#139 - The New York American Accent with Kairo Omar

June 22, 2022

Test your English comprehension and get exposed to the New York accent! In this episode, I interview Kairo Omar and ask him about American culture, his goals for the future, and what he thinks of life in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Transcript

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] All right, Kairo. So the first question, how old are you?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:02] I'm 19.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:03] 19. Okay. So this going to be interesting for you. Our question is, if you had to give some advice to your younger self, maybe go back four or five, six years, maybe when you were just starting high school or something like that, what advice would you give to yourself? What would you say directly to the younger version of yourself?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:18] Well, you could do anything like on some real shh...can, can, can I? On some real shit, my nigga! Yo, you can do anything, bro. It's like I remember going through high school. It's like I was blessed that I had people that was like, ooh, shit, I see it's starting to rain. I was blessed to have people that were trying to look out for me. And that's not something everybody really gets all the time, you know? And so it's like dang! I go to Morehouse, so you know what I'm saying so it was like, I'm from, I'm from New York. I'm, I'm from Jersey, you know what I'm saying, so making that transition down here and just looking at what I've been able to accomplish so far and, you know, and then just looking at what I want to accomplish for the rest of my life. You do anything bro, you know what I'm saying? So you just lock in with it bro, believe in yourself, you know, because at the end of the day, the only person who knows you better than you is you; the only person who knows you for real is you, you know? So just like locking in with your shit through. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:56] Hundred percent, bro! Now, back when you were around that age, 14, 15, did you have a different belief like, did you have those self-limiting beliefs or doubts about the stuff you could do?

Kairo Omar: [00:01:04] Oh yeah, of course. Of course. You know what I'm saying, because I feel like, especially at that age, we're all so malleable and especially with social media, too, it's just like...I feel like...I feel like especially like my generation of people, our generation of people coming up, you know what I'm saying it's like we're really quick to be influenced and really quick to be, I guess, impacted by what other people are saying, or at least like, what like, what we are seeing. You know, if I wasn't living up to a certain standard, if I wasn't moving in a certain way, I might have thought... I might have been failing myself. I might have been failing my family, man, or at least failing the people around me, you know what I'm saying? But now it's like, like as I've gotten older, as I've gotten wiser, everything's coming to understand that it's like, it's all relative, you know what I'm saying? It's like...It's like...It's like, it's like the grind that you might be on is different from the grind that I might be on. It's a different grind that this brother might be on behind the camera. You know what I'm saying, it's like, we are all different. So it's like, you got to trust yourself. You just got to be willing to...to yeah, to just trust yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:51] When was it that you noticed that, that, because I agree 100%, especially with the Internet today, bro, you can do literally anything. But how old were you when you realized that? Or can you remember the moment when it kind of clicked for you?

Kairo Omar: [00:02:01] I mean, it's been clicking since I got really gotten to college for real, you know what I'm saying? Because I feel like, I feel like...being in high school, definitely...definitely over quarantine as well, you know? But it's like...I'm like...being in high school. It's just like, being like, in like that little bubble, you know what I'm saying? It's like I got so used to having social media there, but I also knew everybody else so I really wasn't looking at it too often. But then, you know, coming out of COVID and starting to like make my transition down here to go to college and shit...oh it's crazy, bro! I remember it, it's like, it's like it's like interacting with people in person versus on social media. It just felt different, you know what I'm saying? But then again, I wasn't the real person. That was just my perception of them. Just I had garnered over the phone for the past like two or three months, you know. So, so yeah, it's definitely that was definitely over quarantine. Definitely making my shift into college is definitely one that happened, you know, but, but, you know, like, like word to, bro? Like all this shit is, it's social media ain't a real thing, like on some real shit, like, like, like you feel me? So...word!

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:51] Yeah, hundred percent, hundred percent! So basically, the advice to your younger self is just remember you can do whatever you want, literally anything.

Kairo Omar: [00:02:58] Exactly. And then, then, right, cause if you're on the topic of the Internet, bro, it's like literally, it's like, like the same way...the same way how you have a YouTube channel, you have to get your message out there. You all know, whatever the message is, you know, saying whatever it is, yo, yo, make sure to subscribe to these dudes!

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:10] Subscribe! Goddammit!

Kairo Omar: [00:03:12] Make sure to subscribe! Yeah, now you know what I'm saying, but it's like, but like on some real shit, it's just like even with the internet, it's like, you can do anything that you want these days on the internet. You know what I'm saying? It's like just looking at how music is transforming and looking at how social justice is transforming. You know what I'm saying? Shit looking at how...you know what I'm saying? Just looking at how how you spend your day, you know what I'm saying? What you decide to do with yourself, how fashion trends are changing...you know what I'm saying? Over time, it's like what we as a society, what we, what we as a society, what, what we're beginning to value is being shaped so much by the internet. So it's one of the biggest rules out there right now. So most definitely you can do anything that you want to for real. I'm saying as long as you have the right platform, as long as you know how to finesse the internet properly, you can make anything shape for yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:48] Man, that was beautifully said. Appreciate that! Remember that one. So what is it that you want to do at this point? You're 19 now and you understand you can do anything. So where are you trying to get?

Kairo Omar: [00:03:57] Bro! I was literally talking to my girl about this shit. We just got out the aquarium. Like, bro, like Met Gala, bro like that, you know what I'm saying? 'Cause I wanna do music and all that shit. Like, I'm really just starting to get myself out there and shit, you know? And so, like, for me, just, like, putting myself onto that process, it definitely feels weird, you know, because something I never really, especially at high school, I was thinking myself, I'm never gonna do that shit, never going to do music, you know, like being in college. And I've gotten more comfortable with, like po...with doing poetry and shit, and so getting myself involved in that aspect. Yeah, it's like right now, right now Met Gala is the goal, fuck the Grammy, fuck whatever, all that other shit. You know what I'm saying? Like right now it really is Met Gala because you know ain't Grammy's some bullshit, all that shit...all these shit some bullshit. You know, all these Met Galas, like, that's more like the people who know really know that's supposed to be there. You know what I'm saying? It's more, it's more about who's shifting the culture, who matters in the culture, you know, and you know, I'm saying...I'm...I'm on my...what's the matter on the culture on some real shit. So Met Gala for sure, that's the goal right now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:43] What's that? Met gala? How do you spell that?

Kairo Omar: [00:04:44] Met Gala. M-e-t. You know, it's ah...it's up in New York, the Metro Metropolitan Museum or something like that. Right? But it's the M-e-t Gala.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:52] Oh, like Metropolitan Gallery or something like that.

Kairo Omar: [00:04:55] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the Met gala, basically. So it's like, it's like, you'll have, like, you know who Anna Wintour is? Yeah. Right. So it's like, she'll probably, like, run it, type of shit. And so it's like, it'll be like, every year you'll see like, niggas like Frank Ocean pop out, just like Rihanna, Drake, all these niggas, like, you know what I'm saying? Virgil Abloh, you know what I'm saying? It's like, RIP, RIP Virgil, RIP Virgil, you know what I'm saying? But it's just like they all pop bottles and shit, but it's like, like you, you feel like kinda who is going there...these are people who are influencing the culture. These people, these are people who have, you know what I'm saying, who have some standard of celebrity, you know, and that obviously the goal isn't to get famous. The goal is to make a shift of a culture, you know what I'm saying? The goal is to make...it's to leave a lasting imprint, you know what I'm saying, on whatever I'm trying to do in my life, you know, with some real shit. So that's that's the goal. Met Gala for sure. I feel like there...cos it's not only, not only are you there, not only...cos the only way you get invited is by niggas knowing that you're doing some shit. You feel me? And you know what I'm saying? That's the you, you, you...This is good music, by the way. I hear the jazz music, you know what I'm saying? But we all want our peers to be able to, to call you out on your shit, you know. So that's the goal for sure.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:51] So are you already putting stuff online? Do you have a channel or somewhere that people can follow you?

Kairo Omar: [00:05:55] I got a regular Instagram for right now. It's K...It's Kairo dot Omar. K-a-i-r-o dot Omar, O-m-a-r. As for music, I'm still trying to figure that out right now. That's what, that's what the summer is for. Just gonna lock in with that. So, yeah, you're gonna see what happens, hopefully.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:11] Follow that man on Instagram, alright?

Kairo Omar: [00:06:13] Appreciate you! And make sure to subscribe to these dudes as well bro!

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:15] Subscribe, goddammit! I dig it, bro. Alright. So next question. This question, this one, maybe you do, maybe you don't have an answer, but can you think of your worst injury that you've ever had? And this could be physical or even mental, emotional, or something like that. Talk about your worst injury.

Kairo Omar: [00:06:31] My worst injury? Ah...I'm not gonna lie. I guess, I'm going to...Imma get some of this focus more like the mental tip, you know what I'm saying? Because everybody, everybody gets injured, you know, like, in like a physical sense, you know what I'm saying? But it's like anything can affect you. Anything can impact you. But I feel like how it impacts you really does, does matter more on your mind, on some real shit, you know? So it's like for me, again, it was tough to come out of the quarantine and having to make that adjustment, you know, because like in high school, I was mad social. Like now, like I'm back to that point in my life again where I can feel open and shit. But you know what I'm saying, but as I come out of high school being so used to being so social with, with a very specific group of people, that I don't see them niggas for like, for like a fucking year, some change, And I go to college, brand new motherfucker. So I got to get used to, you know. So I guess it wasn't even like a wound. It was just more of like, it was...I had to...I had to learn to become more flexible, you know what I'm saying? So it's like, I ain't, I ain't, I ain't break. I just bent a little bit, you know what I'm saying? But you know what I'm saying. But what...but it's like we're supposed to bend, you know, like, go through some shit, right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:21] Hundred percent. Hundred percent. Pressure makes diamonds, you know what I'm saying?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:24] Word to?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:25] I can dig that. Now, have you noticed...is this your first time in Atlanta?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:28] No, I've been out here for like a year, and I'm a, I'm gonna be a junior next semester. It's like a year and a half now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:33] Okay. So you've been out here for a little bit, but you grew up in New York?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:36] In New York, New Jersey, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:37] Okay. Okay. So what are some differences you noticed in the way we interact, the way we talk, the culture? I ain't even gotta say no more. Talk about the differences between the culture and the people up in New York and what you notice down here in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:07:48] I'll say just the general vibe of Atlanta is so fucking slow. It's like, a part of me appreciates it for sure, you know what I'm saying, right? Because it's like, you know what I'm saying, because it's like I was born in Brooklyn and I ended up moving out to Teaneck. Shout out to Teaneck, New Jersey! Yo, yo, what's up, my niggas? Yo! Waddup but nah...you know what I'm saying it's like...it's like making that shift though. It's like being, being up north...it's a lot faster. I can get a lot...I can get around to places easier, down here bro...

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:12] We're just talking about that.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:13] Word! I mean, my fault, are, are y'all, are y'all from down here or?

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:16] Nah, I'm from California.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:16] From California? What about you?

Marcus (cameraman): [00:08:19] All the way West Coast.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:20] Oh, I gotcha. All right, bet. Yeah, yeah, word. You know what I'm saying, so it's like, y'all can kind of relate to this as well. It's like, you know what I'm saying, I'm sure even being on the West Coast is a little bit slower than up north, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but even slower, making that transition, it's a lot slower. Umm the food here, I'm not really a big fan of Atlanta, of the food scene in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:37] You know what I'm saying? Only cos I get like, coming from New York, I know exactly what, what I can get. I...I've just been so used to it, you know? So I just have a little bit of bias in that food. But I don't know, I, I fuck with Atlanta off of...off of the aesthetic tip, you know, saying there's so much you can do here. And that's another thing too. It's like Atlanta is one of those cities in which it's like, really like, real talk, the sky's the limit. You know what I'm saying? There's so much going on. You can do so much. And...and it's similar to New York, you know what I'm saying? But like, like it's smaller, you know, so it's like, so it's like, you can really go out and find those opportunities, you know, instead of like walking, you know what I'm saying? Because like to walk the whole island of Manhattan, I'm not doing that shit, you know? I...at least in Atlanta, I can walk around downtown Atlanta I mean in like an hour. I can find some shit to do, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:15] I didn't think about that. That's true though. That's true.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:19] Anything like, word to. I remember I got into open mic nights down here. You know what I'm saying? We're doing poetry? Yeah, doing poetry and shit like. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:24] Okay. That's what's up, bro. That's what's up. Man, I got to get to New York, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:29] Nah, nah word to!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:30] 'Cause I got, like..

Kairo Omar: [00:09:30] I gotta get out to Cali, shit!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:32] Like what I...My impression of New York is, like, you get a little bit of everything in one city, especially the food. I mean, you probably got Asian food, Latino food, Haitian...Jamaican food, all types of...

Kairo Omar: [00:09:42] Yeah, most definitely! Word. And the, the food...The food up there is always hitting for real. Not to mention, too. That's one thing about Atlanta that hurts...it hurts my heart, my nigga, when I tell you this shit, right? Imagine being hungry at 12. You know what I'm saying? 12 in the morning. What you gonna get in Atlanta? Not a damn thing. Hungry.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:58] Waffle House. That's all you got. Waffle House.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:00] That is true. Right? But.. Right? But I ain't got the...I ain't got the whip on me, though. You feel me? I'm so...yeah, word, word! I get the...I get the UberEats but you know, but that adds up on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:09] That's cash for real. You still in school, too, so no, we can't.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:12] You can't do that, word.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:13] Yeah, man, that's my only thing. Like, you can't walk around downtown, but that's another thing...We was just talking about that earlier. How, like, this is not necessarily a walkable city. Like we was thinking like New York, you got extensive train system, you can get from here to there real fast. But Atlanta, you got the red line and the blue line. Other than that...

Kairo Omar: [00:10:30] And you better hope...and you better hope that your stop is on that shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:33] Exactly...Uber, walking, or hopefully your homie got a car and that's it.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:38] Yeah. Word to. I remember the first time I took the Marta...I had to. I was headed to Lenox, right? I was on that shit for like 45 minutes and sitting on the train, I was kind of like, why am I...why am I sitting here so damn low.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:48] Why haven't I fucking got there yet, bruh!?

Kairo Omar: [00:10:50] Word to! Word. Right. And again you know what I'm saying, and but again, it just goes back into like Atlanta being so slow, and obviously Atlanta was never built for this many people. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying, so like, after the Olympics, you see usually the major...you see the major influx, you know, but even so. But it's like, like, I feel like that's just part of the magic of Atlanta, though, you know, because there's so...because there's so many people. Because there's so much going on. You know what I'm saying, it's like you see so many people, like, like people are forced to make a way for themselves in a way down here. You know what I'm saying? Now meanwhile, like, like in New York. Yeah, like those places are already there because so many people. But it's not the same, you know what I'm saying? It's like the community is there. But I feel like in New York is a lot harder to get into, you know, down here because it's less people. People are a lot more accepting people, a lot more willing to go fuck with you. You know what I'm saying? So.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:30] So now we got some a...a couple "Would you rather..." questions that we think might be interesting for you.

Kairo Omar: [00:11:36] I know I know I talk a lot too, my fault .

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:39] That's what we're here for, but it's perfect! We just talked to a dude, and was like, we was asking him questions. I was like, "So what do you love about the US?" He was like, "I don't know." I was like, "Well, what do you not like about it?" "I don't know." "What do you think of when you think the United States?" "I don't know." It's like, bro, why did you...

Kairo Omar: [00:11:53] You're not trying for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:55] ...you said you wanted to do this. Why you don't wanna talk? I don't get it. I don't get it. All right. So here we go. The first question is, would you rather have more money or more time?

Kairo Omar: [00:12:04] More time. Like word to, more time. Because it's like, I had a...I had a mentor tell me this shit one time. It's like, I don't have time, I have leverage, you know? I'm saying I'm 19, out of that my life expectancy, I'm supposed to crap out when I turn 80, you know what I'm saying? I don't know that on some real shit. I would much rather have more time and know for a fact that I have more time than I have more bread. Because, like, what the fuck is bread gonna buy me when I'm dead, right? You know, like on some real shit, you know, I'm saying at least with time, I know I can work towards something else. I know I can move towards something else. I know I can, I know I can cherish my time here longer. You know, having bread, it's nice. It gives me a little bit of peace of mind, you know what I'm saying? I can go buy Waffle House, you know, like when I'm hungry and shit at night, right? But it's not, word, you know what I'm saying? But it's not the same, you know, it's like at least, at least with time, at least then I know I can walk to the Waffle House instead, you know, I can. I can make something happen for myself, you know? So definitely more time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:53] Why do you think people don't understand that concept? Why do you think people chase money, money, money, money, money, but they disregard time completely?

Kairo Omar: [00:13:01] Bro, I just feel like cos...I just wrote a paper on this shit, actually. Right? Yeah, word. And then, I feel like it involves...I feel like, again, this is part of the culture that we're a part of. You know what I'm saying, it's like, obviously, money is important for the culture that we live in, for the society that we live in. But I feel like once people kind of understand that, like, yo, like what if, what if money wasn't important? You know what I'm saying, people like, "Oh shit, well, what am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? And it's like, and I feel like you need, you kind of need that...You need, you need to have the time to take a step back in order to ask yourself, "What am I doing in my life?" You know what I'm saying? "What am I putting my time towards?" You know, should I...Literally just like like being in college and having a lot more free time on my hands and I'm you know, that I'm used to, I sit back, I'm like, "Yo, what the fuck am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? Say, bro, like I turned down, I turned down an internship with, with Dell to go to South Africa with my school over the summer. 12k! I turned down 12k to go on a free trip to South Africa!

Kairo Omar: [00:13:55] You know what I'm saying? But it's like, would you...I know, right? That's crazy and shit. Alright. I made that choice. Right? And now and that came after a lot of, like, debating with my parents and myself, you know? But it became a matter of like, all right, cool. But it's like, I can, I'm not gonna say I can make 12k anywhere because you can't make 12k anywhere! You can't! You know, but it's like I, I kind of chose it like, alright, but like, do I want to experience something? Do I want to go work at a company that isn't really going to fulfill me the way that I wanted to? You know, sometimes and again, it's like, I'm young. I can make that choice, you know what I'm saying? I can afford to pass up on 12k in my youth, you know what I'm saying? But I also know, like in ten, 15 years from now, it might not be the same, you know? And so that's why, again, it's like it's about how do I value my time now? How am I spending my time now? You know what I'm saying? Because bread can come later, money can come later on some real shit, you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not pressed about...I'm also a computer science major. So I'm not really...I'm not really stressed about bread on some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:45] You ain't...you ain't pressed for money, dog. Not in that.. not in that field.

Kairo Omar: [00:14:49] Yeah, yeah. You know, so...And so...But again. But there's benefits to that, you know what I'm saying, like, not everybody has that luxury, you know, and stuff. Like it's, I think it's another part of it as well. It's just like nobody...It's like, for example, it's like at my school...I don't know how much is going to be put in there, you know what I'm saying, I just point to me talking for real. It's like at my school, it's like so many niggas are business majors, you know, which isn't a bad thing. I totally respect that, you know what I'm saying. But again, it's just more about like, like the focus is more in terms of like how are you spending your time now, right? Just put, you are dedicating yourself to a degree in which you have to spend time to make money, you know what I'm saying? The same thing with me, of course, you know what I'm saying? Anything that you do in school hours, you got to spend time to do X, Y and Z. You have to put that work in. But it's a different level of work, business is a lot more hands on, you know what I'm saying? You can't afford to take a day off as a business... I'm sorry...after...you know, once, once you're a business owner because that's your business, you know? That's how you make your money; that is your direct stream of income. Computer science majors, a little bit different. I can tell you something like, you know what I'm saying? I might be on call. It's a different...It's a different setup. It's a different schedule for real, you know? But again, it's just I feel like...I feel like to answer the question, you know, right? So word... It is...To answer the question, it's just more in terms of umm...society that we live in, you know? It's like I feel like we're just, we're focused on the wrong shit on some real shit, you know? It's like we're more focused on how many likes we get than who's liking us for real in real life, you know? So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:01] Man, that was beautiful! Would you rather lose all the money you have or all the pictures you have?

