"Picture me showin the difference of flowin..." ("Spittatry", Da Choc)
While the music genre continues to saturate itself with clones all rhyming, dressing, and even sounding the same, only one unique emcee stands to be "the breath of fresh air inside of a stale rapping scene", and here stands Da Choc. A lyrical poet, purist of words, Da Choc delivers a lucid message with an unapologetic, undiluted rawness that cuts straight to the depth of those in his path.
"But the bigger picture-I can't even call. Only God knows when the next calamities fall...". ("Keep it Going", Da Choc)
Philadelphia breed, Da Choc a.k.a. Kassim KarMicheal, is the gifted product of an urban, single-parent household. In pursuit of a better life, his mother moved them to the outskirts of Cheltenham Township. It was there that he met the elements that would fuse together the core of Ill Mass Records. He then discovered his lyrical ability to deliver any message needed, and manipulate his thoughts through words, using the linguistic illustration of rhyme. "I do this for more than a love for hip-hop," says Da Choc," at first hip-hop... it was like a hobby, and then it became an obsession, and now, its just a natural part of me [...].
So why are people drawn to Da Choc's lyrics? This versatile, confident, always striving for perfection lyricist has the ability to say and breath the quality of music hip-hop heads have been yearning for. He gives life to subdued words that sit on hip-hop tongues, too submerged by commercialism to speak. With the hypnotizing, kinetic tremors of his melodious voice, this homespun prodigy stirs familiar emotions, painting a vivid picture for all to see as he verbally spews out his story.
Unlike many rap artists, Da Choc chooses not to wear his childhood struggles as a status quo. "Growing up in the hood, watching drugs destroy my household", says Da Choc, "is not an excuse [...] I don't use my struggles to gain respect...." Instead he exploits them, in his own place in the scheme of natural order, pronouncing his definition as a hip-hop paragon.
In the echoing song, "Pain", Da Choc reflects on the lost of his own innocence, while praying not to hit 'some innocent kid'. "Made me think, do I even know what innocence is...". Battling between the good and evil within a corrupted rap game, he draws his line at blood "so I go into this game expecting the worst, but when it comes to my family, know I'm protecting them first...".
"How you gonna claim your music soulful, when you aint got a soul left...". ("Pure", Da Choc)
Da Choc segregates himself further from the 'A typical' hip-hop cliché, by challenging that very image in songs, such as, "Pure". Pure is the feeling an emcee has before he has fame, when who is his, and hopes to be, is delivered full hearted in every verse. In "Pure", Da Choc dares rappers to remember their hip-hop origins. In it, he details how rap artist go from being revered to being forgotten, from being one to be heard, to being one that is saying nothing at all. "From the jump, I watched you turn into da man, dawg/ but now-a-days its somthin that I don' understand, dawg/ cause now when you rap, its like you pulled a scam, dawg/ What happened...?" Delivering undiluted verses, Da Choc questions the realness of rap artist within the hip-hop genre. The frankness of needing to stay true to his conflicted love of hip-hop is heard from the first verse to the last. "But now I know the reason, dawg, you aint Pure...".
Da Choc represents the next level of hip-hop. Hip-hop culture has shaped his speech, directed his message, and camouflaged itself within his lifestyle. He is more than just a rap artist he a courier to of its tale. His rap experiences, coupled with the share genius of his words, are that which has shaped him. From the likable arrogance that bellows in "A Problem", "f*ck changing the game, I'll make you choose a different sport" to his unrefined, conscious synopsis in "Birdman", "then you wonder why it stays the same, when everyone is brainwashed to play the game...", Da Choc delivers each of part of his internal message with an authenticity absent from today's rap scene.
Da Choc's goals dwell further than the realm of hip-hop. Just as Madonna shocked the world with her "take over the world through music" motto", so too, will Da Choc reign infamous throughout the years. "I can make [an] impact not only through hip-hop, but through songwriting, movie productions, etc." In the end, Da Choc's envisions himself leading a corporation that will make Ill Mass a household name. Mix that with a perfectionist work ethic, thesaurus-like vocabulary, down-to-earth personality, and imperative confidence, and you'll have an unwavering rhythmic fiend. Witness now, the next focal in rap history. Sick of the infectious lyrics falling haphazardly out of the mouths of the present faces of rap, hip-hop prayed for a cure. Through the spirit of Ill Mass, the world sent Da Choc...
"...For the sake of my career, now I got to politic/on top of shit/ now I gotta mandate/and build up a fan base/so you know I can't get immediately stuck/on what to do/when I know my fifteen minutes is up/ And I'm really not giving a f*ck/ that's really true/ and that's the thing that really separates me from you..." ("Keep it Going", Da Choc)
*Da Choc has performed at venues infamous from Philly to New York. Such venues include, Five Spot, Trolly Stop, 69th St. Pub, Club Flo, Club Speed, Demarrah's Brooklyn Cafe, and NYRurican
**Bio written by S. Badiyah Austin
Da Choc Bio
March 01, 2005