Producer Balthazar Getty and rapper KO The Legend, better known as their group name The Wow, say they’re channeling a ‘90s Hip Hop sound fused with a more contemporary outlook with their projects as they don’t want to be “single-minded” and “alienate” where music is going.
“The Wow is basically KO The Legend and Balthazar Getty and it’s a throwback to that ‘90s duo where you had that producer and that rapper and that consistency of the two artists collaborating together,” producer Balthazar Getty explains in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “It’s a throwback to the records that you and I love… but also including where music is going. You don’t want to alienate where it’s going and just be single-minded. So it’s a fusion of what we grew up with and sonically what’s happening, it’s just that duo.”
Balthazar Getty, founder of Purplehaus Music, goes on to explain why an artist’s voice is essential in Hip Hop as it “separates” them from the rest of the pack.
“A lot of guys can Rap,” he explains. “One out of 10 guys in LA and New York can probably Rap but it’s the voice that really—of course it’s the bars, of course it’s the lyrics, it’s the spirit, it’s the heart, it’s the fire but you also have to have a voice. Not everybody has that. KO [The Legend] has that voice, you feel like you already know it when you hear it in a way. It’s already familiar to you. So it’s that mixture of tone and lyrics and overall musical ability. KO is a producer, he’s a writer, he’s an emcee, he’s a songwriter but it’s also something tonality in the voice that I think—if you think of every great emcee there was something about their voice that separated them, [that] makes them a little bit better than the rest.”
Later in the interview, rapper KO The Legend, a San Luis Obispo, California native, explains how his upbringing affected his lyrical approach.
“For me, I think my whole approach is different because I don’t come from a place where I’m an observer and telling the story of the streets. I come from San Luis Obispo, [California] [where] there’s no crime,” he explains. “My goal is to be inspirational so when I write bars, I write them from the perspective that I want whoever is singing along or singing the lyrics back, I want you to feel that way about yourself.
“Where I grew up there was no Hip Hop at all so when I first fell in love with Hip Hop it was that boom bap, Das EFX, all the way to FU-Schnickens to all those dudes,” KO The Legend continues. “I’ve never had the opportunity to rhyme on authentic beats that I was inspired by. When I met Balt, the second he hit play on the SP it took me back to that feeling of me being like, ‘Oh my God, this shit is crazy,’ to where all I have to focus on is just bars, that’s it. It’s not about writing a catchy hook or making the girls dance, it’s about bars and other people that appreciate Hip Hop.”