Kairo Omar: [00:16:08] All the money I have. I don't know, pictures are important, umm especially...Especially in this day and age, you...I personally feel as though it's like, because like the, you know what I'm saying? Like, because I have like a smartphone, I may take a lot of pictures. I might never really look back at it again, you know what I'm saying? So, not really those pictures, I mean, more of the pictures like, like, like the actual physical copies, you know what I'm saying? Like cos those hit different, you know what I'm saying? Those have...Those have a lot more of a sentimental value. Those get fucked up, I can't do anything about those, which is some real shit. You know, I don't want to lose those, cos...And again, right, it's more about like, it's the quality of my life versus, you know what I'm saying, versus the quantity of bread that I have, you know what I'm saying? Now keep in mind, if I have more money, I can always go back to the same place. I go say back, I can always go back to take those same pictures but it's not going to hit the same. It's not going to be those same memories, you know? It's a different moment in time. Exactly. I can't appreciate it the same way, you know? For example, it's like nothing's going to beat the first time I walk through the Georgia Aquarium, like, you know, cos it's like, because it was so fresh to me, it was so new.

Kairo Omar: [00:17:01] I can go back and I can enjoy it the same. I can even hide this time, I'll go back smoke a blunt, you know what I'm saying? It might be a different story, right? I don't know if you can put this in here or not. I'm sorry Imma fuck with y'all bread or not. You know what I'm saying? But it's like. But, you know. But you don't say, but just like. Like it's not going to hit the same. Obviously, it may be a different experience, but it won't hit the same as my first experience. It's the same way how it's like walking through my high school the first time. It was crazy because walking through that shit, it looked different, it ain't looked the same. It looked odd, you know what I'm saying? Not even odd, but it just looked off. But then I got used to it. I'm like, "Oh, that's what, that's the thing I was looking at before. Now I know why that's there." Now you pass by, it's old and you get used to it, but nothing ever beats that first time. Nothing ever beats that, that first experience. You know what I'm saying? Or at least the initial, you know. So for that reason, man, fuck that bread, bro. Give me my pictures back on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:17:46] Yeah, same way, bro, because you're essentially deleting, like, your memories when you delete all your pictures. You know what I'm saying? And I used to do that when I was younger. Like, I would see some pictures and there are some times you might take a picture of something, years later you feel embarrassed about it and you look at the picture and you're like, nah, fuck it. Especially if it's on your phone, you delete it and then some time will go by, so why the fuck did I delete that picture? That's a memory, that was actually me at that moment in time. So like to delete it is almost like trying to act like it never happened, you know what I mean? So basically, summarizing what you said, it sounds like you can always get more money, bro. But you can't get your memories back if you delete them, you know?

Kairo Omar: [00:18:15] Word to. Yeah. And I...And I feel like, to your point as well, I feel like with our generation as well, again, I'm not really big on social media and all that shit, which is, you know what I'm saying? Which makes it hard for me, you know what I'm saying? If I want to do that, it makes it a little harder to compete. But I feel as though, I feel like our generation, we're so quick to try to edit aspects of ourselves. You know what I'm saying? You know, cos it's so easy to do it on social media, you know what I'm saying? It's like I can curate how people view me. I can curate how people see me, you know, it's like, it's like if I don't put...if I don't put up one.. Up on social media, that don't mean it didn't happen, that just mean that people ain't see it. You know what I'm saying? There are pros and cons to that. You know what I'm saying? Because I know full well if I want to do X, Y, and Z, you know what I'm saying? It's like, for example, let's say if I want to... Let's say if I'm trying to become like an A&R, let's say I want to get signed to a label, if none of my music is on my...is on my Instagram, if I have no means of people actually seeing that except for me saying "go check that thing out on Spotify", yeah, I mean, they're not gonna to listen to it, but it makes it harder for me to get my voice out. It makes it harder for you people to connect with me.

Kairo Omar: [00:19:08] You get what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, it's like, that's the only way we're connecting nowadays, you know what I'm saying? I just see social media as kind of like a digital shroud over all of us. You know what I'm saying? The same dude over you got. He's up on his phone...I was on my phone earlier, you know what I'm saying, listen to music, saying, what you on your phone...going through the questions and shit. It's like it has a shroud over all of us and it's like, it allows us to connect in ways that we might never be able to connect before. I have friends that I made off social media that know I would never make without social media. Off rip, you know what I'm saying? But that's just not...But I...And so that's obviously a benefit of social media. But I feel like, again, it's like it's giving us too much power to curate how we're viewed. And so you know what I'm saying? And to...and to...and to...not only that, but then to also dictate how we want to view ourselves, you know, so you get to put your most ideal self out there. Yeah. Word. You know what I'm saying? It's like obviously there's nothing wrong with having an ideal self and wanting to curate that but it's not genuine, you know what I'm saying? Cos...cos your ideal is just that, it's an ideal. You shouldn't...I'm not saying you should never reach your ideal, but come on, like, like...you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Alright, my bro, so we got five questions about the US. Alright, answer however you want. The first one is, we kind of touched on it, but what does the "American Dream" mean to you?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:13] I'll be honest here. Yeah the American dream is a fucking joke for black people bro on some real shit. Now obviously there's pros and cons to it. I understand that me being a black man within this country. I'm sorry. I mean, let me, let me start off this way. I understand that me being a man within this country, there are certain things I can just do that other people cannot do, whether they be, you know what I'm saying, like, just...just based off of how the patriarchy is set up, right? That's all for it. Now me being black as another feature to my existence, umm, which some might say is great, others might say it's treacherous. It's honestly both. Umm so in terms of my own perception of the American dream, I believe it's obtainable, but I believe it's a lot harder for me to obtain because of who I am and how I look within this country. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:52] I see. Okay. So how would you describe the "American Dream" if you had to explain it to somebody who had never heard the concept before?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:58] The American dream is basically hustle and grind culture. It's the reason why you're worried more about how much money you're making versus how much time you spending with your damn kids on some real shit. There's pros and cons to it, you know, it's like...No, word to, right? You know what I'm saying? But it's like there's pros and cons to it. For example, it's like, I know if I grind for ten years right now, I can chill for 30 years later. Now, do I feel like putting that...do I feel like spending that time? You know what I'm saying? Do I feel like leveraging my time for those next ten years to chill out for the next 30 years? That's up to you. That's up to me. You know what I'm saying? However I feel like living, however you feel like living. That's what you want to do with your life like on some real shit. But the American dream is definitely...it's a...it's a false promise, though, because capitalism is not going to allow for that many people to chase they bags at once. Somebody has to lose. And if you're a minority, it's probably going to be you. So I'm sorry if you're from another country watching this shit. My fault, gangster.

[00:21:47] Sorry! We don't know what to say!

[00:21:49] Like you got it next time. Like you know what I'm saying? Like...but you know, it's like, I was gonna say, you should have been white, but I'm not because you can't put that up in there, you know? But it's a real shit though, you know. So..

Tony Kaizen: [00:21:58] Yeah, yeah, I got you. Now but let me ask you this, though. Do you think the "American Dream" is universal or specific to America, or you feel like people from other countries have that same dream?

Kairo Omar: [00:22:09] I feel like people in other countries definitely have that same thing because the American dream is based off of capitalism. But capitalism isn't only unique to the United States. If you go...you know what I'm saying? Anywhere in the Western world, you're going to find notions of capitalism anywhere in the world. You're going to find notions of capitalism, you know, and you know. And so it's like obviously, not to mention that the American dream is not so much about money. It's more about growth. It's more about what am I able to accomplish? So technically, it's like, I can find the American dream in...in a...North Korea, you know what I'm saying? If I just move to the ranks the way that I'm quote unquote "supposed to", you know what I'm saying? If I assimilate into that culture, if I move within that society in a...in a way that's beneficial to that society, and how can I not win? You know what I'm saying? I think about it like that. The only issue is like here, though, I'm black, being black is ant...is antithetical to growth and success within this country. So how am I really going to do that? I don't know. I wrote a paper on this. I'm excited about it!

Tony Kaizen: [00:22:57] I can tell you're passionate about it. I like that, though. I like that, though. It's not about money, it's the growth. I never thought about it like that. But, I like that, bro. Alright, now, sticking with the theme, when you think of American people, if you had to describe American people to somebody who had no experience with them, who had never been here, how would you describe us in general?

Kairo Omar: [00:23:16] I would say ignorant, but not in like a malicious sense. I mean it more in terms of like we're genuinely unaware of the world outside of the US, you know? And it's like, it's because of what we've been taught, you know, it's like I...cos I interacted with a lot of tourists before...umm...when I was younger, I interacted with a bunch of French tourists and they never...they never gave the vibe like, "Oh, y'all are ignorant...X, Y and Z." But it's just like, they had definitely had certain preconceived notions of the US. And then if you look at media as well, you know what I'm saying? Just like mass media and just say like, "Oh, Americans, just Americans are this..." I can see how people might say that. But again, it's just because we're just not taught about the world outside of the US. We're kind of taught the US is the US, why, you know what I'm saying? Who's going to fuck with the US? You know what I'm saying? Like, it's like, we're so goated. It's not worth learning about anybody else, you know? It's like...which is, which is unfortunate, you know? Cos European history is really rich. African history is really rich. Asian history is really rich. And it's like, it's important to get...it's important to, to understand that, you know, I feel like the US, you know, has been...the US is definitely a melting pot, but we kind of revere it to such a high standard of like, "It's this melting pot, we have to know about this!" Obviously it's important, but it's like we, you know what I'm saying? But like we definitely fail to be inclusive of the...of the world around us, you know, in our own personal educations, you know? So definitely the word "ignorant", but it's not a willful ignorance. It's more of a...it's more that we're just not taught better, you know, that's just some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:24:36] Do you think that the reason we're not more accommodating to people of other cultures or other countries is specifically because we're not educated about them or you think it's something else?

Kairo Omar: [00:24:45] All I'm going to say is it's in a melting pot society, in which you have so many different cultures, and so many different religions, and so many different identities being represented within our country, I genuinely would...you would think that there would be more education, that there would be much more diverse education. But there's an idea called "civil religion" that basically just relates to how societies and groups, what they hold dear, and what they genuinely value as a society...as...as a civilization in the US. Because the United States was built by white cis hetero males...landowning males. You know what I'm saying? That's obviously what you're going to see as being reinstituted. That's what you're going to be valued. That's what's going to be put into play. That's what's going to be revered. It's the same reason why we still see Confederate... Confederate statues still up. You know what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, the US was based around white people. You know what I'm saying? Like being white, you know what I'm saying? It wasn't based on racism. You know what I'm saying? Obviously it was. But it's like, they didn't care about "Oh, you...Oh, you left our country." No, it wasn't about that. You know what I'm saying? They wasn't really sweating that. And you can see that, 'cause again, it's the same reason why...why ideas of the rebellion, why they're still up, you know? But it's not about that. It was really just more about...cos again, because the Confederate States of America, the United States of America, they were so based off of the same ideas of white males, white cis hetero landowning males doing whatever the fuck they wanted because they were white and they were in power, you know? So I'm sorry, what's your question?

Tony Kaizen: [00:26:12] I was saying, how would you describe American people to somebody who has no experience with them? You said ignorant, maybe uneducated.

Kairo Omar: [00:26:19] Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so...and so that as that relates to our education, it's like I would think that you would see it more, but you don't because again, because our, our country was never built to sustain such a type of education, you know? And think about it too. It's like I remember, cos the interacting with those same French kids, I was like 14 when this happened, actually. When I was 14, it's like, I was talking to them. They were...I obviously didn't know French. I was...I took in a French class, but I'm like, who the fuck is paying attention to French class? More like, you know what I'm saying? I can't do that. I'm thinking this is me as an American saying this, right? I'm very ignorant, but like interacting with them, they would be like, "Oh, you don't know French? Okay, then switch to Spanish." I don't know fucking Spanish like, you know what I'm saying? And then they would switch to broken English. And I was like, "How do you know all this shit?" They learn all their languages in pre-K...in kindergarten when they're very young. And again, it's just a part of how we're educated. You know how hard it is to learn a language by the time that your mind gets developed? At least if I'm like six, and you know what I'm saying? As I'm still learning the world, if I learn a new language while I'm still learning other stuff, that makes it easier, I can internalize it more, you know, and that's anything. Like you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, talking to like these same foreigners...these foreigners know all these languages for the sole reason that like, they're, they, you know what I'm saying? That they, they've had the chance to really sit there in the language, and learn it, and, you know what I'm saying? Just absorb it all, you know? And again, that's just the issue with our...with our own education system. We've got to improve, for real. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:39] All right. So "ignorant" and "uneducated". That's how you can label us.

Kairo Omar: [00:27:44] Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:44] All right. So next one is about cultural behaviors. If you had to give a recommendation to somebody who has never been here, what are some things that you think you should never do, or say, which we were talking about earlier. What are some things you should never do or say in the United States?

Kairo Omar: [00:28:03] Keep "nigga" out your mouth. And a...and I say that for the sole reason, that racial tension...it can be felt throughout the world. We know the type of world that we live in, you know? Even if you don't know, you know, and...and if you don't know, you definitely know! You know what I'm saying? But again, but it's like within the US, it's there...it's very different within the US because it's become so centralized and it's become so central to our country's social makeup and to our country's culture. It's definitely very...so whenever you come to the US, keep it out of your mouth. You know what I'm saying? Also understand, too, that we're all people here, which goes back into that whole point as well. Everybody we respect, you know, we're going...we're going to try to treat you with as much respect as possible. But again, right, it's like somebody being respectful to you is more of a...people thing or the US thing. So yeah, definitely. And it also depends on where you're at as well. If you're in New York, don't drive slow.

Kairo Omar: [00:28:58] Niggas will honk at you, they will violate you. Umm but yeah, you know what I'm saying? You gotta...you have to understand, too, that it's like, especially in the US, because we're big up on grind culture, a hustle culture, trying to get the bag by any means. It's definitely a lot faster paced, so definitely be prepared for that. The food portions are a lot bigger if you're from like, you know what I'm saying? If you're from Europe, you're going to be just like, there's a lot more food. We waste a lot of shit here, which is unfortunate, you know, but it's true. Umm so, yes, I would definitely just say be wary of those. Not even be wary of those things, you know what I'm saying? But just like, we live in a very expensive world, there's a lot going on, especially in the US. It's very fast. So just try to appreciate it for what it is, you know? Don't try to just...just...I guess try to move with it, you know? So assimilate, which is kind of wild, but, you know what I'm saying? Just move with it, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:41] So "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," as they say, yeah. And just don't say "nigga". There you go.

Kairo Omar: [00:29:47] We'll stick it right here.

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:49] A big-ass thing on the screen. "Don't say 'nigga'". There you go. There you go. All right. Now this one, people have had a hard time answering, so we'll see your opinion on it. If you had to describe the American beauty standard, we can start with women and then we'll go to men. If you had to describe the beauty standard and maybe give your thoughts on it, what would you say?

Kairo Omar: [00:30:07] I feel like the American beauty standard...again, because we understand...I...we understand the world that we live in. I feel as the American beauty standard definitely does cater towards white women, you know...in a... in a...right? In a Eurocentric sense. But I would also definitely believe that the beauty standard is changing. But...but changing in what regard? Why they're changing? If you look at the fetishization of black women, you know what I'm saying? Is it changing for the good or is it changing because black women are fetishized? You know what I'm saying? Doesn't...it doesn't...then that is...word, it's my fault...It doesn't necessarily mean that they're not beautiful, you know? But again, but it's just more of like, why is it shifting in that direction? Why...you know what I'm saying? Why are they being revered in this way? That's something...I think it's something that's important for us to think about. As it relates to beauty standards, again, it's like there is technically no set beauty standards within the US. Now, if you look at billboards, you know what I'm saying? Like if you see a billboard you might see like, bikini models or X, Y and Z or whatever the fuck. Obviously it might have that certain ideas are being reflected back to you, you know what I'm saying? In terms of like body shape and body...I'm saying skin tone and all that shit, you know what I'm saying? It's like, so I guess like, for the actual...so...you know what I'm saying? So, so, so what's being put out for us to consume.

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:14] That's what I'm talking about. Yeah.

Kairo Omar: [00:31:16] Got you! In that aspect then, yeah, I would definitely say...it would definitely be like a no...slimmer, petite figure. You know what I'm saying? White women, light-skinned women, you know what I'm saying? It's like the lighter you are, the better on some real shit. Obviously, that's not true. You know what I'm saying? Because, again, beauty is a relative thing. How we perceive beauty is definitely up to us as...as...as individuals, as people, umm...so yeah, but I also feel as though, once you understand that there's definitely a disconnect between corporation culture and like, human culture within the US and that's anywhere, you know what I'm saying? But, but what's interesting is that there's a disconnect, you can begin to appreciate it more. For example, as a black man, I think black women are beautiful! Like, "Why, aren't you Spelman College?" I got to represent!

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:52] Shoutout, Spelman!

Kairo Omar: [00:31:53] Shoutout to Spelman! You know the vibes, right? I believe black women are extremely beautiful, you know? But then I also understand...Okay, but also might think white women are beautiful; Asian women are beautiful, and you know know what I'm saying? Like my beauty...like my perception of beauty is not limited to something like race, which is something that you might see here! You know what I'm saying? And which...I might see anywhere, for in all honesty, you know what I'm saying? Because you control the money, white people, you know what I'm saying? But you know...so I feel like in that aspect, yeah that's what the beauty standard is, ummm but don't let it...don't let it limit you. Free your mind. I'll be your third eye.

Tony Kaizen: [00:32:23] Now what about men? When you think about...let's call it the beauty standard for men in America, what do you think that is most put out there or that...how do you think you're expected to look or present yourself visually?

Kairo Omar: [00:32:35] Again, I feel like...I feel like it starts off with bodies, like, you know, if I'm...if I'm too slim, I might not be seen as, quote unquote "attractive". If I'm too big, I might not see seen as quote unquote "attractive", you know? But everybody has their own different body types on some shit. Umm I feel like for men as well, there are definitely certain beauty standards. Within the US itself it's considered...I'm saying this more as a black man, you know what I'm saying? As a black man is that there are certain things that I quote unquote "cannot do" because it might be seen as feminine or it might be seen as...or it might emasculate me, demasculate me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:33:09] Like what, for example?

Kairo Omar: [00:33:10] So, for example, if I get like, my nails done, you know what I'm saying? Like, if I...if I groom myself in a certain way, people might think, "Oh, what are you doing? Why are you doing X, Y and Z?" As somebody who's never gotten a manicure or a pedicure, I'm not opposed...I'm not opposed to the idea. I just never really have the time to do it or go out and do it. But I feel like it's definitely important to understand that, again, beauty standards are relative. How you perceive things are relative. Umm you know...and it's like how you define yourself is how you define yourself, you know what I'm saying? Like, you can't really let people speak for you cos again, the only person that know you is you, on some real shit. But I feel like as it relates to, as it relates to men and, you know, as it relates to men and...and just like how beauty standards are definitely a...taken in, a...it definitely does build a lot of...and the US stuff is built a lot around body type, you know? But again, once you like, again, if you look at the billboards, I'm not built like the...like the Calvin Klein nigga! I'm not, I'm sorry. I can get there...you gotta give me a couple of years, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, again, it's something to work towards. And again, I feel like that's what the beauty culture in America does as well. It kind of forces people to try to move in a certain way. It kind of makes people try to say, "Okay, well, Imma try to do X, Y and Z. Imma try to work towards this." But it's not fair to you. You know what I'm saying? It's like you're human, bro. It's like...like I'm...you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not...shit, like, fucking, like...like...I'm a slim nigga! You know what I'm saying? Come on!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:17] Shoutout to the skinny dude and the short kings, shoutout to 'em!

Kairo Omar: [00:34:19] Word. Exactly. Exactly. Word. You know? It's like...it's like that's something for us to work towards. But again, it's like, beauty standards are so fucking constrictive anywhere, especially in this country. It kind of stresses people out, you know? So fuck beauty standards, everybody's beautiful!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:32] Now, you mentioned before that black women specifically are getting fetishized.

