The next artist I’m honored to have highlighted in On Deck is actually the first one from my own hometown of Philadelphia, PA and ironically was also born and raised in the same part of Philly as I was. I’d like to formally introduce you to the emcee/poet known as Khemist. The Logan area native began rapping 11 years ago inspired by artists such as Nas & Lauryn Hill, along with citing Philly artists Black Thought, Young Chris, Black Ice and Jill Scott as major influences. Khemist took note of “the soul and emotion Philly artists have in their music” and used it as fuel and inspiration to make his own journey.
I wish that I could say that I caught wind of this talented emcee first. I was actually made aware of his music through the owner of the entertainment website Earstyle and fellow Hampton University classmate and friend Zay. I was immediately enamored by the wordplay, flow and delivery of Khemist on my first listen of his track “$1” featuring Karega Bailey from his 2011 release “Puzzle Pieces”.
“Puzzle Pieces” and his previous project “Weirdo Language” only set the stage for his biggest project to date so far, the mixtape “D2WR” (Death 2 Wack Rappers), which is hosted by one of his idols, the legendary Black Thought of The Roots. When I asked Khemist what he felt classifies someone as a wack rapper, he stated,
“These rappers not being original and following the path others took to be successful. If others became successful from being original, why wouldn’t they do the same?”
In 9 years of rapping from his first performance at his first event (Legs Against Arms @ St. Joseph’s University) to his performance at Veteran Freshman #3, which he describes the crowd cheering for him when his name was called as simply “mind-blowing”, to his recent performance opening for Talib Kweli (video located below), it has been quite a journey for young emcee who is only turning 21 this year. Expect a bright future from this young man inside and outside of hip-hop.
Look out for Khemist performing in more events and shows this year while he is also finishing his degree at Hampton in Print Journalism. He doesn’t plan on releasing any new projects just yet, stating that he prefers that life takes the course of the songs rather than forcing the music. Stay in the know of this talented artist by connecting to his website www.localkhemistry.com and click here to follow him on Twitter.