Khari Launches This Is How We Feel Series with Reflections on Incarceration

Playing Cincinnati
Photo Credit: Khira Burton

Khari begins an introspective journey with his new project, This Is How We Feel: Act 1 (Trapped). Boasting his trademark thought-provoking lyricism, packaged in a silky melodic flow, Act 1 (Trapped) is the first vulnerable offering from the trilogy.

“Making this project was definitely therapeutic for me, but it was probably the hardest material I ever had to make,” he told Audiofemme. “I told myself that I wanted to touch on a deeper layer of Black plight and trauma that is prevalent in my music. For me, that layer was the feelings and the mental aspect that doesn’t often get talked about when it comes to experiencing racism, police brutality, drugs and gun violence.”

The Cincinnati-bred MC describes his This Is How We Feel series as mirroring “the steps of a person going through the prison system.”

“The first act is Trapped because when you first are incarcerated, you are literally trapped in your cell,” he explained. “Throughout this first act, I talk about different ways we may be trapped by society and our own personal struggles. I sometimes feel trapped by my thoughts, societal pressures, expressing my love and the longing for financial gain. I even feel trapped by the pursuit of my rap career, and these are all things I touch on in this first act.”

Though Khari doesn’t have a release date for the next installment yet, he said fans can expect it before the end of the year. “I definitely want to let people live with this first act before going into the next act,” he explained. “Now that the project has been released, I feel a sense of relief because it now belongs to the world and even though it is a personal story, I made it with the intention of it being a story for everyone, hence the We in the title; it was initially called This Is How I Feel.”

When asked what he feels role is during these uncertain times, Khari said, “I think my role as an artist is to speak on something that is personal, real and honest.”

“People want to feel something right now, and it’s weird how eerily this project lines up with the [current] times, given the fact that I began this concept over a year ago,” he continued. “It just goes to show that our voices and our creativity are always needed to spark minds, and at the very least help people make sense of all that’s going on.”

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