Stephanie Sokol for The Pit
At first listen, Chicago indie hip-hop duo Holoking resembles a more rhythmic early Lupe Fiasco sound, meshed with a touch of Kid Cudi. But the rhythms and uniqueness of each song is what makes this group different– artsy rhythm and instrumentals compliment the strength of influential lyrics.
Vocalist “MC Diverse” Kenny Jenkins and Percussionist Chris Hunt are the men behind Holoking. After Chris left band Cloudeater, he teamed up with Kenny for this new music project.
Kenny and Chris met through a mutual friend, and after working on projects together in the past, reconnected last month for Holoking.
“On the music side, I’ve been trying to think about the quality of starkness and how to work with that within a musical appropriate framework that allows Kenny to do what he does best,” Chris said. “So I suppose those aesthetic challenges make for good inspiration on one level. All of the usual inspirations happen as well — other art, general and specific life experiences and struggles, politics and ideas.”
Holoking’s music composition starts with Chris laying down his ideas and goals, exploring ideas and creating demos that he sends to Kenny to work on them further and eventually add vocals. They then work together on the music til it is perfected.
Their track “Superhuman” has many deep themes to it, and can be interpreted in multiple ways, according to Kenny.
“On the surface, Superhuman could be perceived as just boasting about lyrical invincibility, thoroughly laced with pompous bravado,” Kenny said. “But it’s actually more reflective of a few things that run far deeper; the will of the human spirit and its ability to thrive in the face of adverse conditions; an undying ambition to trudge forward. Also, the prospects of the creative documentation living beyond the span of one’s lifetime– indelibly present.”
Holoking is currently in the process of “finding their universe,” and making a lot of music to share with the world. The group will be releasing more music and scheduling live dates soon.
“I hope listeners hear something that causes thought,” Chris said. “It is difficult enough for a new band to reach audiences, so beyond just pressing play I can only hope that it isn’t greeted with apathy. We believe in what we say as well, so I hope there is rich lyrical and sonic content that the listener would find valuable to investigate.”