Last updated: 01/27/2013 06:10:01 AM
Kevin ‘Kali’ Hammonds had a difficult start; his early life was riddled with poverty and tragedy. Born to a white handicapped mother suffering from Serapaulsy and a black father addicted to crack cocaine, his parents had a tough time maintaining a stable environment. He was uprooted from his home when threats of eviction and incarnation surfaced and spent his formative years moving back and forth between Massachusetts to Southern California, often on the run.
Never really having a home town to call his own and the constant loss of friendship ties, Kali relied on his rhyming skills to break the ice amongst his peers. He took elements from his favorite rappers Big L, Snoop, Tupac, and formulized them into his own persona and style. By junior high, he was performing regularly at ciphers and battle spheres across the country.
Kali’s punch lines and barbed freestyles earned him a solid reputation garnishing the respect of local DJs and rappers were ever he went, including that of the Lawarence native sensation Daniel Carrillo better known as Termanology.
"I knew he had talent," says Term. "I just wanted to give him his shot to show everybody what he can do. This guy is incredible."
True to his word Termanology took the rapper under his wing, teaching him the ropes of the studio while Kali learned how to count bars. A few years later with an introduction to DJ Statik Selektah, the three would go to task at crafting two mixtapes “Timeless” followed by “Glasses on a Gloomy Day” and a fresh EP called “Cali Kali” hosted by world-renowned DJ's Clinton Sparks and DJ Ill Will. Soon after, his creditability as an ungrounded lyricist began to take form. The Hip Hop artist's buzz was heightened not just by the honesty and openness of his autobiographical mixtapes, but the substance of his message and renowned delivery.
While working on his mixtapes, Kali also made waves in the coveted video game and film circuit. Rockstar Games, Midnight Club Los Angeles: South Central selected Kali’s track Rollin Down the Freeway featuring Mistah Fab, Glasses Malone and Termanolgoy for its promotional trailer. And most recently, Universal Pictures recruited Kali to write the opening theme song How We Roll for its summer blockbuster Fast & Furious Five, with appearances by Busta Rhymes and Don Omar.
Early 2012 promises to open strong for the artist, Kali has teamed up with Dj Green Lantern to release a new mixtape aptly entitled On Schedule. The project will be supported by original production from Harry Fraud, Statik Selektah, ATG, Don Coda, and Push Keys with included features by Novel, Reks, and Termanology.
Where rap music has become commercial in abandoning artistry for mass replication of the latest trend, Kali continues to break the mold.
"I made my reputation by battling, but also for pushing boundaries musically and lyrically this new mixtape On Schedule promises to deliver on that promise,” said Kali.