Kabir

Kabir

BandHip HopFunk

Kabir is an independent rapper, singer and producer. His music brews a robust blend of raw flow, honest lyrics, soulful melodies and thumpin' beats. His band provides the backbone for his live show: an infectious dose of thoughtful, energetic hip hop music.

Biography

Kabir's influences as a songwriter range from the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone to Outkast and Kanye West. As a hip hop producer his beats are heavily inspired by De La Soul, Wu Tang, Timbaland and the Neptunes while also integrating elements of rock n' roll, reggae and Indian music. Three of his favorite emcees are Rakim, Chuck D and Talib Kweli and he is particularly influenced by those who use music and lyrics as a way to educate people. Kabir's songs are about the way we live our lives and the emotions that inspire us to do what we do. His music takes a very broad view of cultures and the conflicts between people.

Kabir has received significant press over the last few years. He appeared on the cover of Billboard Magazine (June, 2002) and was featured in other national publications such as SPIN, VIBE, CMJ and The Wire (UK). This year he was featured as one of URB Magazine's Next 100 artists and his last album "Fuel for the Fire" remained in the CMJ radio top 30 hip hop charts for several weeks. He has performed alongside a wide variety of musical giants such as Wyclef-Jean, the Roots, the Beatnuts, the Pharcyde, Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Rahzel, Company Flow, Akrobatik, Mr. Lif, Galactic, Soulive, Maceo Parker and many more.

Lyrics

Mrs. Butterfly

Written By: Kabir

In need of relief
she searched for love deep beneath
The false bliss of the past
left her grindin' her teeth
Weary of deceit
she reassessed her beliefs
And challenged her instincts
that love would make her complete
No sense of defeat
in her life's rhythm and beat
But as time would pass
she'd be feelin' the heat
With schedules and routines
that forced her to retreat
As she landed in dreams
that kept her mind fast asleep
After weeks she arose
with tired eyes that froze
And a lack of energy
that was at all-time lows
A sunflower and rose
was candy for her nose
But these flows ain't no expression of no love that grows
Who knows if the future
will remain untold
My joys lie in the act
of watchin' life unfold
So we drifted apart
one day at a time
It was time to move on
she got way out of line
This girl was a dime
but we were two of a kind and
Love must be refined
to stand the test of time
Whether free and spontaneous
or straight by design
She had eyes an a smile
that just eased my mind

Hey Mrs. Butterfly
can we talk for a while?
I got a thousand things
to say to make you smile
I got a whole lotta love
for you and your style
And if we plant the seeds
our love will grow like a child
Buildin' a life together
is a pure treasure
I can think of nothing
that would give me more pleasure
You've been workin' hard
and need time for more leisure
I've been thinkin' hard
of ways to make our life better
A trip to India
where we can enjoy the weather
You can meet my grandma
we can learn together
Travellin' in a foreign land
I'll hold your hand
We'll have lunch on the beach
and just lie in the sand
I've never felt this way
about a person before
This love is for real
I'm certain and sure
And when you're not around
I'm hurtin' for more
Until you come home
and close the curtains and doors.

Rise

Written By: Kabir, Ajahni and Virtuoso

You got this feelin' it's captivatin'
rap relatin' with words deflatin'
Your electrified cats are petrified
Claimin' their tough
with tall tales and lies
Currents, shocks,
combinations and locks
Pissin' off the cops
till the madness stops
Walkin' up the block
with a big boom box
just bumpin' that real hip hop
You got this feelin'
that could last a lifetime
if it does you'll be doing quite fine
Right now it's the right time
to shine with rhymes, hooks
poems and punchlines
Fans for days and a fat record deal, so many rides it doesn't seem real
18 carrots on every wheel
now people wanna know
just how you feel

American Dream
is not what it seems No!
Too long you've been sleeping
wake up from your dream
Know yourself free yourself
see yourself be yourself
The voice that you hear
it's you and Jah guiding you

You got this feelin'
that made you sedated
and now you're unmotivated
You entered the game
with wide-eyed desire
But somewhere on the way
you must have lost your fire
Expectations are higher than before but you never write songs anymore
And right now you doubt your talent You need self-esteem and balance
You got this feelin' that's saturated you ain't nice you exaggerated
Now you're near the top
and you're glad you made it
But somethin's gone wrong
your exasperated!
Inhale, Exhale breathe a little bit
Believe and never quit
otherwise you ain't shit
This is a process shortcuts cost less Take the long road
out of this nonsense