Kairo Omar: [00:34:35] Hmm. Black men, too.

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:36] What have you seen that has made you think that? How do you think that's happening?

Kairo Omar: [00:34:40] I mean, it's...I understand as a black man, there are certain ways in my thinking which definitely point to that, you know what I'm saying? Umm but again, it's like, it's not hard to...it's not hard to look. I mean, Imma talk about porn. I don't know if y'all can say this, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, yo, look at the porn industry! Look at...look at...Look at white porn titles versus black porn titles. "Black thot gets rimmed by..." Like no! I don't give a fuck! Like come on! Like...it's...it's real shit! It's real...let's be real here, you know what I'm saying? Compare it to like, oh, "Skinny white girl..." Like no, come on! Like you know...it's...again, it's like, it's a...it's about languages being used. We live in a country that's inherently racist, that because I'm black or that's not what they see me as a black person, you know what I'm saying? Let's be real here. So it's like obviously I understand that like...so when I speak on fetishization, it's, it's because I live in a culture that wants to seem villainized, that wants to see me brought down, wants to see me demean as a black person. You know what I'm saying? For the sole reason that I'm black. You know what I'm saying? What's considered quote unquote "black", it's... it's become more of a...it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a...it's a social thing. You know what I'm saying? Ideas of blackness, for example...right. It's like...It's like these sneakers are black, you know what I'm saying? Because part of it...because it's a...part of a trend that us as consumers, as black people, as we continue to buy into these things, it becomes labeled as "black". You know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:35:56] These are white. Skater shoes...the pants. You know what what I'm saying? Yeah, for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:35:59] Yeah, exactly. Word, you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, and then if you think about like, Jor...by the way you got Jordans on, right? Same thing with him or like, those are considered quote unquote "black" thing. All right, cool. You know what I'm saying? But why is that? Because as a community, cos we continue to buy into things like this. Why? Because these same corporations, they're going to put forward certain ideas for us to buy into this shit. We fuck with Jordan because Michael Jordan is black! You know what I'm saying? Like if Michael Jordan was some white dude out of, like, out of fucking Idaho, we wouldn't give a fuck, you know? Which is some real shit. And a...and again, too, it was like, look at...look at Kanye West. We continue to fuck with Kanye West because Kanye West is black. If Kanye West was this white person saying, "Oh, this shit", but still making this good-ass music, I wouldn't hit this thing. We was like, "Oh, Kanye's racist. We can't fuck with Kanye West", but you know what I'm saying? But again, it's like...it's like it's how you perceive shit on a, on a, on a, on a, on a social, on a racial level. Because at this point, race has become so intertwined with socioeconomic status, with...with social status within this country, it's very hard to parse the two. You can't...you can't divide them. It's so difficult, you know, as you... you watch Atlanta?

Tony Kaizen: [00:36:54] Yeah, of course, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:36:54] Bro, alright. But looking at season...it's fire! It goes crazy! Looking at season three of Atlanta, there's episodes of du...a...a...the most recent episode...you watch...it was wild as shit, right? But what I'm trying to highlight is this. In like the very first scene, he's running around in the Nike Tech suit. Why? You know what I'm saying? Why is he running...why is he running in a Nike tech suit? That...that was my question. But I'm thinking, that's not a black thing. That's not a white thing. It's just a thing, that's...that's something for people to consume. But I'm so, as a black man, I'm so used to saying, "Okay, well, why is he wearing that?" You know what I'm saying? "Why is this white man wearing a Nike Tech suit?" And then even looking at that...even the music he's listening to as well. "Why is he listening to some trap shit?" You know what I'm saying? Which isn't a bad thing, right? Because that's what he chooses to listen to. But even still, it's just like, the consumption...what we consume as consumers, what is, you know what I'm saying? What is being put out for us to listen to? Why is it being put out in such a way? For example, it's like, if you look at rap...if you look at rap music, people say rap music is dangerous, it's a...it's misogynistic, it's X, Y, and Z.

Kairo Omar: [00:37:55] How dare they say X, Y and Z and all that is true! It's true. You know what I'm saying? Shit like...shit...as I...as much as I bump Future, Future's a toxic nigga! But I still listen to Future. You know what I'm saying, though? But it becomes a matter of...okay...But like why? You know what I'm saying? But if rap music is so dangerous...dangerous...if it's so dangerous, if it's so bad, if it's...if it's a...if it's such a taboo thing, why is it still being consumed? Why are people, especially white people? Because, again, you gotta think about who is music being made for. The music industry is made to cater towards white people. So why is it still being consumed? Because it gives white people the chance to...to fire back at black people by saying, "Okay, well, they're X, Y, and Z. Look at how they dress. Look at what they say about their women. Look at how they treat X, Y, and Z." But we know it's not true. It's a constant reaffirming cycle. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying? But again. But it's like, but it's like, the issue is...but it's because...it's because we're so occupied by a system that doesn't wanna see us win.

Kairo Omar: [00:38:43] So it's like, for example, if I know that...if you look at Megan Thee Stallion, right? Megan Thee Stallion, that's her living her best life. That's her...That's her... That is her explaining her experiences as a black woman in a way that she understands. Fuck these niggas! What does she wanna say? You know what I'm saying? If that's how she wanna say it, that's what she wanna say. Scam all these niggas, cool, right? I'm not even listening to Megan Thee Stallion, you know what I'm saying? So she says what she's saying, but again. But it's also us like. But it's like it's more about how is it being perceived. But it's not her job to control how she's perceived. It's her job to put out art! She's not trying to just throw it together just to say, "Oh, I don't know if people like this." Then that's not really being a genuine artist. That's a different story, you know what I'm saying? That goes for any artist, you know what I'm saying? I love you, Meg. If you want to slot to Morehouse, I love you. So you know what I'm saying? Right. But it's like, but you know, that goes for any artist. So it's like I definitely feel as though, we have to be more aware. So just be aware like on some shit, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:28] I dig it. So last two questions. They're kind of like opposites. What do you love about the USA specifically? What do you love about your country?

Kairo Omar: [00:39:36] I love the fact that I can be any type of person that I wanna be here. That's one thing for sure. There are definitely certain freedoms...there are definitely certain social freedoms.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:45] He did a calculation in his head real quick.

Kairo Omar: [00:39:47] Quick, right, word. Language is important, on some real shit. Right? Language is important. Umm, there are certain social freedoms that I'm awarded just by living in this country. For example, if I were gay, living in this country would be easier for me than if I was living in another country. It doesn't mean that my existence here would be easier compared to everybody else's, cos there obviously are still certain biases in place, and certain way than people think. But if I was in Saudi Arabia, which is just a different...I understand it's just a different a...way of living. It's a different...it's a different standard of living as a gay person. You know what I'm saying? Just between these two different places. So there's that for sure. That's something I definitely appreciate. Umm I have the chance to...not only that, but because the US is so expansive, there's so much going on, there's so many people here, I can...I can take in a lot without having to leave the US, you know, which is another great thing too, which is, which is a benefit of the US. So those two things most definitely.

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:40] Okay. Now what do you...it's hard to use this word, but what do you hate about the country or what do you wish was different? What would you change if you had the chance?

Kairo Omar: [00:40:48] Umm not change. I mean, you already know what I would change! Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:52] I know one of 'em. I know one of 'em for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:40:55] But I...but...but I talk for so long but Imma try to be short of course. Umm what would I change? I would definitely try to...bro, we need free shit! Which sound...Not...not only like random free shit. I mean, like free health care, something like a...you know what I'm saying? Cos health care...and again, it's like, and this country is very capitalistic. The reason why grind culture is so big here is because it's the only way you can really live your life peacefully. That's the only way you can get the shit that you need and need is a strong word. Because if I need to go to a doctor so I don't die and I can't afford it, all of a sudden I'm living in a system that's meant to see me lose because I can't afford it. The money, you know what I'm saying? At that point, as a society we've come to...as a society, I mean at that point as a society, we've come to value wealth more than human life. And it's an issue...we gotta...should...stop! Come on, we're better than that! Come on, come on. Right? We're better than that. So that would be something that I would try to change. I would definitely try to reinstate certain...certain ideas or certain practices that would just help us remember that as much money as we make, if somebody dies, that's something that you're not getting back. You can always make the bread back. You can always create more money. I know you can. You can always print more money. You know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, it's like...it's just...just trying to...try to, I guess, like, reinstate the...that thinking, that way of thinking of just caring for each other again. It's important.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:13] Apart from the capitalistic part, apart from the corporations and businesses and stuff like that, do you think that American people in general don't really care much for each other? Like we're so individualistic that we're really not worried about anybody else or you think differently?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:26] I feel like there definitely is a basin...there's a definitely...a baseline sense of care. That's only when there's somebody else coming and...and making us feel some type of way, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:38] What do you mean?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:39] I'll put it this way. It's like, God forbid that...you know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, shooting...after shoo...like when I was in high school, I had to go through an active shooter drill. So being... that really is an American-ass sentence to say that's fucking crazy! You know what I'm saying? Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:51] So, just for anybody who doesn't understand. Can you say that again? You had to do what in school?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:54] An active shooter drill.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:55] And can you explain what that is?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:57] So basically, it's like, gun violence is a large issue in the United States. Umm just based off of the way that our laws are set up. And so it's like, throughout the US there have been a number of times in which like, you've seen armed individuals go into schools or go into public areas with firearms and to try to do people harm. And actually for me...actually it wasn't...we actually thought it was real, but it ended up being just a big mix-up on some shit. It was like a fucking water gun that somebody was walking by with, you know what I'm saying? But it was still kind of like, "Oh shit!", you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:43:26] It's common sense there's a shooter in the school, that's not a thing you take lightly.

Kairo Omar: [00:43:29] Word to, right? But it's just like, in that aspect, seeing how people came together in my high school... obviously we're all friends in my high school, you know what I'm saying? But seeing how people came together, it meant something. I feel like on a microcosmic level, that's what I'm trying to...that's the point I'm trying to make. Until something...until something foreign comes in, we all really fuck with each other. Even black people don't really fuck with each other. Like, you know what I'm saying? Like, let's be real, you know? But, you know what I'm saying? It's like...but like, we gotta think to ourselves, why? Not...no...I'm not gonna...I'll be here for another hour. You know what I'm saying? Though it's just like...it's about...the love...the love for each other is definitely here in this country. But we just have to be willing to love each other when it's not convenient. You know what I'm saying? We have to love each other when we want it, not when we need it. You get what I'm saying? Yeah, because, you know, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:44:14] I get that same impression. Like, kind of, you said, it's kind of like a lot of people think that Americans are very reserved or cold or that we all just hate each other, especially here in the South. It's mainly black and white people and they think we're just at each other's necks all the time. But I try to explain to people all the time, that in general, we get along pretty well. Like, I mind my business, you mind yours, I don't fuck with you. You don't fuck with me. For the most part, that's the way it is. And then, people will say, like, "We see so much racism on TV, we see so much hatred and stuff like that on social media." But I just don't think that's really the case. I think that's perpetuated online. And then people see that and they assume that's the way it is. So when you see a white person walking down the street, you guys maybe don't make eye contact, you try to keep your distance. So I think there's a lot of a...lack of communication going on cos when you just sit down and talk to somebody like this, I don't know you, we just met today. You see, most people are fucking cool, bro, you know what I'm saying? And like you said, when tragedy strikes, whatever it is most of the time, however way it happens, people do come together and take care of each other, you know what I'm saying? So I think there are certainly racist people, ignorant people, hateful people. But for the most part, I've been all over this country and most people are pretty fucking cool as long as you show respect.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:23] Exactly. Word. And that's the thing, too. It's like I feel like people don't understand that respect is kind of like a two-way street, you know? It's like if you're not willing to give it, you're not going get it. You know, it's like...cos if I come...I came over here, I could be like, "Fuck you nigga, walk away!", that would've been wild and shit, obviously, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but then if you were like, "Oh, word?" And then we started scrapping like...that would have been my fault! Like in a way...you know what I'm saying? Cos again, it's about...it's a two-way street. So it's like, you gotta show the respect to get the respect here, on some serious shit. But I always...but that don't mean that you're always going to get that respect back.

Tony Kaizen: [00:45:51] It don't always work. We'll just say that.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:52] Word, you know, that's not an American thing, that's more of a human thing, you know what I'm saying? That person can be having that bad day, you know, but it's like, that's that person, that's not you, you know? So...that's not...you know what I'm saying? It's like, don't, don't...I'm not gonna say don't sweat shit. But it's just like, don't...

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:05] Don't sweat shit you can't control at the end of the day, right?

Kairo Omar: [00:46:08] Exact...exactly. Word. You know what I'm saying? You know what you can work on. If you're trying to learn English, right? Which you...I hope you're...right? Word. Make sure you learn English from this dude right here. Right? It's like, you know, you can control that. You just gotta lock in with it. You know, it's like you...you can control...focus on what you can do right now. Don't focus on what you can do later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:24] I dig that, bro. I appreciate that. Kairo...I really appreciate it, bro. This is a great interview. Best one so far. We appreciate that. Yeah, I was just about to ask you. Let me get your social before we go. Definitely gonna put that in there. You said you got? What do you...Instagram? Okay, cool.

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] All right, Kairo. So the first question, how old are you?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:02] I'm 19.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:03] 19. Okay. So this going to be interesting for you. Our question is, if you had to give some advice to your younger self, maybe go back four or five, six years, maybe when you were just starting high school or something like that, what advice would you give to yourself? What would you say directly to the younger version of yourself?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:18] Well, you could do anything like on some real shh...can, can, can I? On some real shit, my nigga! Yo, you can do anything, bro. It's like I remember going through high school. It's like I was blessed that I had people that was like, ooh, shit, I see it's starting to rain. I was blessed to have people that were trying to look out for me. And that's not something everybody really gets all the time, you know? And so it's like dang! I go to Morehouse, so you know what I'm saying so it was like, I'm from, I'm from New York. I'm, I'm from Jersey, you know what I'm saying, so making that transition down here and just looking at what I've been able to accomplish so far and, you know, and then just looking at what I want to accomplish for the rest of my life. You do anything bro, you know what I'm saying? So you just lock in with it bro, believe in yourself, you know, because at the end of the day, the only person who knows you better than you is you; the only person who knows you for real is you, you know? So just like locking in with your shit through. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:56] Hundred percent, bro! Now, back when you were around that age, 14, 15, did you have a different belief like, did you have those self-limiting beliefs or doubts about the stuff you could do?

Kairo Omar: [00:01:04] Oh yeah, of course. Of course. You know what I'm saying, because I feel like, especially at that age, we're all so malleable and especially with social media, too, it's just like...I feel like...I feel like especially like my generation of people, our generation of people coming up, you know what I'm saying it's like we're really quick to be influenced and really quick to be, I guess, impacted by what other people are saying, or at least like, what like, what we are seeing. You know, if I wasn't living up to a certain standard, if I wasn't moving in a certain way, I might have thought... I might have been failing myself. I might have been failing my family, man, or at least failing the people around me, you know what I'm saying? But now it's like, like as I've gotten older, as I've gotten wiser, everything's coming to understand that it's like, it's all relative, you know what I'm saying? It's like...It's like...It's like, it's like the grind that you might be on is different from the grind that I might be on. It's a different grind that this brother might be on behind the camera. You know what I'm saying, it's like, we are all different. So it's like, you got to trust yourself. You just got to be willing to...to yeah, to just trust yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:51] When was it that you noticed that, that, because I agree 100%, especially with the Internet today, bro, you can do literally anything. But how old were you when you realized that? Or can you remember the moment when it kind of clicked for you?

Kairo Omar: [00:02:01] I mean, it's been clicking since I got really gotten to college for real, you know what I'm saying? Because I feel like, I feel like...being in high school, definitely...definitely over quarantine as well, you know? But it's like...I'm like...being in high school. It's just like, being like, in like that little bubble, you know what I'm saying? It's like I got so used to having social media there, but I also knew everybody else so I really wasn't looking at it too often. But then, you know, coming out of COVID and starting to like make my transition down here to go to college and shit...oh it's crazy, bro! I remember it, it's like, it's like it's like interacting with people in person versus on social media. It just felt different, you know what I'm saying? But then again, I wasn't the real person. That was just my perception of them. Just I had garnered over the phone for the past like two or three months, you know. So, so yeah, it's definitely that was definitely over quarantine. Definitely making my shift into college is definitely one that happened, you know, but, but, you know, like, like word to, bro? Like all this shit is, it's social media ain't a real thing, like on some real shit, like, like, like you feel me? So...word!

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:51] Yeah, hundred percent, hundred percent! So basically, the advice to your younger self is just remember you can do whatever you want, literally anything.

Kairo Omar: [00:02:58] Exactly. And then, then, right, cause if you're on the topic of the Internet, bro, it's like literally, it's like, like the same way...the same way how you have a YouTube channel, you have to get your message out there. You all know, whatever the message is, you know, saying whatever it is, yo, yo, make sure to subscribe to these dudes!

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:10] Subscribe! Goddammit!

Kairo Omar: [00:03:12] Make sure to subscribe! Yeah, now you know what I'm saying, but it's like, but like on some real shit, it's just like even with the internet, it's like, you can do anything that you want these days on the internet. You know what I'm saying? It's like just looking at how music is transforming and looking at how social justice is transforming. You know what I'm saying? Shit looking at how...you know what I'm saying? Just looking at how how you spend your day, you know what I'm saying? What you decide to do with yourself, how fashion trends are changing...you know what I'm saying? Over time, it's like what we as a society, what we, what we as a society, what, what we're beginning to value is being shaped so much by the internet. So it's one of the biggest rules out there right now. So most definitely you can do anything that you want to for real. I'm saying as long as you have the right platform, as long as you know how to finesse the internet properly, you can make anything shape for yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:48] Man, that was beautifully said. Appreciate that! Remember that one. So what is it that you want to do at this point? You're 19 now and you understand you can do anything. So where are you trying to get?

Kairo Omar: [00:03:57] Bro! I was literally talking to my girl about this shit. We just got out the aquarium. Like, bro, like Met Gala, bro like that, you know what I'm saying? 'Cause I wanna do music and all that shit. Like, I'm really just starting to get myself out there and shit, you know? And so, like, for me, just, like, putting myself onto that process, it definitely feels weird, you know, because something I never really, especially at high school, I was thinking myself, I'm never gonna do that shit, never going to do music, you know, like being in college. And I've gotten more comfortable with, like po...with doing poetry and shit, and so getting myself involved in that aspect. Yeah, it's like right now, right now Met Gala is the goal, fuck the Grammy, fuck whatever, all that other shit. You know what I'm saying? Like right now it really is Met Gala because you know ain't Grammy's some bullshit, all that shit...all these shit some bullshit. You know, all these Met Galas, like, that's more like the people who know really know that's supposed to be there. You know what I'm saying? It's more, it's more about who's shifting the culture, who matters in the culture, you know, and you know, I'm saying...I'm...I'm on my...what's the matter on the culture on some real shit. So Met Gala for sure, that's the goal right now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:43] What's that? Met gala? How do you spell that?

Kairo Omar: [00:04:44] Met Gala. M-e-t. You know, it's ah...it's up in New York, the Metro Metropolitan Museum or something like that. Right? But it's the M-e-t Gala.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:52] Oh, like Metropolitan Gallery or something like that.

