KOTA The Friend x Gritty Vibes (Interview)

Kota the Friend

Brooklyn’s best kept secret

In this generation’s technology driven landscape, crate digging and searching for the latest musical talent has largely been replaced by the Spotifys and Soundclouds of the world. Here at Gritty Vibes, we understand that, and sitting through endless sub par tracks in search of the “Next Big Thing” is just part of the job. Amongst the endless trash polluting the internet though, a laid back, veteran flow caught our proverbial ear, with bars that were just too good to ignore. Kota the Friend is the latest flamespitter in a long lineage of Brooklyn emcee’s, and with acknowledgments by veteran gatekeepers such as Hot 97’s Ebro, he’s on his way to being one of the best.


“At about 9 years old everyone had noticed that I was especially gifted when it came to music.”

While he may be just beginning to get the recognition he deserves, Kota’s cerebral talent was always evident to those around him, even at the earliest of stages. “At about 9 years old everyone had noticed that I was especially gifted when it came to music,” He says. “My band teacher told my mom that he thought I had a gift and had me play with the older kids.” As a youth, he dabbled in playing the trumpet as well as the piano and guitar, skills that now help him be an all around musician. These days, Kota’s inspirations range everywhere from Nas to Jimi Hendrix as he has created a style that is solely his own.


Photo by @Benshotit

“I feel like I really dug deep and created a very honest piece of art,”

Along with dropping verses in his “Bars to go” series, Kota’s talents are on full display on his “Palm Tree Liquor EP” in which he touches on everything from race to nostalgia with an in the pocket flow that doesn’t feel too forced or contrived. Spirituality is also a common theme of his project, which he accredits directly to his upbringing. “I was always privy to spiritual things because of my mom,” He says. “As I got older I became more in tune with my own spirituality which is often the subject matter of my music.” The young rapper has recently became a father himself, giving him all the more reason to grind towards his ultimate goal musically.

The next step for Kota is more grinding, more bars and more projects. “I’m super proud of the music that I’m about to release,” He says. “I think it’s so good and so meaningful.” Judging from his growing fan base in the US as well as internationally, it’s clear that we weren’t the only ones rocking with his latest project either. Kota hopes to map out a tour by 2018, for his fans to get with his movement live, as he states; “I feel like I have a responsibility. I’ve touched a lot of peoples lives via soundcloud and spotify” The Brooklyn native may not be a household name yet, but with standout tracks such as “Lawn Chair” turning heads online, expect for him to start showing the separation from his peers. And if his current progress is any indication, his next project will be his best yet. “I feel like I really dug deep and created a very honest piece of art,” He says. “I’m also excited about the music that I have yet to make. I feel it coming.”

IG: @Kotathefriend