Category: alternative hip-hop

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Genesis Owusu Shares Woozy and Anthemic “GTFO”

With the release of his debut EP, 2017’s Cardrive, the acclaimed and rising Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly established a reputation for being a restless, genre-blurring chameleon with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling. 

Cardrive EP garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NMEi-Dmixmag and others. Owusu supported the EP by opening for Dead PrezCol3traneSampa The GreatCosmo’s MidnightNonameAniméRuel and others in Australia. 

Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth was released last year. The album as the acclaimed Ghanian-Aussie artist explains is essentially about “performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly. Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people, who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.”

Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. CallinanTouch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wound up writing about three of Smiling With No Teeth‘s singles:

  • The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.
  • Gold Chains,” a brooding yet seamless synthesis of old school soul, G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, stuttering boom bap beats, squiggling blasts of guitar and the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist’s Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.” 
  • Same Thing,” a jolting and uneasy future funk banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, bursts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a propulsive bass line and infectious hook serving as a silky bed for Owusu’s alternating dexterous and densely worded bars and soulful crooning. But at its core is an unflinchingly honest — and necessary — view of mental health struggles. 

Last July, the Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay released the Missing Molars EP, a five-track accompaniment to his full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP material didn’t make the album — but further continue the soul-baring narrative of the album. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explains. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Adding to a breakthrough 2021, Owusu-Anash went on several sold-out tours, made his Stateside late night TV debut, and went on a successful run of dates across both the States and Europe. Smiling With No Teeth landed on several Best of Lists, including being named triple j’s Album of the Year. The album also earned four ARIA Awards, including Album of the Year, Hip Hop Release, Artwork and Independent Release. And the album was named triple j’s Album of the Year.

Owusu-Anash returns with the woozy and anthemic, Andrew Klippel, Dann Hume and Jono Ma-produced, “GTFO,” the first bit of new material since SWNT — and the album’s highly-anticipated follow up. Beginning with a looped warbling choir, wobbling bass serving as an ethereal and eerie bed for Owusu-Anash’s rapid fire flow, “GFTO” is built around in a alternating quiet-loud-quiet song structure that features a shout-along-worthy chorus paired with a marching beat and explosive cymbal crashes keeping time, and an analog instrumentation-driven hook. While further cementing his reputation for being an artist constantly experimenting with his sound and approach, the song finds the listener being thrown into the JOVM mainstay’s innermost thoughts and opinions with an unvarnished and unsettling honesty.

Directed by Uncle Friendly (a.k.a Rhett Wade-Ferrell), the accompanying video for “GTFO” opens with the Ghanian-Aussie artist trapping a cockroach before kneeling in prayer before a candle-lit shrine as he recites the song’s original lines. But the cockroach escapes and catches Owusu-Anash’s attention. And the rest of the video sees the rising artist being driven insane as he tries to hunt down and kill the insect, wreaking havoc to his apartment before finally killing the bug with a cricket bat.

“There are many people like Roach. Strugglers, doing whatever they can to get through hell and high water,” Owusu-Anash explains. “Bankruptcy, depression, sickness; God himself can try to stand in the way, but a struggler has to keep struggling. And a Roach has to keep Roaching. Even when it’s told to GTFO.”

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Genesis Owusu Shares a Frenetic New Ripper

2017’s  Cardrive EP saw Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly establishing himself as a perpetually restless, genre-blurring chameleon with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms. Cardive EP eventually garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NMEi-Dmixmag and others. Adding to a growing profile across Australia, Owusu has opened for Dead PrezCol3traneSampa The GreatCosmo’s MidnightNonameAniméRuel and others. 

Back in 2020, Owusu-Anash released a handful of highly-celebrated singles including the fiery mosh-pit friendly banger “Whip Cracker” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and here in the States on KCRWKUTXThe Current and Alt98. Those singles prominently appear on Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth.

Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. CallinanTouch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about three of Smiling With No Teeth‘s singles:

  • The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.
  • Gold Chains,” a brooding yet seamless synthesis of old school soul, G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, stuttering boom bap beats, squiggling blasts of guitar and the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist’s Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.” 
  • Same Thing,” a jolting and uneasy future funk banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, bursts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a propulsive bass line and infectious hook serving as a silky bed for Owusu’s alternating dexterous and densely worded bars and soulful crooning. But at its core is an unflinchingly honest — and necessary — view of mental health struggles. 

Owusu-Anash capped off an enormous 2021 with the Missing Molars EP, a five-track accompaniment to his critically applauded full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP material didn’t make the album — but further continue the soul-baring narrative of his debut. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explains. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Recently, Owusu-Anash made his Stateside, late night TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he performed SWNT standout single “Gold Chains” along with his backing band. 

