By Dave Douglas
Karl Amani ‘Saukrates’ Wailoo is a Canadian rapper, singer / songwriter and record producer. It has been 20 years since his debut album Still Caught Up. Last Tuesday, he released his fourth album Amani.
This self-titled solo project is just a chapter of his Season 2 LP. “This way, we can get more music out on a song-by-song basis or in clusters,” says, Big Soxx, the name he is better known by in industry circles.
The timing of the album release coincided with the 20-year anniversary of his debut album. So when the Caribbean Camera interviewed the Toronto-based Canadian rapper, we wanted to find out if there was any connection between the new album and the timing of the new CD release.
“There is a connection but it not deep! It’s not a novel! Probably a paragraph,” says Soxx. “It’s important to let the record show – it’s kind of like full circle – it felt like full circle! It was always about good stories shown through rap, shown through poetry; poetry over music. The story has come full circle where I’ve had to get back to what people appreciated about the brand.”
The new album consists of four songs: the first single Kingdom Come can been seen on Soxx’s video channel on Youtube. Go check it out and see if you like it. The second song Amani is a self-titled song and, yes, there’s a story behind that. The third song # FYEO (For Your Eyes Only) is a kind of street romance story and the forth song The Big Bang is a phrase from another song he recorded – and you’ve guessed right! That too has a really nice story behind it.
Soxx, in his rather calm demeanor, went on to explain: “I don’t know … I really don’t know! I know the songs are a lot of fun and it becomes others’ perspective that puts each song in their own category or level of importance because I chose those four out of 20 songs and recorded them in a week. I really can’t say! To me they are all important. One thing that did stand out is I’m letting the world know my real name – It’s like Superman saying, I’m Clark Kent.”
The hip hop guru said that revealing his personal side was not something he was comfortable doing and he would much rather the public do the research and find out for themselves but being a guy with a great sense of humour he did have another shot at the superhero narrative.
“Maybe, it’s an Iron Man thing – the part when Tony Stark cane out and said, I’m Iron Man! Call me Tony! So, the song Amani, for me personally plays a big part. It’s a chance to share with the world – Hey! This is my name and this is what it means and maybe that played a part in my position.”
Armani ‘BigSoxx’ Wailoo seem to be enjoying this moment in time. He refers to it as “trying to find freedom within a cage” but has no problem facing up to the challenge because his new album has given him the opportunity to find that freedom.
“You’ve got to let people feel the music inside of you and then they will say, ok! We like or we don’t like it,” says Soxx.
This is part one of the story. Part two will be continued next week and Soxx will talk about making music that could be accepted by all ages, bridging the generation gap. I think he means us!