Born in Hanover, Simon Bohnsack, artistically known as DJ Kaito, has been rapping for 10 years, and in fact will release an anniversary ‘Best Of’ album on the 1st of January 2021. The German rapper is not your ordinary urban artist, owning personal traits which distinguish him from many of his contemporaries. Starting out in 2011, DJ Kaito launched his YouTube channel, and has since released a series of albums, mixtapes and singles that have achieved acclaim and viral success. Along the way, DJ Kaito has found time to tour Germany and also release a mixtape, entitled “Das Vermächniss der RST”, which consists of rapping syllables without meaning.
In 2018 the pansexual German rapper decided to take some time off for himself, but still participated at the 4th Nationwide Peace Vigil in Berlin, alongside Die Bandbreite, Ukavalli and Kilez More, among others. In 2019 DJ Kaito appeared back on the scene with a brand new album, entitled “Signal kommt”, which made an impact on USA media outlets.
Now, leading up to his tenth anniversary album, coming out next year, DJ Kaito has decided to release the single “Nur so irgendwie”, lifted off the “Signal kommt” album. The single can be described as a chillout hip-hop track. The song is built on a minimal, scratchy lo-fi beat, with warm and shimmering electro keys, gently humming above a subtle percussion momentum.
DJ Kaito’s flow in the verses is confident but restrained, enjoyably rhythmic, and never showy, as he matches his voice to the mood of the song, and the theme of the narrative. DJ Kaito’s vocals sound lush and poignant, complementing the minimal piano beat perfectly. The lack of distraction from this aesthetic, helps draw attention to just how skilled of a nuanced rapper DJ Kaito has become.
The lyrics are introspective with reams of self-reflection being granted to the listener, as DJ Kaito opens with the following lines: “Where am I? Who am I? What am I? Sitting in my room. Don’t think of anything. Just listen to music. Fame is not what I want. Somehow there is a different picture here. Somehow I just want to read manga. Somehow I just want to read here in peace. Somehow I just want to listen to soft music…”
The song goes on, to list all of the things DJ Kaito can achieve in the solitary space of his room – from reading to playing videogames, dropping rhymes, making beats and recording his music – and ends on a positive note: “I crouch in the room and just do what I want. And this is: Listen to music. To be alone somehow. Somehow everything is really so fine here.”
The depth that comes from the relative simplicity of this song, is what separates DJ Kaito from his peers. Though you may not understand the language, listening to DJ Kaito on “Nur so irgendwie”, is a unique and sublime experience.