Rapper/artist CanKoone sits next to his personal manager Jeff Jacobs. They are an intriguing pair; two years of working together has cultivated a close friendship between the Bronx native and the young, savvy manager from the Upper East Side. The 27 year old rap artist wears different shades of black, a bandana around his neck and a beanie.
CanKoone's skills are not only as a rapper, but as a songwriter and a businessman, one that, with the help of Jacobs, is plotting a launch on the music industry that’s been years in the making.
His marketing and promotion company, one that will serve as an event planning group down the road, was named “Everyday Spring Break”, simply because CanKoone likes to live every day like he's partying on spring break. His forthcoming mixtape will be called “30 Year Old Virgin”, because CanKoone says he needs to “be fuckin' with the music industry before I’m 30.”
CanKoone started rapping when he was 13, battling on the streets of the Bronx with other neighborhood kids. But he is not just interested in showing the world what kind of skills he has as a rapper; he wants to be the complete package. He started writing his own songs around age 20, and worked with his producer on the majority of the tracks on “30 Year Old Virgin.” CanKoone understands the ever-evolving demands on the rap industry. While part of him just wants “to go in” on every song and kill it, he knows its important to cater to a more mainstream audience. The obvious comparison is Kanye West, an artist that embodies the kind of arsenal (rapping, songwriting, producing) that CanKoone aspires to himself.
The result is that most of his newer songs are more pop, radio-oriented tracks, as opposed to raw hip hop. CanKoone seems a little embarrassed by it, lamenting the fact that it’s not like the old Outkast and Wu-Tang records he used to listen to as a kid. But he recognizes that not much on the radio is these days, and though he is true to his roots, he seems to have a pretty good idea what it will take in this business.
But don’t be mistaken—CanKoone has a large repertoire of classic hip hop tracks, many of which will appear on the mixtape.
“We don’t want to go get a deal and have a record company give us an advance and tell us to make a single,” says Jacobs. “We want to go to them ready to roll.”
The song that has opened a lot of doors is “City Never Sleeps,” a catchy track you could imagine hearing on the radio and in the club. The big score here was getting Juelz Santana to drop a verse on the song. The track, which for now features one verse by CanKoone followed by Juelz, has led to conversations with a few record labels.
CanKoone has been working with the creative director at Atlantic Records on “stuff” (these guys are confidential). They won’t delve into details, but there’s a photo shoot scheduled with Atlantic on the horizon, a super re-launch of all social networking sites on the Internet, and music video plugs on MTVU and BET that are soon to come. As Jacob claims, “He’s six months away from being in your living room.”