Santa Ana's Kevin Parx is ready to step up to the charity stripe. The 23-year-old is a rapper by trade, not a b-baller, but he's hoping his forthcoming Freethrows mixtape, which is slated for a June 3 release, will hit nothing but net just the same. Even so, he is guarded about his latest work, though he reveals the title is a metaphor that will make sense once people listen to the tracks. "I can't get too much into the details about it," he says.
When the Weekly checked in with Parx last October, he was busy preparing for the launch of Detroit Bar's quarterly hip-hop event, Sound Asylum--a sorely needed outlet for MCs such as himself. The next show will be held Saturday. "That's my bro Aliso Black's event," he says. "Basically, his idea behind it is having all the local MCs who he thinks are talented rotate and kill Detroit Bar. So far, it's been good."
Born and raised in Santa Ana, Parx has been doing his thing to build and maintain the culture, hosting MC battle "The Riot" at Tough Times clothing store in the city's downtown area. "Around 150 people came up," the rapper says of a recent event. "It was a real good look."
The store is next to the recording studio where Parx and his Get Money Boy$ (GMB) production team placed the finishing touches on Freethrows. He hopes the approach will propel him to a whole other level. "I'm in a different place," he says, adding that with his three previous mixtapes, "I was fumbling through life, struggling, not giving a damn where my next dollar came from as long as I got to it. . . .
"Nowadays, I'm more business-minded," he continues. "I've got some of the best people around me with music shit, so there are no sudden moves. Everything I do is calculated."
His squad is currently pushing the single "Respect" off Freethrows. Produced by KY Piffa, whose credits include Trey Songz, the track displays Parx's more-than-capable delivery, and the beat lowers a boom that will get heads noddin'. "If I've been killing shit for five years or however long, motherfucker, pay attention!" he says.
And if they haven't been? "Move up outta my way, or get ran over!"
Parx already has a music video ready for the second single, "One Roof," which he describes as something for the clubs, with the shoot reflecting good times and party vibes.
He lets us pry a little more out of him about his mixtape, which includes collaborations with Flip Major and others. "I can tell you it's about relationships. It definitely has turned itself into a concept album," Parx says of the 15 tracks. "Anybody who's around my age, they all have drama and shit they go through with women. I'm not telling my direct story, but there is a story to it that a lot can relate to.
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"I'm always conscious of connecting with my actual demographic," he adds. "They're going to understand me by hearing my story and hearing the skits that go along with the project."
Parx is definitely motivated to make his aspirations visualized. "I don't see nobody doing bigger shit than me," he says of the hip-hop scene in OC. "Freethrows will make it clear to everybody."
He also hopes to transcend county lines, a function of his diverse, universal appeal. "I want to change the game up," Parx says. 'Ten years from now, OC will be respected."