And as you may recall, the Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay had to reschedule his January Stateside tour to March-April as a result of the Omicron variant. The rescheduled tour includes an April 2, 2022 stop at Bowery Ballroom. (As always, you can check out the tour dates below. And check out the following for tickets and more information: https://www.genesisowusu.com/tour)

in the lead up to his Stateside headlining tour, the acclaimed Ghanian-Aussie JOVM mainstay shared Smiling With No Teeth‘s sixth and latest single, “Black Dogs!” may arguably be the most post-punk/punk rock leaning song on the entire album. Centered around a propulsive and angular bass line, a relentless and forceful four on the four, twinkling and fluttering synths, bursts of angular guitar paired with Owusu-Anash’s angry snarls, “Black Dogs!” is a mosh pit friendly stomp, fueled by simmering rage. It’s a rage that’s deeply familiar to me as a Black man frequently in era white spaces: Maybe you don’t get abused by the police at all, but the constant microagression, the backhanded compliments, the outright insults get deep into your soul. For me, it often feels like life is a series of insults, of someone always saying “you ain’t shit.”

Directed by Daniela Federici, the accompanying visual for “Black Dogs!” is split between a sumptuous and cinematic black and white and vivid color and captures Owusu-Anash’s frenetic, captivating energy.

“I really wanted to capture the tension and the rising chaos of the song in video form, and Daniela Federici knew how to bring that energy in spades, but also in a really artful way,” Owusu-Anash says in press notes. Of “Black Dogs!,” he adds, ” “It’s a straight-to-the-point song encompassing a day in the life of me, or just any Black person in Australia. It’s not that I’m getting abused by police every day, but it’s all the little micro-aggressions. Sonically speaking, it plays into how I feel every day, going into white spaces and feeling a bit paranoid.” 

Live Footage: Genesis Owusu Performs “Gold Chains” on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

2017’s  Cardrive EP saw Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly establishing himself as a perpetually restless, genre-blurring chameleon with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms. Cardive EP eventually garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NMEi-Dmixmag and others. Adding to a growing profile across Australia, Owusu has opened for Dead PrezCol3traneSampa The GreatCosmo’s MidnightNonameAniméRuel and others. 

Back in 2020, Owusu-Anash released a handful of highly-celebrated singles including the fiery mosh-pit friendly banger “Whip Cracker” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and here in the States on KCRWKUTXThe Current and Alt98. Those singles prominently appear on Owusu-Anash’s critically applauded full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth.

Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay, if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. CallinanTouch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about three of Smiling With No Teeth‘s singles:

  • The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.
  • Gold Chains,” a brooding yet seamless synthesis of old school soul, G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, stuttering boom bap beats, squiggling blasts of guitar and the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist’s Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.” 
  • Same Thing,” a jolting and uneasy future funk banger centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats, bursts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar, a propulsive bass line and infectious hook serving as a silky bed for Owusu’s alternating dexterous and densely worded bars and soulful crooning. But at its core is an unflinchingly honest — and necessary — view of mental health struggles. 

Owusu-Anash capped off an enormous 2021 with the Missing Molars EP, a five-track accompaniment to his critically applauded full-length debut. Recorded during the Smiling With No Teeth sessions, the Missing Molars EP material didn’t make the album — but further continue the soul-baring narrative of his debut. “Missing Molars is an extension of Smiling With No Teeth,” Owusu-Anash explains. “A small collection of tracks from the SWNT sessions that take the already established world-building groundwork of the album, and expand that universe into new and unexplored places. These are all tracks that I felt were special in their own right and needed to be shared. This is music without boundaries.” 

Recently, Owusu-Anash made his Stateside, late night TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he performed SWNT standout single “Gold Chains” along with his backing band.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Evidence Releases a Contemplative Visual for “Pardon Me”

Born Micheal Taylor Perretta, the Los Angeles, CA-based emcee and producer Evidence has established himself as one of hip-hop’s most accomplished emcees and producers: as a solo artist and as a producer, Perretta has worked with Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Defari, Planet Asia, DJ Premier, WestsideGunn, Prodigy, Rapsody, Aloe Blacc, Action Bronson, Atmosphere’s Slug, Cypress Hill and a lengthy list of others. He won a Grammy for his co-production on Kanye West’s critically applauded, breakthrough debut album The College Dropout. He also has won two Juno Awards for his production work for Canadian hip-hop act Swollen Members. But he’s arguably best known for being a member of beloved hip-hop act Dilated Peoples with Rakaa Iriscience and DJ Babu.

Evidence has recorded and released five albums with his Dilated Peoples bandmates. As a solo artist, the Los Angeles-based emcee and producer has released three full-length albums, including 2018’s critically and commercially successful effort Weather Or Not and an EP. He has also released an album with The Alchemist as Step Brothers. Managing to remain busy, Evidence will be releasing his fourth full-length solo album Unlearning Vol. 1 through Rhymesayers on June 25, 2021.

