Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Coordinator Jen Merritt interviewed featured artist Kevon “Kindle Flame” McCready by phone. Kevon is a Christian hip-hop artist. His voice and his lyrics are rich and deep. There is nothing superficial about Kevon’s music, or about his conversation.
Kevon is originally from Crisfield, and although he left for a time to attend Morgan State University, we are lucky to have him back in the Crisfield community. Kevon has been writing and creating hip-hop music for 20 years. His earliest musical influence was Rick James. He says that his parents would play these records every day, and as a small child it was his special job to get a Rick James record out and put it on the large record player. As a family, they would listen to it for hours – sometimes even all day. Later influences included Michael Jackson, and then Kid ‘n Play, Salt-N-Pepa, Heavy D, Eric B. & Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane. His favorite musician is Busta Rhymes, who he saw in concert at Morgan State University in 1998 during a Homecoming celebration.
I asked Kevon how he started making music. He said as a young person he wrote all the time, but never had the confidence to record it. In 2000, while talking with his friend Jayme Fontaine (Truth the Producer), also from Crisfield, they realized that had similar musical interests and immediately agreed to record together. They recorded the next day and Kevon has been making music ever since. Kevon has come a long way since he started recording, winning the DMV Christian Hip Hop Awards Song of the Year for the song “Ride On Em” in 2018.
Kevon was not always a Christian artist. He went through some very hard times, including spending time in jail. When he got out, he couldn’t find a place to work – every job that he applied for turned him down. This is when he wrote the song “Be the Church.” The hook for this is that if we are not the church, people become lost on their path in life and heartbreaking things happen. Kevon also says, “You can’t just be the church at church.” He takes his music to the streets, to “where no one wants to go” to spread the message. He says that his thinking is wrong 80% of the time but God is in charge 100% of the time so he looks like his thinking was right. He wants his music to let people know that to be a Christian isn’t to be perfect.
Kevon’s family is a big part of his music. He says his wife, Tange, plays as much of a role as he does. She listens to his music and gives honest, detailed and direct feedback. Kevon says that his relationship with his wife is also what allows his music to be melodic, so his music, in addition to being a beautiful tribute to his God, is a beautiful statement about his relationship with Tange.
Kevon has three children. His oldest, Jamilla, is thirteen and has recently started writing her own songs. I could hear in Kevon’s voice how proud he is of her and how impressed he is with her talent. Bella is eight and effortlessly memorizes Kevon’s lyrics and recites them, and six year old Qua borrows Kevon’s phone to mix beats.
When I asked Kevon what his favorite part of the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District is, he said “being able to see all of the artists that work here.” He told me, “Sometimes an artist has to be by themselves to create. But you like to know that you are not alone. It’s good to know that there are people that can help me, and I can help them.” The Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District Project would like to thank Kevon for generously sharing his gifts with us.
You can learn more about the Crisfield Arts & Entertainment District at CrisfieldArts.org.
To read Jeena Johnson’s article on Kevon’s music, check out
You can find his music at https://kindleflame241.wixsite.com/kindle1 or at any major online music store.