Single: Wasiu – “ArtBeat Cypher” ft. Lou Phelps & KNLO (Prod. by Shash’U)

Wasiu Pays Tribute to the PIU PIU Rap Scene in His Hometown on This Bass-Heavy, HipHopDX-Premiered Single from the Upcoming MTLiens 2


Critical Praise for Wasiu:

“Wasiu is the hip-hop voice of Montreal.” – i-D

“The young Montreal rapper has been working steadily to make a name for himself and it looks like he’s on the right track.” – Pigeons & Planes

“Wasiu is another one to look out for this year.” – Complex

“Many rappers twice his age would be wise to take notes…” – Okayplayer

“Wasiu is pretty much the embodiment of Montreal’s cultural shift.” – Noisey

“Wasiu is a rapper in a league of his own” – High Snobiety

The Single:

A prodigious rhymesmith with an excellent ear for beats, Wasiu is one of Montreal’s premier underground heroes. The dedicated scenester is a frequent collaborator with creative people from his hometown, going in on the innovative instrumentals by the city’s acclaimed producers. On “Artbeat Cypher,” Wasiu’s latest single, the rapper pays tribute to the scene and shines a spotlight on some of the town’s lesser-known talents. Beginning with a quote from a KAYTRANADA interview at Red Bull Music Academy, “Artbeat Cypher” is first and foremost dedicated to ArtBeat Montreal, a society that gathers Canada’s best producers to show off their best beats. Produced by Shash’U, the track is a spacey, bass-heavy banger, tailor-made for blasting at full volume on great headphones. Featuring appearances from Lou Phelps (KAYTRANADA’s brother) and KNLO (whom Kaytra shouts out in the opening statement), the track is a loose, punchline-filled effort that mirrors the best moments at Artbeat–creative people letting loose, engaging in friendly competition, and making dope music. The HipHopDX-premiered track is the latest single from MTLiens 2, Wasiu’s upcoming album.

“This song is a tribute to everyone who was a part of Montreal’s pivotal PIU PIU movement,” explains Wasiu. “It’s me, Lou Phelps and Montreal Legend producer/rapper KenLo in the crowd at an ArtBeat show spitting in a cypher over one of Shash’U’s cuts. For those who don’t know, KenLo and Shash’U are two OG’s who influenced many local Montreal producers. Kaytra did a special on BBC Radio for Benji B explaining how they both inspired him. Obviously, Lou Phelps and I are part of the new generation of this Montreal rap stuff, so it’s like a dope mix of OG’s and youngins on this track. All in all, it’s a tribute to the movement that started at ArtBeat, with producers and rappers showing off and creating buzz for themselves and the city.”

Earlier this month, Wasiu sharedCigarettes & Poutine,” another Montreal-themed single, premiered by Highsnobiety. In the wake of his hero Jay-Z releasing his new album 4:44, Wasiu doubled up Jay-Z’s classic “22 Two’s” into 44:4 (44 Four’s) using 44 variations of the words “for” and “four” in two and a half minutes. The video, premiered by Mass Appeal, playfully brings the concept to life, with the Afro-Canadian rapper emceeing in a large amphitheater, generating a clone of himself every time he says a variation of “4.” Earlier this Summer, Wasiu released Snow Mexican, an accomplished, politically charged EP. Inspired by a fake (yet believable) Donald Trump tweet and stuffed with innovative electronic production from the likes of Tommy Kruise, Dear Lola, and others, Snow Mexican finds Wasiu exploring what it means to be an outsider–approaching issues from the perspective of an African in Canada, an English-speaker in a French-speaking city, and a Canadian trying to make it in the American rap industry.  In the past year, Wasiu performed at SXSW, The Montreal Jazz Fest, POP Montreal, and Canadian Music Week, and opened for Little SimzJazz CartierBADBADNOTGOODGrandmaster FlashDead ObiesSean Leon, and others. Watch out for MTLiens 2, Wasiu’s next full album, coming later this year.

Listen to “Artbeat Cypher”:

Check out the HipHopDX premiere:

Please contact Michelle or Dharmic if interested in talking with Wasiu.

The Background:

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.

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.”


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“Artbeat Cypher” ft. KNLO & Lou Phelps (Prod. by Shash’U):

“Cigarettes & Poutine” (prod. by Planet Giza):

“44:4 (44 Four’s)” (prod. by jamvvis): //

Snow Mexican EP: // //…d1245841847?l=fr

“No Jumper”:


“Daddy Issues”:

“Snow Mexican”:

“P.K. Subban”:

“Outer Space”:

“Good Girl”:

“No Chance”:

“I Got It”:

“Picture Imperfect”:

“Bout 02 Blow”: //

“Many Dreams”:

“I Know” (Remix):

“Gros Lysick”:


“Stereo Type”:

“Physical”: /

Bio, photos, and streams available here: