Five years ago, we came across Kojey Radical, a UK word artist and poet. We watched the first video, 'Footsteps,' directed by The Rest and produced by Charlie Di Placido from his '23 Winters,' EP.
Every frame is compelling and captivating. Kojey speaks on internal struggles and human resilience and uses his poetry to illustrate a straightforward and relatable narrative.
Footsteps is a visual depiction of what it’s like to battle with self-doubt within an industry designed to pigeonhole and categorize. A struggle that becomes more apparent as I grow as an artist and as a thinker. I’ve said it before, but I’m not here to be an example of the popular opinion, I’m here to offer the neglected perspective in a way that is undeniable. Whether I’m ostracised or celebrated for forward thinking my wings are yet to form.
The second video we watched was 'Gallons,' featuring UK rapper PW and singer-songwriter Sasha Keable. We see Kojey holding a cardboard "My Life Matters" sign and cradling a child in the video. It's a powerful image that tells of the pressures of being a young black man and raises questions about Radical's concerns for the future. The scene is set in a dystopian East End, pushing the subject matter of class and race to the next level.
Gallons is the kind of record I want to be played very loudly at my funeral. It’s how I feel every time I see my brothers get stopped and searched or when I hear about another person of color amount to nothing more than a commemorative hashtag. Gallons is a uniting of class, it’s a celebration of struggle. The conversation doesn’t die when you kill us. Seeds of positivity will ensure that the beauty in all our differences will come together and grow for future generations.
Kojey Radical, whose real name is Kwadwo Adu Genfi Amponsah, was the son of Ghanaian immigrants raised in London. He published his first poem at the age of nine ('about these monsters who wanted to be in the hall of fame.') Since then, he has merged a mix of soul, jazz and gospel, grime, rap, and electronica.
About three years ago, this masterpiece 'Water' showed up in our inbox. The video opens up with a compelling narration from Michaela Coel, who recites the words penned by the rapper for his song 'Super Human.'
I built my ideals on standards I learned as an infant and then imagined my own, like most curious teenagers no? I watched my peers walk a path far different to mine and grew more confident with my own solitude Politics, love, manhood, and sexuality I discovered like a blind lamb in the hands of an unfamiliar shepherd With colored pigmentation, you must accept that your historically pivotal leaders will more than likely be killed With darker pigmentation, you become an example of exoticism under a western microscope Elements of your identity appropriated and sold back to you with less than clever tag lines and through it all, you must smile.
Water is a track of global heartbreak addressing a series of social issues, rising costs of living, racial privilege, and the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
'War Outside' featuring Lex Amor is the first release from his highly-anticipated debut album. Dumas Haddad directs the video and summarizes the narrative. Burdened with the foresight of truth, an enlightened Kojey preaches to ignorant souls, hiding in stark black and white from the volatile truth facing them outside. Kojey begins to turn their ignorance around, enriching them into the world's true colors before impending doom.
Still don’t watch the news, no, no, no, ’cause my nigga ain’t your nigga, so be careful what you say for views, tried to talk about it, tried to walk around it, trippin’, now I’m drownin’ and my aura got them ocean blues, felt like I’m above it until it’s my cousin, and I gotta tell his mama what I did not do, ‘Why weren’t he with you?’ Am I that removed? Am I just confused? I don’t make the rules, they make me...