Chart-Topping Rapper K.O Set to Shine in Unscripted Reality Series
Explore the life of chart-topping rapper and hitmaker K.O with his upcoming reality show, “The Inside Life with K.O.” This unscripted 13-episode season offers a genuine look into the superstar’s life, along with his friends, fellow artists, and business partners, as they navigate the music industry.
In preparation for the premiere, we had the opportunity to interview K.O for exclusive insights into what the show entails. The first episode will air tonight at 21:00 on BET Africa channel 129, with subsequent episodes airing every Wednesday at the same time. If you miss the premiere, catch the encore presentation every Thursday at 17:30 on MTV Base Africa channel 322.
“The Inside Life with K.O” breaks away from typical reality TV scripting, aiming to provide a real and unfiltered look into the daily challenges and successes experienced by a chart-topping artist in today’s music industry.
Considering a lot of reality TV is scripted, how did you ensure authenticity when shooting the show?
When the conversation about the show came up with the guys from MTV, the first thing I told them is I’m not going to do anything performative. Initially, they came with their own template and brought up ideas of renting out a house and setting up the whole show, but I told them straight that if we are to take that route, then it’s not something I’m comfortable doing. I wanted to go into it just being myself and let the guys around me be themselves too. The artists that I have around me are still breaking through, so they’re still dealing with real-life challenges, and I didn’t want to shy away from that because the reality of life as an artist is that it’s filled with many challenges. I didn’t want to make them look a certain way for the sake of TV. At that point, I decided that we were not going to compromise the realness of my life and my entire ecosystem, and if people do not find the show entertaining, then there are plenty of others they can watch. This one is as real as it gets.
How did you decide what the focus points are of the show, and how did you decide who to feature as cast members?
As far as the cast is concerned, it’s all just based on the authenticity aspect of things. I don’t have a lot of frivolous relationships in the industry, and I wasn’t interested in bringing certain people on board because of numbers or clout. I actually kept it within the close circle of people who have actual substance in my life. Whether you see a Ma-E there or a Roiii or Loki and Thulo, who is my business partner, showcasing the day-to-day things we get up to. All of the people involved there are part of my daily life. I didn’t want to make it a thing of having to pull favours for optics.
One would have expected you to have a large entourage. How do you decide which people you keep around and for what reason?
I used to have big groups around myself, especially with Teargas, and the more I aged, I started to realize that entourages become quite costly. You’re not in control over what everyone does. Some people might create certain issues with someone else, and then your name is thrown into it because you’re attached to them. So the people that I have around me are people that I know have responsibility over their own lives.
How do you, as a leader, ensure that your team stays grounded and doesn’t fall victim to their own ambition and clout chasing?
Firstly, what I think I have appreciated is a lot of the artists that I have around me just fit like a glove, and they understand the temperament of what the circle looks like. You have to be cut from a certain cloth to be part of the team. I want artists who have a decent balance between ambition and reality, and if you are able to navigate the two in a smart way, then we definitely will get along well. What I’ve seen with the guys that I have around me, especially with Loki and Roiii, they have been around me longer than a lot of other guys that I’ve worked with, and it’s because I’m seeing that I don’t have to babysit them. At the same time, we push each other. They take a lot of direction from me, but I also don’t want them to get too comfortable and have to wait for my green light when they want to do certain things. I want them to be individuals without relying too much on me. I’m trying to develop them on a substantial level so that one day, when they leave Skhanda World, they can be well-cooked and make stellar decisions solely on their own. In closing, when people watch the show, I need them to know that, yes, it is inside the life of K.O, but it’s not solely just about me. You get to see Roiii in his element and Loki just doing his own thing. This entire show was a platform to not only learn about me but it is also an opportunity for people to know more about my team because it could be an opportunity for them to get a spin-off one day and get to greater opportunities.