In 1989, Kwamé Rocked Polka Dots With Style & Rhythm (Video)

Back in 1989, just 16 years old and just at the peak of his adolescence, Kwamé released his debut album titled Kwamé The Boy Genius Featuring A New Beginning. The new Atlantic Records artist found himself a hit on the Rap and R&B Charts with the aptly-titled second single, “The Rhythm.”

During that celebrated period in Hip-Hop, teenagers were tapped into Kwamé not only for his playful, lyrical flow, but also for his bold sense of style. From the same part of Queens as Kool G Rap and The Beatnuts, Kwamé Holland sported a full polka dot suit in “The Rhythm” visual. The record was about a teenager crushing on a girl with overindulgent brothers. Chased on stage with no corners to cut and no time to devise a plan, the microphone became the sole solution. He adjusted the polka dots, relied on his storytelling skills, and rhymed for his beauty letting her know who Kwamé was; “a mellow cool Brother.”

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That now memorable polka dot suit (also prominently featured in magazine layouts and single/album artwork) started a new fashion trend for Hip-Hop fans, and became part of the MC/producer’s trademark. In fact, during one of his many shows, the audience was dressed in all polka dots mirroring the artist and his innovative fad. Kwamé continued to create music and released three more albums after the phenomenon surrounding Kwamé the Boy Genius Featuring A New Beginning.

It wasn’t until he turned 18 and entered adulthood that Kwamé discarded his polka dots and playful lyrics. While he began writing amped-up, often sexual songs, his albums lost commercial momentum compared to the first two. By the early 2000s (following a legendary name-check by Biggie Smalls regarding those polka dots on “Unbelievable”) he surfaced back into the industry as a producer. In that role, he linked with major artists including LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, and Missy Elliott under the name “K-Million.” To add to that, in 2015 Kwame developed his record label, Make Noise Recordings, and signed R&B singer Vivian Green.