Its a Wednesday night and I’m entering a coffeehouse in Westport, alone. I find people enjoying their cup of joe, conversing or looking at their laptops. I can feel the vibrations of music coming from below.
This coffee shop has more to offer, than just espresso. Behind the barista and through a hallway. You open a door that leads you downstairs, where a small stage is.
It’s where Rap Asylum—one of the only hip-hop open mics in the city, takes place. Local artists come here to showcase their talent.
The night starts off by some sounds by Duncan Burnett—a KC local artist, musician, and producer. Burnett, calls out for the local MC’s wanting to come up and spit some words into the mic. He also announces to the crowd that we need to connect with each other. Burnett says, “We’re not a bunch of regular people here.” He’s not wrong about that. Glancing around the room, you can see all the creative entities. You can just feel it.
The audience hears from various different local artists: (Kartez, Casual, Sauce, Hercules the Mac, Johnny Stone, Sam Coldfield, Dom Chronicles, Yanna a.k.a Supaflowa) who freestyle or play their original music.
The energy in this dim lit room is memorizing. People are dancing, bobbing their heads, rocking side to side.
One of the featured artists for the night is Dom Chronicles. Chronicles—a local KC rapper, DJ, and producer. Tells the audience he wasn’t going to rap, but he starts flowing on the mic. Dom Chronicles has an ambient, mellow vibe. His self-produced song “Spirit Guide” will have you chanting, “I don’t give a f**k.”
The finale, for the night is Yanna a.k.a Supaflowa. She enters us into, a realm of spoken word poetry and immediately the crowd draws in.
She’s vibrant and full of life. Draped in a velvet green top with a snake painted on the back, shaved head, contagious dance moves, and a smile the lights up the room.
Supaflowa is captivating. After performing a couple songs, she tells the crowd she’s going to dance for them. She hits her moves and her magnetic energy, is felt through out the room.
Supaflowa, might be no more than 5 feet tall but her personality, is too high to measure. I caught up with Supaflowa after her performance, to figure out who this chick is.
First off, how old are you?
Where are you from?
My parents are in the military, so I’m not from a place.
So you kinda just traveled all around?
Yeah, I claim Alabama. I’m from earth. [laughs] No, I’m just kidding but—yeah
What influences your music, your style?
Honestly emotions, or what I’m experiencing. If I hear someone say, like the word clavicle. I’ll be like—Oh shit! I wanna put that in a song. But Duncan, my producer is really inspiring. Princess Nokia is probably the strongest influence. She’s just the biggest influence like mainstream. Cupcakke the Freak, she’s very inspirational. A lot of women making moves but also talking about social issues. Dom Chronicles of course. Chase Angels, but I just write about what I’m experiencing.
So you’re very poetic, I saw in the beginning you kinda started it off with some spoken word.
Yeah, like coming from dark places and sadness really like inspires me
Is Duncan Burnett your main producer?
Yeah, so Duncan’s studio is in his basement. It’s called, “The Arcade.” He’s pretty much been working organically. We vibe, he’s like okay what do you want a beat to sound like? I’m like—Oh! I want it complicated but also hip-hop. He’ll be like okay, and hops on the bass, then goes to the keys. I worked with Dom only on, “Zing.” He’s the only one who helped produce that. We’ve been collaborating in the same space, for probably two months now. Duncan’s produced most of it.
How long have you been making music?
Oh, like 6 months.
6 months? Wow, you’re really fresh.
Yeah, I’m fresh [laughs]
You’re small but mighty. The energy that you bring to the crowd is wild. I saw big tough dudes really vibing to your music. Where does that energy come from?
Yeah [laughs] that’s dope! Honestly I feed off the crowd. But it’s really just me. Like if no ones gonna be hype. I’m gonna be hype myself, because its all about like…You came out and paid to enjoy and experience something. I just want people to feel something and experience something. Just feel that they’re apart of something bigger, by just being around me. I don’t think its about me, its about the energy. I wouldn’t have been able to provide them with the energy that I did, without everyone else’s energy.
So what’s next for you?
So, we have the EP called Supaflowa. We don’t have a date for when its coming out. We’re working on some visuals now and also dropping a single.
What’s the style of that EP consist of?
Pretty much every song you heard, is what the EP is going to consist of. So, I’ve been performing the EP. Getting people teased but they don’t realize, that they’ve already had it.
Where can people find your music?
Yeah so I have the “Misfit” song. I produced that from my phone and that’s how I connected with Duncan—he was like you made this? I made it on garageband. So, that’s the only song I have out right now. But as soon as I drop the project it will be streaming on all platforms.
If you’re a local who’s into hip-hop, or an artist wanting to showcase your talent. I recommend you coming out to the next Rap Asylum. Nothing but good energy and like-minded individuals who just want to enjoy and share the power of music with each other.
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