Locals: Cash Kounty Pilot hopes rap career will make a life for his family

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From the July 18, 2013 edition

Basic necessities are often taken for granted for most people. Running water, electricity and gas are things almost anyone can afford. When it comes to Columbus rapper Cash Kounty Pilot, those basic necessities were often a luxury throughout his childhood.

Born and raised in Ohio’s capital city, Pilot recently celebrated the birth of his second son and wants to give both his children the opportunities he never had through his hopeful success in music.

“(During my childhood) it was fend for yourself,” Pilot said during a recent interview. “I fended for myself and I feel like I never had that foundation; that’s what I want my kids to have so that’s why making rap a career is a necessity”

With his father in prison for most of his childhood and little support from anyone older, Pilot began “fending for himself.” Music was always an escape but was never really taken seriously until a few years ago.

“I’ve been rapping since I could really write, for real but I never took it serious,” he said. “I would always put stuff on tape recorders and karaoke machines but I never thought I could make it.”

Pilot will release his latest project later this month with Tuck Your Summer In, the most well-polished product he’s ever put forth and a culmination of everything he’s experienced in life.

“I worked on my craft,” Pilot said. I’ve always had good words, good lyrics but now I’m trying to make good songs and make it more catchy so more people will listen. I just go for something that the majority of the people can feel regardless of their situation.”

Until a few years ago, Pilot didn’t think a rap career was a possibility. The encouragement of a friend got him started.

“She was like, ‘I think you should really record that song for real,’ so she paid for my studio time to record my first ever song,” he said.

That song would eventually become “I Got ’Em,” one of his most notable tracks and the one that gave him his start.

“The people are your scouts instead of a real scout in the NBA, so when the people keep telling you you good, you might as well try out.”

Photo by Meghan Ralston