Keepin it Easy with Khing Ceaze

From Milwaukee to Savannah, rising artist Khing Ceaze is here to make a statement

From a young age, Khing Ceaze looked at the world and saw opportunity. From his childhood, or lack thereof, growing up fast on the slippery, icy streets of Milwaukee to the warm winters of Savannah he now inhabits. An entrepreneurial spirit combined with innate creativity are coming together to allow Khing Ceaze to make his mark on the hip-hop game. His journey has been incredibly long, but it’s not done yet, and that ability to keep growing and learning keeps Ceaze excited. While he may no longer live in the 414, its impact on his life will forever keep him motivated to reach whatever goals Khing Ceaze sets for himself.

Khing Ceaze has forever been a curious individual, he long ago realized that by learning through reading as much as possible about the world around him he would give himself a huge leg up on the competition. Like so many other 90’s babies, Ceaze dove heavily into Pokemeon and Yu-Gi-Oh in elementary school. The cards also became one of his first entrepreneurial ventures when Ceaze began selling cards at school. At one point, a teacher of his named Mrs. Ballard, opened Ceaze’s desk to find it filled to the brim with rare cards ready to go. He got to keep the cards but unfortunately was ran out of his first business venture. Spinning off that natural curiosity was a creative spirit that he nurtured from a young age, beginning with his enrollment into Samuel Morse middle school based off his creative writing ability. The school also opened Ceaze’s eyes to the world around him in Milwaukee, different cultures and demographics of people that he had never seen around the neighborhood before. Still, Khing Ceaze was able to stay focused on his creative pursuits both in and out of school. He used to design kicks he wanted and illustrate his own comic books, planting the seeds for his future early.

For Khing Ceaze, Saturday mornings growing up meant two things: cleaning, and soul music. His mom would hop on the aux, bumping Darnell Jones and Lauryn Hill especially, some of Ceaze’s first introductions to music. It didn’t take long for him to start borrowing her CD’s, as any curious youth is bound to at some point. In fact, Ceaze would beg his mom to let him use her Walkman so he could keep on listening to albums when the weekend cleaning was done. One of the albums, that he damn near wore through, was All Eyez On Me a staple for any young hip-hop fan growing up in the 1990’s. Ice Cube also played heavily into his early rotations, as he would throw the headphones on and trudge to a park to get his shots up to keep his hoops dreams alive. Outside of basketball, music was just a fun fuck around activity for Ceaze. He loved consuming as much as possible, talking about the latest albums with his friends. Khing Ceaze was deadly serious about basketball, even moving away from Milwaukee in high school to attend school in Richmond Hlll, Georgia to play. It didn’t take long for him to chafe against the rules that were a whole switch up from his time in Milwaukee. Ceaze’s mom raised them alone and the responsibility of watching his little sister often fell onto Ceaze’s shoulders. It made him grow up fast, as taking responsibility for a younger sibling often does to someone who is a child themselves. This left him unused to a strict environment, and even after moving back to Milwaukee, Ceaze quickly found himself on his own after hopping out of his moms house when he was 16.

Khing Ceaze began messing around on the mic in 2010, for the most part keeping to himself and staying under the radar with his ambition. Ceaze was working at Wal-Mart at the time, and one day while mumbling some bars under his breath, a friend and co-worker managed to catch a few of them. The homie happened to be a producer, and he gave Ceaze his number so the two of them could hit the studio sometime to work on it. Ceaze kept grinding, eventually picking up some studio equipment for the crib to avoid having to pay to go to the studio. He didn’t have a full grasp of the art yet, mixing and mastering still a mysterious art to him leaving the quality somewhat shaky but the underlying ability was clear. In 2010 Khing Ceaze linked up with Da Beat Docta in Milwaukee. The two of them immediately locked in, with Da Beat Docta sharing his knowledge of song creation with Ceaze and giving Ceaze talks about shaking off the nerves in the studio. Da Beat Docta began taking Ceaze around studios across Milwaukee to get him more reps in the booth, racking up hours in the process. The highlight of 2011 was performing at the Miramar theatre in Milwaukee, a big deal for anyone from the city. It was a sign that things were going in the right direction. It was in 2013 however, that Ceaze began to fully grasp the business end of the music.

One habit that Khing Ceaze has been sure to maintain importance within his life is reading. It has evolved throughout his life, with philosophy and psychology taking up a large portion of the books he has read lately. His love of Yu-Gu-Oh cards evolved into a love of Egyptian spiritual figures, his favorite being Anubis. For those who don’t know, Anubis was the one responsible for taking the souls of the dead to meet with Horus and Osiris. When they arrived, the heart of the deceased would be weighed on a scale against a feather to determine their fate. These stories helped Ceaze to realize that every individual in life has the ability to make their own choices, possessing power that we are often unaware of or choose to ignore, and that in the end our fate is in our own hands. It shouldn’t be a shock that Khing Ceaze’s favorite book of all time is entitled “Celestine Prophecy”, a work focused around various spiritual and psychological ideas rooted in multiple ancient Eastern traditions as well as New Age Spirituality. The connection between mind, body and soul run deep in Ceaze, and it is a powerful combination that helps to continually drive him to become the best version of himself.

For the past two years, Khing Ceaze lived in Savanah, Georgia, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta. After getting out of prison, bring locked up from 2015-2018, it was time for him to begin fresh the music. He has been working at Fuddruckers as a line cook while working on new music, and focusing on himself. Almost every weekend, he gases up the whip and makes the long drive up to Atlanta in order to get in the studio and keep himself sharp. When he can’t, or just isn’t feeling like making it, Ceaze has a mobile recording studio that he sets up in the crib. The constant work has been paying off, with two new singles being released at the end of October and a new album coming sometime around Thanksgiving. One of King Ceaze’s favorite sayings is, “Check on your artist friends, they are not alright”, a statement which has taken on even more importance in the last year. Fortunately, quarantine has allowed Ceaze to stay working on his craft without distractions, and this focus on the album has been positive for him. It has also given him more time to sit down and focus on what he wants to put in his videos, as Ceaze’s process involves taking time to just sit with the song, something there is plenty of nowadays. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the new drops by following Khing Ceaze on all social medias, and keep in mind the album that will be here around the end of November. Long Live the Khing!

Jake Zinda

23 years old, from Wisconsin Hip-Hop Journalist @CMAG N.S.C.T.D.

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