Kendall “PreCise” Taylor

Howard University was the breeding ground for some of the biggest names in show business today. Sean “Diddy” Combs, La La Anthony, Tarji P. Henson, Marlon Wayans, Laz Alonzo, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lance Gross, and Miss Mykie all spent part of their formative years at the prestigious HBCU located in Washington, DC. Current HU student and up-and-coming emcee PreCise (born Kendall Taylor) is poised to join that list of Howard Bison who have made a serious mark in the world of entertainment.

The business management major has managed to find the time to maintain his college workload and consistently hit the studio to record his introspective brand of soulful Hip Hop. Taylor has been writing poetry since the age of eight and eventually started reciting those personal lyrics over musical tracks. In 2011, PreCise released his first official mixtape, A Dream Deferred, and now the Chicago native is ready to drop his second collection, Streetlights @ Noon.

Featuring production by Austin “A.P.” Patton, Kevin Kordi, Mike Logan, Brandon Lyles, Lx Avery, The Cratez, Fly Life, and Dubb C, PreCise’s latest project is sure to put the self-described “loudest introvert” and his whole The M.E.D.ian Group one step closer to that lineup of illustrious Howard alum that have become household names. Learn more about this gifted 21-year-old emcee in DZI: The Voice‘s latest Q&A exclusive.

Yohance Kyles : When did you discover your voice as an artist?

PreCise: Although I began rapping at 8, I technically did not discover my “voice” as an artist until I was about 19. Up until then I really had no identity as a writer. From ages 8-17, I would consider myself having been limited to the term ‘rapper’. At 19, I believe I truly became an “artist”.

YK: What’s the meaning behind your stage name “PreCise”?

PreCise: The meaning has to do with the ability to accurately touch the hearts of listeners and fans alike. I usually am always tugging on somebody’s heartstring when it comes to content and subject matter of my material. The meaning of the capital ‘P’ and ‘C’ stand specifically for “poetically captivating”, because my roots lie within poetry and spoken word. The blend of Hip Hop and when I became a true “artist” by my personal standards and definitions go hand-in-hand with the accurate depiction based on relating to people’s life situations. I poetically captivate still, even with my style being purely focused on Hip Hop, simply because my depictions always proclaim empathy or sympathy for those going through the rough times.

YK: A lot of aspiring entertainers choose to forgo higher education to start their professional careers. Why did you make the decision to pursue your degree instead of jumping right into your career full time?

PreCise: I chose to pursue a degree because I didn’t want to be another “nigga” that was just rapping. I want to be respected for a degree and be able to say that I had the experience that some call “the greatest 4 years of their lives”. I also was always taught to multiply the opportunities in your life. What I major in at Howard University, business management, obviously has nothing to do with the ins-and-outs of being a Hip Hop artist, however it aligns with my aspirations of owning and managing my own record label and allocating money earned from music into business assets outside of the music industry.

You get distracted. Especially on the campus of Howard University. The women, the parties…sometimes the schoolwork. The shit gets fuckin crazy to balance.

YK: How have you been able to balance attending college and building your music career at the same time?

PreCise: Tough question. I can’t quite say that I’ve done the best in balancing my time. I’ll admit, to follow-up the last question, this may be the one downside to pursing a degree rather than going straight into chasing the passion of a music career. You get distracted. Especially on the campus of Howard University. The women, the parties…sometimes the schoolwork. The shit gets fuckin crazy to balance. Not saying I don’t take the responsibility for lack of proper and appropriate time management. As of late, I’ve developed incredible time management schedules on what I focus on when it comes to progression as an artist.

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YK: You also performed in your high school and college drumlines. How has being a percussionist influenced you as an emcee?

PreCise: A lot, actually. It substantially enhances my love and appreciation for the art of the music. 

PreCise during his drumline days @ HU

YK: Can you explain The M.E.D.ian Group?

