Kemo the Blaxican
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"Kemo The Blaxican - "Not So Rich and Famous""

Hip Hop Linguistics Review
hip-hop album review
Kemo The Blaxican - "Not So Rich and Famous"
Genre: Bilingual Hip-Hop
Review Date: June 26, 2007
Label: Dead Silence Records



Review - "Not So Rich and Famous":
If there's one about this country that I'm completely sick of, it's those racist redneck hillbilly anti-immigration advocates. They be running around the halls of Congress, talking about how everybody should learn how to speak English if they want to live in this country, and how us Americans shouldn't learn how to speak Spanish. And I think that's just plain ignorance and hatred.
Did you know that the United States currently has a Latino population of more than 42 million people, making it the highest percentage minority in the country and contributing some $400 billion a year to our economy? I live in Brooklyn, and my neighborhood has more Spanish-speaking residents then English-speaking residents. Although I don't understand what those cats be saying all the time, I'm doing my best to learn, and it appears that they are too. From my perspective, that's the way it should be. We should be more welcoming and less closed-minded.
In fact, we should actually be doing more to facilitate a bilingual society. We need more bilingual newspapers; more bilingual television shows; more bilingual educational programs; more bilingual street signs and billboards. And for hip-hop, we definitely need more bilingual emcees.
Kemo the Blaxican is a great example of a bilingual emcee who refuses to live within our country's language barriers. He could appeal to his Latino fan base and do a Spanish album. He could appeal to his American fan base and make an English album. But instead, he decided to create "Not So Rich and Famous," a bilingual hip-hop album that allows Kemo to express himself in whichever linguistic fashion he deems necessary. And whether or not that's commercially viable, it's definitely respectable in the eyes of the underground.
The other thing I liked about "Not So Rich and Famous" was the manner in which the album title so accurately described Kemo's state of mind. Being a world-known rapper who has sold nearly one million records world wide, Kemo has the right to act like one of those rich and famous pop rappers. But instead, he went underground, recorded this record in his basement, and talked about everyday topics of the common man over classic-reminiscent West Coast beats mixed with Latino-flavored instrumentation, sounds and samples.
LCL gives a first hand account of living in Los Angeles as a Latino. A Little Rain is a get up anthem that demonstrates appreciation for and acceptance of the hardships one experiences in life. 5th Of May takes a stab of commercial radio and it's inability to play Latino music. Rebel encourages the listeners to educate themselves and fight for their rights against the tyrannical forces that control this country. And Breathe allows Kemo to share the things he wants to accomplish with the life he has left. Overall, the subject matter shows that Kemo is "not so rich and famous," and that he experiences everyday hardships just like the rest of us.
"Not So Rich and Famous" has the potential to put Kemo the Blaxican back on the world map, this time as a lyricist with a wide range of subject matter and a producer with an ear for unique sound collaborations and musical exploration. Whether you speak English or Spanish, this album is definitely worth a listen. Peace.
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- Hip Hop Linguistics


"KEMO - Kicking the door open"

Kicking the door open in the most subtle way with an all common situation of needing more change. Reflecting the facts of life in a double standard way, more than reality, he is cleverly guiding your train of thoughts into an underground world of universal emotions. Personal, factual and concrete matters that surround the lifestyle every day. Introducing it to all open minds that yearn realism and originality by creatively using his secret “Receta” to mix enchanting spicy hot melodies that are braided in with timeless old school hand made beats that define the true meaning of hip hop. Lyrically expressing the feeling of a dream long lived with a harsh yet smooth deep-toned sophisticated voice that intensely transmits independent and liberal words. No sell out, No gimmicks. The sequence of his true self gets clearly stronger as each song plays along.

Different song, different feeling. Once you’re in, you follow the beat. After the introduction you find yourself in a very upbeat and party like mode, making you bust a couple of moves singing along to the catchy choruses. Then it goes into a funky melody mixed with an all classic oldie, specifying his feeling towards all haters, which there is plenty of, those of us who have them can relate. Then for a brief moment, it gets a bit serious, making you realize that even though times get tough, you get through them, assuring you that you can stand a little rain. The next five tracks feature a variety of artists and sounds. Jazzy hip-hop, African drums, Latin trumpets, western style harmonica, sexy and slick cello tunes. The artists featured are just as different. “No Que No” brings you back to the time when he first debuted as part of the group Delinquent Habits. Where he brought his Blaxican Spanglish flavor to stages and radio airwaves throughout all countries of the world. “Been a long time 2”, really has been a long time. The original version was created around the time that the first album “Simple Plan” dropped. A personal favorite that can only be found on “DJ Payback Garcia’s Aztec Zouls 2”. A melodious acoustic guitar directs you into a subject that many artists in the industry know. Talk is cheap and very easy to access, many claim to be the best but always prove otherwise. “Breath” has to be one of the most personal songs of this album. Here he exposes his true feelings on charismatic piano notes that enhance the feeling that is being projected, adding the final touch with a beautiful classic spanish song that reflects his original and exclusive style that no one else could ever recreate, with that he ties this package together for all your listening pleasures.

