I started writing when I turned about 14, started with my
own raps. Ever since then I been writing. And I started working
with the Parliament- Funkadelic when I turned 14. I worked
with Garry Shider, the Diaper Man of the P-Funk. It was a
session for the Raw Funk band, my dad's group. He just knew
- he said, Bu raps, we gonna get her. It was a test. He put
me to the test.
My dad was in the Raw Funk band, Rhythm Around the World.
Dressed real funky and crazy - a Sly Stone-type thing. My
dad and my uncle Farris, he's the bass player of the Raw Funk
band - they wrote the songs, some real nice songs. They were
working together for a long time then my dad got up with the
Parliament-Funkadelic and everybody started doing their own
I found my own way. I was influenced by what was happening
around me, but nobody
pushed me. I work on my career. My sister goes to school,
she's going to get her Master's Degree. My brother works in
Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. He's protective
of his little sis. He says , "You do what YOU wanna do
- make sure it's right, Keya!" And I love him. Shout
out to Paul Lee, my sister Tisha, my Mom and my little sis,
Gabrielle - she raps, too.
Bu: How it started, we were
at the studio in Chicago. I seen Stefan there and he was telling
us about his band. We listened to some of their music. I was
really interested so we actually started
to help each other. My Pops is versatile and he is a kind-hearted
person, so if they ask for his help and they really wanna
do it, he's gonna help. My dad and Stefan helped each other
get both crowds together - hip hop and rock. I'm also a versatile
performer so I like rock music and I really understood their
rock. We really clicked and bonded. All of them was down in
Secret Agent Bill, but Stefan was the one who influenced everybody
and put everybody together.
Being a rapper in front of a punk rock band? It was awesome.
I thought it was fun! Jumpin' in the watcha-call-it - that
pit? The mosh pit - oh, man! That was the stuff! I really
enjoyed it. We did shows all over Chicago locally and everybody
loved it. Everybody rocked. It was like nothing else they
I did the hemp shows, the harvest shows, outside with Secret
Agent Bill. It was off the chain. I always wanted my own band
- I didn't want to do the CD thing, sing to track, you know?
That's how I feel -
It ain't nothin' without a band. At the time I didn't have
a band in Chicago - all my players live out of state. So Secret
Agent Bill started playing some of my music, hip hop-style,
and I influenced them to keep on playing it and they learned
it very quick. I think they really enjoyed playing my music.
Five-O: They learned R&B
Five-O: And you picked up
the punk from them to go with the funk.
Bu: Exactly. I put it together.
Five-O: How did you like the
Hollywood shows you did in January 2002?
Bu: They were very cool, man.
Hollywood showed me a lot of love. They
showed all of us a lot of love and they understood what we
were doing. That's why we didn't get booed off the stage and
none of that. They were screaming my name, "Kei-Key Bu!"
That's how I knew that was the stuff, right there: funk, rock
Bu: That is my friend, Ben,
the lead singer in Secret Agent Bill. Me and him have a lot
in common. I love him dearly. He's a great writer. That's
my man. That's my friend. Me and him write together.
Bu: I got some funketeer background
singers, that's Kim Mannning. She sings
very high and she performed on a couple tracks on my album.
She did some singing at my show I just did at The Gig on Melrose.
Also there's Raquel. She's Brazilian. She sings with Parliament-Funk
too. Big ups to Raquel.
Blackbyrd - me and him gonna do things in the milliennium.
Put that in there. Kei-Key "Bu" say, "Blackbyrd
better be ready for Kei-Key 'Bu' because we doin' things!"
Toby from Downtown Rehearsal was playing bass for us. He
gave Reggie a guitar and asked him to play. Soon as he
sat down and played that guitar he locked right in, played
everything right. He knew what to play AND he's from Chicago.
Reggie Boyd. Big ups to him too.
Corey on keyboard, He's awesome. He's the best one. Frankie
"Kash" - he played a couple my shows. He's original.
Five-O: Have those guys known
you since you were a little kid?
Bu: Yes. Outta all of them,
George and Diaperman have known me the longest. First time
I seen George I was
half asleep. They were recording in this studio in Detroit.
George came up, "What's up 'Bu'!?" And I was like,
"Huh...?" He was doing a very long recording session
and I slept the whole time. He was trying to wake me - I always
make George Clinton laugh. I'm like the comedian outta the
whole thing. I knew Blackbyrd and Frankie when I started going
on tour with George Clinton - that's when we really got close
with the people in the band.
Bu: He is the most awesome
engineer, man. He knows exactly
what I want. Me and him mixed and produced the album. He did
all the work easily, no headaches. Nate's awesome. Nate's
Bu: That's Mother Funk. She
sung on a couple of my tracks back when I was younger and
on a couple tracks on my new album we're currently recording
at Red Rum Studios at Hollywood and Vine. The title is Kei-Key
"Bu" Presents Wonder. It's gonna come out as soon
as I get a good record deal (laughs).