It’s been sixteen months, to the day Since the Tar Heel veteran emcee KAZE, a/k/a/ 4 Letters, released his Jersey in the Rafters mixtape. Despite some setbacks, the former Loud.com MC contest champ has persevered and continues to craft his hard edged rhymes over top shelf production as he delivers his latest effort, Black Kennedy. The project, which includes 20 new tracks, for over 80 minutes of music, unveils KAZE’s Black Kennedy persona with a slew of guest features, such as Jozeemo, Amanda Barrino, Dasan Ahanu, Johnny Juliano, Wreck N Crew, J. Harris and Fluent. Producers tapped include M-Phazes, D.R.U.G.S., Erv Ford, and more. Black Kennedy is now available for free download, courtesy of DJBooth.net.
In His Own Words..
In short.. my label situation didn’t work out. I lost my job. My son was just born. My name was getting kicked around.. I had to make something happen or it would be the end of my career. Black Kennedy was born of that situation. The energy of this frustration and depression, fluttered with glimpses of optimism that I can succeed and overcome the odds, is all at the roots of this record.
I had to dig deep and ask myself why I love Hip-Hop and how it molded me into who I am today. I had to reconnect with these emotions and be extra critical of myself. This project represents an evolution in my style, an expansion beyond the underground reputation that precedes me.
Black Kennedy is a creative step forward for me as an artist, where I can make bigger records, without sacrificing my artistry or abandoning my fan base. This record is North Carolina, and the way we do things. The Kennedy family persona is American royalty. JFK was a gifted, down to earth politician and visionary, while maintaining the presence of a trendsetter, and allure of an international playboy, all in one. Leaders such as himself, and Dr. King, were so powerful, yet still for the people. They inspire me to recreate that lane where you can be intelligent, yet strong, and still be cool.
At the end of the day, I love this shit and I do it to share with y’all, and to have fun at these shows. I put in my work, and my name belongs among the illest to come from NC, period. Black Kennedy is my evolution, Sound of the Culture is the movement.
Listen: KAZE-Black Kennedy