In this microwave era of Hip Hop music where materialism, misogyny, and half baked compositions flood the airwaves, somehow Dwan Howard has emerged on the scene as an irresistible and well prepared home cooked meal. Better known by his stage name Curtiss King, the son of a college professor dad and author/pianist mom has managed to make a respectable name for himself in Southern Cali by consistently going against the grain as a rapper and producer. Growing up a very shy young man particularly when attending Curtiss Middle school, he found ways to combat his insecurities by listening to music and getting lost in 90s sitcoms, hence the name: Curtiss KING. Inspired by the likes of Outkast, Sade, 2pac, Kanye West, Cameo, Zapp and Roger, Earth Wind and Fire, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, & 80s synths, he is anything but your typical rapper. Originally from Carson and now residing in the Inland Empire, Curtiss King embodies the feel good essence of the 90s with a refreshingly raw and inspiring contemporary edge. Rapping since the age of 17 and producing since 18, he found out very early that without the proper funds and support he would have to be a jack of all trades to get his goals accomplished. From the beginning, with the help of a high school friend, Youtube, and a library card, Curtiss King set out to teach himself how to produce, engineer & write his own records, edit his own videos, design his own album covers, script his own websites, and build his brand from the ground up.
Shortly after graduating High School in 2003, Curtiss began creating and circulating numerous mixtapes to his Cerritos college peers. However, now until he joined Myspace in 2005 did he began to gain local popularity for his self pressed projects. In 2007 his production demand got a huge boost when he got a placement on the Vans Downtown Showdown Skate DVD as well as TDE artist Ab-Soul’s first project Long Term with the song “Watch Yo Lady” ft. K.Dot (Kendrick Lamar). Later that same year Curtiss King signed to Rocstarr Entertainment, an up and coming independent label ran by producer Tae Beast and producer/engineer/songwriter Starr Lab based out of Inglewood. Under the imprint he released two well received street albums “Notorious Scholars” and “The Storm On Mars” which boasted features from Ab-Soul & Young Rook as well as production from Tae Beast.
Unfortunately after a few years Curtiss and Rocstarr Ent. parted ways, and once again he found himself having to grind it out alone. Where many artists may have been overwhelmed, King saw the setback as an opportunity to go back to school and learn the business. While working part time at Quiznos and consistently recording songs in his home studio, he began to attend Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. Although many of his rap peers questioned his move for higher learning, King still managed to pass his Marketing, Small Business, and Music production courses with high marks and eventually earned his Entry Level Marketing Certificate. However, shortly after his collegiate accomplishments, he lost both of his grandparents to Cancer and experienced some major financial setbacks. Seeking a brand new start, Curtiss moved with his mother and sisters to the Inland Empire.
Within months of this pivotal move Curtiss King took full advantage of his fresh start. From spitting acapellas at local poetry venues to entering beat contests, he made it a point to engulf himself in this vibrant music scene. In 2009 he saw his fanbase and production demand sky rocket after collaborating with and producing for highly acclaimed artist/promoter Noa James (Sounds of A Monster) and Ab-Soul (“Longterm 2”). Shortly after these collaborations, King’s work eventually caught the attention of engineer/producer/rapper Jynxx, who approached King about signing to his independent label, Black Cloud Music. Under the Black Cloud Music imprint Curtiss began to gain nationwide exposure as an artist with the release of projects such as “Snick @ Nite” “Jet Pack On E” & “DIY”. In 2010 King’s production began to take on a world wide exposure when he was invited to compete in the Red Bull Big Tune beat battle. Curtiss would also see additional worldwide exposure when he scored his first major label placement on Glasses Malone and Mack 10’s album “Money Music”.
Fast forward to the present day and “Baby Sinbad” is still pushing the boundaries of his creativity and tenacity to accomplish his goals and help those around him. In late 2011 King was given the rare opportunity to produce for a live action video game trailer for the popular computer game “APB: Reloaded”. To date the video has gained over 200,000.
“I got the people’s heart, am I the people’s champ?” is a question the King posed and was later answered in Februrary 2012. After a 97 day campaign fueled by the supporters of Curtiss King, he was invited by Murs to perform at one of the largest independent festivals in the world, Paid Dues. Proof to the old adage that “Hard Work Pays Off”. Not too bad for a Latchkey kid all grown up.
This Campaign is Sponsored By
LA Lemon (/www.LALemon.com)
Homegrown Radio (www.HomegrownRadio.net)
Futuristic, Catch Lungs, OSA, & Curtiss King perform this Saturday in Pomona