King Famous Presents: Ninja Karakuri was made in Japan.
For one year I lived in Kurashiki, Okayama Japan. I had became intrigued by the culture of Japan just after I saw a Sumo match on TV at the age of 6 or 7.
I grew up playing video games, namely Nintendo - which is from Japan. I loved Ninjas and Samurai - which are from Japan. It seemed everything that was cool to me was from Japan.
Living in a new culture opened my senses and made everything new again. The rap style I had developed from Versus the Robot Factory became less tight, and a bit more melodic.
Every bit of Japanese culture and media influenced the album. For most of the year I was living by myself with no phone. I would go to the internet cafe to send email home, but for the most part, I was completely on my own. This was what I wanted - the noise of my life in America had become a full drone. The internet industry was surviving it's first crash, and we had just lost the Twin Towers.
My plans to go to Japan were set before all this happened, but my life in the US was that of a starving artist.
Before the trip my home was an old computer chip factory located in Queens New York known as Recoton, which was located in the Phun Phactory, or 5 Points as seen in the movie "Now You See Me."
I felt like the world was falling apart in America - the truth is my life was. Living in my art studio, playing shows every night was a blast - but money was tight and I was hungry.
Not being afraid to fly after the trajedy proved to be one of my life's defining moments. In Japan there were other challenges. To survive I taught English to children of all ages. In doing so, I realized that I had to grow internally, morally and emotionally.
As time crept by in the land of the rising sun, I learned because I had to. I felt reborn, and I was pushed to be a better person. When you are stripped of everything you've ever known (including your language), you see the center of your soul very clearly. And once you see it, you can decide to live how you are, or change into something much better.
Ninja Karakuri is King Famous evolved. And without the sites and sounds of Japan, this album would never exist.
From the liner notes:
Dive into a post-modern world, skimming the future sounds of ancient Japan.
Not only is Ninja Karakuri a tribute to the land of the rising sun, but it is an outsider's view of America, an essay about belonging and not belonging, a detailed slice of a time long forgotten, but still very much part our present day culture - even if it is invisible to the naked eye.