Kota the Friend is a kid from Brooklyn that loves art. He burst onto the music scene in 2016, helmed by his well-received debut EP, Palm Tree Liquor, which garnered praise from industry staples such as Billboard, XXL, RESPECT. Mag, and many others. This was around the same time that the multihyphenate started to see success with his “Lyrics to GO” series, securing a fervent fanbase for his subtitled rap videos. But before Kota became the enigma that he is today, he was finding his way through Clinton Hill, consuming art on different levels. His gift is that he knows how to execute a vision, backed by a worldview that sees the bigger picture in all things. His seminal debut album, FOTO, has a soulful texture and was anointed as “one of the best hip- hop albums of 2019” by Rolling Stone. In 2020, the Brooklyn MC was riding high from the momentum of his critically acclaimed sophomore LP, EVERYTHING, which arrived during the isolating lockdown of the pandemic. The album went on to debut at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-hop Chart, peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums Chart, and earned Kota his first entry on the Billboard 200. The following year was no different, with a presidential cosign leading Kota’s campaign for greatness. His track, “Lupita’s Interlude,” was the first song on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration playlist, which was curated by Emmy Award- winning actress Issa Rae. Further, UPROXX crowned Kota “one of the most commercially viable indie artists since Chance The Rapper,” which signaled a breakthrough 2021 for the lauded scribe. Last year was highlighted by his third studio album, MEMO; followed by 2023’s Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4, and his 18-track opus To See a Sunset (Deluxe) with Statik Selektah. On top of all this, as an independent artist, Kota has amassed over 700M+ streams to date.