Credits: TK The Artist

The Vegan Rapper Singing To The Tunes of Cruelty-Free Living

by | June 16, 2019

Ever felt bullied or singled out just because you are a vegan? Ever felt the need to have a few cool vegan songs that you and your children can sing along, all the while, driving the message of empathy deep down- into the subconscious? This week, through our people of veganism series, let me introduce you to the vegan rapper- TK The Artist, who does exactly this. He amalgamates veganism into music. After all, there isn’t a medium more efficient than music to reach out to the younger generation. He has inspired many families to raise their children vegan and he would love to raise his kids vegan as well.

I got a chance to connect with the talented rapper and we talked in depth about the various aspects of veganism, his music and how it could be a powerful tool in inspiring people to change for the better. Keep scrolling to know about Jacob, more popularly known as, TK The Artist.

Credits: TK The Artist/ Jacob

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The Vegan Rapper Singing To The Tunes of Cruelty-Free Living

TK The Artist provides listeners with positive uplifting educated research in an entertaining way. Forget those boring lectures, info-graphics, and research papers you have to rely on while making your kids and teens understand the various aspects of veganism. TK The Artist has a line up of cool vegan songs that you and your kids can definitely sing along to.

His impressive line of music albums include Not Your Average Rapper (2009), Representing Hip Hop (2011), Hard Work Pays Off (2013), All We Need Are The Plants  Vol. 1,2,3 (’15, ’17, ’18), and the latest album Chewicide. Chewicide is his 7th album, while the 4th album is all about being vegan and fusing modern hip-hop to make it cool like in ‘Cool Vegan’ the leading single. TK The Artist’s inspiration, behind coming up with vegan music, is for the plant-based individuals to not feel bullied.

Connecting along the same lines, we talked about the intersection of music and veganism. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

How did it all start? What inspired you to use music as a tool to spread awareness about veganism?

The bullying, being singled out as the vegan of my peers and how much I realized that rap hip hop music really controls us subconsciously. I wanted to have something that can be repeated in order to reach the youth and spark the minds of listeners. I’ve even recently used a more modern trap style of music just to talk about veganism and make it cool to be vegan. 

How do people react to your initiative? What response did you get when you first started? 

When people realize exactly how committed I am to rapping about being vegan, I get amazing reactions. I’ve seen people cry and hug me want to purchase my music; even people who are not vegan reach out to work with me after seeing me perform. 

When I first started rapping about being vegan I had someone tell me, oh don’t make a whole album or mixtape about it, just a song or 2. Now I have years of material including 4 CDs dedicated to vegan information and making research fun. 

Credits: @veganrapper/ Instagram

What is ‘Chewcide’ all about? What is the story behind this title?

Now ‘Chewicide’ I actually thought I was first to create that word, but I did give it a definition which is on the cover. I looked deeper into the hashtag and found out that there is a movie named Chewicide released in 2014. I named my 7th album Chewicide, because I felt that after people listened to my last 3 projects “All We Need Are The Plants” Volumes 1, 2 & 3 that they should be more informed at this time and that if they are still consuming these by-products of innocent animals knowingly harming themselves, they are commuting Chewicide.

The album is about breaking the misconception that an artist who speaks with wisdom is boring and can not get any major support or can’t be played in clubs. After hearing my album, it’ll be the last of that. Many of the 13 songs are very dance-friendly yet defends the animals and praises people for living a vegan lifestyle. 

vegan rapper
Credits: @veganrapper/ Instagram

Do you feel music is a better way to connect with millennials and drive the message of cruelty-free living?

I think music is a better way, if not the best way to connect with millennials and drive the message to cruelty-free living. We have been learning everything from music, good and bad things since we were babies. It’s seriously time for a rapper to dedicate a career reaching the millennials of our future to do the right things and not cause any more suffering on the animals. When people hear my rap about cucumbers I see more people eating cucumbers and the comments say I need to buy more cucumbers or I saw your rap and bought a bunch I cucumbers. It starts spreading because people refer their friends to listen to the skills, the rhythm, and wittiness, and the message gets through. 

Of all 7 albums you released, which one is closest to your heart?

I believe the last 2 albums are closed to my heart because I found my niche, this is what I do and I learned to make it fun. There is a song on Vol. 2 named “Brown Paper Bag” which is about my organization and how we feed the homeless vegan meals once a month. Vol. 3 I feel like I really showed the world my talent, like in “HWGD” and “Protein” has gained a lot of popularity since its release. Now Chewicide has a lot of fun songs everyone can dance to like “Ebony”, “Litty City” and a powerful message in “Stay Mad”. What makes Chewicide even closer to my heart is that Mya is on it introducing me. Mya is an amazing artist with decades in the music industry and she dedicates her time to veganism. Her support really made this album special to me. 

