5 ON IT
They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and if this is true than King Spencer's music videos are worth enough words to fill volumes worth of encyclopedia's. Armed with ambition, a camera, and a plane ticket King Spencer has taken what was once an art for him and made it an art for artists. His progression as an artist and videographer is documented and it's this 'progression' that has helped to take him all over the world. And with Tulsa on his back he continues to show what a vision and hard work can turn into. So let's meet the man behind the camera. King Spencer.
What got you into making videos? Vidoes,,, thats a two part question. I started shooting videos with a camera like my first year out of high school, I graduated in 2012 so about 2013 is when I actually picked up a camera. But music videos I've only been shooting for almost 4 years.
Ok. So you got into making music videos. Is there one particular music video that you saw that made you think "Man, I can do this"? Nah. What happened is, like when I said when I first started making music videos with a camera I was doing this Vlog series with my cousins. And we use to put videos on YouTube us being funny is what we called it, but it wasn't funny (Laughing). I always rapped so I just shot my own music video, and when I dropped it that's where people started coming to me like, "Hey bro. Who shot your music video?", "How much you charging"? And it just spiraled from there.
How did you come up with the name King Spencer? King Spencer. That's a great question bro. See my real name is Jayohn Mckinney. But I went into this whole crazy 'roots' kind of thing, self-awareness kind of self-understanding kind of thing. It's really too deep for me to get into in one interview. But basically from me I just recognized myself as a king of myself, a king of my decisions, the king of my being and I just felt that I should make that clear so that people understood that. And Spencer is my dad's last name, and I was born out of wedlock so I took my mom's last name. I just felt like I should carry on my dad's last name cause my parents are married, but I just ain't paid to get my last name changed yet.
I also see CFN in your name alot? CFN stands for "Come From Nuthin". It just means CFN King Spence. So when people ask me what that means they'll know that, I come from nuthin. You know what I mean.
You seem like you definitely have this self-made, this pushing forward attitude as far as doing it yourself. Where do you get this entrepreneurial spirit from? A. I would say a lot of the things that I soak up from the music I listen to, from the books I read, and the people I am around that's all principles or standards that they live by. And then kind of survival. Growing up I really couldn't just rely on my moms and my pop so off the top I just developed that kind of spirit and that kind of mentality about stuff.
I see that kind of spirit in your music. For instance. What inspired "No Gucci Belt"? (Laughing) That's dope that you listen to my music. What inspired that is the truth i guess. Cause if you see me you ain't gonna see no gold on me, you might see some Jordans and some Levis. But I don't buy into too much into the that kind of stuff like the Gucci belt. Yet, You know what I mean. Cause I feel like there's more important stuff that people, especially black people should establish before they start investing all this money into stuff like that. Like I said I'm guilty of Jordans. But Jordans is deeper. That's a black man who had a great idea and I really supported him and I like it. And the shoes look good. But "Gucci Belt" and "Ferragamo" and all that I ain't mad at nobody for doing it. But for me personally. I can't. Houses and land and much more important stuff need to be invested in before that.
It seems like you protect your brand and are very brand aware. Can you tell me a little bit about "The Progression"? It's a brand but it's a movement. But to me it's a lifestyle. Everything is about progression. It as a movement represents self and community betterment. Like bettering yourself first and by that you can affect your community. And it as a lifestyle means being a progressive person. And if anybody follows me, I try to be the number one example for what I mean by 'The Progression'. And just try to stay progressive.
Getting back to the music videos. How do you come up with the concept to your videos? That goes a couple of ways. It depends on who your working with. If your working with a person who kind of has an idea. Some people are more artistic about it. And then it's other people who just appreciate the art that I do and be like "Aye I want a Spencer visual". You know what I mean. It's kind of like when your making a grill. Some people they go into the grill and they like, "This is what I want". And then some people go to get a grill and are like, "What do you got?". Same thing with the videos.
So what do you like more? When an artist has more of a vision first. Or when get more of the creative control for you to put your spin on it? Which one do I like more? It depends bro. Because if you somebody who knows already what you want to do than and it's easy for you to interpret it. I mean easy for me to understand what your trying to say. Then I probably prefer that. But if you somebody that real life just admire my work and you real life want me to do something. I kind of like that too cause I don't have to guess. I know what I want and what you want, so we good.
