During his teenage years, Collins went to the after-school music programs, where he was making beats and producing tracks. He cites Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz as part of his inspiration for its work ethic with the production and songwriting, when he said: "These were artists and producers who were writing for other people in all types of genres. It just gave me an open ear for all different types of music and that's how I approached it". At 22, Collins began rapping full-time. In 2009, Collins adopted the moniker Rockstar. On February 1, 2010, Collins released his first official mixtape, titled World Tour. The mixtape gained popularity that grabbed some of the attention towards a radio disc jockey, DJ Ill Will, founder of HotNewHipHop. Collins signed to DJ Ill Will's Tha Alumni Group label. Collins changed his stage name to Kid Ink.
In 2011, Ink released his second mixtape, called Crash Landing. The mixtape features guest appearances from Roscoe Dash, Ty$ and Meek Mill, among others. During the summer of 2011, Ink released his third mixtape, called Daydreamer that made available for digital download. The mixtape features guest appearances from Cory Gunz, Maejor Ali, Ray J, Sean Kingston and Bow Wow, among others. In September 2011, Ink released his fourth mixtape, called Wheels Up. The mixtape features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Nipsey Hussle and Tyga, among others. On June 12, 2012, Ink released his debut studio album, called Up & Away; including the production that was provided from Ned Cameron, Kyle Justice and Jahlil Beats, among others. The album debuted at number 20 on the US Billboard 200. Supporting this album was the release of his single, called "Time of Your Life", followed by a release of his second single, called "Lost in the Sauce". On November 21, 2012, Ink released his fifth mixtape, titled "Rocketshipshawty".
On January 4, 2013, he announced that he had signed a deal with RCA Records and premiered his first major label single, titled "Bad Ass" featuring Wale and Meek Mill and produced by Devin Cruise. The song would be released for digital download on January 22, 2013. The song was released to Rhythm Crossover radio in the United States on February 26, 2013. It has since peaked at number 90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. He released an EP titled Almost Home on May 28, 2013. It featured other artists including French Montana, Wale, Meek Mill, ASAP Ferg and Rico Love. Upon its release, the EP debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200. It also produced the single "Money and the Power" which was featured in HBO's Hard Knocks and in the sports video game NBA Live 14 as well as being one of the official theme songs of WrestleMania 31. On September 17, 2013, he released the first single from his second studio album My Own Lane, entitled "Show Me" featuring Chris Brown and produced by DJ Mustard. He released My Own Lane on January 7, 2014. On January 13, 2014, at Kid Ink's album release party, he was awarded his first Gold plaque from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for his single "Show Me".
On 9 September 2014, "Body Language", which features Usher and Tinashe, was released as the first single from his third studio album, Full Speed. The album was released on February 3, 2015, and has since peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. On 25 December 2015 Kid Ink released a commercial mixtape, Summer in the Winter, with songs featuring Fetty Wap, Akon, Omarion, Starrah and Bïa Krieger.
On September 19, 2016, Kid Ink released the mixtape RSS2 on Soundcloud. Kid Ink wanted to get back into his old mixtape sound. RSS2 features underground artists including his younger brother, Juliann Alexander. RSS2 spawned the "One Day" single from the project, with a music video. RSS2 was released on Spotify and every other streaming service on March 30, 2017. On April 7, Kid Ink released the single "F With U" featuring Ty Dolla Sign, with DJ Mustard producing. His second EP 7 Series was released May 5, 2017.
Kid Ink has 27 tattoos on his face, arms, hands, and torso. He got his first tattoo when he was 16 and has been "addicted" to getting tattoos since. His favorites include portraits of his mother and grandfather on his chest and a tiger on the front of his neck, which represents his Chinese birth sign. He showed off his tattoos for one of PETA's "Ink Not Mink" anti-fur ads in 2013.
Kid Ink has been dating model Asiah Azante for over a decade. The couple became engaged in June 2015. Azante gave birth to a girl in February 2016.Up & Away (2012)
My Own Lane (2014)
Full Speed (2015)