For about a year, I've been performing Mondays at RumFire in the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. My friend Jeremy Cheng runs a live music event from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, and he invites me to join him every Monday. Jeremy is an amazing musician, with a repertoire encompassing a variety of genres, but he shines in R&B and hip-hop. While other hotels hire musicians to play Hawaiian music, Jeremy is free to play contemporary hits by artists like Miguel and Frank Ocean alongside classics by Al Green, Eric Clapton, and Michael Jackson.
I was introduced to Jeremy through his cousin and my friend Noa Yee. Since that introduction, Jeremy has provided me a weekly platform to hone my freestyling ability. When I first began performing with Jeremy, he'd call me up for a single song or two, if I was lucky. This was for my benefit, as I did not have enough material to freestyle for an entire night.
Now, I can comfortably fill an hour and a half with freestyle rap, though I am constantly working to improve my variety and decrease repetition. Every week, I work with Jeremy. He challenges me to innovate rhythmically, and the shifting audience keeps me on my toes. Nothing excites me more than convincing a pale senior citizen that "rap music ain't that bad."
Below are some selections, recorded with my iPhone. Jeremy and I are working on putting out a recorded project, but for now, these are a window into my Monday nights. If you're free and on the island, come visit Jeremy. He'll play you a song, and I'll freestyle about your facial hair or lack thereof.