Tulalip Hip Hop Artist Komplex Kai in ‘Don’t Funk Up Our Beats’ Contest




Komplex Kai, a Native Emcee from Tulalip, is part of the “Don’t Funk Up Our Beats” contest from HipHopDX and Funk Volume. Check out his video featuring the song, The First, from his 2010 album Mask’d Dreamz.

You have until August 23 to visit hiphopdx.com and cast your vote. Contestants need 250 votes to eligible to be selected as a finalist, so spread the word and listen to his beats.

Additional Komplex Kai videos can be found on YouTube and you can follow him on Facebook.

‘Komplex Kai’ performs at Tulalip Resort

Tulalip rapper ‘Komplex Kai’ is set to perform with a live band at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Canoes Cabaret Room on Jan. 15.— image credit: Courtesy photo.
Tulalip rapper ‘Komplex Kai’ is set to perform with a live band at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Canoes Cabaret Room on Jan. 15.
— image credit: Courtesy photo.

By Kirk Boxleitner, The Marysville Globe

TULALIP — Kisar Jones-Fryberg’s musical alter ego has been largely dormant since the passing of his aunt in 2010, but on Wednesday, Jan. 15, “Komplex Kai” will take another step toward his revival at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Canoes Cabaret Room, where he’s slated to perform a free show with a half-dozen-member live band from 10 p.m. to midnight.

“I started producing albums when I was 15, but I was already writing lyrics and putting them to beats when I was 10 or 11,” said Kai, a Tulalip rap artist who’s produced six albums over the course of the past decade. “I’m an MC, but my work is drawn from a Native perspective. I’m guided by Native traditions, but they’ve been modernized, because between the resettlement and the segregation of our people, we lost so much.”

This complex dichotomy between the history of his people’s culture and the world in which he now lives drives much of Kai’s output, as does his desire to leave behind a worthy legacy.

“Every album is something that my great-grandkids will be able to look back on and say that I did,” said Kai, who has four children already, with one more on the way. “I don’t want to downplay the importance of our traditions, but by the same token, my culture is rooted in the present day, and what it means to be Native here and now. This is my way of expressing my own existence in 2014, and it doesn’t make me any less Native or Tulalip.”

Kai recalled an exchange with an older man, who had asserted that he shouldn’t be proud of having grown up on a reservation, and explained his own mixed feelings in response.

“He pointed out that our people had been placed in reservations as prisons, and I understand that, but that’s still where we come from,” Kai said. “You can’t downplay or dismiss where we’ve come from, or what we’ve lived. It’s where tradition meets experience. I’ve got to be proud of where I’m from.”

To that end, the Komplex Kai band will be playing a mix of original songs and covers, following an 8-10 p.m. comedy show in the Canoes Cabaret Room, and those who are interested in checking out his music need look no further than Facebook and iTunes under “Komplex Kai” to find all of his albums and songs online.

“My grandma was my first manager,” Kai said. “I wasn’t even going to pursue music as a career, but now, I’m all for positivity and creating opportunity.”

Folklife Festival an outstanding mix of music, culture


Sunday, see Komplex Kai, Tulalip Hip Hop artist

By Theresa Goffredo, The Herald

The Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle’s free four-day party, is a celebration of cultures where people can listen to music, try out dances and hear stories from all around the world.

Whether you are into the sounds of Bollywood, Celtic traditions, Asian music or hip-hop, you can listen, experience and learn during this 42nd annual festival at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., which runs from 11 a.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Monday.

This year, Folklife focuses on the workplace with stories and personal histories shown in a multimedia program, “Washington Works.”

But let’s get back to the party.

Folklife features hundreds of performers, a Monday night reggae show, an urban square dance and music across all the stages. A complete schedule of entertainment can be found at www.nwfolklife.org.

The bands, just to name a few, include The Shed Players, who help kick off the festival action Friday. This folk group has performed at festivals and farmers markets throughout Snohomish County and are known for roots music and a jug band style.

Also Friday, you might want to check out The Terrible Lizards whose press material has them performing Celtic tunes and songs for 65 million years.

Also Friday, the LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band of Portland play Indie-Balkan-funk-punk.

On Saturday the entertainment continues with Ancora, an a cappella women’s choir, among many other performers.

On Sunday you can check out the Northwest Junior Pipe Band, a traditional Scottish bagpipe band comprised entirely of kids from elementary through high school. There’s also Komplex Kai, a Native American rapper from Tulalip who performs hip-hop.

On Monday, you can hear the Everett Norwegian Male Chorus, which upholds Nordic culture through song.

The festival’s closeout band Monday night is the Fabulous Downey Brothers, who are reminiscent of The B-52s, a little more weird but definitely poppy.

Family activities are part of the party and are centrally located this year on the Fisher Terrace. The activities include the Seattle Family Dance Tent, open Friday and Saturday where the youngest visitors can dance, listen to stories and sing songs from many cultures.

There’s also toy boat building and knot tying Friday through Monday put on by the Center for Wooden Boats, which will supply traditional hand tools and show knot-tying skills and help kids make traditional rope sailor bracelets. There’s a $2 materials fee.

Another family activity is creating mosaic art with recycled glass Friday through Monday. Visitors can make and take home trivets, coasters and mirrors. There’s a $4 to $7 materials fee.

In addition to a complete schedule of events, the Folklife website provides a list of special attractions and a category called 28 Things to See This Year.

The website also offers tips on where to stay and where to eat and offers the best ways to get around the festival along with a Frequently Asked Questions section. The website is www.nwfolklife.org.