At just 16 years old, Khalil Vegas graduated high school, and now, at 18, he is a rapper and the CEO of a music production company startup.
Vegas said he was raised to excel at whatever he wanted to, and after taking all courses necessary to graduate before he turned 17, he proved successful. He took extra hours and passed out of courses so he could graduate early. After he graduated, he headed to the University and decided on a fine arts major, focusing in sketching.
“My mom had me reading by the time I was 2, so that made school easier,” Vegas said.
Though Vegas was successful in school, he said he didn’t spend all his time on studies alone. He played the guitar and was the lead singer in the choir at his elementary school and won first place at a city-wide talent show in Baton Rouge when he was 10 years old.
“I sang all the time and really strained my voice, which is what got me started in rapping,” Vegas said. “I knew that I needed to take a break from singing, so I started focusing on rap.”
Vegas started rapping when his voice gave out from singing in 2011, he said. He and his three brothers began to re-make rap music videos that were popular at the time. He would rap over the videos, which gave him practice for creating his own raps.
The first song Vegas released was a remix of Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter.” As soon as he released the song on SoundCloud, he knew it wasn’t him, so he wanted to create his own music.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘This isn’t me,’ even though people really liked it,” Vegas said. “I was heavily influenced by other musicians and it was evident.”
When Vegas released “I Got 3 Dollars,” he said he began to feel more like himself, and that’s when his music really started to develop. The song is true to his satirical sense of humor that can also be seen on his Instagram @khalilvegas. He likes to shock his followers with unexpected content and that’s just what he did with “I Got 3 Dollars.” The song almost mocks rappers who brag in all of their music and is paired with a catchy beat, Vegas said.
Vegas has over 40 other songs, and most are on his SoundCloud. Vegas has always loved producing music and has even helped other rappers start their careers.
Vegas recently began working on starting his own business, with help from his uncle. The business will focus on music production and helping other young rappers. Vegas already helps other local rappers record with his home studio, but the business will be a more formal version of that.
“I wanna help other local rappers with their music,” Vegas said. “We should all have each other’s backs instead of competing all the time.”
Vegas has had many big names share his music and contact him about it. When Jesus Honcho shared his song, Atlantic Records reached out to him and they have been in contact ever since, Vegas said.
Vegas is busy in school but has his eye on his rap career. He said he hasn’t signed with any labels yet because he wants his own personal style to flourish and grow before being tied down.
“I just want to show other local kids and kids from all over that they can make it and that they don’t have to fit the typical rapper personality,” Vegas said.