Updated: Jun 3, 2019
By: Sophie Vang
Consci8us, a music artist who was born on March 8, 1994 and raised in Oakland, California, has been rapping since high school and hasn’t stopped since. He recently won the 2019 Sammies (Sacramento Music Awards), for the Emcee and Hip-Hop/Rap categories. This significant moment served as validation for Consci8us because many had pushed back against his nomination in the past. He overcame plenty of doubts during the process and said, “People don’t know until they see or know.” This accomplishment encouraged him to keep moving forward with spreading his message and practicing his craft.
Consci8us creates music that is motivating and unique, unlike anything that anyone has ever heard. Through his craft, Consci8us shows his audience that there is light even in the dark places we sometimes find ourselves in. In his music, he strives to spread love and positivity. This can be shown in his tracks, “Come & Holla at Me”, “FREEDOM”, “GET UP OUT YO HEAD (START LIVIN)” and many more. Along with his experiences, faith also has an effect on Consci8us and his music. He believes that if he can’t tie back what he does back to his faith and beliefs, then what he produces wouldn’t matter.
He gives credit to his mother for always being supportive of and leading him in the right direction. He recalls a memory of his mother, who played oldies when he was younger. Black culture and rappers like Common also contributed to Consci8us’ interest in music. Later on, he picked up rapping as a hobby with his friends.
Many would be surprised to know that Consci8us hasn’t always gone by that name. It was previously Sh8dy, as an homage to the Shady 80s, an area in which he had grown up in Oakland, California. The number 8 and its significance to both names represents the day (8th) he was born. As a result of an unfortunate experience, being held at gunpoint in a robbery, he became Consci8us. After this traumatic experience, he searched for wisdom and was inspired to awaken.
He began researching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Consci8us believes that his name isn’t a deviation from who he is, but rather an amplification.
When asked what the next steps will be after winning the Sammies, he let out a sigh and smiled. Consci8us desires to become even more committed to his music, get his master’s degree, create a non-profit, and eventually, his own record label. The non-profit will consist of a youth program that’ll teach individuals what being Consci8us means to him and how they can utilize what they learn to lift up their communities.
In response to what changed when Consci8us moved to Sacramento he said, “Oakland is an amazing place to grow up in. [There are] lots of positives, but [also] crime, violence, and murder. Sacramento is completely different. The people are more welcoming. Sacramento is still open enough to not impose upon people and gave me the opportunity to find peace and myself in God.”
To his supporters, he would like to say, “Stay Consci8us because if you don’t, then the world will pull you instead of you pulling others. You have to be fortified in your beliefs, because if you’re not, you can be pulled in any direction."