By Shannon Nia Alomar Special to the Chronicle
Kayden “TuNe$” Wong is a rapper who strives to empower and inspire people, from here to Australia, with his lyrics.
Wong is a 21-year old, Chinese-Jamaican hailing from Queens, N.Y. He is currently studying biology at Hofstra and aspires to become a high school science teacher, but his aspirations do not end there.
His rap persona was created in junior high school “In the age of Myspace, and it just stuck,” said Wong.
From a young age, music has been integrated in Wong’s life and listening to his older brother rap inspired him to create some rhymes of his own. With the release of his first solo song entitled “Pay Dues,” his rap career was born.
The chorus to his debut song, mentions the hardships of financial stability with the government controlling revenue and the responsibility many people can attest to.
“They say they/ Got a lot of money (Nope)/ But tell me/ Is that something you relate to (Nah)/ Government taking pay from me (Come on).”
Since that time, Wong’s experimental, old school hip-hop and modern, progressive sound has matured and become less of a pastime and more of a mission to encourage others.
“My message is different as it pertains to different songs but overall I’m really trying to be an encouragement to others. Music is a very powerful thing. It really influences what we do,” said Wong.
In the summer, Wong and the music group he belongs to, Regime, toured across Australia doing four to six presentations a day for several schools, churches and prisons. Their act consisted of musical performances, motivational speeches and proclamations of faith. They also performed for larger events, such as concerts and festivals, on the weekend.
They were able to inspire the youth through clean lyrics of prosperity, diversity and hope, and that was the greatest part of the experience, according to Wong.
“Wherever I’m wanted most is where I would like to go. It will be a much greater experience performing for those who actually know and love your music and will sing along with you,” said Wong.
Currently, he has just released a music video entitled “Good as Gold” that can be viewed on his YouTube Channel, TuNe$. The song was written while he was on the plane in Australia, traveling to another city. The beat was made when he landed and the video was shot at an abandoned power house in Perth, Australia.
“I [was] really slacking on visuals so I decided that while I was in Australia I needed to shoot at least one thing,” said Wong.
From Australia to New York colleges to Rikers Island, TuNe$ hopes to be able to travel to other places to spread his music and message with clean hip-hop that does not glorify negativity. His biggest goal is to make his career as meaningful as he can in order to inspire his community and help his family.
TuNe$ will be one of the artists featured in The Dean’s List music tour, Friday Oct. 18 in the Student Centrer theater at 7:30 p.m..