Creating a masterpiece hip-hop track isn’t easy, but Kakazi has accomplished it with his latest banger, Wake Up. However, if you’re unfamiliar with Joseph Rey Morales, more commonly known as Kakazi, you’re missing out on one of the most talented lyricists emerging in the game. This talented artist never received any formal musical training. However, he’s a dedicated professional who commits himself to his craft, allowing him to pave the way in the rap game.
Music came naturally to Joseph because he comes from a musical family. His brother is another talented MC, better known by his stage name, Richie the Rapper. Similarly, his cousin AJ plays in a Spanish rock band out of Laredo, Texas, called Bajo Silencio. But Kakazi didn’t start rapping despite his musical talent until he was sixteen.
Kakazi’s rap journey started after he became interested in the genre through Eminem. Eminem’s impact on Kakazi is still observable in his latest musical releases. He was captivated by how the rap megastar would weave intricate rhyme schemes with complex doubles and triples. In addition, he had a killer flow to match. As a true student of hip-hop, Kakazi understood that rap wasn’t about the flashy bling or women, nor was it about a gangster persona. Instead, hip-hop was about surmising the daily struggles in life through rhythm and poetry.
The rapper’s latest music accentuates his sonic abilities, but it doesn’t stray away from his background as a lyricist. People within hip-hop often state that some rappers are lyricists while others are vocalists. Kakazi is both. Becoming a lyricist isn’t easy because it requires an acute understanding of hip-hop. Lyricists don’t always emerge to the forefront until their later years because it takes years to develop a sharp and impressive pen game. Kakazi has undergone a similar struggle. Although he started rapping at sixteen, it took him years before he was satisfied with his lyrical abilities.
It is challenging to write hard-hitting lyrics that profoundly impact listeners and prompt them to think. Kakazi found most of his earlier raps to be relatively straightforward. His bars failed to delve beyond the surface, meaning listeners couldn’t connect with them. Navigating a specific topic is also difficult while ensuring it’s still sonically pleasing. Hence, Kakazi had to work on his craft. He realized he had to reprogram his mindset and become mature enough to accurately convey his message through rap.
Life as a rapper is also challenging because live performances are tricky. Putting on live shows as an MC fundamentally differs from a rock or pop star. Most musicians have a band backing them during live shows, allowing them to feed off their energy. Unfortunately, rappers don’t have that luxury. Being on stage is an isolating experience for rappers because they’re only accompanied by a microphone. Yet, they’re required to captivate the audience and ensure they don’t lose their attention. Performing in front of strangers can also be nerve-racking if you don’t have enough experience.
It’s a struggle Kakazi understands because he has experienced it. It took considerable time and experience before he developed the comfort and stage presence to thrill a crowd as he does today. Another challenging aspect he had to become familiar with was accepting criticism as a rapper. Musicians often work alone or with a close circle, spending hours in the studio as they write and record songs. Releasing it to the public means welcoming opinions. Opinions, in turn, bring about praise and criticism. Unfortunately, accepting criticism can be difficult, especially when you’ve spent considerable time creating a song or album and have become attached to it.
Fortunately, Kakazi has learned to accept criticism and use it to make his music better. He still remains true to himself in his music, ensuring his lyrics remain the star. However, he has learned how to make hits by improving his pen game and his beat selection, and his latest banger, Wake Up, perfectly reflects his evolution as an artist.