Rapper/singer/songwriter, Know-Madik, is a dynamic force in the world of music. The master lyricist is an independent artist who has seen his share of trials and tribulations and has become a voice for so many of his fans. In a recent interview, Know-Madik explained to AXS that from the beginning, his motivation has always been bringing people together. While he’s been making music most of his life, his success has been in large part thanks to a grassroots effort involving those he’s met throughout his journey – people like Rome Ramirez.
Know-Madik moved to Hollywood back in 2006, and ended up linking up with his now longtime friend/producer and acoustic jam partner, Lucas Bakker. He also connected with DJ Rocky Rock, who is known for his work with The Black Eyed Peas and Linkin Park. “DJ Rocky Rock found out I could freestyle,” Know-Madik told AXS. “He was making this crew called Fresh Goods, with Rome. He asked me to hold down the hip-hop side, while Rome came through with the rock side. Then Fresh Goods became a thing. It was like our fraternity of brothers.”
As Know-Madik grew as an artist, so did his opportunities. From performing with DJ Khaled, to his songs being played on “Empire,” he was quickly becoming an underground sensation. But it was in 2015, when things took a turn. “I shouldn’t be here today,” he shared. “Two years ago I was on my death bed. I found out I had cancer. The doctors had found a softball size tumor on my kidneys and literally told me that I should go home and be with my family because they didn’t think I was going to live.”
“I learned that I had to rescue myself,” he continued. It was after a lifesaving surgery, he said, “Music became my religion and shows became my church. It was the only place I could really celebrate life the way I saw it.” Today, Know-Madik is two years cancer free.
Since his recovery, he went on to write a song for Sublime with Rome called “Secrets,” and while at the group’s “Sirens” video shoot, he ended up connecting with Jared Watson of Dirty Heads. It was only three or four months of being out of the hospital when he was featured on Jared’s song, “Vacation Forever,” along with Prodigy of Mobb Deep. It was a verse, Know-Madik says, he actually began writing on the very-first first night he had spent in the ER. “It just translated and people caught on,” he explained.
It was that, along with his collaboration on Stone Soup, a mix tape put out by David Foral (bass player of Dirty Heads), which began growing Know-Madik’s ever-evolving fan base. After that, Dirty Heads put out an EP called Dessert, and Know-Madik hopped on a song called “Freedom.” The song was such a success it went right to the top of the iTunes Alternative Charts.
One verse at a time, Know-Madik is crossing genres while delivering a strong lyrical message. Now, he tells AXS, “To celebrate two years of being cancer free and my 30th birthday, I am dropping a surprise 5-song EP for my fans and supporters as an appreciation; a gift for them being in my life.” Produced by Lucas Bakker, the Gold Bars EP is officially out today, and you can get it right here on iTunes.
Songs include “Gold Bars,” “Jama Jama” (feat. multi-instrumentalist Richard Vagner), “Window” (feat. Something Sue), “Sugar High” and “Waah.” It’s also available on Spotify, Amazon and other digital platforms.
Along with shows such as the upcoming High & Mighty Festival, Know-Madik also has a project coming up with Tim Myers of OneRepublic. Cine-Madik (volume one), will be a compilation of songs the two have collaborated on together for TV shows and movies.
“I really love bringing people of every race, nation and religion together with music,” he said. “And I work really hard to be a good influence on the world. I want to leave behind music we can all relate to and dance to; something that brings us together and helps us to be able to celebrate our differences.“
To discover more about Know-Madik, be sure to check out his socials for upcoming live shows and details on what’s next. In the meantime, you can take a look at his recently released single above, called “Trouble,” produced by Rome Ramirez.