Katori Walker

Katori Walker

Hip-Hop / Rap

Katori Walker

  • From: Pasadena, CA
  • Related Artists: Vic Mensa, ScHoolboy Q KOTA the Friend

Through the darkness comes truth. Originally from Pasadena, California, Katori Walker’s upbringing didn’t reflect his sunny surroundings. His mother struggled with alcoholism and his father was a former Blood. Death, gang violence and addiction were rampant. The tumult at home led to Walker and his two brothers bouncing around in foster care between the ages of five until 8 ½. It was a dark time; including abuse, torment and literally being locked in a room. “As a kid, you don’t quite understand things,” the 28-year-old muses.

Walker’s father eventually got custody of the kids. With a recording studio at home, music became a viable path. “My dad started teaching me how to make beats at 9, 10 years old.” The boys formed a rap group called OG’s 3, which lasted from elementary until high school. It sparked something within Walker. “Just hearing ourselves on speakers, it was a dream.”

Walker was obsessed with sports in high school and music was briefly put on the back burner. “In high school, [Odd Future member] Hodgy Beats and I ran on the same track team,” he says. “What really pushed me back into music was my senior year. I rapped for all my friends. Seeing people’s reaction was a high.” In 2009, he released his first solo mixtape, Unfed Hunger. “After that, I never stopped.” So began the multiple hustles of an indie rapper— balancing music, going to Pasadena City College and working at Abercrombie & Fitch.

While Walker was able to avoid the lure of the streets, those close to him succumbed to it. “I became aware of my own mortality,” he says. “Music was my way out.” His brother, who became a Blood, was murdered in 2017, marking a turning point. Overwhelmed by grief, Walker put his feelings on wax on his breakout “Ormoni.” “When you lose someone you spent your whole life with? That’s a whole different experience.” It was catharsis. “I was so angry at everyone. That record was not written for the world. I wrote that record for my family. I didn’t know that record would do amazing things. I just wrote it because that’s literally how I felt.” The raw emotion hit a nerve and the video, which features him rapping as if he was a corpse, garnered over 300,000 views on YouTube, catapulting his Ignorance EP. He signed to Capitol Records in early 2018 and released 1 Minute of Your Time..., which caught the year of industry insiders. He offers introspective raps that delve into the complexities of human nature. “'Stubborn' is a grand scheme of ideas. The yin and the yang,” he explains, citing themes like purpose, life and relationships. Newcomers Jordan and Danny handle production and Walker is overseeing every element, from mixing to directing music videos. He hopes that fans listen and better understand him. “I want to humanize myself,” he says. “This project is what I’m talking about. Who I am.”


Katori Walker : Stubborn
  • Latest Album:
  • Release Date:
    March 29, 2019

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