Shaun Shiller Fequiere, Kangol Kid, Haitian-American Music Producer(Roxanne Roxanne)
Photo from Twitter
Shaun Shiller Fequiere, who goes by the stage name Kangol Kid because of his penchant for Kangol hats, is a Haitian-American music producer, song composer, dancer, and emcee. Born in Haiti, he came to the U.S. with his family, and grew up in Brooklyn.(?)
Shaun Shiller Fequiere, the Kangol Kid, began his music career in the rap group UTFO, break-dancing, and success came quickly to them, with their first single Roxanne, Roxanne, winning them the « Best Rap Group » award in 1988, at the Urban Music Awards. Soon they were making appearances on Soul Train and The Phil Donahue Show, and also had the distinction of being the first rap group to perform at the Apollo Theater. UTFO opened for such acts as Hall and Oates and Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin of The Temptations. By 1987, their album Lethal, featuring rockers Anthrax, became the #1 rap album in the U.S.
In Haiti with President Rene Preval
Fequiere started producing for other acts in 1985, writing a song for Lisa, Lisa & The Cult Jam, for their platinum album Full Force. Next, he produced and managed the rap group Whistle, who finally topped the charts with « Always & Forever ». He extended his producing reach with major league baseball player, Darryl Strawberry, and NBA’er Scottie Pippen, both sometime rappers.
Shaun Shiller Fequiere, Kangol Kid has done voice work for MTV, New York City’s HOT 97 rap radio station, and penned his own column, « Yo Kangol » in Black Beat magazine. He has also scored music for the Indy film Nightmare, winning an award for « Best Movie Score ». These days, the musician juggles the roles of producer, composer, performer, manager, and as head of his own music recording company, Kangol’s Kreations, Inc., as well as acting as CEO at his Kreative Media Group, a public relations company yokangol.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s it wasn’t cool to be Haitian. The negativity that surrounded my heritage was grueling. Stories of HIV/AIDS, poverty & voodoo were designed to keep the country powerless…and for a long time the plan worked. Both my parents were born in Haiti as I was born in Brooklyn, New York.(?) My household taught me to understand and speak the language of Kreyol very well. As a very young child I suffered numerous ridicule for being Haitian (called a Frenchie, French Fry, French Poodle, French Toast…). I even had to watched my pregnant mother defend herself in a fight simply because my mother was Haitian. This and all the ridicule sadly encouraged me to hide my heritage as I publicly excluded myself from any Haitian involvement. As we know, Hip-Hop is a musical sport. Therefore, you should never show your opponent your weaknesses. Roxanne Shantè once said to me, « If I knew you were Haitian our battles would have gone differently ». LOL!!! I knew exactly what she meant and I totally agreed with her 100%. LOL!!! After many years of my group making it cool to be a rapper, Wyclef Jean made it cool to be a Haitian Rapper. Clef later became the BEST…but I will always be the FIRST.
- (Was the Kangol Kid born in Haiti or was he born in Brooklyn ? To be continued…)
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