Reportedly, the 14 track album pairs Evidence’s own production work with the likes of The Alchemist, Nottz, Sebb Bash, Animoss, Mr. Green, V Dom Daringer, Khrysis and QThree’s EARDRUM showcasing the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstay’s ability to collaborate with a wide and eclectic array of producers while still crafting a cohesive album. Additionally, the album features a small cast of guests that includes Boldy James, Conway The Machine, Fly Anakin, Navy Blue and Murkage Dave. Recently Evidence offered insight into the transition from Weather Or Not into the writing and recording of the material that would become Unlearning Vol 1: “I don’t feel like I’m Evidence, the character. I feel like I’m me,” he told DJ Booth, adding “I don’t mind evolving publicly.”

New Video: Homemade Weapons’ Drum ‘n’ Bass Remix of Clipping.’s “Wriggle”

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve managed to spill copious amounts of virtual ink covering the acclaimed Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio and JOVM mainstay act Clipping. The trio — production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson and frontperson Daveed Diggs — have been busy over the past couple of years: they released two critically applauded albums as part of planned diptych — 2019’s There Existed An Addiction to Blood and 2020’s Visions of Bodies Getting Burned — that found the act developing an abrasive and downright messy take on horrorcore, centered around an industrial aesthetic while lovingly twisting familiar genre and sub-genre tropes to fit their politics and thematic concerns: fear, the absurd, the uncanny and the seemingly unending struggle for an antiracist, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonialist world.

But I need to rewind a bit: 2016’s digital-only release Wriggle EP featured six tracks that weren’t finished in time to make it on the JOVM mainstay’s 2014 Sub Pop Records debut CLPPNG. Since its release, the EP has become a fan favorite with tracks like “Wriggle” and “Shooter” becoming staples of their live set. Interestingly, the members of Clipping will release the Wriggle EP as a newly remastered and expanded nine-track set on vinyl for the first time ever on July 9, 2021 — with a 10 track digital version officially dropping today.

The expanded version of Wriggle features the original versions of “Shooter,” “Hot Fuck No Love” feat. Cakes Da Killa and Maxi Wild, and “Our Time” feat. Nailah Middleton, along with “Back Up 2021” featuring SB The Moor and a new verse of industrial rap experimentalist Debby Friday. Additionally, the expanded version features previously remixes by drum ‘n’ bass/breakbeat act Homemade Weapons, Classicworks label co-founder Cardpusher, Dave Quam (formerly known as Massacooramaan) and a vinyl-only version of “Hot Fuck No Love” by footwork producer Jana Rush.

The expanded EP’s latest single is Homemade Weapons’ remix of “Wriggle.” The original was breakneck banger centered around a sample of Whitehouse’s influential power-electronica song “Wriggle Like a Fucking Eel,” skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Diggs’ dexterous, rapid-fire flow and forceful commands to wriggle like a snake or an eel. The Homemade Weapons remix is a minimalist drum ‘n’ bass take on the song, reducing the song to a chopped up and screwed vocal sample and densely layered staccato beats.

Directed by Cristina Bercovitz and Clipping’s Jonathan Snipes, the recently released video for “Wriggle (Homemade Weapons Remix)” features daytime and nighttime footage on Interstate 110, edited in a way so that the cars more in a glitchy fashion to the propulsive beats.

Live Footage: Clipping. on NPR Tiny Desk at Home SXSW

I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the acclaimed covering Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio and JOVM mainstay act Clipping. The trio — production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson and frontperson Daveed Diggs — released two critically applauded albums as part of a planned diptych that found them interpreting a hip-hop splinter sect through their own singular lens — horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and significant hip-hop sub-genre that flourished for a handful of years around the mid 1990s. The first part of the diptych, There Existed an Addiciton to Blood was partially inspired by Ganja & Hess, the 1973 vampire cult classic, regarded as one of the highlights of the Blaxploitation era — with the title derived from the film.

Of course, with horror films, sequels are pretty perfunctory and perhaps even obligatory. Last year’s Visions of Bodies Getting Burned manages to hew closely to the horror film sequel tradition with the JOVM mainstays retuning with an even higher body count, bloodier, more elaborate, gorier kills and as always, unrelenting monsters that just won’t ever stay dead. The 16 song album draws from an eclectic array of sources including Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker and Shirley Jackson, Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Developing an abrasive, angular and downright messy take on horrorcore, centered around an industrial and goth-like aesthetic, the members of Clipping. lovingly twist familiar genre and sub-genre tropes to fit their politics and thematic concerns — in particular, those that fit our current moment: fear, the absurd, the uncanny, and the seemingly unending struggling for an antiracist, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonialist world.

