Aloha #OTDHipHop fans! The #CHT2017 TAKEOVER never sleeps! Artists are always grinding, working, practicing, and planning, as the Creative Hustle Tour gets closer and closer. Today, I chatted with The Visually Gifted, a trio of young men from the Big Island. The group consists of Kody Dereis, Jordan Kaiwi, and Kaimanakai Une. The Visually Gifted (TVG) will be performing at all venues of the upcoming tour’s duration, and will be co-headlining some of the Big Island and Maui shows.
As local kids growing up in the Big Island, hip hop culture wasn’t too big because of the heavy influence of reggae and hawaiian music. But Kody D from TVG stated that his dad would often play music by Biggie, Eminem, and Busta Rhymes. “Music gave me confidence during one worst breaks of my life. Whenever I felt down or not good enough, listening to hip hop/rap helped me push through it. Music is really all we got!” said Kody D. As the years went on, Kody met Jordan and Kaimana and the three of them eventually formed a group. “What’s different about us as a rap group is that we’re not just some kids who made a group for the hype or ‘cause it was cool. We grew up together, these are like my brothers, and we’re more than a group because we’re family,” said Kody D.
The Visually Gifted has a gained a little reputation around the Big Island for their high energy on stage and willingness to grind. Together, they hope to bring that same hometown energy and passion to the other islands while on tour. This tour is the “next big step” for many local artists and The Visually Gifted are taking charge of their passions and talents by going on tour. One of their songs “Transparent” showcases their blend of stoney small town vibes with high minded social awareness such as corporate corruption, greed, and politics. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate their sound and message in their live sets.
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