South Pointe Student Pursues Music Career


For decades, high schoolers around the country have been drawn to rap music. The love many teenagers have for the genre motivates some to become rappers, themselves. Some do it for fun, while others pursue it as a career.

Mekhi Bates is one of those who is pursuing it as a career. Bates is an 18-year-old senior here at South Pointe and he feels he has the potential to make it big. He goes by “KashMK” and is attracting fans on Soundcloud, the popular music sharing website.

The name “KashMK” came from inspiration of his late uncle. His uncle would call him “Money Making Mekhi” when he was younger and he wanted to have money involved with his stage name. One of his most popular songs, “Camera,” currently has more than 1,200 plays on Soundcloud, while the rest of his songs are getting hundreds of plays.

Bates has expanded his music platform beyond Soundcloud. Recently, he added his music to Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify, some of the most notable music streaming platforms.

Originally from the Bronx, N.Y., Bates moved down to Rock Hill around 2008 with only his mother, leaving all their family and friends.

“We moved down here and didn’t know anything,” said Bates.

The biggest change for Bates was the speed of life.

“Everything moves faster in New York; down here everything is more mellow,” he added.

It was a struggle at first; his mother couldn’t pay the bills and even went through a time without electricity in the house. His father moved down about a year later to reunite with his wife and son. His mother has had the same job since moving to Rock Hill as banker, while his father has had a few different jobs but currently works with mortgages.

Although Bates has been a rap music enthusiast for years, he’s a tyro when it comes to practicing the art. In late fall 2018, a poem he wrote and recited in English class was well-received, prompting him to more seriously consider writing and making his own rap songs. The poem was about a man and his friend who turned on him in a cash deal.

Bates’ family isn’t too involved with music besides his uncle, who has his own studio in his house. Bates visits family back in the Bronx and Atlanta where he goes to different studios to work on his music.

Bates raps about his path and journey of making music.

“All my songs have some content of me on a come up, or my publicity. I want my life to be connected in music, whether I’m in the studio, mixing and mastering, having my own label, or working within a label,” he mentioned.

Bates, who plans on going to to school and learning how to engineer music, is certain that he could have an impact on the rap industry if he garners enough attention.

“I feel like if I can get the correct exposure, then my work will speak for itself,” he said.

Bates believes while the current state of rap music is fine, more credit should be given to the lyrical rappers, as it was during previous years.  

Rap music is always going to change and evolve. The wave right now is mumble rap. I’m not mad at anybody for using that style or flow, but it’s sad that actual lyricists aren’t getting as much attention as mumble rappers or rappers who use nursery rhymes,” Bates added.

His favorite rapper at the moment and his inspiration to rap is Lil Baby but his favorite rapper of all time is Meek Mill. A couple more of his favorite rappers are Young Dolph and DaBaby, a local rapper out of Charlotte, N.C., who is currently blowing up in the music industry.

Bates shares the belief of many of his peers, that YoungBoy NBA is the most inspirational rapper going today.

“Although I don’t listen to him that much, that’s all I hear being played whether I’m in school, on social media, etc.,” he said.

His list of the most inspirational rappers of all time contains some more notable names such as Biggie Smalls, Tupac, 50 Cent and Jay-Z.

His music style isn’t necessarily one certain style.

“I really don’t have a certain style like fast or slow. I use different cadences and rhyme schemes, mixing it up,” he said about his style.

He only has six tracks at the moment, but is releasing music all the time. He is working hard with Wealthy Studios based out of Charlotte and JayyHawk.