Kid Ink Talks New Song 'Now It's Personal' for 'Tekken 7': Exclusive

Scott Dudelson/FilmMagic
Kid Ink performs onstage during the 92.3 Real Show at The Forum on Nov. 5, 2016 in Inglewood, Calif.  

On Friday, the legendary fighting game series Tekken returns with its seventh installment for Playstation 4 and Xbox One. To spice up its soundtrack, the makers of Tekken 7 tapped Kid Ink for the hard-hitting track "Now It's Personal."

For Ink, pairing with the celebrated franchise was a match made in gamer heaven. "This Tekken opportunity kind of fell into my lap and they wanted to see what I can do," Kid Ink tells Billboard. "Being somebody who's actually a fan of the video game since Tekken and the beginning of fighting games, I think it was easy for me to really take a day to sit down and attack this record. It seemed like as soon as I finished it, they loved it."

Ink's hankering for fighting games began when he first dived into Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Once he got his hands on Tekken, he quickly became enamored with the game's graphics. "I came from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat days so Tekken was the first video game to have the real 3-D effect for fighting games," he recalls. "So that was like a brand new thing. I had to learn new moves and techniques." 

Being the eldest in his family at the time, Ink lacked the companionship of a sibling or cousin to battle with on the joysticks. Rather than watch her son fall victim to boredom, Ink's mother would grab a controller and play video games with him. 

"It was crazy because I didn't really have brothers and sisters at the time to be playing video games with. I was like the oldest in my family," he says. "So I found myself playing video games, when I couldn't play with the computer because I needed that competitive edge, against my mom. My mom was playing Tekken early at the same time. She was honestly handing me an a---whooping every once in awhile." 

While his mother's infatuation with the character June often handed him L's, Ink reveals that his go-to character Jin, is someone he wishes he could emulate in real-life. 

"King was always like a cool character to be because he was low-key the only one who was like half-lion and human wrestler. Honestly, his moves weren't the coolest. I liked Jin," he says. "For me, that's probably what I liked about Jin. He was a villain, but he low-key had some tattoos and scars. He was relatable to me at that time before I even knew I wanted tattoos."

Despite his love for video games, nothing trumps the music for Ink. Last month, he released his EP 7 Series, which features his sweet-sounding single "F With U" featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Sampling Tamia's 1998 "So Into You," Ink tells Billboard that he would consider doing a special remix with the songstress. 

"It's definitely a thought in there. Why not make it fun? I'm somebody who likes to tap back and revive [old sounds], especially with the new generation," he says. "Different people don't know [the originals] and it's always cool to bring that wave back. It definitely would be fun, especially if I get to do a show and you see her come out. If we do a remix, and she's not in the song and she pops up for the video, it would be cool. I definitely wouldn't mind being involved. She's already getting a nice cut of the check, so it's cool."

To keep the motor running on his project, he also dropped his new video "No Strings" with Starrah. Unleashing a string of melodious singles including "Show Me," "Be Real" and "Promise," Ink hopes to one day continue his onslaught with a Best of Both Worlds project with a familiar face. 

"I think to be real though, somebody who can get the project done easy with me would have to be the bro Jeremih," when asked who he would work with on a dream EP. "In the studio, people just don't know how crazy he be going with the writing, the pen game, the range, and the different types of music he can do. I feel like I wouldn't want to get in the studio with somebody who's gonna want to do one-type of music and doesn't really want to experiment. He's down to experiment on all kinds of different records."

Check out Kid Ink's song "Now It's Personal" for Tekken 7 and behind-the-scenes footage of him working on the track in the studio below.