Peace Kwaj, how you get that name?

Peace fam. I have a Nigerian last name that can be hard to pronounce so the homies finessed it into something easy. That was my nickname growing up so I stuck with it.

What’s the hip hop scene like in your area?

The vibes are everywhere if you’re plugged in, you just gotta find your crowd. For me that’s the graffiti artists, dancers, poets, and community influencers, because hip-hop is also a lifestyle.

As far as a signature sound there isn’t one, but that’s cool because we aren’t stuck in a box.

Out of your work what’s that one joint that never fails to turn up a jam?

Clouds in the Sky. I go in plus the production is very ill . A couple local radio stations put the song in rotation when it first dropped and it recently got added to a major Spotify playlist (Acid Jazz).

Favorite place to rock in your city and how bad did covid affect the hustle?

My favorite place to rock is wherever the pool tables are at. I’m a regular at a bar called The Avenue and I’ll shoot for hours. Covid didn’t change my hustle much.

The mental stress it caused was similar to a creative block and I have those all the time. This one was just a little bigger. The toughest thing was not playing shows, but thankfully we back at it.

Favorite spot to grab some grub in your area?

I love cheesesteaks and this joint called Big John’s Steak & Onion is my go-to. It’s already a dub with their steak and cheese blend, but they got a signature red sauce that adds flavor you can’t get anywhere else.

La Cocina Cubana has good pollo with sweet plantains, and there used to be a Jamaican Lil BBQ shack for authentic jerk dishes. They closed down, but it was so good that it deserves to be mentioned.

Favorite spot to buy kicks or some fresh gear in your city or online?

I’m a big online shopper. I’ll cop clothes off Instagram ads or random websites because I like wearing gear that most cats aren’t checking for. If I want to get fresh in my city I’ll thrift or stop by the homies crib who runs a clothing brand called Kind Hearted.

I’ll get custom prints made or pick some fits off the rack. I try to keep it rare with my kicks too, but stick to classic brands.

Do you collab with other artists? Can they contact you?

I do a lot of collabs with producers and artists all over the world. I’ve even got a couple tracks with cats rapping in Spanish. Artists like myself who’ve been in the Reddit and SoundCloud communities know how fun it is to make connections, add different perspectives, and grow with people.

Right now I’m in a 6-7 artist collective called Foreknowledge and we collab when we can. At one point we had about 30 heads on some Brockhampton tip.

Any shows or events coming up?

Headed to the Chi at the end of the month and I got a few shows around Michigan to close out the year.

Goals for the rest of the year?

I want to get featured on TeamBackpack, and start a visual mini-series. Besides that, I want more of everything. More music, shows, fans, and merch.

Last words or shout outs?

First, big ups to you for the interview. Next, shout out to my collective, Foreknowledge, and all my supporters too. The love and respect they show for my craft helps keep me going. Finally, take a minute and bump my new album. “Lost Art for Collectors” and follow me on my socials! Peace!

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INTERVIEW: L. Reed
EDITOR: Team
IMAGE: Kwaj