Kwamé Holland – pronounced kwah-MAY – born in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York, USA) is an American emcee who enjoyed brief popularity in the late-1980s and early-1990s. He is currently a music producer sometimes credited as K-1 Million or K1 Mil.
As a child, Holland was inspired by Stevie Wonder, Lionel Hampton, and Abdullah Ibrahim, who were family friends.
He was sixteen when he released his debut album Kwamé the Boy Genius Featuring A New Beginning in 1989, which he produced himself. Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor (who also managed Salt-N-Pepa, Kid-N-Play) played the role of manager. A New Beginning was his backing band and Kwamé was one of the rare emcees at the time to use a live band. The album spawned the singles “The Man We All Know and Love” and “The Rhythm.” The accompanying music videos featured a polka-dot motif in the costumes and production design. This was to become Kwamé’s trademark and started a hip hop fashion trend as fans began wearing polka-dotted clothing. In 1990, his second album A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure was released. It was a concept album about a day in the life of a high school student. The album spawned the hit singles “Oneovdabigboiz” and “Ownlee Eue.” Holland is a cousin of Vin Diesel, who danced in some of his early music videos.
In 1992, he released his third album Nastee. The title track was a minor hit but the album quickly fell from the charts. His fourth album, 1994’s Incognito failed to chart and Kwamé was dropped from his record label.
In 2002, Kwamé reemerged as a music producer. He continues to work steadily as a producer with his current artists Beyond Belief and Profit and has since returned to using his real name. New R&B/Hip Hop singer Jamie Jones started a form of introduction to Kwame’s production by whispering ‘Shh, Kwame did it’, which Fantasia used for “not the way that I do” and Jesse McCartney took for his song Makeup which appears on his album Departure.
Kwame has scored scenes for the films Step up, Step up 2, The Streets Dancing in September and Stomp the Yard
To date, he has Produced and contributed to records selling over 30 million copies.
Kwamé is currently crafting the sound for Atlantic Records recording artist Lauriana Mae, and has also joined the classic hip hop group the Alumni (Hip Hop Elite), which is composed of Chubb Rock, Dana Dane, Special Ed, and Monie Love.
In 2012, Kwamé teamed up with Vin Diesel to help score his web series The Ropes. He also formed the boutique label Make Noise, which features the artist Beyond Belief, which released its debut album in 2009 titled What About Bob?.
In 2012, Kwamé released an instrumental album on his Make Noise label that was titled Break Beat Diaries.
Kwamé is an avid toy collector and also has a company and Web site called www.Geekmodeonline.com, which showcases original content and all things comic book-related.