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In 2015, local rapper Kenilworth Katrina hand-picked 20 elite female rappers from the D.C. area and remade the classic hip-hop anti-violence song “Self Destruction.” Katrina is back in 2020 with a similar undertaking, featuring 24 of the best male rappers in the city. This time the collective is called Black Kingz United and they have recreated the West Coast anti-violence anthem “We’re All In The Same Gang.” The new track makes a positive statement about Black manhood, and also addresses the political unrest and police violence that has occurred in D.C. and all over the country. Katrina spoke with City Paper about the song and the process of making it.
Washington City Paper: Why did you decide this was the appropriate time for an all-male song?
Kenilworth Katrina: With everything going on right now concerning our Black men, I wanted to bring awareness to their issues and understand life from their perspective. There’s no better way to celebrate the Black man than through music.
WCP: How has violence impacted your life personally?
KK: I’ve had many friends die from gun violence in my neighborhood, and we constantly hear about violence and police brutality throughout the world. I felt compelled to do something about it and pay tribute to the men we’ve lost in the streets—sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands.
WCP: How did you choose the artists for this project?
KK: I selected rappers that I know people respect and who are lyrically dope. There are many others I wish could’ve included but I’m blessed for the 24 that did participate.
WCP: What was the creative process for “We’re All In The Same Gang” Remix?
KK: The creative process was dope. My partner Keylow Black and I set up two recording sessions at the House Of J-Rob recording studio. We broke them into groups and they began writing and recording that same day. The song was completed after the second session.
WCP: What is next for you?
KK: Great things are ahead. I have several singles I will be releasing soon and an EP with Keylow Black entitled “Sister, Sister 2.0.”