Kokayi Interview: Rapping, Depression & being a freestyle Jazz MC “You better unpack your bags…”

On this Kokayi interview, the moment he knew he wanted to be a rapper, why he’s the only rapper who MC’s freestyle in the jazz genre, his TedX talk and how he got the gig… Growing up in DC and his tempestuous relationship with his dad, dealing with being dropped from a label, dealing with friends in business (and why it’s not always easy), a healthy way of dealing with depression, difference between Kokayi and Carl Walker (his birth name), best decision he ever made, resilience, Key Lime pie, “NO excuses,” the power of “I don’t have it…” cooking, chess, becoming kinder and more understanding, and loads more. 100% REAL, very cool convo and good vibes!

A Grammy nominated DC Rapper / MC, Kokayi’s been featured on dozens of albums since the onset of his career, including titles by Goldlink, Gregoire Maret, Terri Lyne Carrington (Grammy nominated Waiting Game w/ Social Science), Omar Sosa, Steve Coleman and Dafnis Prieto as well as continuing to perform as a member of Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, Ambrose Akinmusire’s Origami Harvest and Dafnis Prieto’s Proverb Trio. He can also be heard on Whose Hat is This? Everything’s Ok, Goldlink’s At What Cost, MTV’s Rebel Music, Kevin Hart’s Laugh At My Pain, I Ain’t Scared of You: a Tribute to Bernie Mac and over 60 titles spanning Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock and R&B. He’s also lectured in 35 countries, serves as faculty with the NY based School of Improvisational Music, OneBeat mentor, freelance music emissary with the U.S. State Department & Music Supervisor – Untitled Interactive Games

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