“I’m helping new comedians out right now, I’ve helped a lot of artists throughout my career.”
Positive K has always been a comedian at heart. As a child growing in the Bronx, the rhymer would spend his days running around with his friends and playing the dozens, which is when he first realized his glowing charisma and character.
“We stayed out in the streets. I’m a product of those summer lunch programs,” he explains. “We used to stay outside all day, playing in the ruins of abandoned buildings and playing skully on the asphalt with bottle caps.”
K fell in love with music staying outside as a New York City youth. Becoming enamored with the sounds of the city playing out of car stereos and radios as he ran outside on city blocks. The songs became the soundtrack to his life as he would pay close attention to the popular music banging out of the speakers in his neighborhood. “I remember the songs that came out of the cars: ‘Makossa,’ ‘Everybody Plays the Fool.' GQ was from the Bronx,” he says.
Eventually, he would find Hip-Hop. As a child, groups like Jazzy 5 and the Fearless Four would become hometown heroes for a young Positive K, as he would see them perform in his local parks and street corners. “Jazzy 5 I had seen with my uncle who owned a corner store on Washington and Brooke avenue,” he said.
“My love and passion for hip-hop started in the Bronx.”
As a child growing up in the culture's birthplace, Hip-Hop would become a way of life. It was inescapable. He was just a kid when he would spit his first rhymes at house parties, wearing B-boy outfits and medallions, becoming somewhat of a child prodigy in his neighborhood. “They was like, ‘Lil man got it,’” he said when explaining his first performances at house parties.
“My aunt lived in Echo Park; I would hear Melle Mel and Flintstone P all the time. They were gods in my community.”
As K would grow up in the thick of the culture, he would be inspired to eventually record songs of his own. Creating a makeshift studio of his own from equipment he had around the house, we would start to record demos for himself as a hobby. “We would get two stereo sets, phonograph, and mix with our headphones, and record in the headphones to songs like ‘Apache’ and dance to the drummers beat, and catch a groove.”
A few years later, it would become more than a hobby. Positive K knew he was up to something, building on that charisma he carried around since a child; he knew he was ready to take his rhymes to a bigger platform.
Positive K met Mike and Dave from the Cash Crew and recorded a song for their compilation album Fast Money. “That was a groundbreaking moment for me,” he said. “After that, I would call Def Jam Records and all kinds of record labels, eventually, getting a call back from Heidi Smith." It was Smith who advised him to get a manager.
Positive K, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Scoob Lover and Lil' Fame of M.O.P. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Rapper Positive K performs at the Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel in Chicago, Illinois in January 1993. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Positive K would get his first big hit with his single with his friend and collaborator MC Lyte with the single “I’m Not Havin’ It.”
The song was the B-side to K's single "Good Combination," and would be included on the First Priority label compilation The First Priority Music Family: Basement Flavor. It would give him the opportunity to tour the world with Big Daddy Kane, Freddy Fox, and a young Jay-Z.
After his first hit single, he knew that he would have to record a follow up. He had the idea to record another duet. Initially meant to re-team him with MC Lyte; Positive K would score big with the single “I Got a Man.” Inspired by his favorite R&B duets, he knew that a call-and-response song would be another hit with his fans. Lyte was not available to record the single, so Positive K got creative and recorded the woman’s vocals himself.
“I wanted to do another duet. I changed my voice and pinched my nose so Lyte would know how to do it.” The vocals were later pitched up in the studio, making the song sound like an actual duet.
After his debut album, Positive K knew he had another calling. He wanted to use his platform to help other budding artists jumpstart their careers, later becoming an entrepreneur in the Hip-Hop world starting his own promotion company that would jumpstart some of rap’s biggest careers. “From that point, I started a promotion company," K explained.
"My studio on 155th street, Broke OutKast, Fat Joe-we broke southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.”
Positive K continues to follow his passion for using his platform to help other artists. And the natural comedian eventually took his talents to the world of stand-up, hosting his own comedy show in Atlanta. “My number one thing was snapping; you had to have thick skin; you was on the bus with Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane, and a whole bunch of other dudes.” Positive K explains.
“I have always been the one to crack jokes. MC Lyte told me it would be a shame if I did not do any stand-up comedy.”
Positive K says his passion is in using his platform to give other artists a voice and space to showcase their talents and sharpen their craft. “I’m a caregiver number one; my parents are both 80 years old,” he explains. ““My mother always told me to ‘put yourself in other people’s shoes.’”
Now Positive K uses his platform to help up-and-coming comedians to find their voice on bigger stages. “I’m helping new comedians out right now; I’ve helped a lot of artists throughout my career,” Positive K says. “I have a big show at the Atlanta Comedy Theatre. I put on comedians like Rodney Perry, Marvin Hunter, and Zoo Williams.”
Positive K continues to do what he loves, decades after his breakout hit. Now doing shows in Atlanta, Georgia, the rapper is still using his platform to inspire and influence on up-and-coming talent.