For fans of Juice WRLD and Lil Peep, meet DEATH2KALON. The L.A. emo rapper is only 20 but he possesses the same assured flow and contemplative lyricism that defined those two icons of hip hop’s new generation.
The self-proclaimed introvert is all about community and contemplation. He makes music for the quiet kids at the back of the class because he’s been in their situation before.
DEATH2KALON has built up an impressive loyal following in a short space of time, in no small part to his #AfterUs Discord server, currently home to hundreds of active members. Alongside his musical partner Telly, the server has become a place for anyone to discuss mental health and art, completely free from judgement.
Last week, DEATH2KALON dropped the official music video for his powerful single ‘Beautiful Death’. Taken from his 2020 sophomore EP Symphony of the Night, the track has since become a fan favourite. Filled with intense atmospherics and introspective writing, the rapper digs deep into his tormented psyche; it’s an unrestrained look at heartbreak, betrayal, and redemption.
The video was directed by acclaimed videographer Isaac Garcia and it perfectly encapsulates the emotional themes that run through the song. There’s an almost horror feel to it, the aesthetic making the viewer feel unsettled and uneasy. “When I feel really alone and all I have is myself, demons seem like a sense of company,” the rapper says about the song’s lyrics.
Perhaps unsurprising given his own focus on mental health, DEATH2KALOn has a particular rapper to thank for inspiring him. “I always give respect to people like Kid Cudi,” he says. “He made it known that it’s ok to express your problems. Music is my therapy. If I can help myself with my music, then I can most definitely help people around the world who are going through something similar.”
It’s a good mission to have. After the release of his new music video, we caught up with DEATH2KALON as part of our popular Get To Know series to find out more about his life and career.
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Me and my best friend were just randomly thinking about a new name to come up with. He said ‘I think your name would be cool if it was like Death something’, so I put my first and last name together. That was Kalon and the ‘Death2’ part means that nothing will stop me unless it’s death.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Sadly my grandma isn’t here with us anymore but she would be proud to hear how far my sound has come today.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
I have a song out called ‘Beautiful Death’. It dives deep into when someone wants to turn and change their actions around but it’s too late when fate comes in to play its part.
What do you love about your hometown?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I “love” it but I most definitely do love the memories there of growing up with my grandma and older brothers.
Career highlight so far?
I think it would be hitting 60k views on my second video ‘Inside Boy’.
Fave non-music hobby?
I like to play basketball with my close friends sometimes. It gets really competitive and I’m all about that.
What’s on your dream rider?
The whole God of War collection.
Dream music collaboration?
I would love to work with Trippie Redd, Billie Eilish, and Tory Lanez.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself being the best version of what I am right now. That means inspiring and helping people all across the world to chase their long term goals and get better with mental health. Also while helping my friends and family, and giving opportunities to kids surrounded by poverty so that they can also have chances at their dreams.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘Faneto’ by Chief Keef.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To keep going even when I feel like I’m not going anywhere. You have to be your biggest supporter in anything you do, especially when there’s no one else that will give you the boost that you need.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?