Kamau Kenyatte Has Eyes Set on ‘World Domination’
“We are all addicted to something that takes away the pain.” These are the first words you see as you scroll through Kamau Kenyatte’s homepage. On the surface, the dark quote seems like an homage to the great poets of yesteryear. But it’s sentiments like these that lay the foundation for Kenyatte’s catchy and soulful brand of hip hop.
On his 2016 single “1996”, he weaves back and forth from earnest singing to sharp rhyming to describe sexual pleasure with a partner who’s still tied to another lover. The bouncing single, with its booming bass and trap drums, sounds like a club banger that would be right at home on urban radio. But the emotional undertones, of longing for the physical love of someone he can’t have, are what sets Kenyatte’s music apart from the masses.
Kenyatte, whose World Domination EP is set to drop in early 2017, was first inspired to rap at the tender age of 8 after listening to the late great Tupac. As he honed his skills, he continued to pull inspiration from hip hop as well as pop and rock. However, music wasn’t always his primary goal.
Before pursuing music, the rising rapper studied at the famed Art Institute of New York. There, he explored his interests in graphic design, fashion and modern art. However, the desire to continue creating music remained strong. Before long, he dropped out of the institute to pursue music full-time. Luckily, his background in the arts helps inform the visual aspect of his artistic expression.
The accompanying clip for “1996” features Kenyatte riding around a suburban neighborhood on a bicycle, wearing a Tupac t-shirt. It’s a satirical interpretation of the song’s refrain, “If I’m riding around in your side of town”.
Deeper than Kenyatte’s fondness for trap music, Tupac and subtle visual humor is his awareness of current social issues. In an August interview with NEXT Magazine, he discussed his views on everything from the lack of diversity in media to his own struggles within the music industry.
On the music business, he said, “To have the gift of creativity that impacts people the way it does blows me away and humbles me every time.” He acknowledges the hard work it takes to succeed but still appreciates the blessings of connecting with his fan base.
As a rapper working his way into the spotlight in uncertain political times, he’s even more acutely aware. He told the magazine, “I walk in an awareness that our wounds have not yet been healed, but the best we have is yet to come.”
The same holds true for Kenyatte and his music catalog. Though he’s turned heads with both his “1996” and “World Domination” singles, it’s the upcoming EP that will truly highlight his skill and depth as an artist.
The EP promises to be his most personal work yet. The stunning visual trailer for the project features a pulsating, African-inspired beat with slow-motion images of a shirtless Kenyatte draped in a mink. Below the video is the question, “Are you ready for the new wave?”
Based on everything he’s had to offer so far, we’re more than ready for the wave. We’re waiting for Kamau Kenyatte to take over the world, but for now we await his return to the official TCA stage at SXSW 2017!
Check out his latest video here: http://www.thecoloragent.com/kamau-kenyatte-1996-official-music-video/