Hailing from Cork, German born, Irish raised, with Nigerian/Esan culture, Kestine possesses the confidence and talent to change the hip-hop game forever, one inspiring lyric at a time. Black Irish rapper Kestine is boldly challenging the status quo this Black History Month with an empowering new music video for latest hit release, U.N.I.T.Y. Influenced by the recent Black Lives Matter crusade, Kestine takes an honest approach to racial injustice movements as he spits bars and lays down rhymes about the hypocrisy of those who claim to stand behind the banner of justice and equality.The powerful and symbolic music video features a poised and eloquent Kestine personifying his words, surrounded by religious imagery - a nod to his upbringing in a spiritual household.
The talented musician draws on his lived experiences, both as a musician and a black man, to create a soulful and passionate track featuring an ensemble of ethereal keys and saxophone driven by a J Dilla-inspired drum backbeat. As a black Irishman, Kestine has always been an outsider. Growing up, he was teased for his affinity towards Michael Jackson. However, the hate only fuelled his passion for music and led him to discover the world of hip-hop and rap, which he began to use to help vent his frustrations.
Meanwhile, the astute musician was learning the ways of gospel music at home and involved himself with his church - where he learned the piano and sang in the choir. His collective musical experiences helped mould Kestine into the all-around musician and poet before us today. For Kestine, U.N.I.T.Y marks another step towards putting Irish hip-hop on the mainstream musical map alongside the industry giants of the United Kingdom and United States. Kestine preaches his prose with a hard-hitting message reflecting on the sacrifices the black community has made, and how it has been let down by the same people that seek greatness.
"Seeing black Irish people establishing themselves and setting a precedence of excellence is astonishing,” he said.
“However, there are too many of our brothers stabbing each other up and claiming ‘gang life’. It's sad to see some of us are blind and forget the sacrifices our parents made for us to have an opportunity."
U.N.I.T.Y is an ode to Queen Latifhas’ hit namesake track intertwined with Kestine’s interpretation of recent BLM events and his experiences as a black Irishman. Meditative saxophone and piano melody contrasts with the hard hitting lyrics.
The music video was released following the success of Kestine's EP - Reflection - and was directed by Dublin’s Brian McDonnell.
"If white man don’t call you a nigger, black man gon shot you down by pulling the trigger
If not that stab in the back or in the side, the rage of a black man who’s not satisfied until he sees the blood of another king dripping on his side"