San Francisco’s Kai Straw is a MC and producer on a mission. “I’m looking to take a steak knife to the heart of hip-hop and replace it with a grinding engine pumping battery acid, art, honesty and beautiful and/or ugly music,” he explained to me via email. He also isn’t a fan of much of the Bay Area hip-hop scene. “As a city, San Francisco is known to be forward thinking…Yet our rap scene is full of materialistic, objectifying, drug-addled songs that attempt to compensate for their own stupidity through drowning all of it in trunk-rattling bass.”
When you listen to Straw’s music, it’s instantly apparent that he has no desire to fit into a mold typically used by hip-hop or any other genre, and that’s without a doubt a good thing. His current project is the “Suburban” video series, through which he hopes “to provide a thorough analyzation of that environment and its effect on the human spirit”. The intense video for “The American Dream (Suburban Part 1)” is below followed by the track “Boogie Nights” off Straw’s 2012 LP To Pearl Whitney, From Howland Grouse In Loathing, which I shared simply because it kicks a lot of ass.