MP3: Wasiu – “Picture Imperfect” (Prod. by A$AP P On The Boards)
With Production From A$AP P, the Montreal Rapper Explores Hardships and Superficial Smiles on “Picture Imperfect,” Debuted by Exclaim!
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 has exhibited a desire to creatively tackle a variety of topics, and he raps about them in a way that proves he’s a more-than-formidable emcee.” – HYPETRAK
A child of divorce from a Nigerian Muslim father and Haitian Protestant-Christian mother, Wasiu explores suppressed anger, frustration, and other turmoil in “Picture Imperfect,” the latest single from his yet-to-be-titled debut album that’s slated to drop this summer. “The two main characters in this song are forced to smile for the camera while baring the weights of being in an abusive relationship for one and battling addiction for the other,” Wasiu explained to Exclaim! in their premiere post. “The overall theme of masking your pain in order to preserve face really hits home. Growing up in a divorced home it seemed like the number one goal was to make sure that everyone on the outside thought that everything was great on the inside, even if it killed us.”
First introduced in January with his Kaytranada-produced video single “Physical,” Wasiu has gone on to show a range of politically-charged, socially conscious, and self-confident rhymes. His hard-hitting single “Bout 02 Blow,” which features production by V X N Y L, premiered via Pigeons & Planes, who stated, “There comes a time in every young artist’s career when it feels like the stars are finally beginning to align and making everything fall right into place. It’s right when their name is starting to create a buzz and they know their time to shine is rapidly approaching. Wasiu’s ‘Bout 02 Blow’ is the result of just that.” The 24 year-old rapper has also been hailed “the hip-hop voice of Montreal” by i-D.
With his visceral, aggressive, in-your-face music that speaks on both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives of human themes, Wasiu is coming up as one of Montreal’s most eccentric voices. “My music is empowerment, and defeat. It’s the whole spectrum,” he explains. “My music is a reflection of the human experience and condition, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the ugliness behind what’s beautiful, the beauty behind what’s ugly, or just the duality nature of the universe.”
Listen to “Picture Imperfect”: https://soundcloud.com/w-a-s-i-u/picture-imperfect-produced-by-aap-p-on-the-boards/
Check out the Exclaim! premiere: http://exclaim.ca/Music/article/wasiu-picture_imperfect
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.”
“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