Kevin Carter (who goes by K. Carter) revealed to me when we met up that his passion ultimately was to play football. Growing up in Dayton for a large portion of his life, Carter moved to Tallahassee, Florida for a short period of time. While attending high school, he participated on the football team; envisioning himself attending college and possibly expanding his playing days to further notice. When he wasn’t on the gridiron, you found Carter working at the Tropical Smoothie shop down by where he lived. The manager at the business, Ali, was an exceptional poet and helped young Carter begin exploring his idea of becoming a rapper on the side. Ali overheard Carter riffing throughout shifts when they worked together, which impressed him deeply. Once Carter agreed to take notes for Ali, the duo started off by doing rhyming drills; concentrating on having the sense of expanding the mind. An example Carter gave me was a time when the duo drove down to Miami for a poetry slam that he described as one of “the craziest and best atmospheres of my life”.
“We were driving to Miami, and he (Ali) would see a sign that would say ‘coffee’”, Carter stated. “My job is to say a different rhyme about coffee, but not use the word ‘coffee’. I would use ‘he caught me’ as an example.”
The high cost of attending college forced Carter to reluctantly make the choice to have his football days come to a close. Choosing to go down another path lead him to another passion of sorts, Carter moved back to Ohio to attend Wright State University and major in computer science. In 2007, he began performing with a local rock group. The band wanted to enlist a rapper into one of their songs during a recording session, and allowed Carter to step in. Carter walked into the booth for the first time ever when he worked with the ensemble; unaware of how the end result was going to turn out for both parties.
“I did the verse to their music, they didn’t switch nothing up…when I get it down I wanted to do over. I looked up and all five of them were staring through the little window like ‘Oh my god! Is that real? Did that just happen?’” Carter said in an enthusiastic tone. The success he had collaborating with the pop rock band seeped into having Carter performing with the band during a show at Madison Theater, located outside of Cincinnati. Carter described the night of the show, pointing out that over 2,000 individuals filled the theater to see the ensemble play live. The audience didn’t know that Carter was scheduled to come out at some point during the set and perform with the band. As he stood behind the curtain, Carter came out onstage when he heard his cue. Walking out, he examined the look that each and every single person was portraying. Mostly siding on the area of confusion, no one knew what was going to happen next. Much like the moment in the recording studio, Carter was ready to blow people’s minds.
“I started rapping and I’m telling you-it erupted,” Carter gleefully recalls. “I’m out there and girls are putting their hands out wanting me to shake them. When I got done, everybody was saying ‘Hey-what’s your name?’ That’s when I knew-I’m good.”
On July 4th, Kevin Carter’s debut album Revenge Of The Nerd will be released. The record has been in production for some time now-dating back to all the way back to November 2013. Wrapping up recording in February of this year, Carter worked tirelessly to make each song stand out to listeners. “I’m not a perfectionist, but I want it to be right,” he declared. Carter recorded fifteen songs that will make up Revenge Of The Nerd; highlighting his fun-natured personality that has infected all that have had the pleasure to meet and spend time with him. Proclaiming himself as a “nerd” due to his occupation (cyber security specialist), Carter presents lyrics that at times include a humorous spin on a variety of topics. For example, Carter pointed out that he has written some songs that dive into the world of computer programming, smoothly bringing in lyrics about everyday life. As you listen to Revenge Of The Nerd, Carter utilizes skills garnered from his time spent with Ali-making people see what he is saying, as if he is telling a story. “I try to be very descriptive,” Carter says. “The Harry Potter books are always better than the movies. There’s more information in the book. I want my words, my music to be the book. Not the movie.”
When Carter isn’t rapping poetically, you can catch him on most weekends performing on The David Michaels Stage that’s located inside Black Box Improv Theater. When he starts or steps into scenes in progress, Carter’s wittiness along with his undeniable charm are hard to resist. You are glued to your seat, wiping away the tears that begin flooding your eyes when you watch Carter and the others performing. Whatever it’s him thriving under those bright, searing lights that hang above the stage at Black Box or working towards emerging as an up and coming gifted rapper within the world of music, one thing is undeniable-Carter is destined to be special.
“I have a message…I feel it in my heart that I can’t change the world, but I change people’s minds to think; to make this world better. Or just make it more positive.”
Revenge Of The Nerds can be released on July 4th. For more info, including getting a copy of the album on either CD, iTunes, or even on a flash drive-click onto K. Carter’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KCarter/122546891016?sk=timeline