Praise the kid
BlkSknn deserves as much respect as he gives
Ajene Kalyan met me stoned out of my mind eating gummy worms at Central District Ice Cream during an art event. He was sporting an Elephant Carwash T-shirt and I told him I had always wanted one. Guess what I am wearing right now? Actually my new favorite garment is in the dirty laundry pile because I wore it the day after he gave it to me. Somewhere in between now and that fateful day we’ve gotten to know each other through messages, a smoke sesh, and various degrees of collaboration. Ajene is a good person. He is looking to uplift himself through his craft and ideally his community as well. He was born and raised in Seattle and I can sense that it makes him proud. All that he radiates in terms of personality and open-mindedness and communal thoughtfulness comes through in his work. I very much enjoy his project entitled Small World. Pull it up on Soundcloud or snag a physical copy from Ajene himself at a show or even on the street, where he is upholding one of the more traditional of promotional methods; getting the fuck out there and handing out your shit. Small World is filled with sunny beats and clever wordplay. I find it to be uplifting and relatable even when it’s talking about subjects that maybe a white dude from suburbia couldn’t completely relate too. But that’s what is great about BlkSknn; it’s speaking in a universal language and on a vibe that penetrates deeper than skin. My favorite tracks are "Reggie Miller," "Honesty Hour," and "The Takeoff." Beyond the music, Ajene is setting in motion an entire operation under the umbrella of Blk English, a collective he started with his family and peers. The goal is to encompass music, visual art, fashion, community outreach, poetry and many other creative endeavors pursued by fellow locals. They want to nurture these pursuits on an original platform, and in turn elevate anyone that’s involved. The same day that BlkSknn’s new EP Summer17 is going to drop, Blk English is hosting an event called Thrifty Thursdays, where you are welcome to bring any clothing you wish to donate before you enjoy some great local music. Do check that out on July 20th at El Quetzal.