Don’t let yesterday’s 59th Inaugural Ceremony—in all of its symbolically political and racial landscape shifting—fool you: There’s still a world of energizing to be done around issues that have persistently fragmented and flawed America.

So, here on the INDY Week website we’re give you first dibs on the gripping visuals for Kevin “Kaze” Thomas’ new, self-produced single “Wake Up,” from his comeback album, last October’s A Thousand Shades of Black.

“In this moment, I was waiting for someone to say something that I can play, or that I can point to or that I can retweet,” Kaze says. “Outside of Nipsey [Hussle] and YG’s “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump),” I wanted something that spoke to and encapsulated what last summer felt like. It never happened. We were halfway through the summer and I hadn’t seen any statement from any of the rap juggernauts or people that we rely on to be the soul and consciousness of the culture. I had to say something.”

A North Carolina rap juggernaut in his own right, it’s been nearly seven years since the Chapel Hill emcee released any music. Following 2013’s Black Kennedy LP, Kaze switched gears from full-time musician to local music scene and art house curator that included successful runs of both his Hillmatic hip-hop music festival and sister locations of the now-defunct Vibehouse studios.

Now, back in true form, Kaze leans on the legacy of KRS-One’s “edutainment” model and revisits his most militant emcee mode over a warlike beat in an attempt to keep the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement fresh on our minds and highly relatable to the recent storming of the Capitol. 

“We watched white supremacy run up the steps to the Capitol,” he says. “We watched it run around and threaten our democracy. The disparity and double standard was on display, so this song is about waking up to that shit. Wake up to the fact that white boys can run up and take the Capitol and only one shot gets let off—as opposed to what we see black men and women continually going through.”

The 7″ EP, Wake Up., is released today on Suah Sounds. Watch the music video for “Wake Up” below. 

YouTube video

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One reply on “Triangle First: With Powerful Video Single, “Wake Up,” Kaze4letter’s Keeps the Spirit of Black Lives Matter Protests Fresh”

  1. Been a fan since Spirit of ‘94. Seen every video. He blew it out of the water with this one. The timing, the visuals, it all fits perfectly with the fight. Def encourage everyone to listen, watch, and get motivated to do something.

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