American Dream
is not what it seem No!
Too long you've been sleeping
wake up from your dream
Know yourself free yourself
see yourself be yourself
The voice that you hear
it's you and Jah guiding you

I got to grab the microphone and spit Big Virt got a bone to pick
Cause now every MC
is a clone and shit
But most can't come off the dome and rip or roll a splif
Maintain and contemplate on how to change the game and dominate
The ignorance you spit it complicates
Living for the children that are goin' create the future
and what did you do for them?
Nothing so they gun bust
and they shoot ya
Holdin' a hammer
over your head like a roofer
Last thing you saw
gun smokin' like a hooka
Boo ya! now your body's full of holes like a loofah
Ghetto let the metal blow like a tuba
Who's to blame the ruger? you?
Or the people you should have told
the truth ta huh?

Ambition

Written By: Kabir

Nothin' worth achievin' is ever easy
Everyone wants somethin'
people are greedy
Robbin' you blind
and leavin' you needy
They'll exploit everything
you got dog believe me
Nothin' worth believing
is too complex
Whether it's a visual image
or if it's on text
Take the time to find
the proper context
Probably discovering
another concept
I'm like a bomb threat
in the midst of the Cold War
Scarin' rappers shitless
from DC to Warsaw
I saw war way before
we knew what happened
the Stanley Kubrick
Dr. Strangelove of rappin'
Your like an old has been
who can't stop reminiscin'
About the days of the past
that you're missin'
Now don't get me wrong
I got respect for tradition
But if change is a bad thing
I'm goin' fishin'

I wanna kick new flows
and use prose that glow
Like moonlight on the ocean
I wanna feel emotion
That can't be described
by the most vivid imagination
And can't be fazed
by the most livid condemnation
I wanna be part of somethin'
bigger than rap got
I figure the jackpot
is addictive like crack rock
I wanna use rhymes
as means to mobilize the masses
Connect words with thread-the-needle passes
Life through my glasses
reveals the ambition
I'm sittin' in my car with the keys lookin' for the ignition
Get the ball rollin' No more strollin'
I'm competitive
whether it's hip hop b-ball or bowlin'
Travel the world
and visit new places
Develop my friendships
and hang with my aces
Relax with my queens
take in different scenes
And become one
with all of my dreams

I was born in North London in '76
The product of a bi-racial
heavenly mix
My mom looked like she was
straight out of a seventy's flick
With the style and smile
of a celebrity chick
Such a beautiful lady
but my memories are hazy
So I do my best to think of her
once or twice daily
Hopin' these reflections
might ease the pain I'm feelin'
But words can never capture
the essence of true healin'
My parents named me after
the Muslim poet Kabir
And ever since I've tried to overcome creative fear
It took me so long
to write my first song
but now I find it all quite clear.

Discography

"Cultural Confusion" - 10 song LP released in 2001
Featuring: Mr. Lif, Virtuoso & Esoteric

"Fuel for the Fire" - 16 song LP released in 2003
Featuring: Esoteric, Virtuoso, Shuman, III Kings & Amayo (of the Antibalas Afro-Beat Orchestra)

Set List

A typical Kabir set is usually somewhere between one and two hours of music depending on the nature of the gig. He plays almost exclusively original material with the occasional cover here and there. Below is a list of Kabir's original songs followed by a list of tracks he has been known to cover when the feeling is right.

Originals:

Reconsider
A.R.T. (Always Rhyme Truthfully)
Millenium Travels
Cycles of Sound
Deficiency Disease (featuring Mr. Lif)
Democracy (featuring Virtuoso)
Run Out of Words? (featuring Esoteric)
Cultural Confusion
Rhyme Inspection
Peace
Fuel for the Fire
Essence of Life
Rise (featuring Virtuoso and Ajahni of Vibewise)
Ambition
Revenge (featuring Amayo of Antibalas)
Hunger
Recognize (featuring Esoteric)
War
Adversity (featuring Jack Terror)
Family Feud (featuring Lady K of Red Pill)
Money
Mrs. Butterfly
Disaster (featuring Shuman)
Backstabber
Dreams
Inspiration (featuring III Kings)
Help Me Now
Memories
Answers
Higher (featurin