and allows us to continue to learn and grow professionally as well.

You have a new EP, “Turbulence,” on the way. Do you have a released date yet?

The release date for the EP is tentatively set for May 20. Fans should expect from our set what I believe has become our trademark: a high energy performance, catchy hooks and hard hitting beats, but still giving you substance and bars in the verses.

Where are you recording the EP?

We’ve been recording the EP with DX The Flex at The House of Treez in Battle Creek. DX has been our engineer ever since our second mixtape and he has done all of our albums. The rapport we have built with him over the years makes it easy to be on the same page and results in a finished product we can both be proud of!

You’re performing at 420 Music Festival in Lansing coming up, and this is your second time performing there. What are you looking forward to at this gig?

We are looking forward to connecting with all of the fans and other artists on the festival. The fans are the whole reason we get to go out there and do what we love. We definitely want to do our part to make this festival one that they will always remember!

You’re based in Kalamazoo and are involved with hip-hop throughout Michigan. How would you describe the hip-hop scene in Kalamazoo?

In Kalamazoo, we have so many talented artists, some of who are also on the 420 Fest, such as Mook Thuggin and Early N Da Mornin’. The scene is growing and becoming more unified, which is super important for our movement to continue trending in the right direction.

Detroit is known for its huge rap scene. Do you feel there’s a relationship between the Detroit scene and rappers throughout the state, and how does Detroit enhance the rap game in Michigan?

Michigan is definitely on the move and buzzing harder than ever due to a lot of the Detroit and Flint artists’ recent success, but a win for them is a win for Michigan as a whole. A lot of Detroit artists collaborate with other Michigan artists from smaller cities, and I think Central/West Michigan’s time to shine is right around the corner!

What projects do you have lined up for the rest of the year?

We have the “Turbulence” EP and Cold Cash’ solo project both dropping in middle Q2. Kid K-Zoo and Sino solo projects are dropping Q3, followed by a Skeez solo project and another group project in Q4.

Feel free to add anything else.

Huge shout out to the whole CEP team for putting on great events like the 420 Fest. Organizations like theirs play a huge part in pushing the Michigan music scene forward as a whole. We appreciate them selecting us to be a part of it!

Anne Erickson’s column appears regularly in Audio Ink Radio. Have a band or concert to share? Contact her at anne@audioinkradio.com.

Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Local Music Beat, Music, Rock News