Vegan rapper TK The Artist

What was the exact moment like when you realized maybe you can fuse in modern hip-hop with the message of veganism? Do you think you are able to connect with children better (because of this)?

As I mentioned after being made fun of for being vegan there was just one stanza I had in mind for a long time. “Just cause I’m black don’t mean I eat chicken” inspired by “Black Beetles” by Rae Scrummer. I loved the original song and every time I got a bit peeved I would sing that stanza in my head over and over. As the jokes felt harsher, more stanzas actually followed the first. Not to sound funny at all but seriously I did not choose vegan raps, vegan raps literally chose me. I remember when I sat a lone and wrote the rest of that song, filmed it posted it to my Instagram and things just got out of hand from there. 

I do connect to children more now, because I have a much stronger conviction than I had prior. TK actually comes from my stage name being True Knowledge. My message was always to spread positivity, little to no profanity in my songs and molding the future in a positive form. I think with my songs being more dance friendly I’m inspiring the youth even more. I recently did a show at Luis Munoz Marine elementary, all of the kids were dancing to “Cool Vegan”. Some of the children actually approached me and asked me questions. I found out that when children enjoy or like something, they’ll let it be known. 

You use music to inspire vegans to not feel bullied. While the mainstream media and society are warming up to the idea, social media seems to be filled with trolls who are ever so angry at vegans? How do you think vegans should cope with online bullying and trolling?

This is a really good question. My favorite question I have ever been asked in my career. Things said on social media are taken very seriously to the point where people literally take their own lives or hurt themselves because of comments and internet trolling. There are many people who are deeply misinformed, especially about nutrition who would lash out on someone for choosing a cruelty-free lifestyle. I also understand that since we were children dairy had been pushed to us as fun, with pizzas, ice cream trucks, and even signs on the wall.

Questioning the standards people lived their whole lives on can upset people and lead them to leave very hurtful things posted on social media platforms publicly for the world to see. When people listen to my music, I want them to hear rebuttals and amazing comebacks, but it’s important for everyone to know that I do not create these comebacks for vegans to waste their energy arguing back and forth with anyone. Especially not on social media. I think vegans should cope with negative comments by simply deleting them. We signed up and logged into these accounts, these are our platforms and we allow what we want others to see.

Information should be pushed to the people who want to learn and are interested in being vegan. If someone has respect and asks about protein maybe; chances are this person has been misinformed and is worried out of fear. In the case of someone off-the back being disrespectful, we can just not engage and simply delete the comments left and block that account. It is literally just a digital world in our hands that we can control. We’re not going to cry about spilled almond milk, just delete and focus on people who want to learn about being vegan. 

Did you ever feel bullied as a vegan? What was your initial reaction? How did you cope up eventually? 

Yes, there were many times I felt bullied as a vegan and I would argue back. I would be so focused on these people changing their diets, especially with the animals in mind. Eventually, I was there to lead by example and I realized that the more I gave attention to the people who were acceptable to my knowledge the more people just wanted the attention. The best was also consistency. Not allowing myself to feel discouraged and pushing forward with better raps and more beats people can play at clubs. 

You have inspired a lot of families to raise children vegan. What difference did you feel before and after the transition? What do you think motivated them to make the switch?

Yes, I have inspired many families to go vegan and raise their children vegan, but even better I remember someone going vegan after hearing my consistent raps and was finally able to become pregnant. The same woman sent me a video of her eating a cucumber. She was so happy to tell me that she and her husband were finally expecting after years of difficulty before being vegan. They are so happy now. One of my producers I work with Joseph Bond him and his family made the power switch and I remember their happiness going through the roof. Me switching my subject matter a bit has truly inspired many people and quite frankly I’d like to bring this level of happiness to families all over the world. 

What is the biggest change you experienced after embracing veganism?

After embracing veganism I realized it’s the connection to spirituality. In fact, I may have not been so open-minded to anything spiritual or meditation until I changed my diet. I remember a time I may have been belligerent to the idea of yoga, but now I can’t live without it. Being vegan has literally made everything better in my life. 

Vegan rapper TK The Artist is surely doing an amazing job. Have you been to any of his concerts? Which is your favorite song of all his albums? Let us know in the comments below.

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One Response to “The Vegan Rapper Singing To The Tunes of Cruelty-Free Living”

  1. The Vegan Rapper Raps Cruelty-Free Tunes - Black Vegans Today
    July 10th, 2019 @ 1:51 am

    […] post first appeared as THE VEGAN RAPPER SINGING TO THE TUNES OF CRUELTY-FREE LIVING in Raise […]

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