Kairo Omar: [00:04:55] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the Met gala, basically. So it's like, it's like, you'll have, like, you know who Anna Wintour is? Yeah. Right. So it's like, she'll probably, like, run it, type of shit. And so it's like, it'll be like, every year you'll see like, niggas like Frank Ocean pop out, just like Rihanna, Drake, all these niggas, like, you know what I'm saying? Virgil Abloh, you know what I'm saying? It's like, RIP, RIP Virgil, RIP Virgil, you know what I'm saying? But it's just like they all pop bottles and shit, but it's like, like you, you feel like kinda who is going there...these are people who are influencing the culture. These people, these are people who have, you know what I'm saying, who have some standard of celebrity, you know, and that obviously the goal isn't to get famous. The goal is to make a shift of a culture, you know what I'm saying? The goal is to make...it's to leave a lasting imprint, you know what I'm saying, on whatever I'm trying to do in my life, you know, with some real shit. So that's that's the goal. Met Gala for sure. I feel like there...cos it's not only, not only are you there, not only...cos the only way you get invited is by niggas knowing that you're doing some shit. You feel me? And you know what I'm saying? That's the you, you, you...This is good music, by the way. I hear the jazz music, you know what I'm saying? But we all want our peers to be able to, to call you out on your shit, you know. So that's the goal for sure.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:51] So are you already putting stuff online? Do you have a channel or somewhere that people can follow you?

Kairo Omar: [00:05:55] I got a regular Instagram for right now. It's K...It's Kairo dot Omar. K-a-i-r-o dot Omar, O-m-a-r. As for music, I'm still trying to figure that out right now. That's what, that's what the summer is for. Just gonna lock in with that. So, yeah, you're gonna see what happens, hopefully.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:11] Follow that man on Instagram, alright?

Kairo Omar: [00:06:13] Appreciate you! And make sure to subscribe to these dudes as well bro!

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:15] Subscribe, goddammit! I dig it, bro. Alright. So next question. This question, this one, maybe you do, maybe you don't have an answer, but can you think of your worst injury that you've ever had? And this could be physical or even mental, emotional, or something like that. Talk about your worst injury.

Kairo Omar: [00:06:31] My worst injury? Ah...I'm not gonna lie. I guess, I'm going to...Imma get some of this focus more like the mental tip, you know what I'm saying? Because everybody, everybody gets injured, you know, like, in like a physical sense, you know what I'm saying? But it's like anything can affect you. Anything can impact you. But I feel like how it impacts you really does, does matter more on your mind, on some real shit, you know? So it's like for me, again, it was tough to come out of the quarantine and having to make that adjustment, you know, because like in high school, I was mad social. Like now, like I'm back to that point in my life again where I can feel open and shit. But you know what I'm saying, but as I come out of high school being so used to being so social with, with a very specific group of people, that I don't see them niggas for like, for like a fucking year, some change, And I go to college, brand new motherfucker. So I got to get used to, you know. So I guess it wasn't even like a wound. It was just more of like, it was...I had to...I had to learn to become more flexible, you know what I'm saying? So it's like, I ain't, I ain't, I ain't break. I just bent a little bit, you know what I'm saying? But you know what I'm saying. But what...but it's like we're supposed to bend, you know, like, go through some shit, right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:21] Hundred percent. Hundred percent. Pressure makes diamonds, you know what I'm saying?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:24] Word to?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:25] I can dig that. Now, have you noticed...is this your first time in Atlanta?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:28] No, I've been out here for like a year, and I'm a, I'm gonna be a junior next semester. It's like a year and a half now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:33] Okay. So you've been out here for a little bit, but you grew up in New York?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:36] In New York, New Jersey, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:37] Okay. Okay. So what are some differences you noticed in the way we interact, the way we talk, the culture? I ain't even gotta say no more. Talk about the differences between the culture and the people up in New York and what you notice down here in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:07:48] I'll say just the general vibe of Atlanta is so fucking slow. It's like, a part of me appreciates it for sure, you know what I'm saying, right? Because it's like, you know what I'm saying, because it's like I was born in Brooklyn and I ended up moving out to Teaneck. Shout out to Teaneck, New Jersey! Yo, yo, what's up, my niggas? Yo! Waddup but nah...you know what I'm saying it's like...it's like making that shift though. It's like being, being up north...it's a lot faster. I can get a lot...I can get around to places easier, down here bro...

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:12] We're just talking about that.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:13] Word! I mean, my fault, are, are y'all, are y'all from down here or?

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:16] Nah, I'm from California.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:16] From California? What about you?

Marcus (cameraman): [00:08:19] All the way West Coast.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:20] Oh, I gotcha. All right, bet. Yeah, yeah, word. You know what I'm saying, so it's like, y'all can kind of relate to this as well. It's like, you know what I'm saying, I'm sure even being on the West Coast is a little bit slower than up north, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but even slower, making that transition, it's a lot slower. Umm the food here, I'm not really a big fan of Atlanta, of the food scene in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:37] You know what I'm saying? Only cos I get like, coming from New York, I know exactly what, what I can get. I...I've just been so used to it, you know? So I just have a little bit of bias in that food. But I don't know, I, I fuck with Atlanta off of...off of the aesthetic tip, you know, saying there's so much you can do here. And that's another thing too. It's like Atlanta is one of those cities in which it's like, really like, real talk, the sky's the limit. You know what I'm saying? There's so much going on. You can do so much. And...and it's similar to New York, you know what I'm saying? But like, like it's smaller, you know, so it's like, so it's like, you can really go out and find those opportunities, you know, instead of like walking, you know what I'm saying? Because like to walk the whole island of Manhattan, I'm not doing that shit, you know? I...at least in Atlanta, I can walk around downtown Atlanta I mean in like an hour. I can find some shit to do, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:15] I didn't think about that. That's true though. That's true.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:19] Anything like, word to. I remember I got into open mic nights down here. You know what I'm saying? We're doing poetry? Yeah, doing poetry and shit like. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:24] Okay. That's what's up, bro. That's what's up. Man, I got to get to New York, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:29] Nah, nah word to!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:30] 'Cause I got, like..

Kairo Omar: [00:09:30] I gotta get out to Cali, shit!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:32] Like what I...My impression of New York is, like, you get a little bit of everything in one city, especially the food. I mean, you probably got Asian food, Latino food, Haitian...Jamaican food, all types of...

Kairo Omar: [00:09:42] Yeah, most definitely! Word. And the, the food...The food up there is always hitting for real. Not to mention, too. That's one thing about Atlanta that hurts...it hurts my heart, my nigga, when I tell you this shit, right? Imagine being hungry at 12. You know what I'm saying? 12 in the morning. What you gonna get in Atlanta? Not a damn thing. Hungry.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:58] Waffle House. That's all you got. Waffle House.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:00] That is true. Right? But.. Right? But I ain't got the...I ain't got the whip on me, though. You feel me? I'm so...yeah, word, word! I get the...I get the UberEats but you know, but that adds up on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:09] That's cash for real. You still in school, too, so no, we can't.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:12] You can't do that, word.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:13] Yeah, man, that's my only thing. Like, you can't walk around downtown, but that's another thing...We was just talking about that earlier. How, like, this is not necessarily a walkable city. Like we was thinking like New York, you got extensive train system, you can get from here to there real fast. But Atlanta, you got the red line and the blue line. Other than that...

Kairo Omar: [00:10:30] And you better hope...and you better hope that your stop is on that shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:33] Exactly...Uber, walking, or hopefully your homie got a car and that's it.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:38] Yeah. Word to. I remember the first time I took the Marta...I had to. I was headed to Lenox, right? I was on that shit for like 45 minutes and sitting on the train, I was kind of like, why am I...why am I sitting here so damn low.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:48] Why haven't I fucking got there yet, bruh!?

Kairo Omar: [00:10:50] Word to! Word. Right. And again you know what I'm saying, and but again, it just goes back into like Atlanta being so slow, and obviously Atlanta was never built for this many people. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying, so like, after the Olympics, you see usually the major...you see the major influx, you know, but even so. But it's like, like, I feel like that's just part of the magic of Atlanta, though, you know, because there's so...because there's so many people. Because there's so much going on. You know what I'm saying, it's like you see so many people, like, like people are forced to make a way for themselves in a way down here. You know what I'm saying? Now meanwhile, like, like in New York. Yeah, like those places are already there because so many people. But it's not the same, you know what I'm saying? It's like the community is there. But I feel like in New York is a lot harder to get into, you know, down here because it's less people. People are a lot more accepting people, a lot more willing to go fuck with you. You know what I'm saying? So.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:30] So now we got some a...a couple "Would you rather..." questions that we think might be interesting for you.

Kairo Omar: [00:11:36] I know I know I talk a lot too, my fault .

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:39] That's what we're here for, but it's perfect! We just talked to a dude, and was like, we was asking him questions. I was like, "So what do you love about the US?" He was like, "I don't know." I was like, "Well, what do you not like about it?" "I don't know." "What do you think of when you think the United States?" "I don't know." It's like, bro, why did you...

Kairo Omar: [00:11:53] You're not trying for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:55] ...you said you wanted to do this. Why you don't wanna talk? I don't get it. I don't get it. All right. So here we go. The first question is, would you rather have more money or more time?

Kairo Omar: [00:12:04] More time. Like word to, more time. Because it's like, I had a...I had a mentor tell me this shit one time. It's like, I don't have time, I have leverage, you know? I'm saying I'm 19, out of that my life expectancy, I'm supposed to crap out when I turn 80, you know what I'm saying? I don't know that on some real shit. I would much rather have more time and know for a fact that I have more time than I have more bread. Because, like, what the fuck is bread gonna buy me when I'm dead, right? You know, like on some real shit, you know, I'm saying at least with time, I know I can work towards something else. I know I can move towards something else. I know I can, I know I can cherish my time here longer. You know, having bread, it's nice. It gives me a little bit of peace of mind, you know what I'm saying? I can go buy Waffle House, you know, like when I'm hungry and shit at night, right? But it's not, word, you know what I'm saying? But it's not the same, you know, it's like at least, at least with time, at least then I know I can walk to the Waffle House instead, you know, I can. I can make something happen for myself, you know? So definitely more time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:53] Why do you think people don't understand that concept? Why do you think people chase money, money, money, money, money, but they disregard time completely?

Kairo Omar: [00:13:01] Bro, I just feel like cos...I just wrote a paper on this shit, actually. Right? Yeah, word. And then, I feel like it involves...I feel like, again, this is part of the culture that we're a part of. You know what I'm saying, it's like, obviously, money is important for the culture that we live in, for the society that we live in. But I feel like once people kind of understand that, like, yo, like what if, what if money wasn't important? You know what I'm saying, people like, "Oh shit, well, what am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? And it's like, and I feel like you need, you kind of need that...You need, you need to have the time to take a step back in order to ask yourself, "What am I doing in my life?" You know what I'm saying? "What am I putting my time towards?" You know, should I...Literally just like like being in college and having a lot more free time on my hands and I'm you know, that I'm used to, I sit back, I'm like, "Yo, what the fuck am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? Say, bro, like I turned down, I turned down an internship with, with Dell to go to South Africa with my school over the summer. 12k! I turned down 12k to go on a free trip to South Africa!

Kairo Omar: [00:13:55] You know what I'm saying? But it's like, would you...I know, right? That's crazy and shit. Alright. I made that choice. Right? And now and that came after a lot of, like, debating with my parents and myself, you know? But it became a matter of like, all right, cool. But it's like, I can, I'm not gonna say I can make 12k anywhere because you can't make 12k anywhere! You can't! You know, but it's like I, I kind of chose it like, alright, but like, do I want to experience something? Do I want to go work at a company that isn't really going to fulfill me the way that I wanted to? You know, sometimes and again, it's like, I'm young. I can make that choice, you know what I'm saying? I can afford to pass up on 12k in my youth, you know what I'm saying? But I also know, like in ten, 15 years from now, it might not be the same, you know? And so that's why, again, it's like it's about how do I value my time now? How am I spending my time now? You know what I'm saying? Because bread can come later, money can come later on some real shit, you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not pressed about...I'm also a computer science major. So I'm not really...I'm not really stressed about bread on some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:45] You ain't...you ain't pressed for money, dog. Not in that.. not in that field.

Kairo Omar: [00:14:49] Yeah, yeah. You know, so...And so...But again. But there's benefits to that, you know what I'm saying, like, not everybody has that luxury, you know, and stuff. Like it's, I think it's another part of it as well. It's just like nobody...It's like, for example, it's like at my school...I don't know how much is going to be put in there, you know what I'm saying, I just point to me talking for real. It's like at my school, it's like so many niggas are business majors, you know, which isn't a bad thing. I totally respect that, you know what I'm saying. But again, it's just more about like, like the focus is more in terms of like how are you spending your time now, right? Just put, you are dedicating yourself to a degree in which you have to spend time to make money, you know what I'm saying? The same thing with me, of course, you know what I'm saying? Anything that you do in school hours, you got to spend time to do X, Y and Z. You have to put that work in. But it's a different level of work, business is a lot more hands on, you know what I'm saying? You can't afford to take a day off as a business... I'm sorry...after...you know, once, once you're a business owner because that's your business, you know? That's how you make your money; that is your direct stream of income. Computer science majors, a little bit different. I can tell you something like, you know what I'm saying? I might be on call. It's a different...It's a different setup. It's a different schedule for real, you know? But again, it's just I feel like...I feel like to answer the question, you know, right? So word... It is...To answer the question, it's just more in terms of umm...society that we live in, you know? It's like I feel like we're just, we're focused on the wrong shit on some real shit, you know? It's like we're more focused on how many likes we get than who's liking us for real in real life, you know? So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:01] Man, that was beautiful! Would you rather lose all the money you have or all the pictures you have?

Kairo Omar: [00:16:08] All the money I have. I don't know, pictures are important, umm especially...Especially in this day and age, you...I personally feel as though it's like, because like the, you know what I'm saying? Like, because I have like a smartphone, I may take a lot of pictures. I might never really look back at it again, you know what I'm saying? So, not really those pictures, I mean, more of the pictures like, like, like the actual physical copies, you know what I'm saying? Like cos those hit different, you know what I'm saying? Those have...Those have a lot more of a sentimental value. Those get fucked up, I can't do anything about those, which is some real shit. You know, I don't want to lose those, cos...And again, right, it's more about like, it's the quality of my life versus, you know what I'm saying, versus the quantity of bread that I have, you know what I'm saying? Now keep in mind, if I have more money, I can always go back to the same place. I go say back, I can always go back to take those same pictures but it's not going to hit the same. It's not going to be those same memories, you know? It's a different moment in time. Exactly. I can't appreciate it the same way, you know? For example, it's like nothing's going to beat the first time I walk through the Georgia Aquarium, like, you know, cos it's like, because it was so fresh to me, it was so new.

Kairo Omar: [00:17:01] I can go back and I can enjoy it the same. I can even hide this time, I'll go back smoke a blunt, you know what I'm saying? It might be a different story, right? I don't know if you can put this in here or not. I'm sorry Imma fuck with y'all bread or not. You know what I'm saying? But it's like. But, you know. But you don't say, but just like. Like it's not going to hit the same. Obviously, it may be a different experience, but it won't hit the same as my first experience. It's the same way how it's like walking through my high school the first time. It was crazy because walking through that shit, it looked different, it ain't looked the same. It looked odd, you know what I'm saying? Not even odd, but it just looked off. But then I got used to it. I'm like, "Oh, that's what, that's the thing I was looking at before. Now I know why that's there." Now you pass by, it's old and you get used to it, but nothing ever beats that first time. Nothing ever beats that, that first experience. You know what I'm saying? Or at least the initial, you know. So for that reason, man, fuck that bread, bro. Give me my pictures back on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:17:46] Yeah, same way, bro, because you're essentially deleting, like, your memories when you delete all your pictures. You know what I'm saying? And I used to do that when I was younger. Like, I would see some pictures and there are some times you might take a picture of something, years later you feel embarrassed about it and you look at the picture and you're like, nah, fuck it. Especially if it's on your phone, you delete it and then some time will go by, so why the fuck did I delete that picture? That's a memory, that was actually me at that moment in time. So like to delete it is almost like trying to act like it never happened, you know what I mean? So basically, summarizing what you said, it sounds like you can always get more money, bro. But you can't get your memories back if you delete them, you know?

Kairo Omar: [00:18:15] Word to. Yeah. And I...And I feel like, to your point as well, I feel like with our generation as well, again, I'm not really big on social media and all that shit, which is, you know what I'm saying? Which makes it hard for me, you know what I'm saying? If I want to do that, it makes it a little harder to compete. But I feel as though, I feel like our generation, we're so quick to try to edit aspects of ourselves. You know what I'm saying? You know, cos it's so easy to do it on social media, you know what I'm saying? It's like I can curate how people view me. I can curate how people see me, you know, it's like, it's like if I don't put...if I don't put up one.. Up on social media, that don't mean it didn't happen, that just mean that people ain't see it. You know what I'm saying? There are pros and cons to that. You know what I'm saying? Because I know full well if I want to do X, Y, and Z, you know what I'm saying? It's like, for example, let's say if I want to... Let's say if I'm trying to become like an A&R, let's say I want to get signed to a label, if none of my music is on my...is on my Instagram, if I have no means of people actually seeing that except for me saying "go check that thing out on Spotify", yeah, I mean, they're not gonna to listen to it, but it makes it harder for me to get my voice out. It makes it harder for you people to connect with me.

Kairo Omar: [00:19:08] You get what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, it's like, that's the only way we're connecting nowadays, you know what I'm saying? I just see social media as kind of like a digital shroud over all of us. You know what I'm saying? The same dude over you got. He's up on his phone...I was on my phone earlier, you know what I'm saying, listen to music, saying, what you on your phone...going through the questions and shit. It's like it has a shroud over all of us and it's like, it allows us to connect in ways that we might never be able to connect before. I have friends that I made off social media that know I would never make without social media. Off rip, you know what I'm saying? But that's just not...But I...And so that's obviously a benefit of social media. But I feel like, again, it's like it's giving us too much power to curate how we're viewed. And so you know what I'm saying? And to...and to...and to...not only that, but then to also dictate how we want to view ourselves, you know, so you get to put your most ideal self out there. Yeah. Word. You know what I'm saying? It's like obviously there's nothing wrong with having an ideal self and wanting to curate that but it's not genuine, you know what I'm saying? Cos...cos your ideal is just that, it's an ideal. You shouldn't...I'm not saying you should never reach your ideal, but come on, like, like...you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Alright, my bro, so we got five questions about the US. Alright, answer however you want. The first one is, we kind of touched on it, but what does the "American Dream" mean to you?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:13] I'll be honest here. Yeah the American dream is a fucking joke for black people bro on some real shit. Now obviously there's pros and cons to it. I understand that me being a black man within this country. I'm sorry. I mean, let me, let me start off this way. I understand that me being a man within this country, there are certain things I can just do that other people cannot do, whether they be, you know what I'm saying, like, just...just based off of how the patriarchy is set up, right? That's all for it. Now me being black as another feature to my existence, umm, which some might say is great, others might say it's treacherous. It's honestly both. Umm so in terms of my own perception of the American dream, I believe it's obtainable, but I believe it's a lot harder for me to obtain because of who I am and how I look within this country. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:52] I see. Okay. So how would you describe the "American Dream" if you had to explain it to somebody who had never heard the concept before?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:58] The American dream is basically hustle and grind culture. It's the reason why you're worried more about how much money you're making versus how much time you spending with your damn kids on some real shit. There's pros and cons to it, you know, it's like...No, word to, right? You know what I'm saying? But it's like there's pros and cons to it. For example, it's like, I know if I grind for ten years right now, I can chill for 30 years later. Now, do I feel like putting that...do I feel like spending that time? You know what I'm saying? Do I feel like leveraging my time for those next ten years to chill out for the next 30 years? That's up to you. That's up to me. You know what I'm saying? However I feel like living, however you feel like living. That's what you want to do with your life like on some real shit. But the American dream is definitely...it's a...it's a false promise, though, because capitalism is not going to allow for that many people to chase they bags at once. Somebody has to lose. And if you're a minority, it's probably going to be you. So I'm sorry if you're from another country watching this shit. My fault, gangster.

[00:21:47] Sorry! We don't know what to say!

[00:21:49] Like you got it next time. Like you know what I'm saying? Like...but you know, it's like, I was gonna say, you should have been white, but I'm not because you can't put that up in there, you know? But it's a real shit though, you know. So..

Tony Kaizen: [00:21:58] Yeah, yeah, I got you. Now but let me ask you this, though. Do you think the "American Dream" is universal or specific to America, or you feel like people from other countries have that same dream?

