Kensho Kuma Biography

Locally tested, globally respected.. Kensho Kuma is a bilingual Japanese American MC representing 510 Berkeley, California. Kuma has been active since the late nineties, and shows no signs of slowing down.. (he just completed the “Misadventures in Asia Tour” in summer 2023.) He recently dropped the “Global Gutter Gourmet” mixed album, which is available for free download.

Kuma credits Raekwon’s “Only Built for Cuban Linx..” as his entrance into the culture. Kuma’s favorites include Black Thought, Ghost Face, Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, and Kool G Rap; he is bored very easily by elementary rhyme schemes. He has spent the vast majority of his consciousness developing a highly technical, disciplined writing style with a flawless delivery and live performance. The ability to apply these elements to two languages makes Kensho Kuma stand out, even in the highly multicultural San Francisco Bay Area.

Kuma marked his debut on the Catacombs compilation in 1999, and has since been featured on numerous global releases. Kuma released his debut album, “Rewritten Code ov Honor” in 2006, “Projekt Life Force” in 2010, and “the Program EP” with Cloud NI9E in 2013. He teamed up with MC Orukusaki to form the 2nd Floor Samurais around 2013, and the duo released their “Shogun Stories” crew album in 2016. 2FS embarked on a 7 week Asia tour in the summer of 2017, which included stops in Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. Once that tour ended, Kuma immediately embarked on a solo European tour, which included stops in France, Belgium, and Germany. Kuma went on to release two mixed albums; “The Lineage of the Lyricist” dropped in 2020, blended by SF Bay Area veteran DJ Kevvy Kev, and “Global Gutter Gourmet” in 2022, blended by Musou Production’s Cloud NI9E.

Kensho Kuma has shared the stage with critically acclaimed artists in the U.S. and in Asia, including Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Hieroglyphics, Living Legends, the RZA, Large Professor, Rino Latina II, Ozrosaurus, and members of Thaitanium. 

Outside of Hip Hop culture, Kuma is a career elementary/ middle school teacher, and also holds clinical licensure for alcohol and substance abuse counseling.


  • Kensho Kuma & the Lineage of the Lyricist on Hip Hop x Asian America Link
  • Beats from the East on CJLO with Kensho Kuma Link
  • Kensho Kuma Walks Down the Lineage of the Lyricist Link
  • the Creative Sober interview Link