Album: Wasiu – MTLiens 2
The Montreal Rapper Recruits Kaytranada, High Klassified, and Soulection’s Da-P for His Second Full-Length Release.
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
A skilled rhyming technician and excellent conceptual thinker, Montreal rapper Wasiu makes forward-thinking rap music with a message. After a consistent stream of single releases, Wasiu releases his MTLiens 2 project. The sequel to his debut release, MTLiens 2 taps an all-star cast of producers from Wasiu’s hometown, including Kaytranada, High Klassified (The Weeknd, Future), and Soulection’s Da-P. Features are limited to hometown heroes including KNLO and Lou Phelps, as Wasiu puts on for his hometown, its rich underground music scene, and all of its intricacies.
The standout track from MTLiens 2, “Tabula Rasa,” also came out today, premiered via Billboard. Wasiu floats over the crisp Kaytranada production effortlessly, as he details his paralyzing experiences with writer’s block. Talking about the track, Wasiu says: “Every writer’s worst fear is losing the ability they worked to perfect their entire life. There’s nothing scarier than blankly staring at a blank sheet of paper which is reflecting your uninspired blank mind. This is when stress, doubt, and anxiety start to seep in and fill-up the empty space. That’s when my mind isn’t blank anymore – Rather it’s full of shit that further hinders the writing process. Instead of sulking in my misery I decided to go out in search of inspiration. Still I couldn’t find the right topic for this Kaytra beat, and those negative thoughts started creeping in again. Then, it hit me. I’ll write about not being able to write. The song basically wrote itself after that epiphany and Tabula Rasa is the result.”
A fierce ambassador for his hometown’s art scene, Wasiu recently shared two singles that captured different aspects of Montreal. Most reccently, Wasiu shared the “Artbeat Cypher,” a single dedicated to ArtBeat Montreal, a society that gathers Canada’s best producers to show off their best beats and one of the pillars of the MTL underground. Earlier, Wasiu shared“Cigarettes & Poutine,” another Montreal-themed single, premiered by Highsnobiety, focusing more on the sights and smells of Montreal during a late night out. 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. Watch out for MTLiens 2, Wasiu’s next full album, coming later this year.
Listen to “Tabula Rasa” (prod. Kaytranada): https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/tabularasa
Check out the Billboard premiere: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8014888/wasis-new-song-tabula-rasa-kaytranada
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.”
“Tabula Rasa” (Prod. Kaytranada): https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/tabularasa
“Angry Black Man” (Prod. by High Klassified): https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/angryblackman/
“Artbeat Cypher” ft. KNLO & Lou Phelps (Prod. by Shash’U): https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/artbeat/s-f5q0D
“Cigarettes & Poutine” (prod. by Planet Giza): https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/cigarettes-poutine-ft-basics-prod-planet-giza
“No Jumper”: https://youtu.be/zsF3pVxmzaU
“Daddy Issues”: https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/daddy-issues/
“Snow Mexican”: https://soundcloud.com/afrowasiu/snowmexican30
“P.K. Subban”: https://soundcloud.com/thisisjuspop/wasiu-pk-subban/
“Outer Space”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW3Ia_6ycxM
“Good Girl”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/goodgirl/
“I Got It”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/igotit
“Picture Imperfect”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/picture-imperfect-produced-by-aap-p-on-the-boards/
“I Know” (Remix): https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/i-know-remix/s-0BIOt
“Gros Lysick”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/gros-lysick-freestyle
Bio, photos, and streams available here: http://www.audibletreats.com/wasiu