Kairo Omar: [00:22:09] I feel like people in other countries definitely have that same thing because the American dream is based off of capitalism. But capitalism isn't only unique to the United States. If you go...you know what I'm saying? Anywhere in the Western world, you're going to find notions of capitalism anywhere in the world. You're going to find notions of capitalism, you know, and you know. And so it's like obviously, not to mention that the American dream is not so much about money. It's more about growth. It's more about what am I able to accomplish? So technically, it's like, I can find the American dream in...in a...North Korea, you know what I'm saying? If I just move to the ranks the way that I'm quote unquote "supposed to", you know what I'm saying? If I assimilate into that culture, if I move within that society in a...in a way that's beneficial to that society, and how can I not win? You know what I'm saying? I think about it like that. The only issue is like here, though, I'm black, being black is ant...is antithetical to growth and success within this country. So how am I really going to do that? I don't know. I wrote a paper on this. I'm excited about it!

Tony Kaizen: [00:22:57] I can tell you're passionate about it. I like that, though. I like that, though. It's not about money, it's the growth. I never thought about it like that. But, I like that, bro. Alright, now, sticking with the theme, when you think of American people, if you had to describe American people to somebody who had no experience with them, who had never been here, how would you describe us in general?

Kairo Omar: [00:23:16] I would say ignorant, but not in like a malicious sense. I mean it more in terms of like we're genuinely unaware of the world outside of the US, you know? And it's like, it's because of what we've been taught, you know, it's like I...cos I interacted with a lot of tourists before...umm...when I was younger, I interacted with a bunch of French tourists and they never...they never gave the vibe like, "Oh, y'all are ignorant...X, Y and Z." But it's just like, they had definitely had certain preconceived notions of the US. And then if you look at media as well, you know what I'm saying? Just like mass media and just say like, "Oh, Americans, just Americans are this..." I can see how people might say that. But again, it's just because we're just not taught about the world outside of the US. We're kind of taught the US is the US, why, you know what I'm saying? Who's going to fuck with the US? You know what I'm saying? Like, it's like, we're so goated. It's not worth learning about anybody else, you know? It's like...which is, which is unfortunate, you know? Cos European history is really rich. African history is really rich. Asian history is really rich. And it's like, it's important to get...it's important to, to understand that, you know, I feel like the US, you know, has been...the US is definitely a melting pot, but we kind of revere it to such a high standard of like, "It's this melting pot, we have to know about this!" Obviously it's important, but it's like we, you know what I'm saying? But like we definitely fail to be inclusive of the...of the world around us, you know, in our own personal educations, you know? So definitely the word "ignorant", but it's not a willful ignorance. It's more of a...it's more that we're just not taught better, you know, that's just some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:24:36] Do you think that the reason we're not more accommodating to people of other cultures or other countries is specifically because we're not educated about them or you think it's something else?

Kairo Omar: [00:24:45] All I'm going to say is it's in a melting pot society, in which you have so many different cultures, and so many different religions, and so many different identities being represented within our country, I genuinely would...you would think that there would be more education, that there would be much more diverse education. But there's an idea called "civil religion" that basically just relates to how societies and groups, what they hold dear, and what they genuinely value as a society...as...as a civilization in the US. Because the United States was built by white cis hetero males...landowning males. You know what I'm saying? That's obviously what you're going to see as being reinstituted. That's what you're going to be valued. That's what's going to be put into play. That's what's going to be revered. It's the same reason why we still see Confederate... Confederate statues still up. You know what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, the US was based around white people. You know what I'm saying? Like being white, you know what I'm saying? It wasn't based on racism. You know what I'm saying? Obviously it was. But it's like, they didn't care about "Oh, you...Oh, you left our country." No, it wasn't about that. You know what I'm saying? They wasn't really sweating that. And you can see that, 'cause again, it's the same reason why...why ideas of the rebellion, why they're still up, you know? But it's not about that. It was really just more about...cos again, because the Confederate States of America, the United States of America, they were so based off of the same ideas of white males, white cis hetero landowning males doing whatever the fuck they wanted because they were white and they were in power, you know? So I'm sorry, what's your question?

Tony Kaizen: [00:26:12] I was saying, how would you describe American people to somebody who has no experience with them? You said ignorant, maybe uneducated.

Kairo Omar: [00:26:19] Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so...and so that as that relates to our education, it's like I would think that you would see it more, but you don't because again, because our, our country was never built to sustain such a type of education, you know? And think about it too. It's like I remember, cos the interacting with those same French kids, I was like 14 when this happened, actually. When I was 14, it's like, I was talking to them. They were...I obviously didn't know French. I was...I took in a French class, but I'm like, who the fuck is paying attention to French class? More like, you know what I'm saying? I can't do that. I'm thinking this is me as an American saying this, right? I'm very ignorant, but like interacting with them, they would be like, "Oh, you don't know French? Okay, then switch to Spanish." I don't know fucking Spanish like, you know what I'm saying? And then they would switch to broken English. And I was like, "How do you know all this shit?" They learn all their languages in pre-K...in kindergarten when they're very young. And again, it's just a part of how we're educated. You know how hard it is to learn a language by the time that your mind gets developed? At least if I'm like six, and you know what I'm saying? As I'm still learning the world, if I learn a new language while I'm still learning other stuff, that makes it easier, I can internalize it more, you know, and that's anything. Like you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, talking to like these same foreigners...these foreigners know all these languages for the sole reason that like, they're, they, you know what I'm saying? That they, they've had the chance to really sit there in the language, and learn it, and, you know what I'm saying? Just absorb it all, you know? And again, that's just the issue with our...with our own education system. We've got to improve, for real. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:39] All right. So "ignorant" and "uneducated". That's how you can label us.

Kairo Omar: [00:27:44] Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:44] All right. So next one is about cultural behaviors. If you had to give a recommendation to somebody who has never been here, what are some things that you think you should never do, or say, which we were talking about earlier. What are some things you should never do or say in the United States?

Kairo Omar: [00:28:03] Keep "nigga" out your mouth. And a...and I say that for the sole reason, that racial tension...it can be felt throughout the world. We know the type of world that we live in, you know? Even if you don't know, you know, and...and if you don't know, you definitely know! You know what I'm saying? But again, but it's like within the US, it's there...it's very different within the US because it's become so centralized and it's become so central to our country's social makeup and to our country's culture. It's definitely very...so whenever you come to the US, keep it out of your mouth. You know what I'm saying? Also understand, too, that we're all people here, which goes back into that whole point as well. Everybody we respect, you know, we're going...we're going to try to treat you with as much respect as possible. But again, right, it's like somebody being respectful to you is more of a...people thing or the US thing. So yeah, definitely. And it also depends on where you're at as well. If you're in New York, don't drive slow.

Kairo Omar: [00:28:58] Niggas will honk at you, they will violate you. Umm but yeah, you know what I'm saying? You gotta...you have to understand, too, that it's like, especially in the US, because we're big up on grind culture, a hustle culture, trying to get the bag by any means. It's definitely a lot faster paced, so definitely be prepared for that. The food portions are a lot bigger if you're from like, you know what I'm saying? If you're from Europe, you're going to be just like, there's a lot more food. We waste a lot of shit here, which is unfortunate, you know, but it's true. Umm so, yes, I would definitely just say be wary of those. Not even be wary of those things, you know what I'm saying? But just like, we live in a very expensive world, there's a lot going on, especially in the US. It's very fast. So just try to appreciate it for what it is, you know? Don't try to just...just...I guess try to move with it, you know? So assimilate, which is kind of wild, but, you know what I'm saying? Just move with it, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:41] So "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," as they say, yeah. And just don't say "nigga". There you go.

Kairo Omar: [00:29:47] We'll stick it right here.

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:49] A big-ass thing on the screen. "Don't say 'nigga'". There you go. There you go. All right. Now this one, people have had a hard time answering, so we'll see your opinion on it. If you had to describe the American beauty standard, we can start with women and then we'll go to men. If you had to describe the beauty standard and maybe give your thoughts on it, what would you say?

Kairo Omar: [00:30:07] I feel like the American beauty standard...again, because we understand...I...we understand the world that we live in. I feel as the American beauty standard definitely does cater towards white women, you know...in a... in a...right? In a Eurocentric sense. But I would also definitely believe that the beauty standard is changing. But...but changing in what regard? Why they're changing? If you look at the fetishization of black women, you know what I'm saying? Is it changing for the good or is it changing because black women are fetishized? You know what I'm saying? Doesn't...it doesn't...then that is...word, it's my fault...It doesn't necessarily mean that they're not beautiful, you know? But again, but it's just more of like, why is it shifting in that direction? Why...you know what I'm saying? Why are they being revered in this way? That's something...I think it's something that's important for us to think about. As it relates to beauty standards, again, it's like there is technically no set beauty standards within the US. Now, if you look at billboards, you know what I'm saying? Like if you see a billboard you might see like, bikini models or X, Y and Z or whatever the fuck. Obviously it might have that certain ideas are being reflected back to you, you know what I'm saying? In terms of like body shape and body...I'm saying skin tone and all that shit, you know what I'm saying? It's like, so I guess like, for the actual...so...you know what I'm saying? So, so, so what's being put out for us to consume.

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:14] That's what I'm talking about. Yeah.

Kairo Omar: [00:31:16] Got you! In that aspect then, yeah, I would definitely say...it would definitely be like a no...slimmer, petite figure. You know what I'm saying? White women, light-skinned women, you know what I'm saying? It's like the lighter you are, the better on some real shit. Obviously, that's not true. You know what I'm saying? Because, again, beauty is a relative thing. How we perceive beauty is definitely up to us as...as...as individuals, as people, umm...so yeah, but I also feel as though, once you understand that there's definitely a disconnect between corporation culture and like, human culture within the US and that's anywhere, you know what I'm saying? But, but what's interesting is that there's a disconnect, you can begin to appreciate it more. For example, as a black man, I think black women are beautiful! Like, "Why, aren't you Spelman College?" I got to represent!

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:52] Shoutout, Spelman!

Kairo Omar: [00:31:53] Shoutout to Spelman! You know the vibes, right? I believe black women are extremely beautiful, you know? But then I also understand...Okay, but also might think white women are beautiful; Asian women are beautiful, and you know know what I'm saying? Like my beauty...like my perception of beauty is not limited to something like race, which is something that you might see here! You know what I'm saying? And which...I might see anywhere, for in all honesty, you know what I'm saying? Because you control the money, white people, you know what I'm saying? But you know...so I feel like in that aspect, yeah that's what the beauty standard is, ummm but don't let it...don't let it limit you. Free your mind. I'll be your third eye.

Tony Kaizen: [00:32:23] Now what about men? When you think about...let's call it the beauty standard for men in America, what do you think that is most put out there or that...how do you think you're expected to look or present yourself visually?

Kairo Omar: [00:32:35] Again, I feel like...I feel like it starts off with bodies, like, you know, if I'm...if I'm too slim, I might not be seen as, quote unquote "attractive". If I'm too big, I might not see seen as quote unquote "attractive", you know? But everybody has their own different body types on some shit. Umm I feel like for men as well, there are definitely certain beauty standards. Within the US itself it's considered...I'm saying this more as a black man, you know what I'm saying? As a black man is that there are certain things that I quote unquote "cannot do" because it might be seen as feminine or it might be seen as...or it might emasculate me, demasculate me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:33:09] Like what, for example?

Kairo Omar: [00:33:10] So, for example, if I get like, my nails done, you know what I'm saying? Like, if I...if I groom myself in a certain way, people might think, "Oh, what are you doing? Why are you doing X, Y and Z?" As somebody who's never gotten a manicure or a pedicure, I'm not opposed...I'm not opposed to the idea. I just never really have the time to do it or go out and do it. But I feel like it's definitely important to understand that, again, beauty standards are relative. How you perceive things are relative. Umm you know...and it's like how you define yourself is how you define yourself, you know what I'm saying? Like, you can't really let people speak for you cos again, the only person that know you is you, on some real shit. But I feel like as it relates to, as it relates to men and, you know, as it relates to men and...and just like how beauty standards are definitely a...taken in, a...it definitely does build a lot of...and the US stuff is built a lot around body type, you know? But again, once you like, again, if you look at the billboards, I'm not built like the...like the Calvin Klein nigga! I'm not, I'm sorry. I can get there...you gotta give me a couple of years, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, again, it's something to work towards. And again, I feel like that's what the beauty culture in America does as well. It kind of forces people to try to move in a certain way. It kind of makes people try to say, "Okay, well, Imma try to do X, Y and Z. Imma try to work towards this." But it's not fair to you. You know what I'm saying? It's like you're human, bro. It's like...like I'm...you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not...shit, like, fucking, like...like...I'm a slim nigga! You know what I'm saying? Come on!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:17] Shoutout to the skinny dude and the short kings, shoutout to 'em!

Kairo Omar: [00:34:19] Word. Exactly. Exactly. Word. You know? It's like...it's like that's something for us to work towards. But again, it's like, beauty standards are so fucking constrictive anywhere, especially in this country. It kind of stresses people out, you know? So fuck beauty standards, everybody's beautiful!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:32] Now, you mentioned before that black women specifically are getting fetishized.

Kairo Omar: [00:34:35] Hmm. Black men, too.

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:36] What have you seen that has made you think that? How do you think that's happening?

Kairo Omar: [00:34:40] I mean, it's...I understand as a black man, there are certain ways in my thinking which definitely point to that, you know what I'm saying? Umm but again, it's like, it's not hard to...it's not hard to look. I mean, Imma talk about porn. I don't know if y'all can say this, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, yo, look at the porn industry! Look at...look at...Look at white porn titles versus black porn titles. "Black thot gets rimmed by..." Like no! I don't give a fuck! Like come on! Like...it's...it's real shit! It's real...let's be real here, you know what I'm saying? Compare it to like, oh, "Skinny white girl..." Like no, come on! Like you know...it's...again, it's like, it's a...it's about languages being used. We live in a country that's inherently racist, that because I'm black or that's not what they see me as a black person, you know what I'm saying? Let's be real here. So it's like obviously I understand that like...so when I speak on fetishization, it's, it's because I live in a culture that wants to seem villainized, that wants to see me brought down, wants to see me demean as a black person. You know what I'm saying? For the sole reason that I'm black. You know what I'm saying? What's considered quote unquote "black", it's... it's become more of a...it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a...it's a social thing. You know what I'm saying? Ideas of blackness, for example...right. It's like...It's like these sneakers are black, you know what I'm saying? Because part of it...because it's a...part of a trend that us as consumers, as black people, as we continue to buy into these things, it becomes labeled as "black". You know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:35:56] These are white. Skater shoes...the pants. You know what what I'm saying? Yeah, for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:35:59] Yeah, exactly. Word, you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, and then if you think about like, Jor...by the way you got Jordans on, right? Same thing with him or like, those are considered quote unquote "black" thing. All right, cool. You know what I'm saying? But why is that? Because as a community, cos we continue to buy into things like this. Why? Because these same corporations, they're going to put forward certain ideas for us to buy into this shit. We fuck with Jordan because Michael Jordan is black! You know what I'm saying? Like if Michael Jordan was some white dude out of, like, out of fucking Idaho, we wouldn't give a fuck, you know? Which is some real shit. And a...and again, too, it was like, look at...look at Kanye West. We continue to fuck with Kanye West because Kanye West is black. If Kanye West was this white person saying, "Oh, this shit", but still making this good-ass music, I wouldn't hit this thing. We was like, "Oh, Kanye's racist. We can't fuck with Kanye West", but you know what I'm saying? But again, it's like...it's like it's how you perceive shit on a, on a, on a, on a, on a social, on a racial level. Because at this point, race has become so intertwined with socioeconomic status, with...with social status within this country, it's very hard to parse the two. You can't...you can't divide them. It's so difficult, you know, as you... you watch Atlanta?

Tony Kaizen: [00:36:54] Yeah, of course, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:36:54] Bro, alright. But looking at season...it's fire! It goes crazy! Looking at season three of Atlanta, there's episodes of du...a...a...the most recent episode...you watch...it was wild as shit, right? But what I'm trying to highlight is this. In like the very first scene, he's running around in the Nike Tech suit. Why? You know what I'm saying? Why is he running...why is he running in a Nike tech suit? That...that was my question. But I'm thinking, that's not a black thing. That's not a white thing. It's just a thing, that's...that's something for people to consume. But I'm so, as a black man, I'm so used to saying, "Okay, well, why is he wearing that?" You know what I'm saying? "Why is this white man wearing a Nike Tech suit?" And then even looking at that...even the music he's listening to as well. "Why is he listening to some trap shit?" You know what I'm saying? Which isn't a bad thing, right? Because that's what he chooses to listen to. But even still, it's just like, the consumption...what we consume as consumers, what is, you know what I'm saying? What is being put out for us to listen to? Why is it being put out in such a way? For example, it's like, if you look at rap...if you look at rap music, people say rap music is dangerous, it's a...it's misogynistic, it's X, Y, and Z.

Kairo Omar: [00:37:55] How dare they say X, Y and Z and all that is true! It's true. You know what I'm saying? Shit like...shit...as I...as much as I bump Future, Future's a toxic nigga! But I still listen to Future. You know what I'm saying, though? But it becomes a matter of...okay...But like why? You know what I'm saying? But if rap music is so dangerous...dangerous...if it's so dangerous, if it's so bad, if it's...if it's a...if it's such a taboo thing, why is it still being consumed? Why are people, especially white people? Because, again, you gotta think about who is music being made for. The music industry is made to cater towards white people. So why is it still being consumed? Because it gives white people the chance to...to fire back at black people by saying, "Okay, well, they're X, Y, and Z. Look at how they dress. Look at what they say about their women. Look at how they treat X, Y, and Z." But we know it's not true. It's a constant reaffirming cycle. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying? But again. But it's like, but it's like, the issue is...but it's because...it's because we're so occupied by a system that doesn't wanna see us win.

Kairo Omar: [00:38:43] So it's like, for example, if I know that...if you look at Megan Thee Stallion, right? Megan Thee Stallion, that's her living her best life. That's her...That's her... That is her explaining her experiences as a black woman in a way that she understands. Fuck these niggas! What does she wanna say? You know what I'm saying? If that's how she wanna say it, that's what she wanna say. Scam all these niggas, cool, right? I'm not even listening to Megan Thee Stallion, you know what I'm saying? So she says what she's saying, but again. But it's also us like. But it's like it's more about how is it being perceived. But it's not her job to control how she's perceived. It's her job to put out art! She's not trying to just throw it together just to say, "Oh, I don't know if people like this." Then that's not really being a genuine artist. That's a different story, you know what I'm saying? That goes for any artist, you know what I'm saying? I love you, Meg. If you want to slot to Morehouse, I love you. So you know what I'm saying? Right. But it's like, but you know, that goes for any artist. So it's like I definitely feel as though, we have to be more aware. So just be aware like on some shit, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:28] I dig it. So last two questions. They're kind of like opposites. What do you love about the USA specifically? What do you love about your country?

Kairo Omar: [00:39:36] I love the fact that I can be any type of person that I wanna be here. That's one thing for sure. There are definitely certain freedoms...there are definitely certain social freedoms.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:45] He did a calculation in his head real quick.

Kairo Omar: [00:39:47] Quick, right, word. Language is important, on some real shit. Right? Language is important. Umm, there are certain social freedoms that I'm awarded just by living in this country. For example, if I were gay, living in this country would be easier for me than if I was living in another country. It doesn't mean that my existence here would be easier compared to everybody else's, cos there obviously are still certain biases in place, and certain way than people think. But if I was in Saudi Arabia, which is just a different...I understand it's just a different a...way of living. It's a different...it's a different standard of living as a gay person. You know what I'm saying? Just between these two different places. So there's that for sure. That's something I definitely appreciate. Umm I have the chance to...not only that, but because the US is so expansive, there's so much going on, there's so many people here, I can...I can take in a lot without having to leave the US, you know, which is another great thing too, which is, which is a benefit of the US. So those two things most definitely.

