Southern producer and rapper Kia Shine, aka Kinfolk Kia Shine, relied on his passion and knack for making catchy beats and hooks to pull himself out of dire situations.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Shine left the turbulent Frazer section of Memphis for greener pastures, working in the corporate offices of a major casino conglomerate. When he was presented with the opportunity to take a promotion and an $80,000 salary at the company's Las Vegas headquarters, he turned it down to pursue music. With his knowledgeable business expertise, he decided to fund and produce his little brother's rap group, L.I., around 1998. Going by Nakia Shine at the time, he also tried to shop L.I.'s material around to different labels in New York, but instead wound up selling the beats. After getting a production deal with Ruff Ryders and a publishing contract with Universal, he returned to Memphis, gathered up all the producers he could find, and founded Rap Hustlaz, a production team and record label co-owned with partner Jack Frost. He then acquired distribution through TVT in the early 2000s and signed many of Memphis' local heavy-hitters, like Yo Gotti and Gangsta Blac. Things were on the up and up for Shine. His label sold hundreds of thousands of units, plus he was landing beats for major Southern rappers, including Juvenile, 8Ball, and Ludacris. Nevertheless, his dealings with TVT had gone awry, which caused his artists to defect from the Rap Hustlaz label, leaving Shine homeless and living out of his car. He then decided that he would have to step into the mic booth and make solo material in order to rebound. His first single, "Respect My Fresh," was a local smash hit in Memphis in 2006, earning him another deal with Universal Motown. A few more infectious club hits, namely "Stunt Glasses at Night" and "Krispy," followed and made their way onto national airwaves. Shine's debut album, Due Season, arrived in summer 2007. ~ Cyril Cordor, Rovi