the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

$KIBI hits high notes with hip hop tracks

Rapper junior Ibi Hajar opens up about his discovery and journey of his passion for music.
Photo by Stephanie Cheng
Junior Ibi Hajar performs some vocal warmups before recording a song. “Either I hear a beat and I really love it so I start recording a melody right away or I write the lyrics first and make a beat to fit,” Hajar said.

The words “S-K-I-B-I, let it ring inside your head” ring true for junior Ibi Hajar, not only encapsulating the lyrics of his most popular song “Hear My Name” but also his journey to recognition as hip hop music artist and rapper $KIBI. 

Hajar first gained popularity when his music video for “Hear My Name” garnered 10.4K views on TikTok, with immense support from his family, friends and even strangers. In his music video, he asked people from school to lip-sync different parts of his song and implemented transitions in between. 

His soft, low-pitched voice merges with the upbeat rhythm and lyrics of the song and creates a harmonic balance between melody and rap. Hajar reached 600 monthly listeners on Spotify soon after “Hear My Name” was released, which he considers a milestone in his journey. He gets inspiration from artists such as Lil Tecca, Drake, Brent Faiyaz and Justin Bieber. 

“Not gonna lie, ‘Hear My Name’ was a one-time kind of song. Once I heard the beat, I just hummed the hook and, boom, I had a lightbulb moment. There wasn’t much thought that went into that song; I just improvised it,” Hajar said. 

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 Hajar also collaborates with his friends to bring his songs to life. For instance, he made the song “Table 4 2” with sophomore Keneh Ejike, who is also known as rapper K’Nae. (Read more on

If you put enough time into something you love, you’re definitely going to get the results that you want.

— Ibi Hajar

“[Ejike] had a really dope vibe… he’s now one of my good friends and I wouldn’t be close to him if it weren’t for ‘Table 4 2.’ I actually sent him that song because I was going to drop it but he heard it and loved it, so he asked me to hop on, and then boom, we dropped two weeks later,” Hajar said. “‘Table 4 2’ was definitely a piece I had a lot of fun making.” 



Hajar currently has three songs released on Spotify and six on SoundCloud, but he also makes music that he doesn’t regularly show the public. 

“I have a lot of songs that I make just for personal use. My favorite song that I’ve written isn’t released. It’s called ‘Farther’ and it’s more about getting older,” Hajar said. “Not in a main character way, but I feel like I’m getting more mature. I’ve only shown it to a few supportive friends and family, something more for my tight circle.” 

However, Hajar’s aspirations aren’t always met with praise. He does receive his fair share of criticism that he considers one of his biggest hardships in making music. 

“Being a rapper, especially as a high schooler, not everyone takes you seriously. At first, a lot of people thought it was funny. I thought it was funny, too. That’s why I continued doing it to make people laugh. Then it got to the point where people started making too many jokes about it, so that’s when I started to make my music a little bit less funny. I tried implementing more serious aspects into it,” Hajar said. 

He found his love for making music in 2018, when he and his friends listened to underground rap together and sought out the inspiration to make their own songs. Soon after that, Hajar’s room transformed into his personal recording studio.

“I think it changed a lot for me. [Making music] used to be more just for fun and giggles, but at this point, it’s become something that I actually enjoy doing. It’s a great way to let out emotions and let out whatever’s in my head,” Hajar said.  

Despite the challenges that come with being a rapper, Hajar still has big goals for his future in music. One of his more current goals is to perform at one of the school pep rallies, and a bigger goal is to hit 1,000 or more listeners on Spotify. 

I make music for fun, not for fame.

— Ibi Hajar

“I want people to hear my name and be like, ‘Wow, this little teenage 16-year-old made a pretty good song.’ That’s what I want,” Hajar said. “I make music for fun, not for fame, because there’s no guarantee. But if I could get somewhat known, that would definitely be pretty cool.” 

Hajar encourages young people who want to make music like him to continue to pursue their dreams and persevere through self doubt, despite the obstacles that they might face later on.  

“Just keep practicing,” Hajar said. “A lot of people think they can’t make music because they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of cringy’ or like, ‘I don’t know if I’d be good at it, I’m not a great singer.’ Neither am I; I’m horrible at singing. But if you put enough time into something you love, you’re definitely going to get the results that you want.”  

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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Chen
Jocelyn Chen, Staff writer
Hi I'm Jocelyn Chen, I'm in the 10th grade, and I'm a staff writer for The Hoofprint. I enjoy writing and graphic design, as well as taking cool photos to fill up my camera roll. In my free time, I like going to the beach, reading, and listening to Drake.
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