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:40] Okay. Now what do you...it's hard to use this word, but what do you hate about the country or what do you wish was different? What would you change if you had the chance?

Kairo Omar: [00:40:48] Umm not change. I mean, you already know what I would change! Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:52] I know one of 'em. I know one of 'em for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:40:55] But I...but...but I talk for so long but Imma try to be short of course. Umm what would I change? I would definitely try to...bro, we need free shit! Which sound...Not...not only like random free shit. I mean, like free health care, something like a...you know what I'm saying? Cos health care...and again, it's like, and this country is very capitalistic. The reason why grind culture is so big here is because it's the only way you can really live your life peacefully. That's the only way you can get the shit that you need and need is a strong word. Because if I need to go to a doctor so I don't die and I can't afford it, all of a sudden I'm living in a system that's meant to see me lose because I can't afford it. The money, you know what I'm saying? At that point, as a society we've come to...as a society, I mean at that point as a society, we've come to value wealth more than human life. And it's an issue...we gotta...should...stop! Come on, we're better than that! Come on, come on. Right? We're better than that. So that would be something that I would try to change. I would definitely try to reinstate certain...certain ideas or certain practices that would just help us remember that as much money as we make, if somebody dies, that's something that you're not getting back. You can always make the bread back. You can always create more money. I know you can. You can always print more money. You know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, it's like...it's just...just trying to...try to, I guess, like, reinstate the...that thinking, that way of thinking of just caring for each other again. It's important.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:13] Apart from the capitalistic part, apart from the corporations and businesses and stuff like that, do you think that American people in general don't really care much for each other? Like we're so individualistic that we're really not worried about anybody else or you think differently?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:26] I feel like there definitely is a basin...there's a definitely...a baseline sense of care. That's only when there's somebody else coming and...and making us feel some type of way, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:38] What do you mean?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:39] I'll put it this way. It's like, God forbid that...you know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, shooting...after shoo...like when I was in high school, I had to go through an active shooter drill. So being... that really is an American-ass sentence to say that's fucking crazy! You know what I'm saying? Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:51] So, just for anybody who doesn't understand. Can you say that again? You had to do what in school?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:54] An active shooter drill.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:55] And can you explain what that is?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:57] So basically, it's like, gun violence is a large issue in the United States. Umm just based off of the way that our laws are set up. And so it's like, throughout the US there have been a number of times in which like, you've seen armed individuals go into schools or go into public areas with firearms and to try to do people harm. And actually for me...actually it wasn't...we actually thought it was real, but it ended up being just a big mix-up on some shit. It was like a fucking water gun that somebody was walking by with, you know what I'm saying? But it was still kind of like, "Oh shit!", you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:43:26] It's common sense there's a shooter in the school, that's not a thing you take lightly.

Kairo Omar: [00:43:29] Word to, right? But it's just like, in that aspect, seeing how people came together in my high school... obviously we're all friends in my high school, you know what I'm saying? But seeing how people came together, it meant something. I feel like on a microcosmic level, that's what I'm trying to...that's the point I'm trying to make. Until something...until something foreign comes in, we all really fuck with each other. Even black people don't really fuck with each other. Like, you know what I'm saying? Like, let's be real, you know? But, you know what I'm saying? It's like...but like, we gotta think to ourselves, why? Not...no...I'm not gonna...I'll be here for another hour. You know what I'm saying? Though it's just like...it's about...the love...the love for each other is definitely here in this country. But we just have to be willing to love each other when it's not convenient. You know what I'm saying? We have to love each other when we want it, not when we need it. You get what I'm saying? Yeah, because, you know, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:44:14] I get that same impression. Like, kind of, you said, it's kind of like a lot of people think that Americans are very reserved or cold or that we all just hate each other, especially here in the South. It's mainly black and white people and they think we're just at each other's necks all the time. But I try to explain to people all the time, that in general, we get along pretty well. Like, I mind my business, you mind yours, I don't fuck with you. You don't fuck with me. For the most part, that's the way it is. And then, people will say, like, "We see so much racism on TV, we see so much hatred and stuff like that on social media." But I just don't think that's really the case. I think that's perpetuated online. And then people see that and they assume that's the way it is. So when you see a white person walking down the street, you guys maybe don't make eye contact, you try to keep your distance. So I think there's a lot of a...lack of communication going on cos when you just sit down and talk to somebody like this, I don't know you, we just met today. You see, most people are fucking cool, bro, you know what I'm saying? And like you said, when tragedy strikes, whatever it is most of the time, however way it happens, people do come together and take care of each other, you know what I'm saying? So I think there are certainly racist people, ignorant people, hateful people. But for the most part, I've been all over this country and most people are pretty fucking cool as long as you show respect.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:23] Exactly. Word. And that's the thing, too. It's like I feel like people don't understand that respect is kind of like a two-way street, you know? It's like if you're not willing to give it, you're not going get it. You know, it's like...cos if I come...I came over here, I could be like, "Fuck you nigga, walk away!", that would've been wild and shit, obviously, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but then if you were like, "Oh, word?" And then we started scrapping like...that would have been my fault! Like in a way...you know what I'm saying? Cos again, it's about...it's a two-way street. So it's like, you gotta show the respect to get the respect here, on some serious shit. But I always...but that don't mean that you're always going to get that respect back.

Tony Kaizen: [00:45:51] It don't always work. We'll just say that.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:52] Word, you know, that's not an American thing, that's more of a human thing, you know what I'm saying? That person can be having that bad day, you know, but it's like, that's that person, that's not you, you know? So...that's not...you know what I'm saying? It's like, don't, don't...I'm not gonna say don't sweat shit. But it's just like, don't...

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:05] Don't sweat shit you can't control at the end of the day, right?

Kairo Omar: [00:46:08] Exact...exactly. Word. You know what I'm saying? You know what you can work on. If you're trying to learn English, right? Which you...I hope you're...right? Word. Make sure you learn English from this dude right here. Right? It's like, you know, you can control that. You just gotta lock in with it. You know, it's like you...you can control...focus on what you can do right now. Don't focus on what you can do later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:24] I dig that, bro. I appreciate that. Kairo...I really appreciate it, bro. This is a great interview. Best one so far. We appreciate that. Yeah, I was just about to ask you. Let me get your social before we go. Definitely gonna put that in there. You said you got? What do you...Instagram? Okay, cool.

Writing prompts

  • Which American accent is most difficult for you to understand?
  • What do you think about Kairo's views on American culture?
  • What does 'the American dream 'mean to you?
  • What's the beauty standard in your country?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] All right, Kairo. So the first question, how old are you?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:02] I'm 19.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:03] 19. Okay. So this going to be interesting for you. Our question is, if you had to give some advice to your younger self, maybe go back four or five, six years, maybe when you were just starting high school or something like that, what advice would you give to yourself? What would you say directly to the younger version of yourself?

Kairo Omar: [00:00:18] Well, you could do anything like on some real shh...can, can, can I? On some real shit, my nigga! Yo, you can do anything, bro. It's like I remember going through high school. It's like I was blessed that I had people that was like, ooh, shit, I see it's starting to rain. I was blessed to have people that were trying to look out for me. And that's not something everybody really gets all the time, you know? And so it's like dang! I go to Morehouse, so you know what I'm saying so it was like, I'm from, I'm from New York. I'm, I'm from Jersey, you know what I'm saying, so making that transition down here and just looking at what I've been able to accomplish so far and, you know, and then just looking at what I want to accomplish for the rest of my life. You do anything bro, you know what I'm saying? So you just lock in with it bro, believe in yourself, you know, because at the end of the day, the only person who knows you better than you is you; the only person who knows you for real is you, you know? So just like locking in with your shit through. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:56] Hundred percent, bro! Now, back when you were around that age, 14, 15, did you have a different belief like, did you have those self-limiting beliefs or doubts about the stuff you could do?

Kairo Omar: [00:01:04] Oh yeah, of course. Of course. You know what I'm saying, because I feel like, especially at that age, we're all so malleable and especially with social media, too, it's just like...I feel like...I feel like especially like my generation of people, our generation of people coming up, you know what I'm saying it's like we're really quick to be influenced and really quick to be, I guess, impacted by what other people are saying, or at least like, what like, what we are seeing. You know, if I wasn't living up to a certain standard, if I wasn't moving in a certain way, I might have thought... I might have been failing myself. I might have been failing my family, man, or at least failing the people around me, you know what I'm saying? But now it's like, like as I've gotten older, as I've gotten wiser, everything's coming to understand that it's like, it's all relative, you know what I'm saying? It's like...It's like...It's like, it's like the grind that you might be on is different from the grind that I might be on. It's a different grind that this brother might be on behind the camera. You know what I'm saying, it's like, we are all different. So it's like, you got to trust yourself. You just got to be willing to...to yeah, to just trust yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:51] When was it that you noticed that, that, because I agree 100%, especially with the Internet today, bro, you can do literally anything. But how old were you when you realized that? Or can you remember the moment when it kind of clicked for you?

Kairo Omar: [00:02:01] I mean, it's been clicking since I got really gotten to college for real, you know what I'm saying? Because I feel like, I feel like...being in high school, definitely...definitely over quarantine as well, you know? But it's like...I'm like...being in high school. It's just like, being like, in like that little bubble, you know what I'm saying? It's like I got so used to having social media there, but I also knew everybody else so I really wasn't looking at it too often. But then, you know, coming out of COVID and starting to like make my transition down here to go to college and shit...oh it's crazy, bro! I remember it, it's like, it's like it's like interacting with people in person versus on social media. It just felt different, you know what I'm saying? But then again, I wasn't the real person. That was just my perception of them. Just I had garnered over the phone for the past like two or three months, you know. So, so yeah, it's definitely that was definitely over quarantine. Definitely making my shift into college is definitely one that happened, you know, but, but, you know, like, like word to, bro? Like all this shit is, it's social media ain't a real thing, like on some real shit, like, like, like you feel me? So...word!

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:51] Yeah, hundred percent, hundred percent! So basically, the advice to your younger self is just remember you can do whatever you want, literally anything.

Kairo Omar: [00:02:58] Exactly. And then, then, right, cause if you're on the topic of the Internet, bro, it's like literally, it's like, like the same way...the same way how you have a YouTube channel, you have to get your message out there. You all know, whatever the message is, you know, saying whatever it is, yo, yo, make sure to subscribe to these dudes!

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:10] Subscribe! Goddammit!

Kairo Omar: [00:03:12] Make sure to subscribe! Yeah, now you know what I'm saying, but it's like, but like on some real shit, it's just like even with the internet, it's like, you can do anything that you want these days on the internet. You know what I'm saying? It's like just looking at how music is transforming and looking at how social justice is transforming. You know what I'm saying? Shit looking at how...you know what I'm saying? Just looking at how how you spend your day, you know what I'm saying? What you decide to do with yourself, how fashion trends are changing...you know what I'm saying? Over time, it's like what we as a society, what we, what we as a society, what, what we're beginning to value is being shaped so much by the internet. So it's one of the biggest rules out there right now. So most definitely you can do anything that you want to for real. I'm saying as long as you have the right platform, as long as you know how to finesse the internet properly, you can make anything shape for yourself for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:48] Man, that was beautifully said. Appreciate that! Remember that one. So what is it that you want to do at this point? You're 19 now and you understand you can do anything. So where are you trying to get?

Kairo Omar: [00:03:57] Bro! I was literally talking to my girl about this shit. We just got out the aquarium. Like, bro, like Met Gala, bro like that, you know what I'm saying? 'Cause I wanna do music and all that shit. Like, I'm really just starting to get myself out there and shit, you know? And so, like, for me, just, like, putting myself onto that process, it definitely feels weird, you know, because something I never really, especially at high school, I was thinking myself, I'm never gonna do that shit, never going to do music, you know, like being in college. And I've gotten more comfortable with, like po...with doing poetry and shit, and so getting myself involved in that aspect. Yeah, it's like right now, right now Met Gala is the goal, fuck the Grammy, fuck whatever, all that other shit. You know what I'm saying? Like right now it really is Met Gala because you know ain't Grammy's some bullshit, all that shit...all these shit some bullshit. You know, all these Met Galas, like, that's more like the people who know really know that's supposed to be there. You know what I'm saying? It's more, it's more about who's shifting the culture, who matters in the culture, you know, and you know, I'm saying...I'm...I'm on my...what's the matter on the culture on some real shit. So Met Gala for sure, that's the goal right now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:43] What's that? Met gala? How do you spell that?

Kairo Omar: [00:04:44] Met Gala. M-e-t. You know, it's ah...it's up in New York, the Metro Metropolitan Museum or something like that. Right? But it's the M-e-t Gala.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:52] Oh, like Metropolitan Gallery or something like that.

Kairo Omar: [00:04:55] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the Met gala, basically. So it's like, it's like, you'll have, like, you know who Anna Wintour is? Yeah. Right. So it's like, she'll probably, like, run it, type of shit. And so it's like, it'll be like, every year you'll see like, niggas like Frank Ocean pop out, just like Rihanna, Drake, all these niggas, like, you know what I'm saying? Virgil Abloh, you know what I'm saying? It's like, RIP, RIP Virgil, RIP Virgil, you know what I'm saying? But it's just like they all pop bottles and shit, but it's like, like you, you feel like kinda who is going there...these are people who are influencing the culture. These people, these are people who have, you know what I'm saying, who have some standard of celebrity, you know, and that obviously the goal isn't to get famous. The goal is to make a shift of a culture, you know what I'm saying? The goal is to make...it's to leave a lasting imprint, you know what I'm saying, on whatever I'm trying to do in my life, you know, with some real shit. So that's that's the goal. Met Gala for sure. I feel like there...cos it's not only, not only are you there, not only...cos the only way you get invited is by niggas knowing that you're doing some shit. You feel me? And you know what I'm saying? That's the you, you, you...This is good music, by the way. I hear the jazz music, you know what I'm saying? But we all want our peers to be able to, to call you out on your shit, you know. So that's the goal for sure.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:51] So are you already putting stuff online? Do you have a channel or somewhere that people can follow you?

Kairo Omar: [00:05:55] I got a regular Instagram for right now. It's K...It's Kairo dot Omar. K-a-i-r-o dot Omar, O-m-a-r. As for music, I'm still trying to figure that out right now. That's what, that's what the summer is for. Just gonna lock in with that. So, yeah, you're gonna see what happens, hopefully.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:11] Follow that man on Instagram, alright?

Kairo Omar: [00:06:13] Appreciate you! And make sure to subscribe to these dudes as well bro!

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:15] Subscribe, goddammit! I dig it, bro. Alright. So next question. This question, this one, maybe you do, maybe you don't have an answer, but can you think of your worst injury that you've ever had? And this could be physical or even mental, emotional, or something like that. Talk about your worst injury.

Kairo Omar: [00:06:31] My worst injury? Ah...I'm not gonna lie. I guess, I'm going to...Imma get some of this focus more like the mental tip, you know what I'm saying? Because everybody, everybody gets injured, you know, like, in like a physical sense, you know what I'm saying? But it's like anything can affect you. Anything can impact you. But I feel like how it impacts you really does, does matter more on your mind, on some real shit, you know? So it's like for me, again, it was tough to come out of the quarantine and having to make that adjustment, you know, because like in high school, I was mad social. Like now, like I'm back to that point in my life again where I can feel open and shit. But you know what I'm saying, but as I come out of high school being so used to being so social with, with a very specific group of people, that I don't see them niggas for like, for like a fucking year, some change, And I go to college, brand new motherfucker. So I got to get used to, you know. So I guess it wasn't even like a wound. It was just more of like, it was...I had to...I had to learn to become more flexible, you know what I'm saying? So it's like, I ain't, I ain't, I ain't break. I just bent a little bit, you know what I'm saying? But you know what I'm saying. But what...but it's like we're supposed to bend, you know, like, go through some shit, right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:21] Hundred percent. Hundred percent. Pressure makes diamonds, you know what I'm saying?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:24] Word to?

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:25] I can dig that. Now, have you noticed...is this your first time in Atlanta?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:28] No, I've been out here for like a year, and I'm a, I'm gonna be a junior next semester. It's like a year and a half now.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:33] Okay. So you've been out here for a little bit, but you grew up in New York?

Kairo Omar: [00:07:36] In New York, New Jersey, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:37] Okay. Okay. So what are some differences you noticed in the way we interact, the way we talk, the culture? I ain't even gotta say no more. Talk about the differences between the culture and the people up in New York and what you notice down here in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:07:48] I'll say just the general vibe of Atlanta is so fucking slow. It's like, a part of me appreciates it for sure, you know what I'm saying, right? Because it's like, you know what I'm saying, because it's like I was born in Brooklyn and I ended up moving out to Teaneck. Shout out to Teaneck, New Jersey! Yo, yo, what's up, my niggas? Yo! Waddup but nah...you know what I'm saying it's like...it's like making that shift though. It's like being, being up north...it's a lot faster. I can get a lot...I can get around to places easier, down here bro...

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:12] We're just talking about that.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:13] Word! I mean, my fault, are, are y'all, are y'all from down here or?

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:16] Nah, I'm from California.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:16] From California? What about you?

Marcus (cameraman): [00:08:19] All the way West Coast.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:20] Oh, I gotcha. All right, bet. Yeah, yeah, word. You know what I'm saying, so it's like, y'all can kind of relate to this as well. It's like, you know what I'm saying, I'm sure even being on the West Coast is a little bit slower than up north, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but even slower, making that transition, it's a lot slower. Umm the food here, I'm not really a big fan of Atlanta, of the food scene in Atlanta.

Kairo Omar: [00:08:37] You know what I'm saying? Only cos I get like, coming from New York, I know exactly what, what I can get. I...I've just been so used to it, you know? So I just have a little bit of bias in that food. But I don't know, I, I fuck with Atlanta off of...off of the aesthetic tip, you know, saying there's so much you can do here. And that's another thing too. It's like Atlanta is one of those cities in which it's like, really like, real talk, the sky's the limit. You know what I'm saying? There's so much going on. You can do so much. And...and it's similar to New York, you know what I'm saying? But like, like it's smaller, you know, so it's like, so it's like, you can really go out and find those opportunities, you know, instead of like walking, you know what I'm saying? Because like to walk the whole island of Manhattan, I'm not doing that shit, you know? I...at least in Atlanta, I can walk around downtown Atlanta I mean in like an hour. I can find some shit to do, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:15] I didn't think about that. That's true though. That's true.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:19] Anything like, word to. I remember I got into open mic nights down here. You know what I'm saying? We're doing poetry? Yeah, doing poetry and shit like. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:24] Okay. That's what's up, bro. That's what's up. Man, I got to get to New York, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:09:29] Nah, nah word to!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:30] 'Cause I got, like..

Kairo Omar: [00:09:30] I gotta get out to Cali, shit!

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:32] Like what I...My impression of New York is, like, you get a little bit of everything in one city, especially the food. I mean, you probably got Asian food, Latino food, Haitian...Jamaican food, all types of...

Kairo Omar: [00:09:42] Yeah, most definitely! Word. And the, the food...The food up there is always hitting for real. Not to mention, too. That's one thing about Atlanta that hurts...it hurts my heart, my nigga, when I tell you this shit, right? Imagine being hungry at 12. You know what I'm saying? 12 in the morning. What you gonna get in Atlanta? Not a damn thing. Hungry.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:58] Waffle House. That's all you got. Waffle House.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:00] That is true. Right? But.. Right? But I ain't got the...I ain't got the whip on me, though. You feel me? I'm so...yeah, word, word! I get the...I get the UberEats but you know, but that adds up on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:09] That's cash for real. You still in school, too, so no, we can't.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:12] You can't do that, word.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:13] Yeah, man, that's my only thing. Like, you can't walk around downtown, but that's another thing...We was just talking about that earlier. How, like, this is not necessarily a walkable city. Like we was thinking like New York, you got extensive train system, you can get from here to there real fast. But Atlanta, you got the red line and the blue line. Other than that...

Kairo Omar: [00:10:30] And you better hope...and you better hope that your stop is on that shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:33] Exactly...Uber, walking, or hopefully your homie got a car and that's it.

