For starters, tell us how you got the name King Carter?
My real last name is Carter. For years I was called the leader & face of my hood when it came to music so I earned the nickname "King". I put them together and my name became KING CARTER.
Rep your set for us?
Im from Charlotte, NC. The West Side!
In Hip-Hop there are a lot of Kings and a there are 2 famous rappers with the last name Carter. Do you feel that just by your name alone you're opening up yourself to have your music picked apart by critics more than it should be?
[Laughs] I'm not scared of the critics nor the controversy my name may cause. I want the critics to pick my music apart because they'll become fans. They'll hear my lyrics and my passion and see that what I'm spittin' is from my heart. As far as other rappers feeling a certain way about my name I could care less. My music can stand with theirs.
Exactly how long have you been rapping and when did you decide to take it seriously?
I've been rapping since I was 11 and I became serious when I was 15. I was in a group at the time and when I felt like I wasn't making any progress I left and started doing street shit. I became serious again in '08 and that was the birth of King Carter. I haven't looked back since.
You mentioned that you started off rapping in group. Do you find it easier to make music as a solo artist or as a part of a group?
Its easier for me to make music solo. Most of the time I wanted to be rap about other things than what the group wanted to and I had to compromise. Now I make the music I want to when I want to.
While we're on the topic of making music, do you use a pen and pad to write down your lyrics or do you do it like Jay-Z and write in your head?
I do it all in my head. I haven't used a pencil and pad in 5 years. I flow better that way.
You dropped your 1st independent solo album "No Choice" early 2009 and you were one of maybe 2 or 3 artists in Charlotte to drop a complete studio album that year. With a city like Charlotte having a population as big as it has, why do you think you were the only artist who managed to drop an actual album?
I think I was probably one of the only people in the city with the know-how, funds, team, and drive to actually put an album out. Putting an album out isn't easy.
You've done a lot of mixtape features but you have yet to drop a mixtape of your own. A lot of artists are opting to drop a mixtape rather than dropping complete studio albums. Do you think this is a good route?
Its good and bad. Everybody's doing a mixtape nowadays. But if you don't have a major Dj hosting it like a DJ Chuck-T or a DJ B-Lord than you're not going to get the results you want. Your tape will get lost in the midst of the other thousands of people dropping mixtapes. But if you do it the right way it can really get you the exposure you need for a inexpensive price.
Last year you put forth an effort to unify the notable rappers in your city by starting a group called " The City Council". Who were the members and what do yall have in the works now?
The members were Myself, S-dub, Bettie Grind, Royal-Tee, & Sonny Rich. We're not really working on anything together right now. Things happened and it didn't go as smoothly as we all expected but hopefully we can put it back in motion.
Ok...so being that the original members you had in mind for the group didn't work out do you plan on finding new members?
No. That team was put together for a reason. Without the 5 original members the plan won't work.
Your music is very versatile. You are able to make songs for the streets, for the women and inspirational music without none of it seeming forced. Does that versatility come naturally or was it something you had to practice and work on?
It comes naturally. I'm a versatile person. I'm even kind of moody at time [laughs]. I just stay honest and make music that describes how I feel at that moment.
You've caught a few court cases over the last few years and have managed to escape doing serious jail time. You touch on those cases in your music but you don't brag about them like most rappers would. Why is that? That would increase your street credibility, right?
That's a part of my life I'm trying to forget about and I thank GOD everyday that I beat 3 cases and a total of 25 felony's in the past 3 years. I'm not about glorifying my negatives. I would rather touch on it and put out that positive energy of me overcoming it. Plus the fans know who's real and who's faking. If not now, it'll come to light eventually so why lie? Plus, I'm not in the need to prove myself or confirm my street credibility. I deal with the streets every day. I'm almost completely out the streets. I'm good in the space I'm in right now.
A lot of Charlotte Hip-Hop artists have been signed to major labels but haven't dropped albums and eventually get dropped by their label. Why do you think that is?
I don't know why that is. I don't know the complete truth behind any of their situations either so I can't speak on that.
You had a radio hit last year called "She Bad". What makes a woman "Bad" to you?
A confident and secure woman that's real with her emotions and thoughts. I don't have a specific type or look I go for, I just like a beautiful woman. Every woman has their own qualities that make them "bad".
I'm going to name 3 women and I want you to put them in order from Bad, Badder, and Baddest, Ok? Pinky the Pornstar, Oprah Winfrey, and Keri Hilson.
You have it in the right order already [laughs].
Ok...now you have to explain those choices [laughs].
Pinky is Bad! I love a nasty girl. Oprah Winfrey is badder. She would be the baddest but she's a boss like myself and I think we would bump heads a lot. And she's older and more established so she would probably be trying keep a nigga in the house. Oprah also looks like I would get bored with her after I'm done spending her money. Keri Hilson is the baddest because she's into music like me and she has enough money from writing and selling records to be called successful. I also think she's probably nasty too. In all honesty, I already plan on proposing to her as soon as I meet her [laughs].
In closing, let us know what projects you're working on what we can expect from you in 2011
I have my 1st mixtape coming out with DJ Chuck T called "The Circus is Over". My 2nd album "I Don't Look Like What I Been Through" is on the way and my website, www.kingcarternc.com , is launching soon. I'm also about to create a Ustream series, a few short films, and some underground videos to increase my visibility in the streets and let the fans get personal with me.