Santa Monica Hip Hop Artist Leven Kali finds “Joy” in Self-Empowerment

In a hip-hop landscape filled with auto-tuned raps and brooding trap beats, it can be refreshing to find artists who favor the soulful, funk flavored side of life. Leven Kali, a multi-faceted artist aiming to inject a warm groove into a serious message in his empowering new track “Joy”.

Story | Ricky Rodas

Over a bouncy beat lined with gospel tinged keys and a funky bass line, Kali sings a silky proclamation of equality in the midst of hate, prejudice, and confusion:

“It break my heart every time I turn the news on/I see the police shoot another young brother black boy/ You know he had a mother, father, grandmother, brother, sister but you see him as another black boy/Now you might feel it take too long, but we gon’ fight and keep on marching to our dream”

The latter verse is repeated throughout the song, which can be seen as a concentrated effort on Kali’s part to ensure that the listener remains uplifted; whatever background they come from, whatever struggle they face, there will always be joy.

Born in Holland and raised in Santa Monica, California, the 20 year-old singer/producer/songwriter has been steadily putting out a strong catalogue of music that effortlessly fuses different genres. From loose tracks such as the funky Cassandra to his diverse 2016 project 4102, there’s something enjoyable for every music fan in Kali’s sonic portfolio.

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