Kairo Omar: [00:10:38] Yeah. Word to. I remember the first time I took the Marta...I had to. I was headed to Lenox, right? I was on that shit for like 45 minutes and sitting on the train, I was kind of like, why am I...why am I sitting here so damn low.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:48] Why haven't I fucking got there yet, bruh!?

Kairo Omar: [00:10:50] Word to! Word. Right. And again you know what I'm saying, and but again, it just goes back into like Atlanta being so slow, and obviously Atlanta was never built for this many people. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying, so like, after the Olympics, you see usually the major...you see the major influx, you know, but even so. But it's like, like, I feel like that's just part of the magic of Atlanta, though, you know, because there's so...because there's so many people. Because there's so much going on. You know what I'm saying, it's like you see so many people, like, like people are forced to make a way for themselves in a way down here. You know what I'm saying? Now meanwhile, like, like in New York. Yeah, like those places are already there because so many people. But it's not the same, you know what I'm saying? It's like the community is there. But I feel like in New York is a lot harder to get into, you know, down here because it's less people. People are a lot more accepting people, a lot more willing to go fuck with you. You know what I'm saying? So.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:30] So now we got some a...a couple "Would you rather..." questions that we think might be interesting for you.

Kairo Omar: [00:11:36] I know I know I talk a lot too, my fault .

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:39] That's what we're here for, but it's perfect! We just talked to a dude, and was like, we was asking him questions. I was like, "So what do you love about the US?" He was like, "I don't know." I was like, "Well, what do you not like about it?" "I don't know." "What do you think of when you think the United States?" "I don't know." It's like, bro, why did you...

Kairo Omar: [00:11:53] You're not trying for real.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:55] ...you said you wanted to do this. Why you don't wanna talk? I don't get it. I don't get it. All right. So here we go. The first question is, would you rather have more money or more time?

Kairo Omar: [00:12:04] More time. Like word to, more time. Because it's like, I had a...I had a mentor tell me this shit one time. It's like, I don't have time, I have leverage, you know? I'm saying I'm 19, out of that my life expectancy, I'm supposed to crap out when I turn 80, you know what I'm saying? I don't know that on some real shit. I would much rather have more time and know for a fact that I have more time than I have more bread. Because, like, what the fuck is bread gonna buy me when I'm dead, right? You know, like on some real shit, you know, I'm saying at least with time, I know I can work towards something else. I know I can move towards something else. I know I can, I know I can cherish my time here longer. You know, having bread, it's nice. It gives me a little bit of peace of mind, you know what I'm saying? I can go buy Waffle House, you know, like when I'm hungry and shit at night, right? But it's not, word, you know what I'm saying? But it's not the same, you know, it's like at least, at least with time, at least then I know I can walk to the Waffle House instead, you know, I can. I can make something happen for myself, you know? So definitely more time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:53] Why do you think people don't understand that concept? Why do you think people chase money, money, money, money, money, but they disregard time completely?

Kairo Omar: [00:13:01] Bro, I just feel like cos...I just wrote a paper on this shit, actually. Right? Yeah, word. And then, I feel like it involves...I feel like, again, this is part of the culture that we're a part of. You know what I'm saying, it's like, obviously, money is important for the culture that we live in, for the society that we live in. But I feel like once people kind of understand that, like, yo, like what if, what if money wasn't important? You know what I'm saying, people like, "Oh shit, well, what am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? And it's like, and I feel like you need, you kind of need that...You need, you need to have the time to take a step back in order to ask yourself, "What am I doing in my life?" You know what I'm saying? "What am I putting my time towards?" You know, should I...Literally just like like being in college and having a lot more free time on my hands and I'm you know, that I'm used to, I sit back, I'm like, "Yo, what the fuck am I doing with my life?" You know what I'm saying? Say, bro, like I turned down, I turned down an internship with, with Dell to go to South Africa with my school over the summer. 12k! I turned down 12k to go on a free trip to South Africa!

Kairo Omar: [00:13:55] You know what I'm saying? But it's like, would you...I know, right? That's crazy and shit. Alright. I made that choice. Right? And now and that came after a lot of, like, debating with my parents and myself, you know? But it became a matter of like, all right, cool. But it's like, I can, I'm not gonna say I can make 12k anywhere because you can't make 12k anywhere! You can't! You know, but it's like I, I kind of chose it like, alright, but like, do I want to experience something? Do I want to go work at a company that isn't really going to fulfill me the way that I wanted to? You know, sometimes and again, it's like, I'm young. I can make that choice, you know what I'm saying? I can afford to pass up on 12k in my youth, you know what I'm saying? But I also know, like in ten, 15 years from now, it might not be the same, you know? And so that's why, again, it's like it's about how do I value my time now? How am I spending my time now? You know what I'm saying? Because bread can come later, money can come later on some real shit, you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not pressed about...I'm also a computer science major. So I'm not really...I'm not really stressed about bread on some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:45] You ain't...you ain't pressed for money, dog. Not in that.. not in that field.

Kairo Omar: [00:14:49] Yeah, yeah. You know, so...And so...But again. But there's benefits to that, you know what I'm saying, like, not everybody has that luxury, you know, and stuff. Like it's, I think it's another part of it as well. It's just like nobody...It's like, for example, it's like at my school...I don't know how much is going to be put in there, you know what I'm saying, I just point to me talking for real. It's like at my school, it's like so many niggas are business majors, you know, which isn't a bad thing. I totally respect that, you know what I'm saying. But again, it's just more about like, like the focus is more in terms of like how are you spending your time now, right? Just put, you are dedicating yourself to a degree in which you have to spend time to make money, you know what I'm saying? The same thing with me, of course, you know what I'm saying? Anything that you do in school hours, you got to spend time to do X, Y and Z. You have to put that work in. But it's a different level of work, business is a lot more hands on, you know what I'm saying? You can't afford to take a day off as a business... I'm sorry...after...you know, once, once you're a business owner because that's your business, you know? That's how you make your money; that is your direct stream of income. Computer science majors, a little bit different. I can tell you something like, you know what I'm saying? I might be on call. It's a different...It's a different setup. It's a different schedule for real, you know? But again, it's just I feel like...I feel like to answer the question, you know, right? So word... It is...To answer the question, it's just more in terms of umm...society that we live in, you know? It's like I feel like we're just, we're focused on the wrong shit on some real shit, you know? It's like we're more focused on how many likes we get than who's liking us for real in real life, you know? So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:01] Man, that was beautiful! Would you rather lose all the money you have or all the pictures you have?

Kairo Omar: [00:16:08] All the money I have. I don't know, pictures are important, umm especially...Especially in this day and age, you...I personally feel as though it's like, because like the, you know what I'm saying? Like, because I have like a smartphone, I may take a lot of pictures. I might never really look back at it again, you know what I'm saying? So, not really those pictures, I mean, more of the pictures like, like, like the actual physical copies, you know what I'm saying? Like cos those hit different, you know what I'm saying? Those have...Those have a lot more of a sentimental value. Those get fucked up, I can't do anything about those, which is some real shit. You know, I don't want to lose those, cos...And again, right, it's more about like, it's the quality of my life versus, you know what I'm saying, versus the quantity of bread that I have, you know what I'm saying? Now keep in mind, if I have more money, I can always go back to the same place. I go say back, I can always go back to take those same pictures but it's not going to hit the same. It's not going to be those same memories, you know? It's a different moment in time. Exactly. I can't appreciate it the same way, you know? For example, it's like nothing's going to beat the first time I walk through the Georgia Aquarium, like, you know, cos it's like, because it was so fresh to me, it was so new.

Kairo Omar: [00:17:01] I can go back and I can enjoy it the same. I can even hide this time, I'll go back smoke a blunt, you know what I'm saying? It might be a different story, right? I don't know if you can put this in here or not. I'm sorry Imma fuck with y'all bread or not. You know what I'm saying? But it's like. But, you know. But you don't say, but just like. Like it's not going to hit the same. Obviously, it may be a different experience, but it won't hit the same as my first experience. It's the same way how it's like walking through my high school the first time. It was crazy because walking through that shit, it looked different, it ain't looked the same. It looked odd, you know what I'm saying? Not even odd, but it just looked off. But then I got used to it. I'm like, "Oh, that's what, that's the thing I was looking at before. Now I know why that's there." Now you pass by, it's old and you get used to it, but nothing ever beats that first time. Nothing ever beats that, that first experience. You know what I'm saying? Or at least the initial, you know. So for that reason, man, fuck that bread, bro. Give me my pictures back on some shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:17:46] Yeah, same way, bro, because you're essentially deleting, like, your memories when you delete all your pictures. You know what I'm saying? And I used to do that when I was younger. Like, I would see some pictures and there are some times you might take a picture of something, years later you feel embarrassed about it and you look at the picture and you're like, nah, fuck it. Especially if it's on your phone, you delete it and then some time will go by, so why the fuck did I delete that picture? That's a memory, that was actually me at that moment in time. So like to delete it is almost like trying to act like it never happened, you know what I mean? So basically, summarizing what you said, it sounds like you can always get more money, bro. But you can't get your memories back if you delete them, you know?

Kairo Omar: [00:18:15] Word to. Yeah. And I...And I feel like, to your point as well, I feel like with our generation as well, again, I'm not really big on social media and all that shit, which is, you know what I'm saying? Which makes it hard for me, you know what I'm saying? If I want to do that, it makes it a little harder to compete. But I feel as though, I feel like our generation, we're so quick to try to edit aspects of ourselves. You know what I'm saying? You know, cos it's so easy to do it on social media, you know what I'm saying? It's like I can curate how people view me. I can curate how people see me, you know, it's like, it's like if I don't put...if I don't put up one.. Up on social media, that don't mean it didn't happen, that just mean that people ain't see it. You know what I'm saying? There are pros and cons to that. You know what I'm saying? Because I know full well if I want to do X, Y, and Z, you know what I'm saying? It's like, for example, let's say if I want to... Let's say if I'm trying to become like an A&R, let's say I want to get signed to a label, if none of my music is on my...is on my Instagram, if I have no means of people actually seeing that except for me saying "go check that thing out on Spotify", yeah, I mean, they're not gonna to listen to it, but it makes it harder for me to get my voice out. It makes it harder for you people to connect with me.

Kairo Omar: [00:19:08] You get what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, it's like, that's the only way we're connecting nowadays, you know what I'm saying? I just see social media as kind of like a digital shroud over all of us. You know what I'm saying? The same dude over you got. He's up on his phone...I was on my phone earlier, you know what I'm saying, listen to music, saying, what you on your phone...going through the questions and shit. It's like it has a shroud over all of us and it's like, it allows us to connect in ways that we might never be able to connect before. I have friends that I made off social media that know I would never make without social media. Off rip, you know what I'm saying? But that's just not...But I...And so that's obviously a benefit of social media. But I feel like, again, it's like it's giving us too much power to curate how we're viewed. And so you know what I'm saying? And to...and to...and to...not only that, but then to also dictate how we want to view ourselves, you know, so you get to put your most ideal self out there. Yeah. Word. You know what I'm saying? It's like obviously there's nothing wrong with having an ideal self and wanting to curate that but it's not genuine, you know what I'm saying? Cos...cos your ideal is just that, it's an ideal. You shouldn't...I'm not saying you should never reach your ideal, but come on, like, like...you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Alright, my bro, so we got five questions about the US. Alright, answer however you want. The first one is, we kind of touched on it, but what does the "American Dream" mean to you?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:13] I'll be honest here. Yeah the American dream is a fucking joke for black people bro on some real shit. Now obviously there's pros and cons to it. I understand that me being a black man within this country. I'm sorry. I mean, let me, let me start off this way. I understand that me being a man within this country, there are certain things I can just do that other people cannot do, whether they be, you know what I'm saying, like, just...just based off of how the patriarchy is set up, right? That's all for it. Now me being black as another feature to my existence, umm, which some might say is great, others might say it's treacherous. It's honestly both. Umm so in terms of my own perception of the American dream, I believe it's obtainable, but I believe it's a lot harder for me to obtain because of who I am and how I look within this country. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:52] I see. Okay. So how would you describe the "American Dream" if you had to explain it to somebody who had never heard the concept before?

Kairo Omar: [00:20:58] The American dream is basically hustle and grind culture. It's the reason why you're worried more about how much money you're making versus how much time you spending with your damn kids on some real shit. There's pros and cons to it, you know, it's like...No, word to, right? You know what I'm saying? But it's like there's pros and cons to it. For example, it's like, I know if I grind for ten years right now, I can chill for 30 years later. Now, do I feel like putting that...do I feel like spending that time? You know what I'm saying? Do I feel like leveraging my time for those next ten years to chill out for the next 30 years? That's up to you. That's up to me. You know what I'm saying? However I feel like living, however you feel like living. That's what you want to do with your life like on some real shit. But the American dream is definitely...it's a...it's a false promise, though, because capitalism is not going to allow for that many people to chase they bags at once. Somebody has to lose. And if you're a minority, it's probably going to be you. So I'm sorry if you're from another country watching this shit. My fault, gangster.

[00:21:47] Sorry! We don't know what to say!

[00:21:49] Like you got it next time. Like you know what I'm saying? Like...but you know, it's like, I was gonna say, you should have been white, but I'm not because you can't put that up in there, you know? But it's a real shit though, you know. So..

Tony Kaizen: [00:21:58] Yeah, yeah, I got you. Now but let me ask you this, though. Do you think the "American Dream" is universal or specific to America, or you feel like people from other countries have that same dream?

Kairo Omar: [00:22:09] I feel like people in other countries definitely have that same thing because the American dream is based off of capitalism. But capitalism isn't only unique to the United States. If you go...you know what I'm saying? Anywhere in the Western world, you're going to find notions of capitalism anywhere in the world. You're going to find notions of capitalism, you know, and you know. And so it's like obviously, not to mention that the American dream is not so much about money. It's more about growth. It's more about what am I able to accomplish? So technically, it's like, I can find the American dream in...in a...North Korea, you know what I'm saying? If I just move to the ranks the way that I'm quote unquote "supposed to", you know what I'm saying? If I assimilate into that culture, if I move within that society in a...in a way that's beneficial to that society, and how can I not win? You know what I'm saying? I think about it like that. The only issue is like here, though, I'm black, being black is ant...is antithetical to growth and success within this country. So how am I really going to do that? I don't know. I wrote a paper on this. I'm excited about it!

Tony Kaizen: [00:22:57] I can tell you're passionate about it. I like that, though. I like that, though. It's not about money, it's the growth. I never thought about it like that. But, I like that, bro. Alright, now, sticking with the theme, when you think of American people, if you had to describe American people to somebody who had no experience with them, who had never been here, how would you describe us in general?

Kairo Omar: [00:23:16] I would say ignorant, but not in like a malicious sense. I mean it more in terms of like we're genuinely unaware of the world outside of the US, you know? And it's like, it's because of what we've been taught, you know, it's like I...cos I interacted with a lot of tourists before...umm...when I was younger, I interacted with a bunch of French tourists and they never...they never gave the vibe like, "Oh, y'all are ignorant...X, Y and Z." But it's just like, they had definitely had certain preconceived notions of the US. And then if you look at media as well, you know what I'm saying? Just like mass media and just say like, "Oh, Americans, just Americans are this..." I can see how people might say that. But again, it's just because we're just not taught about the world outside of the US. We're kind of taught the US is the US, why, you know what I'm saying? Who's going to fuck with the US? You know what I'm saying? Like, it's like, we're so goated. It's not worth learning about anybody else, you know? It's like...which is, which is unfortunate, you know? Cos European history is really rich. African history is really rich. Asian history is really rich. And it's like, it's important to get...it's important to, to understand that, you know, I feel like the US, you know, has been...the US is definitely a melting pot, but we kind of revere it to such a high standard of like, "It's this melting pot, we have to know about this!" Obviously it's important, but it's like we, you know what I'm saying? But like we definitely fail to be inclusive of the...of the world around us, you know, in our own personal educations, you know? So definitely the word "ignorant", but it's not a willful ignorance. It's more of a...it's more that we're just not taught better, you know, that's just some real shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:24:36] Do you think that the reason we're not more accommodating to people of other cultures or other countries is specifically because we're not educated about them or you think it's something else?

Kairo Omar: [00:24:45] All I'm going to say is it's in a melting pot society, in which you have so many different cultures, and so many different religions, and so many different identities being represented within our country, I genuinely would...you would think that there would be more education, that there would be much more diverse education. But there's an idea called "civil religion" that basically just relates to how societies and groups, what they hold dear, and what they genuinely value as a society...as...as a civilization in the US. Because the United States was built by white cis hetero males...landowning males. You know what I'm saying? That's obviously what you're going to see as being reinstituted. That's what you're going to be valued. That's what's going to be put into play. That's what's going to be revered. It's the same reason why we still see Confederate... Confederate statues still up. You know what I'm saying? Because at the end of the day, the US was based around white people. You know what I'm saying? Like being white, you know what I'm saying? It wasn't based on racism. You know what I'm saying? Obviously it was. But it's like, they didn't care about "Oh, you...Oh, you left our country." No, it wasn't about that. You know what I'm saying? They wasn't really sweating that. And you can see that, 'cause again, it's the same reason why...why ideas of the rebellion, why they're still up, you know? But it's not about that. It was really just more about...cos again, because the Confederate States of America, the United States of America, they were so based off of the same ideas of white males, white cis hetero landowning males doing whatever the fuck they wanted because they were white and they were in power, you know? So I'm sorry, what's your question?

Tony Kaizen: [00:26:12] I was saying, how would you describe American people to somebody who has no experience with them? You said ignorant, maybe uneducated.

Kairo Omar: [00:26:19] Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so...and so that as that relates to our education, it's like I would think that you would see it more, but you don't because again, because our, our country was never built to sustain such a type of education, you know? And think about it too. It's like I remember, cos the interacting with those same French kids, I was like 14 when this happened, actually. When I was 14, it's like, I was talking to them. They were...I obviously didn't know French. I was...I took in a French class, but I'm like, who the fuck is paying attention to French class? More like, you know what I'm saying? I can't do that. I'm thinking this is me as an American saying this, right? I'm very ignorant, but like interacting with them, they would be like, "Oh, you don't know French? Okay, then switch to Spanish." I don't know fucking Spanish like, you know what I'm saying? And then they would switch to broken English. And I was like, "How do you know all this shit?" They learn all their languages in pre-K...in kindergarten when they're very young. And again, it's just a part of how we're educated. You know how hard it is to learn a language by the time that your mind gets developed? At least if I'm like six, and you know what I'm saying? As I'm still learning the world, if I learn a new language while I'm still learning other stuff, that makes it easier, I can internalize it more, you know, and that's anything. Like you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, talking to like these same foreigners...these foreigners know all these languages for the sole reason that like, they're, they, you know what I'm saying? That they, they've had the chance to really sit there in the language, and learn it, and, you know what I'm saying? Just absorb it all, you know? And again, that's just the issue with our...with our own education system. We've got to improve, for real. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:39] All right. So "ignorant" and "uneducated". That's how you can label us.

Kairo Omar: [00:27:44] Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:27:44] All right. So next one is about cultural behaviors. If you had to give a recommendation to somebody who has never been here, what are some things that you think you should never do, or say, which we were talking about earlier. What are some things you should never do or say in the United States?

Kairo Omar: [00:28:03] Keep "nigga" out your mouth. And a...and I say that for the sole reason, that racial tension...it can be felt throughout the world. We know the type of world that we live in, you know? Even if you don't know, you know, and...and if you don't know, you definitely know! You know what I'm saying? But again, but it's like within the US, it's there...it's very different within the US because it's become so centralized and it's become so central to our country's social makeup and to our country's culture. It's definitely very...so whenever you come to the US, keep it out of your mouth. You know what I'm saying? Also understand, too, that we're all people here, which goes back into that whole point as well. Everybody we respect, you know, we're going...we're going to try to treat you with as much respect as possible. But again, right, it's like somebody being respectful to you is more of a...people thing or the US thing. So yeah, definitely. And it also depends on where you're at as well. If you're in New York, don't drive slow.

