Kane Smego is an international touring spoken word poet and hip hop artist, educator, and National Poetry Slam finalist. He is the Associate Director and an artist alumnus of Next Level, a cultural diplomacy program that sends American hip-hop artists around the world to use music and dance in promoting cultural exchange, artistic collaboration, and community building. Kane has performed, taught, and managed programs with youth and adults of all ages across the U.S. and abroad on five continents, including hip hop residencies in Zimbabwe, Thailand, Brazil, Cambodia, Morocco, Guatemala, and Dominican Republic.
Kane’s one-man show, Temples of Lung and Air, premiered at Playmakers Repertory Company in 2018 and fuses rap, poetry, beatboxing, and storytelling in a work of Hip Hop theater.
As a recording artist, Kane has released multiple albums featuring his poetry and hip hop music. He was also featured on Grammy Award-winner King Mez's debut album My Everlasting Zeal, and topped the Spotify Viral 50 billboard in May 2017 featuring on the song North Cack with G Yamazawa. The music video for the song appeared on BET Jams, and went on to win Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem, NY.
Kane has also been a performer and keynote speaker at various events including TEDex UNC, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the Shriver Report Live hosted by Atlantic Magazine, the National Association of Social Workers conference, and the Global Youth Leaders Conference, among many others. A native of Durham, NC, Kane currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Kane is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of the nonprofit Sacrificial Poets. He is also the primary author of the YouTh ink. Curriculum that uses poetry and Hip Hop to help youth and adults tell their own stories, and challenges them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken and written word.
Kane has taught writing and performance at colleges and K-12 schools across the country since 2008, leading youth of all ages in exploring their identity through poetry and storytelling. In 2014, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA and has been running poetry, hip hop, cultural exchange programs at home and abroad. He has given lectures and workshops on leadership, education, arts and social justice, and community engagement.
He has also taught foreign language and global education workshops as an instructor with Where There Be Dragons in Peru, as well as with Princeton's Bridge Year program in Brazil. Kane is fluent in Spanish and has a BA in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.