"And you take your time as you do your crime. Well you made your bed, I made mine" LET IT ROCK
At first glance, Kevin Rudolf's enigmatic anthem 'Let It Rock (featuring Lil Wayne)' seems to have air-dropped over radio out of nowhere, becoming a genre-defying game-changer that has put the alluring artist smack in the cross-hairs. Truth is the urban music world's been waiting for a cutting edge hit-maker with a rock pedigree to turn the page on the current musical landscape. Kevin Rudolf answers the call, stepping up with reigning hip-hop imprint Cash Money Records to deliver a riveting album debut, In The City.
Produced and written by Kevin, the CD mines his reservoir of innovative production skills, righteous songwriting and smoldering rock guitar chops. The New York City native showcases the kind of streetwise riffs and adrenalized punk aesthetic he wielded when navigating the hardscrabble world of studio hit-making prior to In The City. He earned his gun-slinging rep as an in-demand guitarist/producer for some of music's most adventurous artists, offering his scorching guitar brand to trailblazers such as Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Black Eyed Peas among others. Unlike most prodigies, Kevin continued to refine his legendary skills under the radar even as he began to craft songs for his own debut.
His first album shines with the same confident but shadowy mystique (online bloggers searching for even a photo of Rudolf has made a guessing game as to his origin and back-story.). In the age of Facebook-flaunting myspace-taunting GPS tracking wannabes, there still remains a refreshing mystery about him. But one look at the cover of his CD is a silhouetted Rudolf, guitar-at-the ready in front of an ink blot of an urban landscape that would make The Clash proud and you realize his DNA of rock, rap, and soaring song-craft is in his genes, and not tacked on as some last minute record company marketing plan, with a healthy irreverence that hasn't fallen through the cracks. I grew up in New York City. You have to learn how to survive, but hopefully in a way that's true to you, he says. I promised myself if I got here I'd let my music do the talking. It's the same way when I work. I've always let the music channel through me.
It's that same grace under pressure that has enabled him to come out of hip hop-centric Cash Money with hit rock song blazing: Prince-like in its originality and signature proclamation "What the Saints forgot I must now remind you" he sings - by the time Lil Wayne spins into orbit you've realize the hip hop superstar is deputized in a new Sheriff in town - Weezie's left-of-center spaced out rap complementing Kevin's rocking call-to-arms perfectly. As one music blogger wrote: It's the year's perfect trifecta of pop, rap, and rock.
"Cash Money has been great" says Kevin. "They are known for hip hop but they are also known for launching bold success stories. Having Lil Wayne bless my song was truly an honor, and I also think I'm bringing something new and fresh to their label."
Ronald Williams, CEO and co-founder, along with his brother Bryan "Baby" Williams, of the sprawling Cash Money Conglomerate, (enjoying a decade-plus reign with more than 50 million albums sold and dozens of awards/gold and platinum releases) sensed Kevin was something special from the get-go. He signed the newcomer to Cash Money, and in an overture indicative of Kevin's pop and urban appeal, entered into a deal with Universal Republic Records to help expand the game plan. "We love one-of-a-kind artists and Kevin rolls that way in everything he does," says Williams. "At Cash Money we are always looking at the next step, the next level we can take our audience. I knew his work with other artists, but when he played me his solo stuff we just knew we had to partner up."