Koran Streets doesn't hold much back on "Without a High School Diploma." The song is all catharsis, starting with a mission statement in the first few bars: Long as I can put it in a song, I can deal wit it.
At 26, Koran has been through a lot already. When he was 13, the Berkeley, CA rapper spent six months in a coma and underwent 27 surgeries after a fire burned over a quarter of the surface area on his body. More recently, he lost a brother and collaborator, J.B. the Legend, whose memory he evokes here and all over his excellent September release You.Know.I.Got.It.
Over the years though, Streets has maintained a positive outlook and made waves in both music and acting, starring in a pair of Bay Area films, Licks and Kicks, and building a growing fan base by delivering music that's raw and emotionally direct.
"Without A High School Diploma" represents my struggle, my pain, all the trials and tribulations I've gone through in my life to still remain who I am today," Koran told The FADER in an email. "Ultimately, the song represents the most vulnerable parts about me." Watch the visual, directed by Oakland's Luis Montoya, above.