MP3: Wasiu x Thomas White x Dear Lola – “I Know” (Remix)
Following a Series of Single Releases, the 24 Year-Old Rapper Collaborates with RAW Records Artists to Drop Remix, Debuted via Complex
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. Nigerian and Haitian, Quebec-bred rapper Wasiu released his remix of RAW Records founders/artists Thomas White and Dear Lola‘s “I Know” after bubbling with a series of single releases, preparing for the drop of his album later this spring. The track, which premiered via Complex, is about lusting over a girl who is detrimental to your life. “She’s like a bad drug,” Wasiu explained, adding, “She interferes with the other aspects of your life, and you become obsessive over her. You’re not even in a relationship with her, but whenever she hits you up, you fall for that lust again and put everything else on hold.”
The original track released in February in Thomas White and Dear Lola’s collaborative EP and the duo recently brought out Wasiu to a live set for a performance of the remix. Wasiu fires over the glistening production, rapping, “Tried to get away but she wouldn’t leave my thoughts/ Always get they way ’cause they cage you with the box.” Wasiu previously released his “Gros Lysick” freestyle via HYPETRAK, paying homage to Notorious B.I.G. This followed the premiere of his single “Blkkkout,” which debuted via Okayplayer, who stated that “Waisu puts on a lesson in rising tension that many rappers twice his age would be wise to take notes on.” His first video single, “Physical,” was produced by Kaytranada and premiered via Noisey after the audio premiere with HotNewHipHop. With this momentum, Wasiu is helping place Montreal on the hip-hop map.
Wasiu is preparing his yet-to-be-titled debut album, which funnels his life experiences into a culturally defining opus that balances both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives on human themes. “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. “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 “I Know” (Remix): https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/i-know-remix/s-0BIOt
Check out the Complex premiere: http://www.complex.com/music/2015/03/wasiu-new-song-premiere-i-know-remix-feat-thomas-white-dear-lola
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.”
“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