By In Hawaii

Ro Brings Unapologetic Fun to Hawaiʻi Hip-Hop

In February 2021, Ro told his grandma that he had a surprise waiting for her in the car. But when she hopped into the front seat of his Honda Civic, she found nothing out of the ordinary. Then her 21-year-old grandson turned the radio on, just as a DJ introduced the song coming up next, “Kodak Moment.”

On the breezy, nostalgia-tinged jam, Ro raps the first verse and sings the hook; he’s the first person you hear on the track, which also features producer Daju, guitarist Tyler Donovan and rapper Koins. It’s a song that evokes simpler times of chasing the sunshine and playful flirtations—one you’ll be singing along with by the second chorus and unconsciously humming later that night. It’s the first radio hit any of the artists have had.

“As soon as I heard it played back to me, I knew this was gonna be big for us,” Ro says. “I wasn’t shocked that it made it to the radio.”

He may not have been surprised, but his grandma—who he calls mom since she raised him—certainly was. “That’s you?” she asked when she heard her grandson’s voice crooning through the car speakers. “Oh my god!” She started moving her hands to the beat as if she were the one rapping, and a glowing smile lit up her face. If you’ve ever seen one of Ro’s many music videos, you’d recognize that smile—it’s the same one he has in virtually every one of them. It’s not just a genetic bequeathal from his grandma, either. It’s a reflection of how she’s influenced his life and his character…

Read more at FLUX Hawaii