In recent times, we have seen a surge in the offshoot of the hip-hop genre – rap music. If we go back in time, like two or three decades ago, people were more into pop or rock music. But now hip-hop and rap have taken the world of music by storm. A genre that emerged in the 1970s from the streets of New York, rapping is all about stylized rhythm with a speech chanted rhythmically. One of the reasons that this genre gained momentum in current times is because of its ability to convey messages that are generally not done through other types of music. It is a mirror to society that highlights social injustice, economic meltdowns or moral crises different nations or communities face.
As the popularity of the genre rose, the number of artists making a mark in rap also grew over time. Joseph Rey Morales, also known as Kakazi, is one such name who entered the music industry through his incredible songwriting and carved a niche for himself in a short span of time. Early on in his career, he realized that a stage name is quite important for any artist, like Snoop Dogg or Eminem. Initially, he adopted the name Kawasaki based on his toy piano, which was of the same brand. Yet, it did not click well since it’s a name of a famous bike company too. One day, he was freestyle rapping, and accidentally he said Kakazi instead of Kawasaki. Joseph immediately stopped his flow and didn’t think twice before sticking to Kakazi – his new stage name.
Kakazi has music inspiration within his home. His brother Richie the Rhymer, based out of Houston, Texas, has inspired him throughout his life. He used to admire his versatility and learned the power of lyricism through him. It was when he turned 16 years of age that he started rapping too.
Talking about his journey as a musician, Kakazi shares, “Music wise, I believe I have come a long way. Back in the day, I couldn’t stay on a topic and had difficulty providing meaning to his lyrics. However, with time, I learnt to write my lyrics in a more profound manner to raise the bar of my craft.” He went on to add, “My biggest achievement thus far is having my mindset reprogrammed and become mature enough to drive along this musical journey.”
The rap genius’s process of making music starts from a concept. Then he finds the right beat that suits a particular topic or concept. After that, he brainstorms for the lyrics to give the concept life through his words. Once he is satisfied with the process, he records it. As much as he genuinely cares about the audience and their feedback, he wants to like it himself first. He is the first listener or critic of his music because he believes if he doesn’t like the sound of it, then he can’t convince others to like it too.
Currently, his journey has been smooth as his focus is on paying his dues and staying committed to himself. By doing this, the doors of opportunities have opened up on their own. Yet his ultimate goal is financial freedom. He would like to accomplish and hit musical hip-hop milestones along the way so he can quit his other job and entirely focus on his music career.
Kakazi understands that success doesn’t come overnight, and one has to work hard and persistently to achieve to a point where he is content with themselves. “My mantra of success is to consistently push forward until the objective is complete. I want young and aspiring artists to know that I started from scratch and am currently rapping my way to the top. If they want to be successful in their respective music genres too, they should be passionate and determined enough to keep pushing their way up and walk against the tides,” Kakazi advises.
The core of rap is in its lyrics, so Kakazi’s attention to his lyrics is immaculate. His genre has taught him to achieve success through words. When you put the right words together and use them for the right cause, they are bound to strike a chord with the people who feel the same way but just don’t have the means to express their inner emotions and feelings. This is one of the reasons he absolutely adores Eminem and believes him to be the rap god. Eminem, like him, was raised in the slums of Detroit, but his versatility and capability to speak his mind through rap made him one of the finest rap artists across the world. Kakazi, too, shares the same journey and aims to achieve the same success through his rap numbers.
A highly motivated, goal-oriented and passionate person, Kakazi is determined to meet the deadlines he has set for himself to accomplish his tasks irrespective of the circumstances. He is a true inspiration for all those who have the talent but lose heart because of the lack of resources available to them. He believes that if he can make a name for himself against all odds, then anyone can do so with the right attitude and the skills to reach their audiences’ hearts and souls.