Kossisko Nathaniel Assienzue Konan was born and raised in Berkeley, California amongst a diverse and culturally rich backdrop. His mother was a nurse and Berkeley native; while his father, who studied engineering but went on to become a park ranger, immigrated from West Africa to the US via France in the early 1980’s.
Kossisko Nathaniel Assienzue Konan was born and raised in Berkeley, California amongst a diverse and culturally rich backdrop. His mother was a nurse and Berkeley native; while his father, who studied engineering but went on to become a park ranger, immigrated from West Africa to the US via France in the early 1980’s.As a child Kossisko was taken with the videos and films of the time. Long form music videos such as Michael Jackson’s “Ghosts” and “Thriller” captivated his imagination. Movies like Natural Born Killers that experimented with more abstract filming approaches also intrigued the artist. His parents’ music, which once seemed like white noise in the background, would be subliminally significant for Kossisko.
The diverse sounds ranged from early Tupac and Biggie (to that Toni Braxton CD that seemed to be stuck in his fathers car stereo) to the eclectic sounds of the world music that his mother favored. “Not having older siblings around I didn’t have anyone to turn me on to music,” recalled Kossisko, “so I listened to everything that was happening from all of the local Rap and hip-hop to rock, electronic, pop and whatever was going on at that time.”Enter adolescence in the Bay Area: hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble. By this time Kossisko’s family was becoming concerned that he was on a fast track to prison and at the age of 15 they essentially tricked him into going “on a vacation to see relatives”…in Africa.
It wasn’t until they arrived at the school in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast when he began to sense that this was no vacation. It was here that Kossisko would spend the next two years of his life living. For the first 5 months he lived with 15 students in a small 3 bedroom house and would be subjected to strict rules with harsh punishments. Due to the military presence in the Ivory Coast if you were caught doing something they believed to be wrong, you would be punished by the gendarmes that patrolled the neighborhood. Kossisko contracted malaria several times, as his immune system was not prepared for foreign viruses and bacteria. In ill health, confused and frustrated, the teen ran away from boarding school and finally made his way to the American Embassy. However, since he was not eighteen they were unable to help him without the express and direct request from his parents (which never came) and as a result he was to remain in Africa. After his attempt to escape, he was sent even further away to the small town of Bouaflé where he lived with his uncle.
Not long after, he and his uncle’s family moved to Yamoussoukro where he learned the ways of the locals, made a few friends and learned to speak their native language, French. Finally after two years Kossisko reached the age of eighteen and returned to the United States in late 2010.While in Africa Kossisko became aware of what was happening internationally music wise because the channel trace TV was his only portal to the outside world and what was happening “I remember finding out about Lady Gaga and so many other African and European artists and escaping into the music “. His computer was also flooded with Mac Dre, Webbie, Lil Boosie – all of which became an escape as well. Combine an extreme need to flee his current reality and a hard drive full of G-funk and pimp rap and you have the beginning of what would become 100s. Upon his return to the Bay Area he would begin recording “Ice Cold Perm” with his friend and beat maker, Joe Wax.
The song “Life of a Mack”, appeared inside the video game Grand Theft Auto V he also appeared in the Apple iPhone 5 commercial. “The truth is 100s was supposed to be more of a player than a pimp a G funk / soul record for the times,” he said. “Everyone around me said I needed a follow-up record and I wanted to please the supporters I had who enjoyed the 100s stuff so I recorded the IVRY project and that’s when the press really ran with the pimp thing which became a distraction for me and took the humor and alter ego aspect out of things. I began to realize people were taking this character way too seriously.”In 2013, Kossisko was performing live at an outdoor festival when he looked into the audience and noticed a father and his two sons in the crowd. The man was visibly upset by the lyrics as he ushered his kids out of the crowd and away from the performance. “I felt I could no longer put those messages out to people in general and most of all kids. However, I was already committed to “Fools Gold” to release IVRY.” At SXSW in 2014 he played the song “Middle Of The Night“ which features him singing and the response was so good he felt completely free to move on and reinvent himself. As a final good bye to the character of 100s, he ended his last video under the name with a note to his fans introducing Kossisko and acknowledging he will no longer be rapping.
Kossisko is currently in the studio working on his new sound, songwriting and recording.