“I got it when I played basketball in high school.
It’s like my ‘street ball' name.
My favorite number was 14.
My friends called me KT.
Put one and one together.
14KT just made sense.”
Ypsilanti, Michigan own "Golden Child", 14KT, is a multi-talented Artist/Producer/DJ. KT is an avant-garde 'Chop Artist' - one who specializes in the art of "chopping" samples to create original beats and sound collages. KT honed his sample-chopping skills he is known for today through hours of manipulating drums and samples on instinct instead of with a metronome.
His musical roots began growing up singing in the church choir. By studying his parent’s jazz and soul record collection, along with piano and upright bass lessons, KT learned the fundamentals of music. 14KT started his music career in the mid-90s during Hiphop's "Golden Era". With a storm of classic after classic album being released, KT could not resist the impact. Heavily inspired by the masterful rhymes and raw beats from Nas, Gangstarr, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast, Slum Village, and The Roots led him to become an emcee as 1/7th of the mighty Michigan Hip-Hop collective, Athletic Mic League. In 1995, KT decided to start creating his own original instrumentals for his crew to rap over. He spent late nights after school and basketball practice making "pause tape" beats on his dual cassette tape deck and recording verses through a busted pair of headphones after the rest of his family went to sleep.
In 2008, 14KT entered and won his first beat battle competition in Red Bull Big Tune Detroit. Later that year, 14KT released his solo debut instrumental LP, The Golden Hour [Soundtrack]. The Golden Hour made it's mark appearing on many year-end “top albums” lists. Okayplayer said “this is the sort of striking project that can singlehandedly create an artists following.” And so it did.
14KT is the last National Big Tune Beat Battle Champion - which he went on to win in 2010. Since then, he’s worked with certified legends such as Bun B, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, Royce 5'9, Jay Electronica, Stro Elliot and James Poyser (The Roots), Roc Marciano, JMSN, Danny Brown, Motown Funk Brothers guitarist Dennis Coffey and many others. His music was recommended by Peanut Butter Wolf to be featured in the DVD for A Tribe Called Quest's Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest documentary - Directed by Michael Rapaport. 14KT also has lended his production for Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas on HBO, and Southside on HBO Max. 14KT even created new original theme music for news radio NPR: Stateside on Michigan Radio.
14KT has performed in front of sold-out audiences across the world. He's shared stages with the Stones Throw crew, Low End Theory, SXSW, Dooinit Festival, DJ Jazzy Jeff as well as touring with Detroit's own Slum Village and Mayer Hawthorne, across the U.S., Canada, Europe, NZ, and Australia. 14KT is also a member of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 'Playlist Retreat' Family - a musical collective of award-winning DJs, artists, and producers. 14KT continues to expand on his musical journey with every new project and song he creates through his own music production company - Karat Gold Music. To date, he has released eight solo albums, as well as 10 collaborative albums - such as R&B/Soul album, Saturn Return with singer/songwriter Aaron Abernathy, The Big Knock, with Mayer Hawthorne as “Beat Wave” group Jaded Incorporated, and Self-Titled Hip-Hop/Rap album, RSXGLD, with Michigan partner and emcee Ro Spit.
In 2019, 14KT released his very first full-length jazz-inspired album, Iamabeenie: For My Sanity featuring James Poyser, Masego, Mark de-Clive Lowe, Jimetta Rose, and Muhsinah on First Word Records - named 'Label of the Year' at Gilles Peterson's 2019 Worldwide Awards. This marks the first album in a series of upcoming jazz projects under the moniker Iamabeenie. Legendary emcee, Black Thought (The Roots) announced that he would be working with 14KT as a part of his album series, Streams of Thought.