Detroit, MI – Actor/rapper Page Kennedy has tapped the brakes on acting to shine the spotlight on his music. After dropping his highly personal Torn Pages LP in March, he’s been rolling out singles like “The Story Of O.J.” and his most recent, “Made You Look,” featuring a cast of reputable MCs — KXNG Crooked, Elzhi, Mickey Factz, Cassidy and King Los.

What many people may not realize is the Motor City native has been at it for years. His Hip Hop connections stretch back to a time when The Notorious B.I.G. was still alive and Ice Cube wasn’t a major movie star.

“I have been rapping since I was 7,” Kennedy tells HipHopDX. “I have opened shows for Biggie, Ice Cube, Method Man and Redman. I been doing this. I just never had a deal and now, we are in a climate that rappers don’t need deals anymore to be heard. So I used my following that I gained by making people laugh to hear what it is I really have to say.

During one of Cube’s stops in Clarkston, Michigan for the 1992 Lollapalooza music festival, Kennedy remembers getting a chance to kick it on the N.W.A legend’s tour bus.

“When he was in Michigan, I used to go around the shows that he did with my manager at the time, Rodney L., who helps book him,” he explains. “Then, when I got a little older I started to open for him. I remember being a kid, like maybe 15, and I remember I used to play Sports Talk Baseball on Ice Cube’s tour bus on his Sega Genesis. It was amazing ’cause I was really young and learned so much from those guys. I will cherish those moments forever.”

Fast-forward to 2017 and he’s more focused than ever on making his own mark on Hip Hop culture. His forthcoming mixtape, Straight Bars, is built on a strictly lyrical foundation and the guest spots unequivocally display the art of rhyming.

“I look at myself as a lyricist,” he says. “I look at myself as one of the best at it. I’m always inclined to find the most powerful MCs and have them all on the song to see who stands out, so I handpicked these artists. Crooked I [KXNG Crooked] is definitely is the stand out on this song in my opinion, which is why I put him last. No one could have gone after that unless Eminem was on this song [laughs].

“Everyone on the song is dope or they wouldn’t be on it,” he adds. “Crooked just had a chance to hear what everyone did before. Not to say that he wouldn’t had still killed it, ’cause he would have. He is one of the best we have. But so is Elzhi.

While Kennedy prepares to release Straight Bars on August 18, it’s important to note that fans of his acting work (Weeds, Blue Mountain State, S.W.A.T.) will see more of him on the small and big screens. His Hip Hop career in no way signifies the end of his acting, but it’s something he feels compelled to do right now.

“I’m going hard on this because it’s like a itch that you have and if you don’t scratch, it’s just going to bother you forever,” he admits. “I’m not done acting. I actually have a large role in a blockbuster movie that’s coming out next summer called Meg [Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson], but for right now, I’m just living and breathing as a rapper.”

Check out “Made You Look” above, and the cover art and tracklist for Straight Bars below.

  1. Hello
  2. Welcome To Detroit
  3. Game Over
  4. No Offense
  5. The Boogeyman
  6. Page Is Like
  7. Who Shot Ya f. Axel Leon
  8. Victory Is Mine
  9. Pump Em Up
  10. Made You Look f. KXNG Crooked, Elzhi, Cassidy, King Los & Mickey Factz