Cypher Avenue Music: KAOZ

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Dec 7 2011 | No Comments  

 
THE CYPHER AVENUE MUSIC SERIES

A series of posts showcasing music by masculine Gay/Bisexual artists that we dig for one reason or another. We may give reviews of their work and occasional interviews but this is mainly just for awareness since many of you don’t even know these musicians exist.

 

 

PictureKAOZ

Originally from Cleveland, OH, but currently repping Minneapolis, MN, openly Gay spoken word/hip hop artist Kaoz (aka Kevin Moore) definitely doesn’t lack passion. In addition to being a forceful, masculine lyricist, he’s a real-life HIV awareness activist. His efforts have made him an award winning educator for the cause which is admirable and inspirational, to say the least.

As an activist, that passion is commendable. As a rapper, its somewhat of a hindrance. Bookmark that statement, I’ll explain it in a second.

If Kaoz is an example of the future of openly Gay MCs, the future looks bright. Contrary to what Wendy Williams or DJ VLAD understands, openly Gay rappers have already existed for decades. The problem with those rappers was that they had no real competitive flow and/or lyrics.

Kaoz, he “sounds” like a current rapper with his flow and delivery. He even looks like one. He’s a very attractive masculine guy, which in all honesty, helps as an MC. An old adage comes to mind: “He has to make the men want to be him and the women want to be with him.”

Let’s be real: the Gay rap barrier breaker will NOT be a drag queen or a fem with nipple rings, tight jeans and blond hair. While I fux with the overall package that is Kaoz (and will continue to support/check his work), I have a couple (fixable) issues with him as an artist.


 
 
 

 
Overall, I’m digging me some Kaoz.A man can be successful if he is talented yet unattractive. He can be successful if he is attractive yet untalented. But one thing is for sure, he can’t be successful if he is both untalented AND unattractive. Kaoz seems to have both of those assets going for him so he’s ahead of the game already. Also, unlike most Gay rappers, he has more complicated things to talk about on wax than fucking and sucking, which is appreciated. But there are some things that I hope he works on for the future.

ISSUE NUMBER ONE:

For now, he somewhat lacks clear focus as a writer. When I listened to his quality Mixtapes and EPs (linked below) I was hard pressed to figure out what many of his songs were about. Even when I checked to see what the title of the tracks were, I didn’t know. I double-dog-dare you to watch the music video embedded above one time and tell me what the song was about afterward [I eventually figured it out but it took a few listens].

Song concept is a basic fundamental that, for Kaoz, seems lost in the mix and secondary to clever, complicated lyrics. One of the rare songs that I heard on his mixtape with a clear direction was one of the most atypical and contradictory of Kaoz’ overall vibe: “Sayin That, Sayin This” a materialistic track that boasts he “stay in that designer shit” over thrift store clothes.

Two out of three of his full length releases so far have been named after the Brad Pitt character in the film “Fight Club” which is fitting because they feel very schizophrenic and all over the place. Considering that I haven’t heard every track he’s ever made, I could be wrong. But this was my observation up until this point.

Am I saying he should “dumb it down?” Not quite. Just be more sharply focused.

Picture

 
Lyrics: 8
Production: 7
Concepts: 5
Overall: 7
To download Kaoz’ free mixtapes or to purchase his album, click here.
 

 
ISSUE NUMBER TWO:His passion shows up in the wrong places. The last thing a fan wants to see a male rapper that he admires do is cry. It may be understandable in certain situations (like a sudden death in the family) but in a casual interview about economics, culture, politics, etc…eh, not so much.

In my research about the artist I found a YouTube interview Kaoz did with AConnectionTV back in January. Not five minutes after the first question, the waterworks begin. The upsetting part about it was that he wasn’t even solely talking about his HIV awareness work or people needlessly dying from the illness. He was pretty much discussing regular sociopolitical issues.

He goes on to weep for another ten minutes! Like I said, that passion is commendable for an activist, hell its even somewhat attractive to see a man put his emotions on his sleeve like that. But it does something to the rap fan in me. If I saw Common or Black Thought curled up in a chair crying on camera for ten minutes, I’d feel the same way. As an entertainer, especially a hip hop artist, appearance and perception goes a long way.

Some of you may be thinking: “He’s Gay, what do you expect? Gay men are more sensitive than Straight men.”

That may or may not be true, but in the world of Hip Hop, you can’t have shit like that out there. Especially in this technological day and age. But hey, this may have (hopefully) been a one time anomaly…Maybe the interviewer gave him an “Oprah” vibe and he had to just let it out. Either way, If you’re reading this and you know Kaos personally, please tell that man to have this video taken down. LOL.

I’m speaking about a rapper so undoubtedly I will be labeled a “hater”. Quite the contrary. I think Kaoz has a lot of potential to do a lot of big things not just musically, but for all Gay black men in general, he’s very talented and an asset to us all. I’m just offering an opinion on what I think will help him achieve that inevitable goal.- Nick D
 
About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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