In the modern music scene, one of the hardest things for artists to do is to stay relevant. With the introduction of advanced social media and sharing and in-house video and audio production, there has been a sense of pressure upon artists to stay on top of it all. Long gone are the days when all a rapper had to do was spit a verse and leave, now they want to be involved in the every aspect of the creative design, in order to deliver a well rounded package of music.
While many artists will follow the same “pre-determined” blueprint of rap, there are a select few who decide to use their craft to teach and educate. While artists like Immortal Technique and Jedi Mind Tricks laid the groudwork in the US, UK acts such as Akala, Lowkey and Mic Righteous have taken the same ethos and values and given that quintessential British twist. One such rapper is KinKai whose music is peppered with greek mythology and biblical references, and makes it work. A perfect example is his release ‘16 Windmills‘ which dropped earlier this year that references everything from his mum’s tumour, Vinnie from Biker Mice From Mars and rhymes Puma with Buddah, all while maintaining perfect composition and balance on the microphone. Even though the track is a refix of Tom Misch‘s ‘Windmills of Your Mind‘, KinKai totally makes the track his own and puts his own homegrown twist on it.
The authenticity of KinKai is due in large part to his younger years. Born in Manchester in 1991, he developled a curosity and concept for music from the vibrations permeating from his brother’s room which included the likes of Newham Generals, Meridian and Nasty Crew. Fascinated about music and hungry to know more, KinKai found his own developed music taste and was inspired by bold characters such as Wu Tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Jai Paul. This eclectic upbringing of music is clear in KinKai’s own back catalogue with influences of rap, hip hop, r&b and grime all evident throughout his tracks. ‘Brain Food‘, his latest release to date, uses a chilled, kickback instrumental [courtesy of Melo Zed‘s ‘Feel Me‘] and allows the Mancunian rapper to let loose with a barrage of flows and bars that fit with the beat so well.
With so much already accomplished in his career so far, his latest project Distortions sounds like the beginning of something new. Distortions [which is out on 10th December] is a collection on tracks that highlight KinKai’s unbeatable ability to team a powerful message with addictive melodies, transporting listeners to the deeper realm of his subconscious. While mellow notes float across lyrics of distorted emotions around love, self-esteem and honesty, he is able to translate and tell a story of hardship and reality. One of the stand out tracks from the project seems him team up with EphRem for ‘Fallback‘ which currently has over 7,000 views on Soundcloud. On the track, KinKai merges neo soul and issues of monogamy with not only maturity and wisdom, but a brutal day-to-day honesty majority of people can connect with.
While it’s clear that KinKai has the talent and potential to do well, his obvious desire to succeed and ability to remain relevant is what makes him exciting to listen it. With a number of videos set to released soon and the release of Distortions around the corner, good times are on the horizon for the young rapper. Even with a busy schedule, KinKai is keen to promote his public profile and recently featured on the One Way TV YouTube Channel, taking on Kev Brown’s ‘We Are‘ instrumental and showcasing his undeniable flow and wordplay. Be sure to check out his SoundCloudand follow KinKai on Twitter