On Kalapana: Cnrboy talks about Mackey and 90s R&B group, chant

Continuing our series of asking artists about Kalapana's music and influence is local rapper and beat maker Cnrboy, who traces his Mackey Feary fandom to his father's time spent in a 90s R&B group, chant.  

What is your all-time favorite Kalapana track? Why do you love it?

"Nightbird" is definitely my favorite track. I just love the visual storytelling behind mackeys lyrics. I heard he wrote the song in NY, while being homesick. Sounds like he’s talking about love or a woman but he’s really talking about home. I can definite relate. Nothing like Hawaii.

How has Kalapana and their music influenced you as an artist?

Even though i was born in the era of CDs, I grew up around vinyl records just as much. My grandparents & or uncle had pretty much every kalapana album on wax. I was introduced to their music early, and something about hearing music off vinyl just hits you different. I think listening to a lot of that genre of music as a kid affected my ear as a producer and rapper. I gravitated more towards old sampled beats. I started learning more about that era of music in Hawaii. And that’s what kind of inspired me doing my bootleg tees!

Tell us your best classic Kalapana story — whether you knew the band personally, met them in person, or are just a fan of their music.

My dad was in a group called “chant” they were a local R&B group during the 90s. When they were working on their first album, “Hands of Time”, writing a song called “Kyllie” they got stuck. Fortunately one of my dad's band mates, my uncle Verge, was playing guitar with Mackey at the time when he gigged at Monterey’s at Pearlridge Shopping Center. So apparently during this writing session, Mackey pulled up, and wrote and sang a bridge for them within minutes. Not only that, Mackey didn’t even want writing credits. He said it was a gift to them!

So when you hear the track, the backing vocals of the bridge sound exactly like what Kalapana might have done. They were the young up and comers at the time so it was really big for them to get kind of a co-sign from him!


Thanks to Jason Black for helping kickstart this series!

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