When Zachariah Ka1ne shares a bit of advice passed down from his mother, the parental words of wisdom sound better suited to being tattooed across one's chest than cross-stitched on a pillow, which is precisely where the F.H.S.P. rapper branded the expression.

When Zachariah Ka1ne shares a bit of advice passed down from his mother, the parental words of wisdom sound better suited to being tattooed across one's chest than cross-stitched on a pillow, which is precisely where the F.H.S.P. rapper branded the expression.

"See, I have DILLIGAF tattooed on my chest, which means, 'Does it look like I give a fuck?'" said Ka1ne, tugging down the collar of his shirt to expose the ink during an early February interview at a Downtown coffee shop. "My mom said, 'You should get that tattooed because you're just like me. You don't give a fuck what anybody thinks.'

"When I first got into music I cared what people thought … but my mom taught me to just be yourself and live your life, and if they don't like you it's two middle fingers."

According to Ka1ne, embracing this mindset was key to the musical evolution of F.H.S.P., a hip-hop collective he launched more than a decade ago, which only recently released its debut LP, The Fine Line.

"I've been doing this since '05, and I feel like this is the album where I'm finally coming into my own," he said. "For years, I made music I felt people wanted to hear, and at the end of the day I wanted to make one album where I knew it was all me. It was a collaborative effort to break down who we are, what we represent and what we believe in, and to show it to the world - regardless if they like it or not."

It's a fearless attitude Ka1ne shares with fellow F.H.S.P. rapper Rich Regal, who joined in the interview and will accompany the MC for a record release show at Double Happiness on Saturday, Feb. 20 (the group's current lineup is rounded out by guitarist Jay Spizzy and drummer Scott Fate).

"We knew there was a good chance people weren't going to like [The Fine Line], or they weren't going to understand where we were coming from," said Regal, who first met Ka1ne early in 2010. "But it's time for us to give you what we want to hear. I looked at every song like, 'If this is the last song people hear from me, am I saying something? Am I telling you something about my life, or about life as a whole?'"

Throughout The Fine Line, the two MCs operate like a backyard wrestling tag team, with the acrobatic, dexterous Ka1ne trading lines with the comparatively brutish Regal on songs that explore everything from the difficulties of learning how to be a dad after growing up fatherless ("Struggle") to the common thread uniting the world's various races, creeds and religions ("No Difference").

Musically, F.H.S.P. contains similar multitudes, and songs incorporate elements of punk, heavy metal, hip-hop and more. "Our influences range from Daft Punk to Pink Floyd and Lamb of God to Cam'ron and Kid Cudi," Regal said. "We took all those influences and put them together, and this is what comes out."

Ka1ne, for his part, can trace his musically omnivorous appetite to childhood. Growing up, the rapper learned an appreciation of Metallica from his mother, while his three siblings' varying interests introduced him to the like of Master P, the Spice Girls and '70s rock 'n' roll. "To this day, my little brother drives a 1973 Corvette and swears he should have been born in the '70s," Ka1ne said, laughing.

"We've always been heavily attached to music, and I don't know why. Maybe it's because there weren't certain aspects of a family life to grasp onto," the rapper added. "We're a very musically and emotionally expressive family."

Though Ka1ne has a deep appreciation for countless musical genres, he ultimately gravitated toward hip-hop in his teenage years largely out of necessity.

"You don't need anybody else [to make hip-hop]," he said. "I was the social outcast in high school. I remember listening to people like Eminem and B.I.G., and I was like, 'These people are doing it, and they're doing it by themselves. I can do this by myself.' It was independent. I didn't need any help."

Of course, in more recent times the rapper has come to appreciate the strength that comes with being part of the F.H.S.P. collective, referring to his fellow members as part of the same bloodline rather than mere bandmates.

"We definitely push each other, and we don't get hurt feelings about it. [Rich] wants better out of me because he wants better out of us, and that's better for everybody," Ka1ne said. "It's a family thing. We're four guys who look at one another as brothers."