Posted by StreetWise in Vendor ProfilesSakinniss “K-K” Harris started selling StreetWise 12 years ago after getting into a confrontation while arguing over panhandling territory with a man in front of a convenience store. Beside her was a StreetWise vendor who offered her inspirational words telling her to “get legal,” stop begging and go pick up some papers.
“I would like to talk to that man and say I appreciate that, because God is awesome, he helped me to get on my feet,” K-K said. “He gave me the opportunity to get on my feet and he looked after me. I had a roof over my head, paying for a hotel every night and I got socks and shoes…”
After K-K started selling StreetWise, she partnered with other agencies, such as Inner Voice and Catholic Charities. She soon landed a job as an operation specialist for a drug recovery program at Heartland Alliance.
After working for Heartland Alliance for over eight years, Harris decided she wanted to pursue her dreams of entering the music industry. “I produce beats and I’m so fascinated with what I do,” she said.
K-K left Chicago for Atlanta, with high hopes of meeting someone in the industry, but she became homeless. She moved to Phoenix with her father who supported her goals and allowed her to get on her feet. Unfortunately, as a rap artist who talks about the streets, community and the realities of life, Harris feels that no one in the industry can handle the truth she spits out in her rhymes.
“I can’t talk about the riches and cars,” she said. “I can’t do that, I don’t have it in me. I’d love to experience that, but don’t nobody wanna hear that no more.”
Harris has decided to not let go of her music dream, but to use her passion to drive others with the same goals.
“I want to produce,” she said. “That’s my heart. I used to rap but I’m 33 years old. I’m like, ‘Okay, I’d rather write for others,’ but I love producing and doing beats.”
K-K has a CD called 10th Year Anniversary showcases her talent of rap anf producing beats and various instrumentals. The CD cover shows her in 1999 holding a copy of StreetWise and her CD. K-K says it was “low budget” but she is proud of her accomplishment.
“I’m out here selling StreetWise and writing my production down and everything, and I have developed it,” said K-K.
Aside from her music and StreetWise, K-K has another passion, an absolute devotion. The most substantial person in her world is her son, Shai’King. The 11-year-old lives in DeKalb with her mother, to whom K-K is very close. She says he is doing well, and he is what drives her and keeps her going. “Don’t give up, to him or whoever, please don’t give up,” she said. “That’s my main phrase.”
K-K has now returned to Chicago and is pursuing her dream of producing as well as selling StreetWise on Belmont and Clark.
Written by Brittany Langmeyer & Angela Rightout
StreetWise Staff & StreetWise Editorial Intern