MP3: Wasiu – “Gros Lysick (Freestyle)”
Premiered by HYPETRAK, the 24-Year-Old Montreal Rapper Pays Homage To Notorious B.I.G., Freestyling Over a Familiar Isley Brothers Sample
In honor of Notorious B.I.G.‘s death anniversary on March 9th, 24-year-old Montreal rapper Wasiu paid homage with his “Gros Lysick” freestyle, which debuted via HYPETRAK. Rapping atop Jim Jones‘ “Summer Wit Miami” beat, which samples the Isley Brothers‘ “Between the Sheets,” a sample that was popularly used in Biggie’s “Big Poppa,” Wasiu flips a rendition of the “Big Poppa” chorus after rapping “rest in peace to the ruler of the East.”
Wasiu is young, but he speaks with a wisdom beyond his years. Last week, Okayplayer premiered “Blkkkout,” which followed Wasiu’s fiery Nez & Rio-produced “Stereo Type” single, debuted by EARMILK. As the son of first generation Haitian and Nigerian parents growing up in Montreal, Wasiu used a combination of his own experiences and general stereotypes to spit racist lyrics from the first person perspective of a racist white man. Prior to “Stereo Type,” Wasiu shared his first video single, “Physical,” which was produced by Kaytranada. The track premiered with HotNewHipHop and its accompanying visual released via Noisey.
“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 forthcoming 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 “Gros Lysick”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/gros-lysick-freestyle
Check out the HYPETRAK premiere: http://hypetrak.com/2015/03/wasiu-biggie-smalls-freestyle/
Please contact Michelle or Rory if interested in talking with Wasiu.
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.”
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“Gros Lysick”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/gros-lysick-freestyle
“Physical”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cj_6Ed6fjY / https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/physical-kaytranada/
Bio, photos, and streams available here: http://www.audibletreats.com/wasiu