In the world of hip hop, traumatic events have been the catalyst for some of the Culture’s best creations. From artists like Tupac, Eminem, Kanye, and Capital Steez, hip hop’s foundation was based on the element of emotional expression and transparency, while remaining to true to oneself. Cryptic Kairos, an artist out of Las Vegas, NV, experienced one of the toughest traumas to overcome; the loss of his brother, who was also a recording artist. He says his brother’s death inspired him to pick up the pen and continue his legacy, and keep his memory alive. “We lived in a low-income area, and luckily nothing ever happened to me,” he says, as we discussed his earlier days growing up. “I had a classmate pass away from gun violence. They weren’t the target, they were just in the way,” reiterating the unfortunate byproduct of senseless gun violence. But as one can expect, losing his brother the same way would be profoundly different. “When it happened, it messed me up mentally,” he admitted, and understandably so. It would be safe to say that many members of the Culture have lost brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and close friends to shootings, which brings to light the question: just how many more people are out there, suffering in silence within a Culture that has normalized violence as a part of life? How many other people need that opportunity to talk things out? “That’s the hard part,” he explains, referring to the loss of his brother and the impact it had on him as a person and an artist. “I’ve seen other families have people pass away, but I never thought it would happen to me.”
It’s indisputable that hip hop music, both the creation of it by artists and the consumption of it by individuals, has manifested therapeutic properties. Artists and listeners agree: music can help you heal. “I was quiet in school. I never interacted with anybody, to be honest,” he says. “I was always in my head, rather than in the real world.” The biggest challenge for many artists has been translating what was going on inside their head to their canvas. For Kairos, it was the mic. “I thought to myself, ‘do I really want to talk about what happened to me?’” The level of vulnerability that an artist faces when they share their art with the world can be a frightening experience; one that keeps many artists from ever releasing their creations to the public. The fear if being judged, misunderstood, or deemed “wack” are all thoughts that new artists have to overcome in order to reach their potential. However, Cryptic Kairos powered through those inhibitions, and worked hard to produce his new pop-rap single, “We Live Long.” As far as the therapy behind the process, Kairos attests to its effectiveness for him as he worked on the project. “Writing a song was like weight lifted off my shoulders. When I went to go record that song, i felt like I was in therapy. I felt good afterwards. Even though I was embarrassed at first, I was glad to see that the lyrics were helping people. That made it totally worth it,” he says, which is really the purest motive for artistry there can be. “Every time something would happen (bullying, abuse) I would just ignore it; but this helped me heal.”
With his future as an artist ahead of him, Cryptic Kairos is optimistic hat his journey will be a light to others, and he looks to become a resource for others who go through trauma or struggle with social anxiety. “I can imagine just having a show and then afterwards, just bonding with people who came out, creating a platform for real connections,” he says. That mindset to connect listeners to each other will help his fans to have an opportunity to make friends with each other, and have people to talk to that understand them. As a unique artist with an inspiring story, the sky is just the beginning of his limit!
Connect and stay in touch with Cryptic Kairos on his website at cryptickairos.com!