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-SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS RAPPER CAMPAIGNING FOR TRUTH-
In Khafre James’s mind, hip-hop and politics are synonymous – there could not be one without the other. On top of that, he happens to have an appreciation for nature, knowledge and symbolism.
“A lyricist cares about the ways words sound together,” he explains when defining what a lyricist is. “It’s all about the syncopation of your syllables and using those syllables like drums.”
Khafre grew up in the Bayview - Hunter’s Point District of San Francisco, California. He says that although there was a heightened level of violence in the area the sense of community was strong. His father was a patron of the arts and was known for being an actor. Khafre says he was introduced to the stage and performances through acting. Khafre and performed in musicals like, “God Don’t Like Ugly” at the Paramount Theatres in Oakland, California.
He was introduced to the rap game when he met his friend Nore who would freestyle with him all the time. But he really got into rapping when he was kicked out of his school and had to transfer to School of the Arts. He met Richie Cunning, another Bay Area Rapper and they formed a rap duo called Fully Funktional. They made a name for themselves rocking shows around the Bay Area but broke up when Richie Cunning went to college. In 2008, Khafre linked up with BPos, which is the jazz and funk hip hop group that he is currently working with consisting of Goodword, D-Wiz and DJ Johnny Venetti.
“D-Wiz is the computer genius, he brings the mixing and mastering skills, Venetti is the DJ so he brings everything together, Goodword is the business savvy type and I bring the party,” says Khafre when describing his group.
Khafre sings just as good as he raps and D-Wiz’s intelligent beats make you feel like you’re literally getting smarter. If there is a such thing as conscious hip hop this would be it. “Dope” is a music video that will forever be a San Francisco city life staple with digitized graphics of a historical building in the SOMA district with furniture hanging out the windows and stuck to the walls. Another music video that BPOS recently released shows BPOS in comic book form.
Having performed in over 38 states and sharing stages with the likes of Method Man, Hieroglyphics and Casual, Khafre is all action.
“I want to be heard by as many people as possible,” he says with an enormous ambition to succeed. He enjoys being in life’s fast lane, energetic and focused with an “I’ll show them” attitude.
At first glance you might think that Khafre is a rasta man with dreadlocks hanging down his back which he has proudly grown for 12 years. Although Khafre is not a rastafari he does rap over a reggae inspired beat to his song called “The Place Where I Live” describing the ups and downs of his neighborhood, Hunters Point and San Francisco city life.
Khafre has always worked with troubled youth, which he says he indentifies more with. He helped save a kid who tried to jump from a second story window. He wants kids to have a positive outlet or as he says, “something they can skate with.”
Khafre’s next solo project is putting together an album that addresses political themes such as racism, gentrification, homelessness and sexism. He has worked closely with Van Jones, founder of Green for All and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, in the past and was the writer of the GreenPeace theme song in 2009 saying, “We should always give back to ‘Mama Nature’.” He is currently working at Green Peace as the San Francisco Frontline City Coordinator.
Khafre has recently released an album titled “Time for Action” where he addresses socioeconomic conditions of the Bay Area and beyond. A song that stands out is called “We All Owe God A Death” which is dedicated to his boss that committed suicide.
“I got out all my thoughts about my mortality on that song,” Khafre said. “You gotta believe in what you’re talking about.”
Khafre James is currently working on " My Real First Album " his next solo project! Stay tuned!