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A new type of hip-hop leader: An interview with chief waKiL

A new type of hip-hop leader: An interview with chief waKiL-slide0
Anne Pose

Physically compared and vocally matched to some of the most influential rap artists of our time, chief waKiL contributes his own musical style that sets him apart from the rest.

26 year-old chief waKil, whose real name is Mansa Wakili, makes an impact and creates new followers with every word he profess. A Kansas City native, the chief journeyed to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue his childhood dreams.

On July 24, 2014, chief waKiL performed at The Mint, located on West Pico Blvd. Right before he enraptured those present with his stage presence, I sat with chief waKil and discussed significant moments that shaped his current outlook:

Cymone: So when did you become involved in music?

chief waKiL: Well, it was always a part of my life. One of my friends used to play the keyboard and I was like, “Yo, I can do that.” But, the only thing I wanted to play was the Power Rangers theme song.

Cymone: Are you serious?

chief waKiL: I knew I could play it. I showed my brother and he thought I was going to be gifted in music. Afterwards, my brother bought me a keyboard.

Cymone: On your website, you mentioned your brother made you recite lyrics from A Tribe Called Quest-

chief waKiL: Aw, yeah. Check the Rhime, I used to wake up and he had it recorded on tape. We’ll sit there and rap it together, or he would make me freestyle in the car. I sucked. I was terrible.

Cymone: Which genre most fits your music?

chief waKiL: I would say hip-hop. But I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a rapper. I’m an awesome musician who knows how to rap.

Cymone: Okay, so tell me about your latest album, littleGiant Epic.

chief WaKiL: My latest album is pretty much me pouring out my heart and soul after tough times. Coming out to LA thinking things would be a certain way and it wasn't. I had to make a conscious decision to start over and to struggle.

Cymone: What is the meaning behind KiLSociety?

chief waKiL: I represent all the people who feel like they are outcasts. I can affect so many people. The best way to stand out is to be you. I would be considered an outcast due to society’s standards. So I want to kill the mindset of society.~

chief waKiL has worked in various sectors of the music and entertainment industry. As a producer and songwriter, he’s collaborated with R&B/Pop singers Jaden Smith, Kelly Rowland, Fantasia, and Michelle Williams.

waKiL also licensed music for the VH1 television series Hit The Floor and the Starz original drama, Power. The best has yet to come for this young chief as he conquers opposition, one song at a time.

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