Northside is Not Kap-ing
By Oscar Yanek
Northside College Prep is known for its academic rigor and relatively high test scores. But what our school does not get enough recognition for its diversely talented students. If you take the time, you will find that the Northside community is teeming with creative and artistic minds waiting for their work to get the attention it deserves. NoKapProductions is the project of two of those minds: Khari (Najee Scott, Adv. 908) and Edison (Edward Kasule, Adv. 901). NoKapProductions makes music, music videos, dance videos, freestyle cyphers, and vlogs on their channel and SoundCloud. The duo currently has 148 subscribers and 8,090 views in total on YouTube.
Their style is based on their favorite rappers from the SoundCloud and hip-hop spheres. Edison and Khari recalled their visions for NoKapProductions when they formed the group in the summer of 2018. “We started writing songs and freestyling a lot more and we came up with the song Slow Motion,” they said, “and that’s where it really took off.” NoKapProductions has continued to expand after its first song and is working on connecting with other artists to spread brand awareness.
In Chicago’s underground scene, it can be hard to gain traction, and networking with other creators is often the best way to get your content to an audience of people who will like it; fortunately, NoKap is not afraid of networking. When asked his goals for the future of NoKap, Edison said “I see NoKap becoming a movement that will grow more and more. We are collaborating with more people, and gaining a small following. We are taking our work a lot more seriously, and becoming more efficient. In a few years, I see NoKap looking something like Cole Bennett’s Lyrical Lemonade.” Lyrical Lemonade started in a similar manner to NoKap; in 2014 it was just YouTube channel featuring underground Chicago artists, but today it is worth millions of dollars. This is an optimistic goal but the duo has shown tenacity by putting out fairly regular content for their fanbase, averaging around two videos a week. Regular upload times and fan interactions are key in growing a channel’s popularity. This frequency is also due to the hard work done by Toan Nguyen, Adv. 909, who is also a young creator. He works closely with the group and provides a lot of the cinematic direction for NoKapProductions; all of NoKap’s videos are edited, shot, and produced by Nguyen.
Talking with Edison and Khari about what they have achieved and have yet to achieve was an inspiring experience. NoKapProductions is proof that if you have a goal and a vision for your art, you can find a way to get it out there to people, no matter your age or experience. The NoKap guys have a lot of ambition and are working to make that ambition their reality. With promises of more content and new projects on the horizon, NoKapProductions still has a lot more of an impact to make before the school year is done.