When we look back on 2012, one of the biggest stories for us will be SAVEMONEY’s onslaught on the Chicago hiphop scene. In a single year, this collective gave a new generation of kids around the city albums that they will play for years to come and artists they will forever follow. One of these artists is Kami de Chukwu, who turned heads this summer with his debut project Light. Read on as we discuss with Kami how he came up with his rap name, what it’s like coming up into today’s Chicago music scene and much more…
Photos by Young Wonder
What is the origin of the name “Kami de Chukwu”?
Shit’s a random coincidence. Chukwu is part of my real name haha, I took Japanese class for one year in highschool on some other shit and Kami means the same thing as Chukwu in Japanese which is “god” haha, de in french means “of”. It’s loosely inspired by the BasedGod himself, so I guess it’s a representation of how all over the place I am.
Both your delivery and much of your production boasts this dark, aggressive vibe, is this a style that came natural to you or did you try out others until you found this one best suit your skill set?
Well I know a lot of the exsisting shit is that, ironically I’m not really a dark person per say, I just feel like were just living in times where there’s alot of shit that influences that type of emotion floating around – so indirectly it’s affected me I guess. As a shorty I spent a lot of time alone so I guess that contributes to it as well. I don’t know to be honest, but I don’t think I make a specific set of music to be fair.
All eyes are on the Chicago rap scene these days; what’re the benefits of coming up alongside so many other talented artists from the city? Any disadvantages?
That shit is love! I got love for everyone doing it right now, especially all my brothers (SAVEMONEY). That’s one advantage, a lot of people I wanna make music with are an arms length away. I mean there are disadvantages I guess, the scene is getting saturated and everyone wants to pick up a mic, but who I am to tell someone not to, shit’s better than niggas killin’ each other.
Your debut project “Light” was really well received within the music community; making it’s way onto blogs and into speakers far beyond Chicago, but if you could drop a copy of the mixtape into one person’s stereo to listen to who would it be?
Haha could have done better, um I’d probably want FlyLo to hear that shit, homie had alot of influence on me stepping outside of traditional Hip-Hop since a nigga heard Cosmogramma.
We saw on Twitter you’re already working on your next mixtape; what can you tell us about that? Any other releases fans should look out for?
I’ll let you know I got a couple different projects in the works, some joint EPs and I’m working on my next tape, no names yet but some works done the shit’s gonna be that much better. Also, Ig’Nant II dropped this Monday so check out that. SAVEMONEY