Both born and raised in Houston, Texas Daraja Hakizimana and Mitchelle'l who together comprised KAMAKAZAE, were fortunate to come across a true nostalgic sound and classic album.
By 1999 Daraja had graduated from highschool, purchased some music equipment and began the process of producing and writing his first My Block Recordz material, "Kamakazae - Tha Bootleg Appeal" an soulful throwback album skipping from sounds of Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and Prince to Jodeci, Maxwell, and a touch of Bobby Womack. And with just a Phillips CD Burner, built in mic, and a Roland XP-50 keyboard, Daraja and Mitchelle'l began recording their only complete album as "KAMAKAZAE - Tha Bootleg Appeal". They remember that, "The whole experience making Tha Bootleg Appeal was crazy". The technique for recording the album was extremely tedious. Back then, recording at home wasn't at your fingertips like it is now. It was still about you having to save about $300-$600 to set a block at a studio (and that was usually a hook up price!) only to find yourself unsatisfied at the end of the day and still needing more money to get the tracks mastered. But the duo was hungry and wanted to experiment and find their sound. "Mitch and I figured out a way to bounce tracks from CD to CD to get our voices layered. If you messed up on a certain part, you had to do the song all over again. Not to mention doing this technique would leave you with an overflow of blank CDs with just the same song sung over and over again. That's how the majority of Tha Bootleg Appeal was recorded.
As technology expanded, Daraja was able to master and clean up the album allowing it to be considered for release. Mitchelle'l was skeptical of releasing the album, and, truth be told, still is to this day. He felt it was too raw and not industry groomed. But that's what My Block Recordz is... RAW and UNCUT. Daraja decided to take it upon himself to make it happen. "This was our life. At some point we had to deal with the cards we were dealt with." With lack of equipment, old mics, and out dated keyboards KAMAKAZAE still made rhythmic, melodic, crowd pleasing music. Looking back now, they must be proud because it doesn't sound like anyone else. Just KAMAKAZAE, raw and uncut, the true formula for a classic.
released April 20, 2000
Produced, Arranged, Written and All Instruments by
Daraja Hakizimana for Blackwater Productions
*Written by Mitchelle'l & Daraja Hakizimana
+Additional Guitar by That Boy Cayse
Additional Vocal Arrangements by Mitchelle'l
All Songs Published by Playa Lounge Publishing/Ascap