Kiddo K’s rise to his current status as one of the most exciting up-and-coming rappers in the game is about as unexpected as they come. That’s not because Kiddo lacks the work ethic or talent to arrive as a shining prospect — he has both in spades. Rather, the surprise comes from his rise from homelessness and surviving Hurricane Katrina. His journey of leaving New Orleans for a town he’d never been to before and avoiding trouble on the streets (when no one else expected him to make a living anywhere else) made the odds for success nearly impossible.
But thanks to an almost transcendent ability to translate his story into quotable rap bars and narratively-driven songs, Kiddo K has captivated the rap world. His new project, Diary of a Project Kid, is confirmation of that talent. But more importantly, it’s a story for young kids everywhere to find hope, inspiration, and joy in.
Growing up surrounded by poverty and gang violence, Kiddo K assumed his only options in life would consist of the former forcing him into the latter. The MC born Kenneth Alexander was raised in New Orleans and steeped in its local rap culture — listening to favorites like Quando Rondo, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and more. Despite being surrounded by hip-hop as a kid and participating in freestyles, Kiddo never internalized that he could try his hand at rapping until he left New Orleans for Monroe and found himself alone, needing to express himself. Alongside his mother and sister, Kiddo K left the only home he’d ever known — the one not even a hurricane could make him leave — for a town over four hours away.
“When we arrived in Monroe, we didn’t know anyone,” Kiddo says. “I didn’t have my community, my friends, nothing.” So he tapped his loneliness and isolation into the only thing he knew how to do in a new city with no connections: freestyling. “I began by just reflecting on my circumstances, how I ended up in Monroe and where I wanted to be.”
Kiddo had never really tapped into his emotions before, but he found it both cathartic and a really effective way to create rap songs. He became familiar with the cadences of his voice, where his vocals would naturally gravitate to, and the pockets he felt most comfortable in.
For instance, on “Illegal Love” (one of the standout cuts from Diary of a Project Kid), he moves away from life on the streets and focuses on a broken heart. That willingness to be vulnerable and completely honest with his situation is why so many fans have gravitated towards his music. His lyrics are relatable, with lines like “She never wanted me, ooh, never needed me / Should be illegal how you left after you pleased me / 9-1-1, EMT, my heart needs a bandage / Can somebody call a medic? These scars, I can not manage.”
On “Rylow Flow” — another track which has already accrued over 200,000 streams on Spotify — Kiddo reflects on the way his life has changed since he began rapping. Sure, he was recognized in high school after his video freestyles began going viral on the internet, but that success also brought haters into his world and saw friends turn into enemies. “I see my dawg turn to a snake, we was the best of friends / They see me shining, I came from nothing they feeling lesser than.”
On Diary Of A Project Kid, Kiddo K plants his flag as one of the most promising young rappers in the game, both in his home state of Louisiana and across the country. His willingness to explore his story with no holds barred has made him a relatable figure for young fans everywhere.
“I’m just trying to show that you can get out of this world,” he says. “You gotta work hard, but it can be done.”