There seems to be a certain buzz when local talent is able to captivate audiences, witnessing the birth in sound through like minded individuals. The local Hip Hop scene in Minneapolis has experienced that excitement with the discovery of JuneThaKid, who makes up 1/3 of the local crew, Basement Gang. I met June through the events at the Urban Lights record store, appreciating his ultra smooth delivery and hard hitting pen game. After connecting, June had released his debut album, Rhonda’s Son, which is available on all streaming platforms now. The album was insurance on how high the ceiling really is for this local MC.. As real as they come, June was able to incorporate blends in style throughout his project. I’ve talked about the melting pot in sound for the Minneapolis scene in a previous article, and this fits the bill tenfold. A mix of East coast bars over simple loops, to a bounce that’s heard in the West or South, June does it all while relaying themes of family, loyalty and identity. June talks about hailing from the Southside of Minneapolis and what that means to him in his own words, as I had the pleasure of asking the artist a few questions.
Who is June Tha Kid? As an artist and as a person, what values do you hold close?
“JuneThaKid is just a kid from Southside Mpls trying to chase a dream. However Jordan is a 24 year old trying to navigate through this life and figure it out with everything changing around him like everyone else. I’m usually chilling somewhere out the way since I’m naturally an introvert which makes me being a rapper funny. I always feel like Jordan the person and JuneThaKid the artist are clashing...
I mostly value being around honest, real people. A lot of people in the music industry constantly feel the need to keep a facade going, understandably, and I’d rather be around people who are comfortable being themselves. It’s less tiring.
Describe Hip Hop in the best 3 words you can think of
“Raw, Authentic, Soulful
What’s important to you in your sound/music? What do you want your audience to take away from it?
“...the honesty and reliability in it. I’m not in the booth trying to be something I’m not. I’m just telling real stories real people can resonate with.
“I want people to take away the authentic love for the culture. I take the craft seriously and put the work in but still have fun with it. I also pride myself on being versatile and able to make songs for whatever mood you may be in. You never know what you’re gonna get from me. I can make you wanna mosh on one song and make you cry on the next...
Talk to me about Basement Gang
“So first and foremost, Basement Gang is a rap group consisting of me, $aiku, and Quasi Uno on production. There’s also Basement Gang ENT which is a collective of creators to which Basement Gang the group falls under. The homie Craishon who’s an R&B artist falls under it as well alongside other creators like the homie Cliff who paints and draws.
Any projects or events coming?
“Yessir. I have a video for ‘Nimbus’ coming soon. Me and $aiku are working on the Basement Gang album and the Homie Craishon’s album ‘Sorry, I forgot about yesterday’ is coming Oct 29th which I’m featured on.
$aiku and I will also be performing at the Scary Hours Halloween showcase Saturday Oct 30th at Creative Mpls.
Talk about the Open Mic events at Urban Lights and the community based approach to the Hip Hop scene in Minneapolis, what does it mean to you?
“The Urban Lights open mic has played a monumental role in me being an artist. Me and $aiku had been making music on/off since 2017 but not taking it seriously. It was more of just something we did for fun and never intended on putting out and pushing for real. Vlad was always on us about it but since he was my homie I just felt like he was just being a friend and gassing me up, Which is why I never took it seriously. On a whim one day we decided to come perform just to see what it was like and I was shocked to see how much people resonated with my music. It wasn’t until seeing positive reactions from people who weren’t my friend and didn’t have any incentive to care about my feelings that I finally got the confidence to take music seriously.
Who are Artists that inspire and influence you?
“Kendrick is my favorite rapper of all time but I have a ton of influences-
50 cent, lil Wayne,
Kanye, Pusha T,
Westside Boogie, Tyler the creator
... all inspire me in different ways
There is no denying the buzz that is generating around JuneThaKid, through his role in Basement Gang, which includes the talents of local artists $aiku and Quasi Uno. This group, with that authentic blend in sound, has offered something new to the table. A genuine appreciation is woven into the early supporters, undeniable when seeing their live show. JuneThaKid said it best, It’s that sense of understanding and appreciating the culture. A raw love unmatched. That excitement for Hip Hop fans to have new hometown heroes is here, at the catalyst of these creators.
Rhonda’s Son from JuneThaKid, out now on all streaming services