‘I gotta speak on this, cause if I don’t, I’m not an artist,’ Katori Walker tells Underground Hip Hop blog in an interview from earlier this year. In the video, Walker is expounding on the emotional toll his family has undergone since his younger brother Ormoni passed from gang violence. On his recent EP ‘Ignorance’, Walker entails on the stress, trauma, and grief that comes along with gang violence and the obstacles that come along with it.
The Pasadena, California-based rapper has gained a following after releasing the visual to ‘Ormoni’ last year and for ‘Ignorance’ this year. In both videos, Walker is portraying his brother’s life from a third-person perspective, detailing his last day on earth and the moments before he died. When the project released on April 27, The FADER released a personal note of Walker’s that give insight to his vision and the puzzlement he has regarding his brother’s last breath.
Stream Pasadena, California-native Katori Walker’s debut project, Ignorance, below.
Full of groovy synths and G-funk beats, the young rapper shines on this ten-minute project. Combining great instrumentals with authentic cogitated lyrics, Walker earnestly and powerfully tells his truth.
What I can appreciate about Walker’s delivery is that he is voicing both sides of an epidemic that has affected him. For years, rappers have been talking about gang violence, repping colours, and other attributes as such. While gang violence is an esoteric topic for some, Walker’s uses his reality to give vividly detailed and concrete lyricism to put the listener in his shoes. ‘Ignorance’ focuses on the frustration, pain, and trepidation that is apart of growing up in the hood and dealing with gang violence, but also speaks from the gang member’s point of view. The capacity of Walker’s message can be comprehended more on songs like ‘Noose’ featuring J. Hurt and ‘Missiles’ give lyrics like “Why you kill your own kind?” and “The streets den taught us well, what the fuck we need school for?”
‘The hood will never change, reppin colours is a thing, there’s a reason why we bang… Yet we wanna see a change…” are just some of the lyrics Walker speaks on the one minute and twenty-second track of ‘Lower Living Theory’. Vehemently speaking on a topic that hits close to his home, this project genuinely shows Walker’s passion and realness within his music. ‘Ignorance’ only excites me to hear more from Katori Walker as he continues through his musical journey.