Art logo

A Moment With “Kurokami”

A brief examination of the 7 deadly sins EP

By Kuro Seijaku Published 9 months ago 4 min read
Kurokami Cover Art

In 2018 the world was a much different place. It seems so distant from where we are now that it’s almost frightening. That is where the story of this project truly began. I was collaborating with a number of artists that would go on to work with me in a greater capacity in the coming years. However, this is where the fundamental aspects of Kurokami came to be forged.

The Kurokami sessions were small, intimate recording sessions that seemed more like the cliff notes of my experiences than recording sessions for one of my best performing projects to date. But, they were. From 2018 to 2020 I was balancing a job, my family, my girlfriend, becoming an artist manager, my artistic career, and this project among a million other ventures we won’t even begin to get into here.

Kurokami was the first project that was comprehensive in its conceptual execution for me. Those who are even vaguely familiar with Shintoism will be able to recognize Kami as the word “god” and Kuro as “black.” The key to this project however, is to take me, the artist, out of it. Despite the fact that this is a body of work that I am presenting, I am not the focus. The artist is not the central concept, it is instead, the culture and rapidly changing socioeconomic climate of the time that we’re analyzing.

The idea was to examine God with a capital G and god with a lowercase. As at the time this conversation was nearly inescapable. Especially with the political and social issues that we were experiencing. Trying to conceptualize everything on a global scale seemed nigh impossible. My favorite artists were able to speak to many of these issues in a manner that seemed effortless and I desired to follow suit. As a young aspiring artist what else was I to do?

Still from the “Snowfall” video shoot

I wished to examine the key aspects of two separate belief systems. How they relate to the people of today, and what that looked like through the eyes of a 20 something experiencing all of it first hand. My aim was to remind the listeners that they themselves are now gods in their own right. This was achieved through the religious iconography that is layered throughout the project. For instance the woman depicted in the top left corner of the album has the Japanese characters that represent the words “lust, love, and criminal” by themselves these words mean a million things. In the context of the project they represent the things that people from my community tend to fixate upon. Their placement on the woman’s body are also very telling.

An argument can also be made in reference to the large ‘X’ at the center of the project. As this can be taken to represent a myriad of things as well. The gun in the hand of the central figure is pointing downward. This can imply any number of things as well. The idea behind this project was to avoid swaying the audience’s opinion as much as possible. My intention was to allow them to find something that they could identify with using the 7 deadly sins to better understand themselves.

At its core Kurokami is a project of self evaluation. It means something different to everyone who experiences it. For me, it acts as an outside observer’s point of view. Famously opening with the lines “Look at this {expletive} mumble rapper” a signifier of the times. A moment of parody and levity in an industry where so many have lost their lives or had them ruined in an attempt to acquire fame and fortune. Exemplified in the first lines of the hook on track 1 ‘Lime {Envy}’ the lyrics in question being “Put your life on the line for it” we, as artists, truly put our lives on the line. It speaks not only to the artists, but to the audience as well who listen and mimic the acts that are spoken about in some of their favorite songs.

Imposter syndrome was heavily influential in my creative process at that time as well. I had desired to distance myself from my influences. Namely Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad. In fact, the entire TDE roster were huge inspirations in this departure from the sound I had developed. This project was my first attempt at infusing the modern autotuned into the more eclectic and introspective style I’d become well known for at the time. It was my first effort in stepping away from the comparisons and critiques I’d received up until that point.

The goal was to demonstrate that I wasn’t a clone of my favorite artists, but instead the product of the artistic landscape to which they’d contributed. A true signifier of the times.

With that my aim was to help not only artists, but their listeners as well, to understand that we are all gods in our own right. To remind ourselves that without our commitment to this craft these spaces, events, and moments in time would not be able to exist.

Kuro performing @ the Ynot Lot

Being that this project was released in 2020 the scope expands to a terrifying degree. Speaking on social media trends and the massive explosion of self created media. People began to have the ability to become famous wherever they were through their creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance. This project is literally a commentary of the new era of entertainment media and the landscape in which it exists. There are so many layers to the topics addressed within this project that I could go on forever and still barely scratch the surface of what is truly being said. For the time being I’d like to thank everyone who helped work on and supported this project.

It was a massive undertaking and even though I personally feel it wasn’t perfect, it spoke to thousands, if not millions of people who feel unseen. For that, I am beyond grateful.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart,

-KS

ExhibitionProcessMixed MediaJourneyInspirationContemporary Art

About the Creator

Kuro Seijaku

“Kuro Silence (Seijaku) is a rapper/producer from Baltimore, Maryland. From trap to experimental, Kuros work defies normative currents of Hip-Hop’s soundscape with his work ethic and forays into Hip-Hop’s many sub-genres.”

-Channel10 Podcast

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    Kuro Seijaku Written by Kuro Seijaku

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.