Penn’s favorite rapper is back and better than ever.
Wharton sophomore Kayvon Asemani released a new mixtape Sunday on his website . Titled U4IC, Asemani’s newest music hopes to tackle powerful issues through thought-provoking lyrics.
Asemani often describes the importance of producing songs containing meaningful messages.
“At the end of the day, I could just make music,” he said. “But what is it if no one hears my message? What is a community without an advocate?”
In his previous tracks, Asemani often discussed topics such as racial and socioeconomic inequality, his personal life story and social advocacy. He said he will continue rapping about those themes on this mixtape but will also share more about love and heartbreak. He added that the universality of love is important to him.
“Everybody has an emotional capacity for love,” Asemani said. “You don’t have to be poor or rich to relate to that. You just have to be a human being.”
Asemani draws from a range of genres in this new mixtape, including rock, electronic and hip hop. His supporters may be pleasantly surprised to find that the rapper has introduced spoken word poetry into a few of his new hits. “When you do spoken word, you can be eloquent, and poetic, and have rhythm,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about a framework. It gives me more liberty to focus on my message.”
Asemani became well known in his freshman year for his spoken word poetry performances, which allowed him to branch out to new audiences for his music. This year, Asemani is equipped with more strategies for marketing his brand.
“When I got here as a freshman, no one knew who I was. I was my own distribution channel. The combination of knowing people and understanding how Penn is set up — like the power of Locust Walk — has given me more knowledge of strategies I can use this year.”
In promoting his mixtape, Asemani and College sophomore Lea Kichler — who also worked on Asemani’s documentary — joined forces once more to create a trailer featuring a spoken word piece from part of a song on U4IC.
“[Kayvon] is definitely someone who is guided by a determined vision, and he really wants to fulfill everything he sets his mind to,” she said. “[The project] really speaks to what makes Penn unique and shows how entrepreneurial Penn students are.”
While attending Penn and managing an emerging music career may seem daunting, the sophomore has no qualms about keeping up with academics, working on his music and marketing his personal brand.
“Music is a part of my educational experience ... My classes are interesting because I can apply them to what I’m doing in my life,” he said.
The artist has developed quite a following at Penn in the one year that he has been a student. Supporter and close friend, College sophomore Bryan Rodriguez said, “Kayvon has this well-rounded personality ... it’s what makes him such a powerful artist, the fact that he’s able to portray his meaning, but in a way that relates to a wide audience.”
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