Local Artist Feature : Khalil Fade

Khalil Fade wants to change the world. It’s no small task for anyone, but this 24-year-old is passionate about making a difference through music. The Rockaway-based artist uses his talents to create music that strives to be more than just a catchy beat. His mission is to create music with a conscience.

Khalil found his passion for music as an adolescent and was fortunate to have the support of his family behind him. At age sixteen, his father bought him his first microphone. Since then, the rapper has spent the last eight years working towards his goal of breaking into the entertainment industry. He credits his success to his family and their support. His parents and siblings support his work and his younger brother, who goes by Slim Man Brother on stage, is his hype man at his performances. Khalil also credits the work of Drake and Lil Wayne for inspiring him growing up. When he first got started, he was impressed with their flows and lyricism, however, it was Nas who motivated him to make music with a message.

Khalil is growing up in a time where traditional conceptions of leadership, like say the presidency, have become little more than a foul joke. Artists, musicians, and celebrities are becoming the new beacons of hope and using their platforms to take a stand for the masses.
The interesting thing about Khalil is that he’s willing to get real about the problems he sees in our society and how it impacts everyone around him, “You get on Instagram and everyone is trying to be Kim Kardashian. Not saying that she’s a bad person, but people aspire to be Instagram famous and they get a platform, but they don’t know how to use it”. He even talked about materialism and how the quest for physical goods can distract young people, including himself. In his song “Jordan Syndrome”, listeners will hear Khalil Fade’s warning against materialism. He raps about his generation’s preoccupation with brand name clothing and accessories and how this obsession creates a culture where brand names reign supreme. More so, he talks about how the consumers, black and brown youth, are exploited by companies that could care less about their wellbeing. He’s inspired to address issues like materialism and police violence. He feels that people have become desensitized and numb to issues in our world and his music works to wake people up and to spark dialogue.

The Rockaway Advocate salutes young artists of color like Khalil Fade, who use their creativity to make our community and world a better place. Khalil’s words work to contradict stereotypes and misconceptions about rappers and to change the narrative around what it means to be a young artist of color. We look forward to seeing what he does next. Towards the end of the interview, we asked Khalil where he sees himself in ten years. After talking about his various ideas for the future, he paused, and poignantly pointed out, “Ideas don’t go anywhere unless you act on them. I’m working to make plans that will allow my ideas to become a reality”. The Rockaway Advocate is fortunate to be part of Khalil’s plans as he makes his way towards stardom and influence. Be sure to check out his album on Tidal and Apple Music this spring!