Best new artist of 2016 – Kemba

If you teach that boy to run, 

he’ll learn to hide for another day; 

but if you teach that boy to fly, 

just saved his life

Many of you heard of Kemba for the first time this week because of his appearance with Kendrick Lamar when he hit Brooklyn Friday Dec 16.

Kemba throws raw emotion, dark, charged hip hop. His voice is power. Kemba eloquently spits black power, the problem of politics, and all the ugliness in the world that swallowed so much of society in 2016.

Caesar’s Rise opens Kemba’s new album Negus (full album below). This is one of the hardest songs I’ve ever heard. Listen to it alone – eyes closed. When the message and the boom hit your eardrums, you will understand – he is dripping power. This is the kind of art that sweeps the energy from the listener, balls it up, and throws it back dense and transformed.

He is about to start a riot.

Negus closes with Black Skin Jesus. This song is beautiful. It reveals the true art of music, the ability to sway human emotion. This song will put you on edge and then release you into fleeting moments of hope.

I will leave you with this, there are recordings of children at the end of King & Queens and Psyrens (Curious) do these make you feel? Feeling, that’s what Kemba gives us, much to feel and much to think about.


Kemba is from the Bronx.
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