And what does he hope to get with that full potential?

"I want a helicopter fully decked out with platinum propellers, a Delorean that sits on 26-inch rims with a different facial expression of me on each rim and to start a holiday in which people around the country receive a coupon to purchase Earl Campbell sausages for free," he says, laughing.

"Really, I want the same thing everyone else wants: Wealth and prosperity."

Killa MC is the heart of Brain Gang.
Jeremy Biggers
Killa MC is the heart of Brain Gang.

Payne trains for such success every day by working on his music and brand. Photographer and artist Jeremy Biggers, who directed Brain Gang's "What Ya Know" video, says Payne's work ethic separates him from the rest of the local scene.

"He's in the studio five nights a week working on something," Biggers says. "Often times after leaving his day job. He outworks most people in his lane."

Biggers sees Killa MC as a throwback to the golden era of '90s hip-hop in style and substance.

"He's '90s all the way," he says. "Everything about him lives in the '90s. He's a hip-hop historian and it's obvious he lives for the golden era of the genre."

Future projects for Killa MC include a series of tapes adding to the development of Killa MC as a persona, as well as a few EPs in between to "keep Killa MC's voice out in the public."

"There are so many vultures in this scene who take advantage of good, hardworking, talented acts, simply because a lot of artists don't understand what they are supposed to be getting in return for their contributions," Payne explains. "If we all took the time to get educated on simple things such as copyrights, show bookings and payment, the Dallas hip-hop scene would be where everyone believes it should be."

And he's not heading into these new waters alone. The entire Brain Gang clique — Bobby Sessions, X'Zavier, Ca$hmir, JT Mohrle and Blue — is at turns anarchic, proud, unpredictable. The scene has definitely, and defiantly, changed, and Brain Gang is helping to lead the charge.

"Too many cornballs and idiots have snuck into the scene confusing the masses," Payne says. "So I'm working overtime with my broom and dustpan cleaning up the mess and dumping the trash, so we can really get back to the essence."

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Good looks all around. Killa has put years of work into this scene, and he deserves more credit.

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