Kwamé (American rapper)

  (Redirected from Kwamé)

Kwamé Holland (born 28 March 1973) is an American rapper and record producer from Queens, New York. Originally starting out as a rapper in the late 1980s, Holland later sought greater success with behind the scenes work as a producer.

Holland at a panel on hip hop and comics at the 2014 New York Comic Con
Holland at a panel on hip hop and comics at the 2014 New York Comic Con
Background information
Birth nameKwamé
Also known as
  • K-1 Million
  • K1 Mil
Born (1973-03-28) 28 March 1973 (age 49)
East Elmhurst, New York, United States
Record producer
Years active1988–1994, 2001–present
Associated acts


In 1989, aged 16, Kwamé released his debut album, Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning, which he also produced with the aid of Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor. The 'A New Beginning' of the title refers to his backing band,[1] which was unusual amongst emcees of the time. The album spawned the singles "The Man We All Know and Love" and "The Rhythm."[1] The accompanying music videos featured a polka-dot motif in the costumes and production design. This was to become Kwamé's trademark and a hip hop fashion trend, as fans of his began wearing polka-dotted clothing.[2][3] In 1990, Kwamé released his second album A Day in the Life: a Pokadelick Adventure, a concept album[1] about a day in the life of a high school student. The album spawned the hit singles "Oneovdabigboiz" and "Ownlee Eue.",[2] the latter of which was a contribution to the new jack swing genre.

In 1992, aged 18, he released his third album, Nastee.[4] This album marked a departure for him, discarding the polka-dots and writing more sexually charged lyrics, in contrast to his previously playful, intellectual persona.[1] The title track was a minor hit, but the album quickly fell from the chart.[5] His fourth album, 1994's Incognito, failed to chart.[2][5]

In 2000, Kwamé reemerged as a record producer, sometimes working under the name K-1 Million. He has produced for many artists, such as LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Missy Elliott, and Christina Aguilera. In 2004, he had a major success as the co-producer (with Eminem) of Lloyd Banks' hit song "On Fire."[2] In 2005, he had more success with co-writing and co-producing Tweet's single "Turn da Lights Off and Will Smith's single "Switch".[2] As a producer, Kwamé has sold over 30 million records.

In 2012, Kwamé teamed up with Vin Diesel to help score his web series The Ropes. He also formed the boutique label Make Noise, with signees including Beyond Belief, and released an instrumental album, Break Beat Diaries.

Kwamé has also written scores and original music for film and TV., including Drumline, Step Up 1 & 2, Stomp the Yard, Freedom Writers, The Comebacks, Coach Carter, and Fantastic Four and recently produced Vivian Green's fifth album Vivid. He has also joined the hip hop group the Alumni, alongside Chubb Rock, Dana Dane, Special Ed, and Monie Love.

In 2015, Kwamé formed Make Noise Recordings. Distributed by Caroline / Capitol records, Kwamé signed R&B singer-songwriter Vivian Green. Make Noise released Green's fifth album, Vivid, produced entirely by Kwamé. Also garnered a top 2 R&B hit "Get Right Back To My Baby" & top 15 R&B Hit "Grown Folks Music (Work)" .

In 2016, TV One aired an episode of Unsung featuring Kwamé and unlike any other artist in the shows history, Kwamé scored all the music for his episode.

In 2017, Make Noise released Vivian Green's sixth album VGVI reaching No. 38 on the Billboard R&B albums chart. The single "I Don't Know" reached the top 10 on the Billboard adult R&B chart. In 2018, Make Noise released "Vibes", the second single from VGVI. This reached Bo. 12 on the Adult R&B chart.

Personal lifeEdit

Kwamé is a cousin of Vin Diesel, who danced in some of his early music videos.[6]

Discography (as artist)Edit



Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot R&B US Hot Rap
1989 "The Man We All Know and Love" 33 2 Kwamé the Boy Genius featuring A New Beginning
"The Rhythm" 7
"Sweet Thang" 20
1990 "Ownleeeue" 33 3 A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure
"Oneovdabigboiz" 40 3
1991 "Hai Love" 94 17
1992 "Nastee" 68 16 Nastee
"Can U Feel It"
1994 "? It Like" 20 Incognito


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 191. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hall, Rashaun (2004-10-07). "Lloyd Banks, Eminem Help Kwame Set The Polka Dots 'On Fire'". Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  3. ^ The Fly Guy (2007-07-20). "Express Yourself: The Genius Of Kwamé". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  4. ^ "Nastee - Kwamé & A New Beginning". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Paine (2004-07-07). "Kwame: Nobody's Laughing". Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  6. ^ "In Tha Background: Kwame - Once dissed by Biggie... But Now?". 2002-09-06. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Kwame Holland at Wikimedia Commons