KC Soundcheck: Enrique Chi and D Smoke
One artist spent his early years in Panama and the other used the Spanish language as a tool to connect with the community.
Kansas City's Celebrate Ameri'kana Music and Arts Festival on Sept. 10 brings together national, local and young performers to celebrate the Black, Indigenous, immigrant and Latino heroes of American music.
Enrique Chi, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for Making Movies is one of the event's organizers and headliners. One of Chi's goals for the event is to create a "shift" in the Kansas City music scene.
"In Kansas City there's not been spaces where Black music and Latino music and just the general music population all intersect. Right? But there's spaces for each of those things," Chi says. "This event, we're putting it all together."
D Smoke, an American rapper and songwriter from Inglewood, California, will also be performing. He gained attention after winning the first season of the Netflix music competition show Rhythm + Flow in 2019.
Having grown up in Los Angles, D Smoke experienced the Spanish language as a domestic language and not a foreign language because he was surrounded by so many Spanish speakers.
"If you're open to it, if your mind and heart is open to it, you can and will learn Spanish just because it's here," he says. " I learned Spanish both in the streets and school."
Many of D Smoke's fans consider his incorporation of Spanish into his hip hop as one of his biggest attributes.