Na Hoku winning Hawaii rapper Thomas Iannucci releases new album, “Kuleana”

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Earlier today, Kauai-born/Oahu-raised rapper Thomas Iannucci dropped “Kuleana,” his first album since 2018’s “Makana,” which won that year’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Hip Hop Album of the Year. “Kuleana” is executive produced by hip hop veteran J. Crum, and features other local artists like Dondi and Keikilani.  

Kuleana is a return to form for me,” said Iannucci. “I get to rap on the boom bap, Golden Era beats that made me fall in love with hip hop in the first place, and I get to rap about Hawaii, my home.”

“Kuleana” deals with growing up in Hawaii and its attendant struggles, pitfalls, and pain: drug addiction, suicide, and the tension of having to work multiple jobs due to an increasingly high cost of living.  

“I wanted to start a conversation about some things I’ve seen growing up that never really get addressed. So many of my friends — even some family — are hooked on drugs, homeless, in jail, or have committed suicide. But we never talk about these things. Why aren’t we talking about it?” said Iannucci. “My hope with this album is that I can at least bring to light some of the issues we’re all collectively facing here.”

He released the first music video off the album, “ILLYINDÉ,” in early November.

You can stream or purchase the album here.

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