Local hip-hop artist Kween Katt is back with another installment of conscious rap in her new single, “4:44” — the latest in a succession of songs that explore numerology off her upcoming album 61989: A Juneteenth Album.
According to Kween, “61989 is breaking down all of the numbers that we see, which are called angel numbers.”
Other singles include “5:55,” “11:11,” “3:33” and “222.”
“When I started coming into the knowledge, I had to do a lot of research when I was seeing all these numbers all the time,” Kween said. She’s taken classes in order to gain a balanced perspective of numerology, which is the belief in a divine coincidence between numbers and events.
“If you’re seeing 444, it could be that you lost a loved one and they are getting your attention, or that it’s time to build something. Four-four-four is about community,” she said of the new single.
The song begins: “With 444, your angels are really letting you know to be encouraged and that they’re right there with you. Quiet the mind and listen. Angels can’t work without permission.”
Kween’s songwriting process involves a lot of studying, she said, so she can bring an explanation of numerology to listeners that breaks down the significance of each angel number starting with 111 and ending with 999.
“I want to put out a song for each number, that way you can walk away from each song knowing what each one means,” she said.
Kween prefers a simplistic atmosphere for her lyrics. “When it comes to music like this, where I’m putting out a message, I like loops,” she said of the production process. She has been working with a handful of beat makers in a mobile studio setting to put together the album.
“The type of music I do doesn’t fit in with a lot of the artists in my area,” she said. “My music is more of a teaching style. I don’t fit in at a club scene. So I had to start making my own events. I wanted to create an environment when you’re being educated, entertained and having fun.” Kween started events such as the annual Afrikan Konciousness Festival, and this year’s Freedom Conference.
The Konciousness fest, back for the seventh time Oct. 23, is an event held in honor of African identities. She’s seen participation in the festival dwindle after a large turnout for the debut event, which took place after the massacre at Emanuel AME. “Last year was the first time everybody started talking about Juneteenth, but for seven years, I’ve been screaming Juneteenth. When it comes to our culture, Charleston is behind.”
The Freedom Conference on July 31 in Moncks Corner will focus on empowering individuals to take ownership of themselves and take advantage of resources — such as submitting proper paperwork. In her rarch, she’s found that there was not only significant genocide on paper, but also a lack of consistent representation in historical record-keeping.
“Like with a lot of our grandparents, it says American Indian or straight American, it doesn’t say African American or Black,” she said. “These terms were given to us later. It makes it harder to know who we really are because we’ve been given so many names. That’s why I’m doing the Freedom Conference.”
“I call it the Freedom Conference because all my life I’ve been searching for freedom. I didn’t know what I needed to be free.” She expounds on this concept in her book, #NoReligion. “I ended up changing my last name to Huria when my wife and I got married. Instead of one of us taking each other’s last name, we created our own. I wanted to create a legacy since a lot of [our family] still doesn’t know their own — our parents are still trying to find their grandparents. By creating our name we are creating our identity.”
Like she says in “4:44,” her new single: “Learn self, then do for self.”