Following the successful release of his acclaimed new music video “ILLYINDÉ,” Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning rapper Thomas Iannucci has just announced his new project, Kuleana. Executive produced by veteran hip hop emcee and producer J. Crum, Kuleana sees Iannucci return to his roots, both thematically and sonically.
“‘Kuleana’ is a return to form for me,” said Iannucci in a statement. “I get to rap on the boom-bap, Golden Era beats that made me fall in love with Hip Hop in the first place, and I get to rap about Hawaii, my home. It’s been refreshing for me to get back to the basics of music and not worry about the awards, keeping up with social media or appearances, any of that stuff. I know I’m usually known for high profile collaborations, but this time I tapped some of the hottest up and comers in the game – we’ve got J. Crum, seni., Joe Ayindé, Lael Turner, Montythehokage, and of course my sister Dondi. It was just me, my friends, and some music that was near and dear to my heart. I look forward to others finally getting to hear my music, because this is without a doubt the best music I’ve done to date.”
Thematically, Kuleana deals with the local experience: growing up in Hawaii, and the struggles, pitfalls, and pain that are ever-present, but usually unspoken. Drug addiction, suicide, the tensions of having to work multiple jobs while struggling to survive in Hawaii, which has one of the highest cost of living rates in the nation, are all tackled in Iannucci’s new project.
“I wanted to start a conversation about some things I’ve seen growing up that never really get addressed,” said Iannucci. “It hurts my heart to see my friends, family, and community struggling alone. We aren’t alone – we have Jesus, and we have each other. But if we never reach out – if we never even acknowledge that there’s a problem, how can we progress? So my hope with this album is that I can at least bring to light some of the issues we’re all collectively facing here, and he’ll start some important conversations that need to be had.”
Kuleana drops December 3rd, and will be available online wherever music is streamed or sold.
Thomas Iannucci TRACKLIST:
1. Ka Pule a Ka Haku (feat. Keikilani)
2. Kuleana (feat. seni.)
3. Thoughts Out Loud Pt. 3 (feat. Lael Turner)
4. Illyindé (feat. Joe Ayindé)
5. The Climb (feat. J. Crum)
6. My Way
7. Fly Away (feat. Dondi)
8. Ho’ala ‘Oe (interlude)
9. Miss Those Days (feat. Montythehokage)