Konata Small was just named as Reflection Music Group’s first signee to their new imprint RMG Amplify. Known for his time with Rhema Soul as K-Nuff, Konata spoke about his name change, friendship with GAWVI, and how an IHOP breakfast with Marty of Social Club Misfits changed his Marty’s life.
Konata’s name change isn’t a name change at all. It’s a reversion back to who he is. He explained that the name K-Nuff was never something he picked, it got put on him by a friend and it stuck.
“One day I was hanging out with a friend and he was in an internet chat room and the dude asked him ‘Who are you with?’ and he replied ‘I’m with this dude K-Nuff’ And I looked at the screen and was like, ‘Who’s K-Nuff?’ and he’s like, ‘That’s you’,” said Konata with a laugh.
Feeling that it was an old school nickname, Konata began to feel torn about keeping the name. He said the decision to go with his birth name was made at Marty of Social Club Misfits’ bachelor party.
“We are eating and the record was almost done and was telling them about it. Marty says, ‘Yo man, whatcha gonna do’?”
He said everyone has told him for years, ‘Why don’t you use your name Konata? It’s a dope name.’
“I said if I’m going to be in a completely new situation, I have an opportunity to use my name. Marty said, ‘Yo you gotta use your name’ So I was debating over Konata or Konata Small,” he said.
So that was it. Out with K-Nuff and in with Konata. The consolation of using his birth name – Konata means “warrior” in West African.
For fans of Rhema Soul, just because the name “K-Nuff” is not in use, does not mean the group is done. There are always rumors of a reunion, but so far nothing substantial has been established.
“Not something we’ve discussed thoroughly but I won’t shoot it down. The timing has to be right,” admitted Konata. “Everyone’s just moving and doing the things God wants them to do. If it does, we’ll let you all know.”
The majority of Rhema Soul’s production was done by someone named G-Styles. You all know him now as the production wizard GAWVI.
GAWVI, along with Marty, can first be heard on Rhema Soul’s 2008 sophomore album Dope Beats & Good News.
“It’s great because I get to remember before,” said Konata. “Marty comes into my house and records ‘Marty walks in like a brand new kid [rapping]’ and him being a feature that nobody knew with no music or nothing… I remember GAWVI being in my house for a hip-hop small group.”
He then shared the story of how Marty began rapping.
“Martin is an anomaly because he never wanted it. It was just something he played with. He wanted to become a youth pastor and me and Juan [Love] literally went to meet with him day after day after that church thing. He needed an outlet and encouragement. One day we were in IHOP and Martin said to me, ‘I know I said I would never do music again, but I’m going to do some music and explain how it goes’. He wanted to do some features and did some features with Fern and that turned into Social Club. It was over the Kanye West beat for “Runaway” that they collided for the first time. They sounded so good together.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Now the Social Club Misfits have blown up bigger than Konata could have ever imagined.
“I cannot go to their shows without greeting them in tears. I’m thankful and honored that I got to be a part of that in a very small way,” said Konata. “He told me [back then] he’s leaving Nordstrom and going on the road. ‘That’s a faith move you’ll never regret. But if you don’t go you will regret it’ I said. Then Social Club turned into a monster.”
The emcee also said that even though GAWVI did production, he always wanted to be an artist as well.
“Everyday I celebrate with them. I feel like their victories are my victories too.”
Check out part one with Konata from last week. Be sure to listen to his first single “High Top Fade.”