Certified vets Pettidee and KnowdaVerbs to release We Are Village KNG group project
The first time you hear the news, it comes across as an unlikely tag team.
Who would think to pair the crunchy, CeeLo-ate-a-Transformer vocals of Pettidee with the boom-bap lyricism of unlocked action figure KnowdaVerbs? The idea actually originated with both emcees. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find the two men have a healthy history thanks to the connective tissue of GRITS’ Teron “Bonafide” Carter and the Factors of the Seven fellowship.
Petti and Verbs have also partnered on music projects in the past (check out their collaborative carol from the Soldier Sound Christmas album). But now it’s time to introduce music fans to their group identity as Village KNG (pronounced “king”).
“About a year ago, Verbs and I linked up to discuss some voice-over work. During the process we reminisced about the rich community that comes from being in the studio with other hip-hop heads who follow Jesus,” explained Pettidee. “We ended up pulling up some beats and just messing around with some tracks. One thing led to another and we ended up with a handful of songs we felt were worth sharing.”
Part of their spark came from seeing rappers of their era (think NaS, Black Thought, Jay-Z, etc.) continue to release and perform music at a high level.
“It just shows we shouldn’t place self- or externally-imposed age limits on the use of our gifts and talents,” Verbs said.
The team decided upon the name Village KNG. It represents their desire to make an impact on a local level and to remind others they serve the “King of Kings.”
The First Single
The debut single from Village KNG is available now and is titled Harriet Tubman.
An accidental freedom song, it’s not a biographical account of the life of Harriet Tubman. It’s about the essence of how she led. Specifically, the time frame of her stepping into the role of conductor of the Underground Railroad. The song points to her resolve and resilience. In order for Harriet’s passengers to arrive at a destination of freedom, it required a mindset pivot for them to realize there was freedom that awaits them if they were willing to brave the journey.
As lyricists communicating topics they’re passionate about, there is a similar sense of urgency to see the listener experience a new level of available freedom. On Harriet Tubman, the intensity of the mid-pace melodic beat and sounds reminded us of a trek through a forest during the night. As it progresses, it opens up to a morning break-type moment. This song calls us to assess our current realities of life, even if what we find is darker than what we would hope. This tune is for all willing to walk out of a cage of captivity to flourish into a new level of freedom without looking back.
“I freed a 1000 slaves I could have freed more”
It’s a stand-out quote from Harriet Tubman. So many people don’t realize that they can be free from mental bondage. Once you see the similarities between slavery and oppression in today’s society, especially in entertainment, it’s hard to look away. To allow it to be without taking action, just like Harriet. Rocket (a strong female MC) speaks to her generation in a way that only a woman could. She anchors the song to bring the last verse to Freedom.
Although we are physically free, there are millions of people in mental slavery. Bound by every negative thought that holds them down. Keeping them in mental boxes and emotional chains. Like Harriet Tubman. Village KNG vowed to use the vehicle of music to set those sick of mental oppression FREE.”
Village KNG Upcoming Project
The first release from the group will be We Are Village KNG (side A). It contains the songs “Afro Frontier,” “Forward Motion,” “Harriet Tubman,” and “King.” Beatmaker Tone Jonez infuses the project with futuristic sounds and frequent nods to the artists’ distinct cultural roots as African-Americans with lived hip-hop experiences.
“We wanted a challenge,” shared Verbs. “What sounds can we use to clearly communicate what’s in our heart? You’ll hear it on We Are Village KNG.”
Side A will be released in early 2023 with another, four-song Side B to follow. Look for both on all major digital service providers and find associated photo/video content on social media at @villagekng.