Also I see your doing a 50 state challenge. Can you talk about that? Well I brung in this year, I was in Dallas with one of my good friends Zeke. We brought in the year in Dallas and I was like, "I'm in Dallas right now, I'm going to go to all 50 states this year". And I said it and I put it out into the universe, and now that's what I'm pursuing this year.
As of October 30th King Spencer is at 30 states out of the 50. That's Progression!
At the end of every video you have your "The Progression" logo. How did you come up with putting that at the end of all your videos? When you start to study marketing they say that branding is important. So wherever you can put your brand is important because your subconscious mind picks up on stuff like that. So I try to put "The Progression" in almost anywhere that I can possibly put it where my name is going to be. Because at the end of the day usually where you see our name is going to be associated with positive for the most part. And that will affect your subconscious the same way you can pick up on a Nike sign or Addidas. Brand is associated with spirits in the sense that and I feel like it's important that I associate my face at the end of every video.
Have you ever been surprised of someone big knowing your name and your work? Yea. A couple weeks ago I shot this vlog for Lil Boosie, but it was cool for him to call me and follow me and know my name. That just feels good. One clarification I don't know Boosie but we did a project together. I just wanted make it clear because people like to misunderstand. So I gotta make sure I clear that up.
Do you have a favorite video that you've shot so far? I can't really say that I've have a favorite video, I can say that I have favorite songs tho. All of my videos I put my time into, my effort into so I don't think of any video any less than another one. But I can say that I do like some songs more than I like others.
Do you ever look at how many views your videos get? Yeah. I look at the views, I don't try to spend too much time looking at the views tho, I'm way more consumed by other stuff that I'm working on. Views is going to be the views, If it does good it's gonna do good, if it does bad it's gonna do bad. Either way it go I know that I put my time and I put my effort into it. It's dope whether it gets a million views or not.
Do you have a favorite video director that you follow and really appreciate their work? Yea it's this guy named Phil Jordan (@philjordan_). He's another urban videographer in Chicago. And really he kind of mentored me on some things.
Getting back to rap. Are you working on any projects currently? Man yea.. and no. I go to the studio for fun. That's what I enjoy doing. That's one of my hobbies. Just as someone likes playing basketball, I like going to the studio and making songs. But a lot of it I keep for myself. But I got some stuff releasing soon.
Do you have one line that you feel like goes over people's head? Bro yes. I feel like it's a reason why you asked me that question. I don't remember what song it was but I said,"I'm just tryna raise a Penny like I'm Oscar Proud". They sleep on it man. They sleep on that bar. Yea that's dope.
Who are your Top 5 rappers? My Top 5 artists that I appreciate would be.. no particular order. But I really appreciate Nipsey Hussle. Money Man. Drizzy. Dom Flight. And then J. Cole.
Who would you want to make a video with that you haven't? It would be crazy if I could shoot a video with someone like.. I don't know, anybody that got some money for me bro it would be crazy to shoot a video with (laughing). If you got some money for me that would be dope if we shoot a video. (laughing)
Do you see yourself staying in Tulsa? Or do you see yourself moving somewhere like a Cali? I love Tulsa to death. I wanna move but I wanna stay here too. So how bout I stay in two different places, or 4 different places. You can always have houses everywhere right. Right. Aint' no rules in life. Like Russell Westbrook say, "Why not?". That's the goal, a few cribs in a few different places.
Outside of music and videography, what do you like to do? I like spending time with the fam. And I like watching movies. I guess basketball too. Who's your basketball team? OKC.
Is there something that you would like to put out into the universe? Be a happy person. Take that how you wanna. Seek knowledge. Be open minded. That's it bro. I'm black and white about stuff.
How did you find that? Well I can't even just say that I found that. I kinda say it just stumbled upon me. It was some information that was exposed to me. Some light that shined through my blinds. Not necessarily something that I was looking for. But it's that state of mind it just stumbled upon me.
Thanks to King Spencer for the interview, looking forward to seeing more of his dope videos in the near future.
Check out his music and social media below. Also make sure to support his "The Progression" brand:
Other Instagram: @ShotBySpence
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.