He’s already been co-signed by leader of the new school King Kendrick Lamar.
During his concert in New York, Kendrick Lamar asked Kemba to get onstage with him and freestyle – his bravery may have been put to the test but his execution was flawless. Despite such a great launch pad, Kemba is still out to make a name for himself following his hard-hitting project released in last year titled ‘Negus’ – a socially conscious project storytelling the plights of young black men in America. The word ‘Negus’ meaning ‘emperor’ or ‘ruler’ in the Ethiopian language of Amharic is a clever reference to the word ‘negro’ which was an antonym used to suppress black people for years in America; it’s meaning twisted and used to oppress them. Switching his name from YC the Cynic recently, Kemba is making a big impact with his social political commentary and is giving Hip Hop a much needed injection of raw lyricism. He explains that most of his friends had a similar upbringing in terms of lack of finance and that his music is an expression of his reality.
However, behind the socially conscious message Kemba has a story. A story felt by many African American men and the 26-year-old wants to tell it candidly and he does this visually and lyrically on standout single ‘New Black Theory.’ By referencing the political discussion surrounding Trayvon Martin’s clothing at the time of his murder he is able to highlight societal prejudices against black men. Kemba explains through his video that black men will always be targeted by police officers in America, no matter which clothes they are wearing. The chorus hums ‘Who the new black now?’ The video which was directed by Sense Hernandez shows a black man continually harassed even though he wears different clothes each and every time the scene is repeated. The visuals were particularly poignant at the time of release when police brutality was ubiquitous on social media and television screens.
Watch the video for ‘New Black Theory’ below:
The track samples the legendary Tupac song ‘Dear Mama’ and the choice of sample is subtle but clever – Tupac being a man who had many run – ins with the police. We look forward to what Kemba has in store for us in 2017 and we’re excited to see him push on from that ever so memorable Kendrick Lamar co – sign.
Listen to his album ‘Negus’ below:
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