On any smoke-filled evening on the south side of Houston, in underground clubs far removed from the shiny, glossy joints lining midtown, a Hip-hop scene fueled by copious amounts of medicinal herb grooves and funks hipsters of all origins. As drinks are passed around in plastic cups, the lights go on over the stage and a group of rappers begin belting their raw sounds. Through lyrics of smoking weed and partying, one of those rapper’s sound stands apart from the crowd of baggy jeans and gold medallions. Daraja Hakizimana has been writing and composing music for the better part of his life and has thus far, released 10 albums. He is most known as one of Devin the Dude’s Coughee Brothaz, but this artist is making a name for himself with his musical prowess as a rapper, songwriter, producer and composer. Pegged as Houston’s next up and comer, at any given time you’ll find him perfecting a tune on his keyboard, adding riffs with his guitar or just kicking back with a blunt with other artists at a local watering hole.
How long have you been performing?
I started writing music when I was 13 and in 2000, I started performing. Originally I started in poetry and R&B in a duo group under the name Kamakazae. That was going really well until the guy that I was working with ended up in jail. From there, I went on to Hip-hop and electronica jazz. Once I started doing Hip-hop, I got started with Devin the Dude and became one of the Coughee Brothaz. That put me further into the Hip-hop scene.
Daraja Hakizimana is an up-and-coming Houston artist. He was born and raised in the south side of Houston, TX. The artist was given the name Daraja Hakizimana, as a right of passage, by the Shrine of the Black Madonna, the Houston branch of The Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church. Daraja’s music is as equally unique as his name! Check out the interview:
How long have you been making music?
D.H.- “I’ve been making music since I got out of high school. I was influenced by many different artists like: Paul Hardcastle, Marvin Gaye, Jodeci and Sam Cooke. I came out around 2000 when artists still had to promote their music in the streets. I passed out flyers and pushed my music myself.”