Ka, one of Hip-Hop’s strongest lyricists and a critical darling of the past few years, has seen his visibility rise along with more inquiries into the background of the gravelly-voiced rapper, With a daytime job as a New York Fire Department captain, the Brooklyn artist is turning heads not only for his bars but the fact he’s carved out a decent life for himself away from rap music.
The New York Post took time out of its busy publication schedule to profile Ka, also known as Kaseem Ryan, who is a captain with the NYFD. The Post blasted the rapper for his so-called anti-cop stances and attempted to paint him as an enemy of police.
Although the Post had to really dig to connect this supposed angle, it appears this profile has exposed a part of Ka’s life he mostly wanted to keep hidden.
From the Post:
Ka says he grew up poor, with 17 people crowded into his grandparents’ Brownsville house. His current life is far less gritty.
He made $148,558 as a fire captain last year, while selling records, CDs and T-shirts on his Web site. He and his wife, Michelle Valdez, chief creative officer for an entertainment firm founded by Pharrell Williams, own a $1.25 million brownstone in Park Slope.
Few fellow FDNYers know Ryan as a rapper. “I had no idea he was doing that on the side,” one said. “He’s really not a bad guy. But he shouldn’t be bad-mouthing cops.”
Let’s just step back for a moment and say that everyone on in this country, including first responders and civil servants, have a right to express their feelings through art any way they want. Wouldn’t Ka be doing the same thing by moonlighting as a rapper and painting an experience he’s either lived or knows someone who did?
If he were a part-time singer who made an occasional war protest song, would an entire piece be done on him in the Post? Of course not. This looks to be the typical Hip-Hop witch hunt masked as journalism.
Photo: screen cap