Music a driving force for Park Forest man
BY JAIME ANGIO Correspondent February 13, 2013 2:08PM
Mikal Muhammad aka Kall G of Park Forest, IL, poses during a photo shoot for an album cover at a mansion in Oak Brook. | Supplied photo
Updated: March 15, 2013 6:02AM
Mikal Muhammad’s mother once told him there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do.
“She helped a lot in making me a performer,” the Park Forest man said. “I used to do the Michael Jackson (dance moves) and she taught me how to step when I was 5 years old.”
Muhammad, who goes by “Kall G” as his performing name, has taken her advice and followed his dreams.
Not only is he founder and CEO of Military Camp Records — he writes, produces, arranges, mixes and masters music — but Muhammad, 42, is a hip-hop artist. His music is distributed by Tate Music Group.
He also performs live shows, such as an upcoming Feb. 24 booking at Bobby McGee’s in Chicago Ridge.
Performing live, Muhammad said, provides a feeling like no other.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s like an adrenaline rush. Just to be able to watch people react, that don’t know your music, that don’t know you.”
Muhammad began studying music while growing up in Chicago.
“The first song I heard that I actually changed all the words to was ‘These Are The Breaks,’” Muhummad said. “I was in my grandmother’s house and I was in the living room and my grandmother and mother had one of those bar/turntable/radios and they would just put it on at like 6 or 7 at night and let it play. I heard ‘These Are The Breaks,’ and me and my brother looked at each other ... right then and there, it was like, ‘Let’s change the words to this song.’ ”
That song by Kurtis Blow was just one of the many hip-hop and R&B musical influences that shaped the 1987 Chicago Vocational High School graduate.
Other artists such as Melle Mel, Furious Five, Kool Moe Dee, LL, Run DMC, Fat Boys, and Eric B & Rakim contributed to Muhammad’s artistry.
Chicago proved to be a great stage to hone his skills.
“We had a break-dance group. We used to go downtown with the cardboard, (to) the el platform. People would beat box and I would rap,” he said.
Muhammad said he enlisted in the Navy for two years after high school, but music is where his heart was.
He studied music and video business at the Art Institute of Houston, earning his associate’s degree, and started developing his own style of music.
“I call it ‘rap epic,’ ” he said. “Rap epic is hip-hop like it was in the past, but with a future twist to it with stories, positive endings and no profanity. The ability to use words without having to discredit a name just to get my point across in a song ... that’s rap epic. Because it’s so epic that I can do it without having to do whatever everybody else does.”
Muhammad, who is married (Haseena) and a father of four, said he also is a third-degree black belt martial artist.
The two “arts” gel together.
“It’s all harmony,” he said. “The songs that I come up are the intent to bring peace of mind. Happiness is the same thing martial arts does for you as a human being.”
Muhammad has created seven albums and is working on his eighth.
His love for music goes far beyond the built-in emotions lyrics have to offer.
“The ability to express yourself and the ability to change the way another person feels, or how they think or how they perceive, is what I love,” he said. “Kall G is me. There is no characters, there is no facade.”
His music is available via iTunes, Amazon, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and at www.tatepublishing.com.