Gig Seeker Pro



Band Hip Hop Latin


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"LA rapper feels isles' beat"

HAWAII HIP-HOP has enjoyed a surge of talent in recent years, pushing the somewhat elusive and disjointed scene closer to mainstream status as artists get more radio airplay and gigs at local nightclubs.


Where: The Loft, 115 S. Hotel St.
When: 9 p.m. Friday

Cover: $15 ($10 before 10 p.m.)

The improvement in quality has not gone without notice from beyond our shores. National artists who record in Honolulu have gained exposure to local MCs and producers, and the popularity of MySpace.com has made it possible for Hawaii-based artists to gain a worldwide following.
One of those mainland artists paying attention to moves being made in the 808 is Tommy "Kahlee" Victorino, a part-Hawaiian from Southern California who claims pro baseball player Shane Victorino and local musician DJ Pratt among his extended family. After getting his start with The Literates in 2002, he became a solo artist last year with hopes of creating a stronger Polynesian presence in hip-hop.

"There's a big mixture, but the main parts I grew up around culturally was Mexican and Hawaiian," Victorino said last week via telephone from San Diego, Calif. "Right now, I'm focusing on this Polynesian movement. ... I'm putting together this record right now that I think I'm going to call 'Roots and Culture,' with nothing but Polynesian artists."

VICTORINO GREW UP a few blocks from the Roadium Swap Meet in Gardena, Calif., during the late '80s and early '90s, when gangsta rap was growing in popularity and N.W.A. still counted Ice Cube as one of the posse.

The youngest of four children, the 26-year old remembers borrowing his brother's and sisters' cassette tapes to dub music by the Beastie Boys and Run DMC as a pre-teen. When he reached high school, mixtapes were replaced by late night hip-hop mix shows on LA radio stations.

"I didn't even know what I was listening to," laughed Victorino. "I'd tape 'Friday Night Flavors' or 'The Wake Up Show.' ... It was something new to me.

"I mean, I'd never heard Dilated (Peoples) before! It was just crazy."

As he began to develop his rhyming skills, Victorino graduated and worked a series of jobs. He joined forces with the Literates, serving as the group's spokesman and doing much of the legwork for the group on the business side.

The hard work paid off, scoring Victorino and crew "Album of the Year" honors at the 2005 LA Music Awards. But despite the success, differing opinions on their artistic direction caused Victorino to go solo.

"I'm not down with them no more," he said. "You'll probably hear my lyrics on (their new album), but I won't be spittin' them."

WHEN VICTORINO arrives in Honolulu this weekend to open for DJ Swamp at the Loft, he hopes to reach out and build connections within the local hip-hop scene.

"Tassho (Pearce) and Creed (Chameleon), from what I can see from where I'm at, they're some of the top names out there," he said. "It's pretty obvious to me, at least."

While he plans to get in touch with family while here, Victorino also wants to chop it up with MCs, DJs and producers who might be interested in the upcoming "Roots and Culture" project and his current iTunes-distributed album, "Man of Many Hats."

He may not hail from the islands, but Victorino's grasp of the aloha spirit is evident during conversation.

"Whatever I can do for them cats ... I definitely want to pack in as much Hawaii hip-hop as I can," he said. "The fact that I'm Hawaiian, it means more to me because I know how cats look at LA hip-hop.

"And I got to get to Fitted to buy me some hats!" - Honolulu Star Bulletin by: Jason Genegabus


1. Literates-Unspoken EP: Kahlee's first release with his group, the Literates. The album is a 7 song EP featuring Sen Dog from Cypress Hill. 4 of the 7 songs on the album have and still receive air play on various fm and internet radio shows including the World Famous Wake Up Show.

2. Literates-12 inch: Doing his part to keep vinyl alive, the Literates released 4 of their 7 songs from their EP onto good ol' fashion vinyl.

3. Kahlee-Man of Many Hats: Kahlee's first solo release since the Literates' success has thus far received quite a positive response from those lucky enough to hear the limited release. This 16 track full length has songs featuring Stones Throw recording artist, Wild Child from the Loot Pack as well as other local artists paving their own way through this jungle of a hip hop scene.

