IamDjRo was able to learn more about new music artist Kuumba Ali !Be sure to read the exclusives below !
Q: Tell me in a few words, who you are. How would you describe yourself in a short
story? **Include where you are from and the state you currently live in.**
o A: Chicago born native, Kuumba Ail (formally known as Pierre Jackson), is an
artist of many trades, and is a self – published author of thought-provoking poetry
and spoken word literature, entitled “Paper, Pen, & Perception,” from the eyes of
a black man trying to make it in an unjust society.
He is a designer, writer, illustrator, creator, and owner of Productive Strings
Clothing Brand which offers provocative fashion, which creates conversation
about the world we live in today. Between his multiple streams of positive
propaganda, Kuumba Ali, hopes to awaken the voices of the unheard creative
liberators of the world, and offer a platform for people to come together to
express creative control of their works hence the brand logo being the Puppeteer.
Q: What’s your stage name and how did you come up with it?
o A: Kuumba Ali is the epitome of “great creativity or creativity at its greatest”,
representing one of the seven principles of Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of
Q: What got you into music?
o A: Music has always been a part of my life but influential artist like Bow Wow,
Romeo and Michael Jackson got me into writing and rapping. Also influential
movies and television shows from the 80’s and 90’s like, “In Living Color,
Martin, Def Comedy Jam, Juice, Living Single, All That, New Jack City, Paid In
Full”, “Boyz In The Hood”, Bebe’s Kids”, “Space Jam” Etc.”, created space for
me to hear various songs and track lists from a variety of artist at a pivotal age in
Q: What was life like growing up?
o A: Growing up for me was tough mentally, emotionally, and socially. Being the
youngest son of 3, and youngest boy cousin; I always felt alone or outcasted by
my older family members (even though they were only a few years older). I
would say that I was always curious and excited to learn new things that wasn’t
considered “cool” or “the norm” for an inner-city kid living in
I was in a since an only child in my own right, raised by music, art, cartoons,
games, and television. Which further cultivated my love of being an artist and
creative. This also made it tough for people to relate to me and make connections,
so I was isolated and bullied for many of my youth and teenage years, which in
turn lead to my depression and self-harm (cutting).
Eventually, I learned that being “weird” and not apart of the group is part of my
uniqueness and helped me embrace who I was. Music helped me overcome
suicide and release a lot of pain and trauma I had delt with.
Music really saved my life and still helps me get through a lot of things in my
Q: Who is your inspiration? What keeps you going to get up daily and put effort into
your music career?
o A: Yahweh. The Lord. God inspires me because He is the only person I could
relate to growing up. Being an outcast, but always having a good heart and
willingness to help others. He was just a pivotal part of daily life. Musically I
would say I am inspired by different artist, not perceived as the typical “trapper”
or “gangsta” rappers. Their music resonated with me on a deeper level, like they
were pulling from parts of my life. It was confirmation that I was walking in my
purpose and was doing what I supposed to do in order to free myself from all the
pain I had built up inside. Those artist include, “Kid Cudi, Drake, Childish Major,
Chance the Rapper, Bugatti Beez, Meek Millz, QuEST, Kodak Black, G Herbo,
Big Sean, Nav, Eli Sostre, Cousin Stizz, XXX Tentacion, Trippie Redd, K-Camp,
T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, Earl Sweatshirt, Sonny Digital, Ryan
Trey, Travis Scott, OG Maco, J-Cole, Wiz Khalifa; just to name a few.
That whole 2010-2016 roster of different artist that were out helped a lot because
they were not only different or emo rappers, but they had that motivational
underdog music and I’ve always felt like an underdog and outcast.
Q: What is your creative process like? What is the meaning behind your current
o My creative process consists of me listening to a variety of songs/ hard beats on
YouTube or other social platforms and simply creating freestyles that bring
o My single, “Dove’s Cry” represents black anger, being tired of always having to
minimize how I feel because society is threatened by me and other black men; tall
dark, and handsome with locs. Meanwhile my nation and race are being killed
every day; either by our own or by racists/bigots. We’re never offered anything to
deal with the pain or trauma we face so we turn to drinking or smoking, etc. It’s
about not allowing people’s non-experiences of living while black to tell you how
to feel or just “get over it”. It’s about not becoming desensitized to what’s going
on in the world and speaking on it every chance you get. My music is a reflection
of me being a unapologetically black man in a country that wants black men to be
“non-threatening” so they can be comfortable.