PreCise: As previously stated, I have aspirations of owning my own record label. The M.E.D.ian Group is a group/label type organization that I started that sort of matches the structure of T.D.E. or a G.O.O.D. Music, etc. As an artist, once I left for school in D.C., my return home during certain periods of time was not welcomed and everything changed since I left. People saw me as “too good” for going off to school. I’m not sure why or where those thoughts matriculated from. One of my desires is to be able to give back to the community that molded me and much more. Part of me obtaining a degree will only enable me to go further and more successfully do so…I’ve also had another side of the spectrum of people with the attitude that I will never be good enough no matter how much I achieve in life. Therefore, a lot of young black men specifically lose identity and find themselves stuck in the middle, hence the term ‘median’. The acronym is French. I chose French because it is the language of love, and I want the principle to be based on genuine love for each other as people. The acronym stands for “Mais Enim nou somme Devout”. The meaning? “Finally we’re standing”. And we are.

Picture a streetlight shining at noon. It would be fulfilling its purpose, but you wouldn’t notice because the sun would overpower it’s shine. Right place, wrong time…

YK: How is your new mixtape different from your previous tape?

PreCise: The mixtape is a step up and definitely goes into much more depth as far as concepts are concerned. I believe I also made a major leap lyrically and with song structure. The last tape highlighted the fact that even me dreaming about my passion accurately was on halt. The new tape, Streetlights @ Noon, highlights me pursuing my dream, but still being undiscovered. Picture a streetlight shining at noon. It would be fulfilling its purpose, but you wouldn’t notice because the sun would overpower its shine. Right place, wrong time type concept. The stories depicted on the tape are also stories based on issues that bring down people as far as a community and are known, yet ignored because enough light isn’t shined on them. 

YK: What’s your take on the high number of murders in Chicago in recent years and the rise of teenage rappers like Chief Keef, Lil Reese, and Lil Mouse that some people feel are glorifying that violence?

PreCise: The number of murders in Chicago is disheartening and a series of consistent catastrophic individual events that brings distraught and distress to my heart and my mental. I pray to God that it ends. Nobody is proud when their city is engaged in a civil war. Stupid shit. As far as the rappers that you mentioned, I decline full comment on what I think of their content as so not to confuse my statements with “dissing” for the ignorant mafuckas that are going to read this. I will say each of those artists have found their niche and method to success that they believe in and all…hopefully they find it in their hearts to give back to the communities that molded them as well. 

A Dream Deferred Cover Art

YK: Hip Hop seems to be in a transitional state right now. Where do you see the culture going over the next few years?

PreCise: I honestly don’t know. The culture is on a fence right now. I have days where flashes of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and many others supply content providing hope that Hip Hop may go back to the lyrical prominence of the 90’s when it was cool to rap about shit that meant shit. Then other days come when I fear the culture plummeting into the trap of commercial glory…one of those puzzles that will be resolved with time. 

YK: Who have been some of the artists that have inspired you?

PreCise: Off top… Common, Jay-Z, Nas, Andre 3000, Ludacris, T.I., Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole. Obviously the MUSIC of Biggie and PAC inspired me greatly. However, I was very young when their lives were taken and did not have the pleasure of seeing their progression as artists and individuals the way I have with the others on the list.

YK: What are your five favorite Hip Hop albums of all time?

PreCise: My favorite five in order: 1. Kanye West – Late Registration, 2. Common – Be, 3. Jay-Z – The Blueprint, 4. Nas- Illmatic, 5. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool.

YK: What’s next for PreCise?

PreCise: I plan to work on my brand and marketing my music as well as continuing to develop my sound and strive to be better than all of my competition. The exact steps of what I’ll do, where I’ll be, and how will come more with time. Supporters can always expect 100% from PreCise though. Glory be to God.

PreCise’s new mixtape Streetlights @ Noon is scheduled for release on March 24

To download A Dreamed Deferred click it

For more info about PreCise click it

To connect with PreCise follow him @PreCise_Dreams

Check out the tracklist for Streetlights @ Noon and the video for “Where Would I Go

Streetlights @ Noon

  1. The Intro

  2. Listen To Your Heart

  3. Shawty DooWop

  4. Kick In The Door (feat. T.jahi)

  5. Where Would I Go

  6. Know You Want It

  7. Tell Em’ All (interlude)

  8. Heaven Knows

  9. The Morning After

  10. 20 Below (feat. Staci Matthews)

  11. Vibe With It

  12. Where I’m At

  13. Before I Die

  14. Trippy Chick (Bonus Track)

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