4. Kahlee-War (Single): War has been placed in an upcoming movie, Days of Wrath. Staring Wilmer Valderama, JD Morgan & Lawrence Fishburn. The movie is set for a late 2008 release and has so far created a great buzz throughout the Hollywood movie circuit.



No one would have imagined it then, but the journey that shaped one of California’s illest and most sought-after emcees began quietly in the early 90’s with a kid growing up in Gardena, CA, down the street from the Roadium Swap Meet. The same Roadium Swap Meet where much of the foundation of Los Angeles hip-hop was laid. Where Eazy-E and Dr. Dre were first introduced and rappers like DJ Quik and Ice-T sold their earliest albums. Also where much of the seminal rap from the East Coast was first introduced to L.A. listeners. As a young boy, Kahlee would secretly dub the cassettes he found his older brother and sisters listening to. It was from those dubbed cassettes that Kahlee was introduced to early L.A. rap, as well as other artists like the Beastie Boys, 2 Live Crew, Boogie Down Productions and others. Studying lyricism in all its forms, Kahlee first discovered his own abilities as a lyricist and crowd-rocker while freestyling at parties when he was still in high school. Quickly becoming addicted to the feeling of twisting words and hyping crowds, he decided to begin approaching his art form more seriously. In 2003, Kahlee began making a name for himself in the L.A. underground scene, gaining huge appeal amongst graffiti writers, thugs, backpackers and others. After performing with some of the biggest names in hip-hop (Cypress Hill, Dilated Peoples, Snoop Dogg, Psycho Realm, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kotton Mouth Kings, Mobb Deep), and releasing his first group effort in 2005 featuring Sen Dog of Cypress Hill – Kahlee directed his energies towards creating his debut solo album, titled “Man of Many Hats.” The solo LP reflects His maturation as an artist, and is a diverse mixture of songs ranging from serious life lessons and personal experiences, to good ol’ party music. Kahlee enlists a roster of talented West Coast producers, including DJ Ace from Rhyme Poetic Mafia (Ice-T, Cypress Hill, Dogg Pound), Nameles, the Seoul Avenger, and Adikt 1, who combine to build an album full of bangers from beginning to end. In addition, He recruited the help of other top-notch emcees, including Free Speech, Knowa Laz (Q-York), I.Sheik (Revolution of the Mind) and Stones Throw recording artists Wildchild (Lootpack). “Man of Many Hats” offers something for everyone who appreciates true hip-hop. The title reflects much more than the number of Dodger caps hanging from Kahlee’s wall. It reflects the many styles and sides of this deeply creative emcee, hustler and hip-hop aficionado. He is a master wordsmith whose innovative concepts and relatable topics are appreciated by a diverse base of listeners; his passion is conveyed through every rhyme he projects. In addition to being a refined songwriter, He places the utmost emphasis on his live performances, viewing them as opportunities to create a deeper connection with his listeners. He consistently delivers energy and stage presence to every performance that he rocks. Unlike too many of his contemporaries, Kahlee has truly earned the title of “Master of Ceremonies.” Whether selling merchandise at a show, connecting with fans on-line, or passing out flyers on the street, Kahlee is always on the grind. He firmly believes that building contacts with DJ’s/promoters and utilizing all forms of traditional and new media are key to finding success as an independent artist. In just over 1 year, Kahlee has managed to share the stage with some of the most esteemed acts in the world of hip-hop, including KRS-One, Redman, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Joell Ortiz, Murs, Evidence, David Banner and others. Not content to confine his talent to California, He has actively sought to expand his fan base through promotions and live performances in Mexico, Hawaii, and most recently throughout the U.S. and Canada while touring with fellow emcees Evidence (Dilated Peoples), Red Cloud & Propaganda of the Tunnel Rats. Kahlee will soon be back on the road to promote for the release of his LP, “Man of Many Hats.” Keeping his eyes open and his ear to the street, He continues to deepen his understanding of how to work the angles in all aspects of the game. Experience is truly the best teacher, and Kahlee embraces every lesson available.