MP3: Wasiu – “Physical” (Prod. by Kaytranada)
The Montreal Rapper’s Anti-Cuffing PSA Bridges the Gap Between Drake’s “Forever” and FKA Twig’s “Numbers”
Montreal, long known as being a hot bed for indie rock is quickly being recognized for its recent rapid emergence of electronic and now, rap music. Two of Montreal’s finest connect as producer Kaytranada supports 24 year-old rapper Wasiu with a smooth backdrop for anti-cuffing PSA “Physical.” The track, which premiered via HotNewHipHop along with a visual premiered by Noisey, is the first single from Wasiu’s upcoming album. The emerging Montreal rapper has endured marginalization in nearly every aspect of his life—family, race, education, class—that has, in effect, enhanced his ability to interpret the universal themes of the world around him, and infuse them into narratives for the everyday human.
“Physical” is an oscillating production guided by whistles and softly-stricken piano keys. Rocking over $40,000 worth of outfits, Wasiu cruises the streets with pieces by Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Margiela, and BAPE, along with a Louis duffle bag while he lays down the truth to his side chick—she’s just a number. Wasiu’s idea for the song was born from two very different takes on love and lust. Drake’s lyrics from “Forever” and FKA Twig’s song “Numbers” provided the young rapper with ideas from differentiating sides of the sexual equation. Wasiu fires over Kaytranada’s downtempo instrumental with lines like “I can’t feel your love cause I’m numb to it.” With Valentine’s Day around the corner, “Physical” portrays the other side of opening one’s self up to another, a reminder that sometimes love is just lust in a nice package. The track is a smooth first offering from Waisu’s debut album, due this spring.
“Where I grew up made it so I’m able to understand things or view things from a lot of different perspectives,” says Wasiu, who raps with the dexterous singsong cadence of Mos Def and the cultural omniscience of Nas. His debut album funnels his life experiences into a culturally defining opus that balances both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives on human themes. “I’m showing what people view as both the good and the bad,” he says, “and how without the bad, you can’t have the good, and so you start to appreciate the bad… for the good.”
Listen to “Physical”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/physical-kaytranada/
Watch “Physical”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cj_6Ed6fjY
Check out the HotNewHipHop mp3 premiere: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/wasiu-physical-prod-by-kaytranada-new-song.1962518.html
Check out the Noisey video premiere: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/wasiu-physical-prod-kaytranada-video-premiere
For Wasiu, being a pariah has always been a constant. A child of divorce from a Nigerian Muslim father and Haitian Protestant-Christian mother, he was torn between worlds, seen by both communities as impure, and a “mixed breed”—not entirely Haitian, not quite Nigerian. Even though he’s Québecois (a Québec native), his immigrant parents tainted his claim to the province. Raised by his mother after his father moved to Toronto, he felt obliged to fit in with her side of the family. Resentments towards his father’s beliefs and culture led him to drop his father-given middle name—Wasiu—so that he wouldn’t be teased in his predominantly white school, where he battled black stereotypes by pushing his intellect past expectations.
”I wanted to fit in and didn’t want to feel like a stereotype, so I’d force myself to excel but make it seem like it was no sweat,” he says, “In a sense, I was assimilating myself to white Christian standards, and dropped my middle name to evade humiliation. That same name now is the one I use to represent myself, and it empowers my blackness due to its African origins.”
Overcoming adversity and using those lessons as lyrical fuel is Wasiu’s strongest suit. He is preparing his debut album which funnels his life experiences into a culturally defining opus that balances both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives on human themes. “I’m showing what people view as both the good and the bad,” he says, “and how without the bad, you can’t have the good, and so you start to appreciate the bad… for the good.”
Bio, photos, and streams available here: http://www.audibletreats.com/wasiu