Hidden Legend of Chicago: Kai Akili




With various sounds ranging from poetic, somber ballads to lyrical sonnets, Kai Akili has shown a great ability to be versatile. The Chicago emcee traversed his way through the open mic circuit during high school, eventually finding a deeper love for music through learning music theory. His background in music created a mold of soft R&B mixed in with hip hop, which are just some of the many elements that can be found throughout his music.

How are you impacting your community?

I continue to make efforts to impact the community through my company Black Tide Entertainment. Founded in 2015 on Dillard University's campus, BTE was established to help provide a platform for artists to more finely develop their crafts. In 2018, I was able to take these principles and begin a new branch of BTE in my hometown of Chicago. From cultivating open mics & having our artists perform in homecoming concerts to being involved in unique community service projects, BTE continues to make a strong statement in various artistic circles.


What advice would you give to someone looking to follow your path in the industry?

I would tell someone that's looking to follow in my path to stay an individual. It's easy to get lost in trends, but it will never be too hard to develop your own sense of style and more importantly your own mobility. The best art comes from the artists who are well rooted in their sense of self, or at least on that path themselves.


What separates you from your competitors?

My versatility is something I have over my competition. Although I outwardly display myself as a performing artist, my interests require me to wear several hats for my brand which helps me become more well-rounded in my approach to the arts.



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