Preserving aloha through sound

  • Kaua’i-based rapper Son Da One hopes to inspire others with his new his latest offering “Son Da One.”

KAPA’A — Son Da One wants to create a spiritual atmosphere through music that is reflective of the pre-pandemic Kaua‘i he fondly remembers.

Son Da One, a spoken word artist, battle rapper, and emcee, is primed to make his long-anticipated debut with his retail offering slated for a release on streaming platforms on Jan. 8, 2021.

Though this is Son Da One’s first-ever retail offering, it is not his first experience in the music world.

Son Da One, who was born Kaleo Largusa on Kaua‘i and lived in Oakland, California before moving back to the island. wants to make universally moving and relatable music.

“I pride myself in putting across a profound meaning, as well as having something to think about that is thought-provoking,” Son Da One said in an interview with The Garden Island. “Sometimes you get a certain type of format to get your point across that is something explicit.”

In the Bloodlines

Son Da One is the proud grandson of the Grandmaster Ben Largusa, a Kaua‘i-born resident who was the first man to introduce Kali, a national martial art of the Philippines, to the United States.

Ben Largusa also worked with the famous director and martial artist Bruce Lee.

Son Da One incorporates his historical roots into his musical offerings.

“That is what drives me,” Son Da One said. “If you don’t know your past and genealogy, you don’t know about yourself through the younger generation who doesn’t have that understanding of the golden era of hip hop. I want to come off as original, and come off like nothing that anyone has ever heard.”

A student of the game

Son Da One, who returned to Kaua‘i after battle rapping in Oakland and even recording some of his current material in California, has shared the stage with many great artists.

He has already performed with Del The Funky Homosapien (Hieroglyphics), MURS, The Grouch and Eligh (Living Legends), and Mikah 9 (Freestyle Fellowship Company Flow) before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now he hopes his new EP is an accurate representation of the people of Hawai’i, and he is doing this in fragments.

“Garden Island Riderz” was a solo track that resonated with locals who put their heart into their work, families, and the beauty seen on the garden isle.

In November, Son Da One dropped his second single, “There Can Be (feat. Lacy Redhead),” a song about finding a better way to do things in your life and striving for better, according to his press release.

His third offering off the EP will be called “Never Fearful (feat. Little Kidd Lost & Mikasun).”

The track talks about being a student in life, something Son Da One claims he learned from his family, which will be available on streaming platforms.

“Not only was the scene (on Kaua‘i) live back in the day, the whole state was live,” Son Da One recalled. “I am really trying to push my music and artists’ meaning through this COVID-19 time to uplift someone, and not feel sad and depressed during these times. We have to strive for someone to succeed and push through their artistic endeavor.”

With the current climate on Kaua‘i and in the world rapidly shifting, Son Da One hopes his music inspires people in this tumultuous period.

“With all of these small businesses going out of business, we have to push what we love,” Son Da One said. “We have to cross-promote and uplift each other on this day. It’s time to support the arts business, and help others thrive.”

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Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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