Hampstead resident Michael Yeboah, also known as rapper Da Kid Emm, is hitting the ground running in 2019, with the release of his new music video for the song “Take A Pic” on Jan. 11, and his 30th birthday on Feb. 4.
“Take A Pic” has garnered 26,000 views on YouTube in less than a month and was filmed in part in Carroll County, with shots at the iconic, controversial — and now-closed — North Carroll High School where he graduated from in 2007.
Q: You talk a lot about "my county" in your new song, "Take a Pic." For anyone who hasn’t heard your music, why is Carroll County so important as a subject in your songs?
A: When it comes to music artists there is always the association of a big city. For me it’s Baltimore because that's where I do most of my shows. The truth is I have never lived in a big city. I've always lived in a county. I lived in Montgomery County and Carroll County the majority of my life. I don’t need to claim to be from somewhere I'm not. The best part about “Take A Pic” is I never actually mention Carroll County. … I want anyone from anywhere to feel like they are representing their county. If you follow me, you know exactly where my county is because I'm an advocate. I'm not aware of any other hip-hop artist putting themselves out to the world saying they’re from Carroll County. I'm proud to be the first to represent the county. It’s cooler to say you’re from a big city like Baltimore, but I would rather just be transparent in my music. I'm proud to be representing the small town kids with the big city dreams.
A: I wanted to emphasize, again, that I'm an advocate for Carroll County. I entered that school halfway through 10th grade dealing with countless amounts of racism and cultural ignorance — not to mention the culture shock of being the new black kid, one of maybe nine in the entire school.
I left that same school with lifelong friends, and the title of Mr. North Carroll ’07. I had some of my favorite teachers at this school and I have so many memories here, good and bad. I definitely feel like I made an impact at that school. It's sad that it closed and that the legacy can’t continue. I now live here and my soon-to-be daughter will never get to go to the same school I went to.
I was surprised when I found out it was being used as a police [academy]. I think it should be used as a rec center or teen club. It should be used for different activities for kids to do like an arcade, but on a bigger scale.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in 2019 as you keep building your musical career?
A: I'm honestly just excited to welcome my first child into the world. My daughter Charlotte is due any day now! I'm looking forward to that the most.
Q: What advice do you have for young Carroll County kids who want to pursue their dreams, musically or otherwise?
A: Be tenacious, you can’t think success will come overnight. No matter what people tell you, believe in your vision. Be persistent and celebrate all the little milestones along the way. This way you can see your growth and document your journey. Nobody can make it work but you, so just know it's hard work. If you don’t want to do the work, don’t expect results.
Q: Where can people find you to find where your shows are and listen to more music?