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Arts Desk has written a lot about Kokayi over the years, because he’s talented and prolific and all that jazz. The D.C. rapper/singer/producer even did a Snow Day Session. But his latest gambit—offering a free house concert to the 1,400th person who Likes him on Facebook—seemed a bit outré, even for a guy who is known to shamelessly use the Internet to promote his work. We asked him about it:
1. Is this for real? It’s like something MTV would do in the ’80s.
It is absolutely real. And yes it’s a throwback contest. I figured why not do something that would benefit my real fans, something fun and relatively easy to accomplish.
2. Are you desperate?
I am not desperate at all. Like me. I’m not begging. [Please Like me.] … Subliminal messages really don’t work that well in print. Honestly, I mean, I could be on the corner with a “will rap for Likes” sign, but I’d look mad thirsty for love or Likes, as it stands. I looked at the disparity between “friends” (5000) that I have on Facebook and the Likes on my artist page and figured, why not call some attention to it and help them to match, but without spamming folks. I generally want folks to hit the button that actually like the music, not just pressing buttons for the sake of analytics or because they like me as a person.
3. How can you be sure that people won’t try to cheat the system? Y’know, Like and Unlike a lot?
There will always be cheats, but how do you know that you’ll be the 1400th person? I keep track of all the folks that have already Liked the page, and if i see the numbers drop and see a familiar name, then it’s: “Got busted/That cat in the hat“
4. The contest rules say the winner has to provide snacks and beverages. What should they buy for you?
Pez and Van Gogh espresso vodka. No, I mean, whatever they want. No pork though. But the Van Gogh is always welcome. Nine out of 10 livers agree (I need a sponsorship with all this product placement I’m giving, yeesh). I’m not into Twinkies and all that, though one could assume given my lovely physique. However, I’m on my healthy de-fat regimen so, I’m into healthy green rabbit food, power smoothies from Robeks … all that biz. Frankly, with the recent passing of my hero.. Heavy D (RIP) and comedian Patrice O’Neal, it’s really important that everyone take a look at their health and make good choices accordingly. To anyone reading this, I say schedule your doctor’s appointment and get your health in order. And it’s World AIDS Day today, so get tested and check out your overall health.
5. What happens if somebody from New Zealand or Singapore wins the concert? It would be kind of expensive for you.
I believe that the rules state (in the second line of paragraph 1) that the contest is offered to residents within the contiguous United States. I love that word … contiguous. But, hey if someone in Singapore or New Zealand can pay me and the band to be there … then hells yeah! I’m on the jet plane, my passport stamps are good money. In fact, I’ll be in Slovenia in January … Jyeah!
Photo by Darrow Montgomery