As someone who has always loved words, the one type of formation of them has always been poetry. That’s why poets like Kafar Myers intrigue me. They’re able to construct these eloquent sequences of language into art, and on top of being a poetic gem – Kafar is also a hip hop artist. He found a way to blend two of his creative endeavors into something worth celebrating from his latest album ‘Self Privilege’ to his book ‘Soulful of More,’ we talked about those and then some in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: When I think of socially conscious rappers my mind heads towards the likes of Common and Mos Def, but today we also have the likes of Kendrick Lamar. Were you inspired more by artists like this or by the world around you to say something about it in your rhymes?
Kafar Myers: I was inspired by those emcees. However, as I got older I began to find my voice through personal experiences and scenarios I’ve been in.
Kendra: Hip hop is one of the most interesting genres because within it comes so many types, trends, and waves of popularity. With that, where do you see the genre as a whole progressing thanks to your generation?
Kafar Myers: My generation has benefited from the sweat equity of hip hop artists from previous eras. Rap is a global phenomenon now, so my generation will continue to create new sub-genres and challenge cultural norms of yesteryear.
Kendra: Music without sound is merely poetry, but you’re not just a poet who puts his words to song; you’re a legit published poet with a couple of books out there. What skill’s path did you walk down first with confidence, music or poetry?
Kafar Myers: Poetry gave me a lot of confidence. It’s kind of like freestyling, because you create your rhythm and pockets. Beats often overshadow emcees and finding the right cadence/flow can be challenging, so poetry was always more natural.
Kendra: Last December you dropped ‘Self Privilege’ and with that came a myriad of tracks that cover everything from poverty to the addiction to social media. Being that you’re 21, you’re part of the generation that never lived without the internet at hand. Do you feel that’s at all dulled how your generation sees reality vs say millennial and dare I say it, boomers?
Kafar Myers: One hundred percent. A lot of people in my generation have lost the concept of reality. Some of us measure ourselves against the highlight reels of what others share on social media. It’s unhealthy because we miss out on opportunities for introspection and developing a true knowledge of self. I feel like generations before us took more pride in individuality. So yes, we do see reality as a bit dull.
Kendra: On top of the music and the poetry, you’re also a bit of a philanthropist throwing charity events throughout the Tri-State area. What charities are close to your heart and how did you get involved with them?
Kafar Myers: One charity would be PATH. They provide shelters for the homeless and it was the first non-profit I began working with. Working with that organization gave me the foundation needed for my philanthropic initiatives.
I know! All of my events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. A song in heavy rotation right now is “Face The World” by Nipsey Hussle, but readers can also watch my latest music video for “True 2 Self.”