Do you know this guy? Like Biggie said, if you don’t know, now you know. Meet I Self Devine, a dude that’s been around for years, but is currently climbing back into the spotlight. From Rhymesayers, the best independent hip-hop label out there (due to its beautiful monopoly on talent right now): “Chaka Mkali, also known as I Self Devine is a musician, MC, community organizer, racial justice trainer, graffiti artist, muralist, program coordinator and director of organizing and community building at Hope Community Center in Minneapolis.” So there you go.
I Self is releasing mixtapes, mixtapes, and mixtapes this winter and spring. At the beginning of January, he announced his plans to release a mixtape each month for the months of January, February, and March. Then in April, he’d bring on a full-length studio album. So much music, so much quality. I missed this guy.
You can stream or download his January mixtape, “LA State of Mind,” and his February mixtape, “The Upliftment Struggle.” You can, and you should. It’s not every day a hip-hop vet steps back onto the scene with this much wisdom and these dope of beats. He’s reflected on his youth and projected on the future of the country, all in two tapes…with the promise of more to come. Don’t sleep on I Self Devine.