Kairo Omar: [00:28:58] Niggas will honk at you, they will violate you. Umm but yeah, you know what I'm saying? You gotta...you have to understand, too, that it's like, especially in the US, because we're big up on grind culture, a hustle culture, trying to get the bag by any means. It's definitely a lot faster paced, so definitely be prepared for that. The food portions are a lot bigger if you're from like, you know what I'm saying? If you're from Europe, you're going to be just like, there's a lot more food. We waste a lot of shit here, which is unfortunate, you know, but it's true. Umm so, yes, I would definitely just say be wary of those. Not even be wary of those things, you know what I'm saying? But just like, we live in a very expensive world, there's a lot going on, especially in the US. It's very fast. So just try to appreciate it for what it is, you know? Don't try to just...just...I guess try to move with it, you know? So assimilate, which is kind of wild, but, you know what I'm saying? Just move with it, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:41] So "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," as they say, yeah. And just don't say "nigga". There you go.

Kairo Omar: [00:29:47] We'll stick it right here.

Tony Kaizen: [00:29:49] A big-ass thing on the screen. "Don't say 'nigga'". There you go. There you go. All right. Now this one, people have had a hard time answering, so we'll see your opinion on it. If you had to describe the American beauty standard, we can start with women and then we'll go to men. If you had to describe the beauty standard and maybe give your thoughts on it, what would you say?

Kairo Omar: [00:30:07] I feel like the American beauty standard...again, because we understand...I...we understand the world that we live in. I feel as the American beauty standard definitely does cater towards white women, you know...in a... in a...right? In a Eurocentric sense. But I would also definitely believe that the beauty standard is changing. But...but changing in what regard? Why they're changing? If you look at the fetishization of black women, you know what I'm saying? Is it changing for the good or is it changing because black women are fetishized? You know what I'm saying? Doesn't...it doesn't...then that is...word, it's my fault...It doesn't necessarily mean that they're not beautiful, you know? But again, but it's just more of like, why is it shifting in that direction? Why...you know what I'm saying? Why are they being revered in this way? That's something...I think it's something that's important for us to think about. As it relates to beauty standards, again, it's like there is technically no set beauty standards within the US. Now, if you look at billboards, you know what I'm saying? Like if you see a billboard you might see like, bikini models or X, Y and Z or whatever the fuck. Obviously it might have that certain ideas are being reflected back to you, you know what I'm saying? In terms of like body shape and body...I'm saying skin tone and all that shit, you know what I'm saying? It's like, so I guess like, for the actual...so...you know what I'm saying? So, so, so what's being put out for us to consume.

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:14] That's what I'm talking about. Yeah.

Kairo Omar: [00:31:16] Got you! In that aspect then, yeah, I would definitely say...it would definitely be like a no...slimmer, petite figure. You know what I'm saying? White women, light-skinned women, you know what I'm saying? It's like the lighter you are, the better on some real shit. Obviously, that's not true. You know what I'm saying? Because, again, beauty is a relative thing. How we perceive beauty is definitely up to us as...as...as individuals, as people, umm...so yeah, but I also feel as though, once you understand that there's definitely a disconnect between corporation culture and like, human culture within the US and that's anywhere, you know what I'm saying? But, but what's interesting is that there's a disconnect, you can begin to appreciate it more. For example, as a black man, I think black women are beautiful! Like, "Why, aren't you Spelman College?" I got to represent!

Tony Kaizen: [00:31:52] Shoutout, Spelman!

Kairo Omar: [00:31:53] Shoutout to Spelman! You know the vibes, right? I believe black women are extremely beautiful, you know? But then I also understand...Okay, but also might think white women are beautiful; Asian women are beautiful, and you know know what I'm saying? Like my beauty...like my perception of beauty is not limited to something like race, which is something that you might see here! You know what I'm saying? And which...I might see anywhere, for in all honesty, you know what I'm saying? Because you control the money, white people, you know what I'm saying? But you know...so I feel like in that aspect, yeah that's what the beauty standard is, ummm but don't let it...don't let it limit you. Free your mind. I'll be your third eye.

Tony Kaizen: [00:32:23] Now what about men? When you think about...let's call it the beauty standard for men in America, what do you think that is most put out there or that...how do you think you're expected to look or present yourself visually?

Kairo Omar: [00:32:35] Again, I feel like...I feel like it starts off with bodies, like, you know, if I'm...if I'm too slim, I might not be seen as, quote unquote "attractive". If I'm too big, I might not see seen as quote unquote "attractive", you know? But everybody has their own different body types on some shit. Umm I feel like for men as well, there are definitely certain beauty standards. Within the US itself it's considered...I'm saying this more as a black man, you know what I'm saying? As a black man is that there are certain things that I quote unquote "cannot do" because it might be seen as feminine or it might be seen as...or it might emasculate me, demasculate me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:33:09] Like what, for example?

Kairo Omar: [00:33:10] So, for example, if I get like, my nails done, you know what I'm saying? Like, if I...if I groom myself in a certain way, people might think, "Oh, what are you doing? Why are you doing X, Y and Z?" As somebody who's never gotten a manicure or a pedicure, I'm not opposed...I'm not opposed to the idea. I just never really have the time to do it or go out and do it. But I feel like it's definitely important to understand that, again, beauty standards are relative. How you perceive things are relative. Umm you know...and it's like how you define yourself is how you define yourself, you know what I'm saying? Like, you can't really let people speak for you cos again, the only person that know you is you, on some real shit. But I feel like as it relates to, as it relates to men and, you know, as it relates to men and...and just like how beauty standards are definitely a...taken in, a...it definitely does build a lot of...and the US stuff is built a lot around body type, you know? But again, once you like, again, if you look at the billboards, I'm not built like the...like the Calvin Klein nigga! I'm not, I'm sorry. I can get there...you gotta give me a couple of years, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, again, it's something to work towards. And again, I feel like that's what the beauty culture in America does as well. It kind of forces people to try to move in a certain way. It kind of makes people try to say, "Okay, well, Imma try to do X, Y and Z. Imma try to work towards this." But it's not fair to you. You know what I'm saying? It's like you're human, bro. It's like...like I'm...you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm not...shit, like, fucking, like...like...I'm a slim nigga! You know what I'm saying? Come on!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:17] Shoutout to the skinny dude and the short kings, shoutout to 'em!

Kairo Omar: [00:34:19] Word. Exactly. Exactly. Word. You know? It's like...it's like that's something for us to work towards. But again, it's like, beauty standards are so fucking constrictive anywhere, especially in this country. It kind of stresses people out, you know? So fuck beauty standards, everybody's beautiful!

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:32] Now, you mentioned before that black women specifically are getting fetishized.

Kairo Omar: [00:34:35] Hmm. Black men, too.

Tony Kaizen: [00:34:36] What have you seen that has made you think that? How do you think that's happening?

Kairo Omar: [00:34:40] I mean, it's...I understand as a black man, there are certain ways in my thinking which definitely point to that, you know what I'm saying? Umm but again, it's like, it's not hard to...it's not hard to look. I mean, Imma talk about porn. I don't know if y'all can say this, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, yo, look at the porn industry! Look at...look at...Look at white porn titles versus black porn titles. "Black thot gets rimmed by..." Like no! I don't give a fuck! Like come on! Like...it's...it's real shit! It's real...let's be real here, you know what I'm saying? Compare it to like, oh, "Skinny white girl..." Like no, come on! Like you know...it's...again, it's like, it's a...it's about languages being used. We live in a country that's inherently racist, that because I'm black or that's not what they see me as a black person, you know what I'm saying? Let's be real here. So it's like obviously I understand that like...so when I speak on fetishization, it's, it's because I live in a culture that wants to seem villainized, that wants to see me brought down, wants to see me demean as a black person. You know what I'm saying? For the sole reason that I'm black. You know what I'm saying? What's considered quote unquote "black", it's... it's become more of a...it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a...it's a social thing. You know what I'm saying? Ideas of blackness, for example...right. It's like...It's like these sneakers are black, you know what I'm saying? Because part of it...because it's a...part of a trend that us as consumers, as black people, as we continue to buy into these things, it becomes labeled as "black". You know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:35:56] These are white. Skater shoes...the pants. You know what what I'm saying? Yeah, for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:35:59] Yeah, exactly. Word, you know what I'm saying? And so it's like, and then if you think about like, Jor...by the way you got Jordans on, right? Same thing with him or like, those are considered quote unquote "black" thing. All right, cool. You know what I'm saying? But why is that? Because as a community, cos we continue to buy into things like this. Why? Because these same corporations, they're going to put forward certain ideas for us to buy into this shit. We fuck with Jordan because Michael Jordan is black! You know what I'm saying? Like if Michael Jordan was some white dude out of, like, out of fucking Idaho, we wouldn't give a fuck, you know? Which is some real shit. And a...and again, too, it was like, look at...look at Kanye West. We continue to fuck with Kanye West because Kanye West is black. If Kanye West was this white person saying, "Oh, this shit", but still making this good-ass music, I wouldn't hit this thing. We was like, "Oh, Kanye's racist. We can't fuck with Kanye West", but you know what I'm saying? But again, it's like...it's like it's how you perceive shit on a, on a, on a, on a, on a social, on a racial level. Because at this point, race has become so intertwined with socioeconomic status, with...with social status within this country, it's very hard to parse the two. You can't...you can't divide them. It's so difficult, you know, as you... you watch Atlanta?

Tony Kaizen: [00:36:54] Yeah, of course, bro.

Kairo Omar: [00:36:54] Bro, alright. But looking at season...it's fire! It goes crazy! Looking at season three of Atlanta, there's episodes of du...a...a...the most recent episode...you watch...it was wild as shit, right? But what I'm trying to highlight is this. In like the very first scene, he's running around in the Nike Tech suit. Why? You know what I'm saying? Why is he running...why is he running in a Nike tech suit? That...that was my question. But I'm thinking, that's not a black thing. That's not a white thing. It's just a thing, that's...that's something for people to consume. But I'm so, as a black man, I'm so used to saying, "Okay, well, why is he wearing that?" You know what I'm saying? "Why is this white man wearing a Nike Tech suit?" And then even looking at that...even the music he's listening to as well. "Why is he listening to some trap shit?" You know what I'm saying? Which isn't a bad thing, right? Because that's what he chooses to listen to. But even still, it's just like, the consumption...what we consume as consumers, what is, you know what I'm saying? What is being put out for us to listen to? Why is it being put out in such a way? For example, it's like, if you look at rap...if you look at rap music, people say rap music is dangerous, it's a...it's misogynistic, it's X, Y, and Z.

Kairo Omar: [00:37:55] How dare they say X, Y and Z and all that is true! It's true. You know what I'm saying? Shit like...shit...as I...as much as I bump Future, Future's a toxic nigga! But I still listen to Future. You know what I'm saying, though? But it becomes a matter of...okay...But like why? You know what I'm saying? But if rap music is so dangerous...dangerous...if it's so dangerous, if it's so bad, if it's...if it's a...if it's such a taboo thing, why is it still being consumed? Why are people, especially white people? Because, again, you gotta think about who is music being made for. The music industry is made to cater towards white people. So why is it still being consumed? Because it gives white people the chance to...to fire back at black people by saying, "Okay, well, they're X, Y, and Z. Look at how they dress. Look at what they say about their women. Look at how they treat X, Y, and Z." But we know it's not true. It's a constant reaffirming cycle. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying? But again. But it's like, but it's like, the issue is...but it's because...it's because we're so occupied by a system that doesn't wanna see us win.

Kairo Omar: [00:38:43] So it's like, for example, if I know that...if you look at Megan Thee Stallion, right? Megan Thee Stallion, that's her living her best life. That's her...That's her... That is her explaining her experiences as a black woman in a way that she understands. Fuck these niggas! What does she wanna say? You know what I'm saying? If that's how she wanna say it, that's what she wanna say. Scam all these niggas, cool, right? I'm not even listening to Megan Thee Stallion, you know what I'm saying? So she says what she's saying, but again. But it's also us like. But it's like it's more about how is it being perceived. But it's not her job to control how she's perceived. It's her job to put out art! She's not trying to just throw it together just to say, "Oh, I don't know if people like this." Then that's not really being a genuine artist. That's a different story, you know what I'm saying? That goes for any artist, you know what I'm saying? I love you, Meg. If you want to slot to Morehouse, I love you. So you know what I'm saying? Right. But it's like, but you know, that goes for any artist. So it's like I definitely feel as though, we have to be more aware. So just be aware like on some shit, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:28] I dig it. So last two questions. They're kind of like opposites. What do you love about the USA specifically? What do you love about your country?

Kairo Omar: [00:39:36] I love the fact that I can be any type of person that I wanna be here. That's one thing for sure. There are definitely certain freedoms...there are definitely certain social freedoms.

Tony Kaizen: [00:39:45] He did a calculation in his head real quick.

Kairo Omar: [00:39:47] Quick, right, word. Language is important, on some real shit. Right? Language is important. Umm, there are certain social freedoms that I'm awarded just by living in this country. For example, if I were gay, living in this country would be easier for me than if I was living in another country. It doesn't mean that my existence here would be easier compared to everybody else's, cos there obviously are still certain biases in place, and certain way than people think. But if I was in Saudi Arabia, which is just a different...I understand it's just a different a...way of living. It's a different...it's a different standard of living as a gay person. You know what I'm saying? Just between these two different places. So there's that for sure. That's something I definitely appreciate. Umm I have the chance to...not only that, but because the US is so expansive, there's so much going on, there's so many people here, I can...I can take in a lot without having to leave the US, you know, which is another great thing too, which is, which is a benefit of the US. So those two things most definitely.

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:40] Okay. Now what do you...it's hard to use this word, but what do you hate about the country or what do you wish was different? What would you change if you had the chance?

Kairo Omar: [00:40:48] Umm not change. I mean, you already know what I would change! Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:40:52] I know one of 'em. I know one of 'em for sure.

Kairo Omar: [00:40:55] But I...but...but I talk for so long but Imma try to be short of course. Umm what would I change? I would definitely try to...bro, we need free shit! Which sound...Not...not only like random free shit. I mean, like free health care, something like a...you know what I'm saying? Cos health care...and again, it's like, and this country is very capitalistic. The reason why grind culture is so big here is because it's the only way you can really live your life peacefully. That's the only way you can get the shit that you need and need is a strong word. Because if I need to go to a doctor so I don't die and I can't afford it, all of a sudden I'm living in a system that's meant to see me lose because I can't afford it. The money, you know what I'm saying? At that point, as a society we've come to...as a society, I mean at that point as a society, we've come to value wealth more than human life. And it's an issue...we gotta...should...stop! Come on, we're better than that! Come on, come on. Right? We're better than that. So that would be something that I would try to change. I would definitely try to reinstate certain...certain ideas or certain practices that would just help us remember that as much money as we make, if somebody dies, that's something that you're not getting back. You can always make the bread back. You can always create more money. I know you can. You can always print more money. You know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, it's like...it's just...just trying to...try to, I guess, like, reinstate the...that thinking, that way of thinking of just caring for each other again. It's important.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:13] Apart from the capitalistic part, apart from the corporations and businesses and stuff like that, do you think that American people in general don't really care much for each other? Like we're so individualistic that we're really not worried about anybody else or you think differently?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:26] I feel like there definitely is a basin...there's a definitely...a baseline sense of care. That's only when there's somebody else coming and...and making us feel some type of way, you know?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:38] What do you mean?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:39] I'll put it this way. It's like, God forbid that...you know what I'm saying? It's like, you know, shooting...after shoo...like when I was in high school, I had to go through an active shooter drill. So being... that really is an American-ass sentence to say that's fucking crazy! You know what I'm saying? Right?

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:51] So, just for anybody who doesn't understand. Can you say that again? You had to do what in school?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:54] An active shooter drill.

Tony Kaizen: [00:42:55] And can you explain what that is?

Kairo Omar: [00:42:57] So basically, it's like, gun violence is a large issue in the United States. Umm just based off of the way that our laws are set up. And so it's like, throughout the US there have been a number of times in which like, you've seen armed individuals go into schools or go into public areas with firearms and to try to do people harm. And actually for me...actually it wasn't...we actually thought it was real, but it ended up being just a big mix-up on some shit. It was like a fucking water gun that somebody was walking by with, you know what I'm saying? But it was still kind of like, "Oh shit!", you know what I'm saying?

Tony Kaizen: [00:43:26] It's common sense there's a shooter in the school, that's not a thing you take lightly.

Kairo Omar: [00:43:29] Word to, right? But it's just like, in that aspect, seeing how people came together in my high school... obviously we're all friends in my high school, you know what I'm saying? But seeing how people came together, it meant something. I feel like on a microcosmic level, that's what I'm trying to...that's the point I'm trying to make. Until something...until something foreign comes in, we all really fuck with each other. Even black people don't really fuck with each other. Like, you know what I'm saying? Like, let's be real, you know? But, you know what I'm saying? It's like...but like, we gotta think to ourselves, why? Not...no...I'm not gonna...I'll be here for another hour. You know what I'm saying? Though it's just like...it's about...the love...the love for each other is definitely here in this country. But we just have to be willing to love each other when it's not convenient. You know what I'm saying? We have to love each other when we want it, not when we need it. You get what I'm saying? Yeah, because, you know, like...yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:44:14] I get that same impression. Like, kind of, you said, it's kind of like a lot of people think that Americans are very reserved or cold or that we all just hate each other, especially here in the South. It's mainly black and white people and they think we're just at each other's necks all the time. But I try to explain to people all the time, that in general, we get along pretty well. Like, I mind my business, you mind yours, I don't fuck with you. You don't fuck with me. For the most part, that's the way it is. And then, people will say, like, "We see so much racism on TV, we see so much hatred and stuff like that on social media." But I just don't think that's really the case. I think that's perpetuated online. And then people see that and they assume that's the way it is. So when you see a white person walking down the street, you guys maybe don't make eye contact, you try to keep your distance. So I think there's a lot of a...lack of communication going on cos when you just sit down and talk to somebody like this, I don't know you, we just met today. You see, most people are fucking cool, bro, you know what I'm saying? And like you said, when tragedy strikes, whatever it is most of the time, however way it happens, people do come together and take care of each other, you know what I'm saying? So I think there are certainly racist people, ignorant people, hateful people. But for the most part, I've been all over this country and most people are pretty fucking cool as long as you show respect.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:23] Exactly. Word. And that's the thing, too. It's like I feel like people don't understand that respect is kind of like a two-way street, you know? It's like if you're not willing to give it, you're not going get it. You know, it's like...cos if I come...I came over here, I could be like, "Fuck you nigga, walk away!", that would've been wild and shit, obviously, you know what I'm saying? But it's like, but then if you were like, "Oh, word?" And then we started scrapping like...that would have been my fault! Like in a way...you know what I'm saying? Cos again, it's about...it's a two-way street. So it's like, you gotta show the respect to get the respect here, on some serious shit. But I always...but that don't mean that you're always going to get that respect back.

Tony Kaizen: [00:45:51] It don't always work. We'll just say that.

Kairo Omar: [00:45:52] Word, you know, that's not an American thing, that's more of a human thing, you know what I'm saying? That person can be having that bad day, you know, but it's like, that's that person, that's not you, you know? So...that's not...you know what I'm saying? It's like, don't, don't...I'm not gonna say don't sweat shit. But it's just like, don't...

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:05] Don't sweat shit you can't control at the end of the day, right?

Kairo Omar: [00:46:08] Exact...exactly. Word. You know what I'm saying? You know what you can work on. If you're trying to learn English, right? Which you...I hope you're...right? Word. Make sure you learn English from this dude right here. Right? It's like, you know, you can control that. You just gotta lock in with it. You know, it's like you...you can control...focus on what you can do right now. Don't focus on what you can do later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:46:24] I dig that, bro. I appreciate that. Kairo...I really appreciate it, bro. This is a great interview. Best one so far. We appreciate that. Yeah, I was just about to ask you. Let me get your social before we go. Definitely gonna put that in there. You said you got? What do you...Instagram? Okay, cool.

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