An authentic creator of an entire Empire, which holds and includes Joint Clothing, the sickest clothing line in the industry that started in 98. Dead Silence Alliance, a group of truly talented lyricists whom he helps with production and exposure. Dead Silence Records, a recording label and Nova Lane Studios as well as Symbolix Productions that was built independently by Kemo and supporting family and friends. Two albums “Simple Plan” and “Not so Rich and Famous” written and produced by the one and only, Kemo. He also does most of the artwork and has a few videos which he co-directed and co-produced. There are many projects that he is currently working on now. More than a friend, he is the most respected Artist in the Music Industry, with almost two decades of experience under his belt. Be sure to look out for any of Kemo’s creations which are guaranteed to satisfy the thirst for authenticity and originality. You must find out for yourself...
- Uniquely, La Krazy


Discography

Albums
"Not So Rich & Famous"
"Simple Plan"

Singles Released off above album

La Receta
Kind of Stories
I Drink She Smokes
No Que No
You Know
5th of May
Breathe

Photos

Bio

Kemo the Blaxican
The hard-hitting beat is what grabs you first. Then you hear the smooth-yet- powerful baritone vocals attack with a distinctive tone. You recognize the voice as it commands attention with provocative lyrics over the flavorful track. The MC shifts the rhyme from English to Spanish and then back to English again, with such a seamless transition that you barely even notice the language switch. Your head was bobbing the whole way through - it didn't even matter if you couldn't understand the Spanish parts. Then it hits you, you're sure of it. The voice and trademark rhyme flow belong to none other than “The Blaxican” - Kemo, former member of Latin hip-hop pioneers Delinquent Habits, whose highly-anticipated second solo album ‘Not So Rich & Famous’ drops on May 29th 2007.

Two years after the release of his solo debut ‘Simple Plan’, Kemo the Blaxican has stepped up the game with his strongest and most musically-ambitious album to date, the self-produced ‘Not So Rich & Famous.’ The conscious bilingual rapper means business, as evidenced by the opening refrain on the powerful first track “You Know”: “Sixteen bars, three verses – forty eight in all, delivered with a purpose.” Influenced as much by the west coast funk and soul icons he grew up listening to as by hip-hop, Kemo the Blaxican is joined by Tetsuya “Weeping Willow” Nakamura (harmonica player for the legendary War) on “5th of May”; the track is a groove-heavy indictment of urban commercial radio, which has traditionally neglected Latino hip-hop artists except on Cinco de Mayo, “the day they spin some brown.”

As Delinquent Habits’ only Spanish-fluent MC, Kemo spent twelve years with the group, releasing four albums and taking the Delinquent sound beyond borders and around the world. In 1996 the group struck gold with their very first single "Tres Delinquentes", a song that masterfully fused a traditional mariachi sound (courtesy of Herb Alpert's "Lonely Bull") with the raw hip-hop backdrop of the streets. The sound was a breath of fresh air in a stale rap scene, and opened a new creative doorway into which many other Latin hip hop acts would follow.

"Tres Delinquentes" blew up almost overnight, receiving airplay not only on hip-hop radio but rock and Top 40 stations as well. The track eventually landed Delinquent Habits an appearance on NBC's ‘Late Night with Conan O'Brien’ and tours with heavyweights like Korn and Ice T. In no time, "Tres Delinquentes" became a worldwide hit, selling over 1 million copies around the globe and pushing the group’s self-titled album to nearly the same figure. This was the public’s first introduction to Kemo's lyrical skills and flawless bilingual transitions. He stepped into the hip-hop game, introduced himself as “The Blaxican,” and never looked back.


Four Delinquent Habits albums later - after countless tours around the globe including the UK, Europe, Japan, South America, Mexico and Taiwan - Kemo decided to leave the group in 2004 and embarked upon his solo career. The move allowed him to record ‘Simple Plan,’ the solo album that many DH fans had been asking of Kemo for several years. Risky but necessary, Kemo walked away having played a major role in solidifying Delinquent Habits as one of the most influential Latin hip-hop groups of all time and establishing himself as one of today’s top Latino MC's.

Kemo has always strived to keep himself on the move. In 2001, the multilingual LA rapper (of Mexican and African-American descent) recorded a song with Grammy-winning merengue queen Olga Tanon and Egyptian singer Hakim. The track fused hip-hop, merengue, and modern Middle Eastern sounds and was a mainstay on the charts from the Middle East to the Wild Wild West. On top of it all, Kemo still finds time to nurture new artists, cultivate his record label Dead Silence Records, and sell his own streetwear line Joint Clothing to hip hop and streetwear stores worldwide.

2005 saw the release of Simple Plan, Kemo's first album as a solo artist. The disc found the Blaxican taking his talent for wordplay and ability to draw a vivid picture through rhyme and attitude to new heights. With songs that are in English, Spanish and bilingual as well, Kemo’s solo album touched on several topics that have a lot more to do with real life than the superficial images saturating hip hop today. The album featured the popular single “La Receta”, which was featured prominently in the Warner Brothers movie ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ as well as Morgan Freeman’s film ‘Ten Items
or Less.’ Kemo’s solo debut also spawned “I Drink, She Smokes,” a jazz-soaked spoken word excursion that landed on the soundtrack to the acclaimed film ‘La Mujer de Mi Hermano.’

With ‘Not So Rich & Famous’, Kemo the Blaxican has shown that he is not only one of the world’s best bilingual MC’s, but also a gifted producer who is not afraid to explore genres and collaborations outside the t