Brian Todd Collins
(born April 1, 1986 in Los Angeles, California), best known by his stage name Kid Ink
, is an American rapper from Los Angeles, signed to RCA Records. In his career, Kid Ink released the independent album Up & Away
, an EP titled Almost Home
and his second studio album My Own Lane
. My Own Lane
spawned the successful singles "Show Me", "Iz U Down" and "Main Chick".2005-09: Record productionKid Ink got his start in music as a teenager in after-school music programs making beats and learning about record production. He was inspired by producers Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz. He spoke of this saying. "These were artists and producers who were writing for other people in all types of genres. It just gave me an open ear for all different types of music and that's how I approached it." Following years of working as a record producer, Ink chose to pursue a career as a rapper full-time at age 22.
2009-12: Tha Alumni Music Group and Up & Away
After releasing his first mixtape, World Tour
, under the name Rockstar, he started to gain some popularity. This grabbed the attention of DJ Ill Will who is connected with the hip-hop site, HotNewHipHop. DJ Ill Will then signed Collins to his independent label, Tha Alumni Group, and Collins changed his stage name to "Kid Ink". Then in early 2011, he released his first mixtape under his new name entitled Crash Landing
, a mixtape that featured artists such as Roscoe Dash, Ty Dolla Sign, Meek Mill and more. At the beginning of the 2011 summer, he then released his second mixtape, Daydreamer,
which was available for download on various sites that featured Cory Gunz, Maejor Ali, Ray J, Sean Kingston, Meek Mill Bow Wow along with others. In September 2011, he released his third mixtape named Wheels Up
that featured artists 2 Chainz, Nipsey Hussle, Tyga and more. In 2012 he was also a featured artist in the 2012 XXL
Freshman class alongside artists such as rappers Future,Hopsin and Macklemore.Kid Ink released his first independent album, Up & Away
on June 12, 2012 to moderate success. The album was produced by Ned Cameron and Jahlil Beats among others. It peaked at number 20 on the US Billboard 200
in its first week. The album's first single, "Time of Your Life" preceded the album's release in early 2012 followed by the album's second single, "Lost in the Sauce". On November 21, 2012 Kid Ink released his fifth mixtape, "Rocketshipshawty".
2013-present: Signing with RCA, Almost Home and My Own Lane
On January 4, 2013, he announced that he had signed a deal with RCA Records and premiered his first major label single, titled "Bad Ass" featuring Wale and Meek Mill and produced by Devin Cruise. The song would be released for digital download on January 22, 2013. The song was released to Rhythm Crossover radio in the United States on February 26, 2013. It has since peaked at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On May 14, he announced his first project released under RCA, would be an EP titled Almost Home
on May 28, 2013. It featured artists such as French Montana, Wale, Meek Mill, ASAP Ferg and Rico Love among others. Upon its release, the EP debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200. It also produced the single "Money and the Power" which has been featured in HBO's Hard Knocks
as well as in the sports video game NBA Live 14
. On September 17, 2013, he released the first single from his second studio album My Own Lane
, entitled "Show Me" featuring Chris Brown and produced by DJ Mustard. On November 4, 2013, he revealed that My Own Lane
would be released on January 7, 2014. On January 13, 2014, at Kid Ink's album release party, he was rewarded his first Gold plaque from the RIAA for his single "Show Me".
Kid Ink has dozens of tattoos on his face, arms, hands and torso. He got his first tattoo when he was 16 and has been addicted to getting them since then. His favorites include portraits of his mother and grandfather tattooed on his chest and a tiger inked on the front of his neck, which represents his Chinese symbol.