By: Chris Carter
Knox Hill, a young up-and-coming rapper from the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area, has just unleashed his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Redemption,” a “space hop” sound that pushes the edges of the Hip Hop genre.
Back in 2012, Knox visited Radford University to promote his mixtape “The 92 Dream.” Since then he has been hard at work honing his craft, grinding and growing his brand while focusing his energy on promoting his sound for the world to hear.
Initially, he wasn’t that big into hip-hop music, but he grew up in a community that is heavily influenced by hip hop. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C. he was into several different genres of music. His respect for the classics is evident in his musical inspirations: The Beatles and early Michael Jackson music.
Eminem was also one of his musical influences at the time when he began pursuing a career in music. When the movie “8 Mile” (starring Eminem) came out, one of Knox’s friends convinced him to do a freestyle battle. He had never battled anyone before.
Nerves got the best of him that day, and needless to say he did not do well in the battle. Some kids started calling him “Malibu,” referring to B-Rad in “Malibu’s Most Wanted.” Ever since that day, he has vowed to become the best. With a YouTube channel with over 25,000 views and 660 subscribers, and a Facebook page with 6,300 likes, I’d say he’s getting his redemption and recognition.
“I’m very competitive, and I hate not being the best. I’m always looking for ways to improve my music,” he said.
His commitment and drive to succeed is inspiring, and the strong work ethic he learned from his days of playing soccer at Bridgewater College has translated well to his music career.
As a white MC, Knox is prone to comparisons of Eminem, Mac Miller and Macklemore. Musicians will always be stereotyped based on their race, but Knox has his own unique style and flow that sets him apart.
“I try to stay away from the comparisons and be as diverse as possible. I’m always trying to experiment and push the envelope,” he says.
Knox aims to produce an elevating sound that everyone can enjoy. “Redemption” fulfills that goal with a blend of hot beats that will have you bobbing your head, coupled with lyrics that will leave you in awe of his skills.
He has played shows up and down the East Coast, in Canada and even abroad in Europe, and has been featured on both national and international radio waves. He is currently in the UK promoting his new album.
For students aspiring to be musicians, he offers great words of advice.
“If you’re going to pursue music and you’re going to take that avenue, then you have got to go all-in on it. Recording and shooting music videos is fun, but that’s only 10 percent of it. Marketing and promoting yourself is the other 90 percent and it is tough. You have to make huge sacrifices to achieve success.”