Q: What is the name of the current single/EP/album that you are pushing? Do you
prefer people to buy it or stream? And why?
o “Lost & Damned” is the title of my premier EP. I would rather people stream and
buy. Stream, to build my fan base and get in tune with who I am and what I’m
creating. Buy at $6 on all streaming platforms, to help reinvest in the brand and
Q: With the industry changing so much, would you stay indie or sign to a label?
o Indie. I would rather build my own label and later on do a partnership/
collaboration with a label that I feel comfortable with. I’m would rather take my
time in dealing with record labels than get finessed into a 360 deal or signing
something that don’t suit my life.
Q: Do you feel like the music industry has gone down since the pandemic? Why/Why
not? Were you affected by the pandemic with music or everyday life?
o I don’t think the music industry has gone down, I just think that the pandemic
changed how business was done and will be done in the future.
o If you weren’t affected by the pandemic, that’s a blessing. I was definitely
affected. As I mentioned before, I’ve struggled with mental issues (depression,
anxiety, PTSD, etc.), so it was hard just being isolated and losing people during
the shut down was even harder. Not being able to see my family definitely took a
toll but it also allowed me to focus on my passions more and realize what was
truly important in life.
Q: If you were given a chance to sit down and have a business dinner with a celebrity
who would it be and why?
o A: I would sit down with Kendrick, Cole, Jay Z, Ye, Dame Dash, Mark Cuban,
Gary Vaynerchuck, Katt Williams, Dr. Dre, Issa Rae, Drake, Childish Gambino,
Keke Palmer, Tracey Ellis Ross, Kenya Barris, Rihanna, Regina King, Aaron
McGruder, John Singleton, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Elon Musk. I would sit
down with these celebs because they are legends, moguls, and people who see
things on a bigger scale. They see a bigger picture to me, they’re multifaceted
individuals who gone also give it to you straight without pulling any punches.
They gone tell you what it is straight up, and I see myself in them.
Q: How do you balance everyday life tied into your music career?
o A: Moderation. Doing everything in moderation, a little here a little there until it
all adds up to a major sum. Some people are maximal and can maximize on one
thing, but me I’m multifaceted like the individuals I mentioned before. And so
with that being said I’m more of an optimal person I optimize my skills and goals,
I see myself as a jack of all trades master of none.
Q: Tell me about your most memorable moment in your career?
o A: Well, I’m just starting so I don’t have many yet, but I’ll have to say one is
dropping my project. Seeing my project on Spotify and Apple Music and other
streaming services is crazy! And my second one would be interviewing on
“What’s Poppin LA!?” with Angie Churn we really chopped it up and I couldn’t
believe that jus happened.
Q: What style of music do you prefer to make? Would you ever try a different lane?
o A: I prefer R&B I like to create vibes; I like to make music people can come
together and enjoy each other and the event they attended while being able ride to
it or make love to it as well if they choose to. And I’m open to all lanes pop,
country, jazz etc. Long as it’s a nice beat with intentional lyrics, and I’m feeling it
I’m gone work and make something happen.
Q: Do you have a celebrity crush?
o KeKe Palmer, Sofia Vergara, & LaToya Tonodeo
Q: Is there anyone who you would collab with right now?
o A: Yea! No Name, Tierra Whack, Trippie Redd, Chance The Rapper, Ye, King
Louie, Tink, Dreezy, Childish Gambino, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, J
Q: Who is the producer and engineer behind your music?
o My Boy Oliver
Q: What are you currently working on and what is next for you?
o A: Promoting this EP and I have other music already written, so after I
successfully pushing this EP I’ll be working on a few singles and preparing for
the next EP.
Q: When it comes to fashion, whats your dressing style ?
o A: Whatever I like. I like to wear my own designs though; I have my own pair of
shoes coming out as well so I like to be in my own stuff I’m excited for that drop
I can’t wait I’m excited about it.
Q: If you could open up for one celebrity who would it be and why?
o Chance the Rapper
Q: Any funny stories or an embarrassing moments you want to share with our readers?
o A: I got one, it was embarrassing to me. So, I went to my first C2E2 Comic-Con
and I saw the original black and blue rangers (Walter Emanuel Jones) (Billy
Cranston) and I turned into a fan boy and I started crying and kept asking my wife
if it was really them it was hilariously embarrassing. It was so much nostalgia
overload that I just caved in public lmao.
Q: What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?
o Working on my other businesses.
Q: What is one message you would give to your fans?
o A: Know yourself, know your boundaries and limits and go for what you want
because no one else is going to make it happen for you, it is up to you and YOU
only to become everything you see yourself being.