Traditionally, NPR Music participates in SXSW — typically through curating showcases and through covering the hundreds of showcases and sets performed at the annual festival. Last year, the festival was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year, the festival reconvened as an online festival with pre-recorded livestreams. NPR programed a virtual stage of Tiny Desk (at home) concerts, filmed in various locations and full of surprises and Easter eggs, which were presented on the festival’s final day.

The JOVM mainstays took part, offering one of the most unique, surreal and innovative Tiny Desk (at home) sessions I’ve ever seen with the trio emphasizing both an in-your-face, close-up intimacy and tininess with the trio performing with extremely tiny instruments and microphones. And at some point, one of the members of the trio even drinks a tiny beer. Clipping.’s NPR Tiny Desk (at home) session features material from their last two albums, as well as 2016’s Wriggle EP and their debut mixtape, 2013’s midcity performed with even more menacing and uneasy productions that continue to display Diggs’ rapid-fire and clever wordplay — all while being disorienting.

New Video: Genesis Owusu’s Shimmering and Brooding “Gold Chains”

With the release of his debut, 2017’s Cardrive EP, the rapidly rising Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly established himself as a perpetually restless, genre-blurring chameleon with a defiant, difficult to pigeonhole sound an approach and an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms. Cardrive eventually garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NME, i-D, mixmag and others. And adding to a growing profile, Owusu has opened for the likes of Dead Prez, Col3trane, Sampa The Great, Cosmo’s Midnight, Noname, Animé, Ruel and others in Australia.

Last year, the rising Ghanian-born, Aussie-based artist released a handful of highly-celebrated singles including the fiery mosh-pit friendly banger “Whip Cracker” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and here in the States on KCRW, KUTX, The Current and Alt98.

“Whip Cracker” and “Don’t Need You” will be on Owusu-Anash’s forthcoming 15 song Andrew Klippel-produced full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth. Slated for a March 5, 2021 release through House Anxiety/Ourness, Smiling With No Teeth reportedly sees the rising Ghanian-born, Aussie artist further honing and developing his genre-confounding sound and approach while charting the epic peaks and troughs of mental health struggles and his experience as a black man in a very white world that hates him — often for no particular reason. Much of the album’s material is centered round raw punk rock-like and hip-hop-like energy while routinely veering into industrial, punk, funk, trip hop and pop, sometimes within the same song. And as a result. the album’s brash and defiant material is seemingly dedicated to those who boldly refused to be boxed into stereotypes or cultural norms, and those who fit in everywhere and nowhere.

“Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. Callinan, Touch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion‘s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel.

Late last year, I wrote about “The Other Black Dog,” a mind-bending production that meshed alternative hip-hop, industrial clang, clatter, rattle and stomp, off-kilter stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios that was roomy enough for Owusu-Anash’s breathless, rapid-fire and dense flow. Managing to balance club friendliness with sweaty, mosh pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into madness that reminds me of the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the menace of DMX.

“Gold Chains,” Smiling With No Teeth’s fourth and latest single is a brooding and seamless synthesis of old school soul, strutting and swaggering G Funk and Massive Attack-like trip hop. Centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, a sinuous bass line, stuttering boom bap beats and squiggling blasts of guitar, “Gold Chains” finds the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist adopting a sort of Mos Def/Yasiin Bey-like delivery, alternating between spitting dense and dexterous bars and crooning with an achingly tender falsetto. “‘Gold Chains’ got me thinking about the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product, and public misconceptions about how luxurious that is,” Owusu-Anash explains in press notes. “Lyrically, it set the tone for the rest of the album.”

Directed by frequent visual collaborator Riley Blakeway, the recently released video for “Gold Chains” alternates between luxurious and glossy, 70s inspired glam, glitter and commodities and a behind-the-scenes look at desperation and loneliness. The cars, gold, money and fame are empty and phony — and ironically only add to the protagonist’s increasing dissatisfaction with everything, including himself. “The video is about the hollowness of a lot of the things we hold as idols,” the rising Ghanian-born, Canberra-based artist told The Fader. “The shiny things that get made to look like goals from the outside looking in, but in reality won’t be the source of happiness that we’d hoped for. The gold chains become shackles.”

New Video: Rising Ghanian-born Aussie-based Artist Genesis Owusu Peers into Madness

With the releases of his debut effort, 2017’s Cardrive EP, which garnered an ARIA Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Release and praise from Sir Elton John (!), NME, i-D, mixmag and others, the rapidly rising Ghanian-born, Canberra, Australia-based, , 20-something artist Genesis Owusu — born Kofi Owusu-Anash — quickly developed a reputation for being a maverick presence with an ability to conjure powerful and deeply personal storytelling in diverse forms, centered around a genre-defying sound and approach that’s uniquely his own. Adding to a growing profile, Owusu has opened for the likes of Dead Prez, Col3trane, Sampa The Great, Cosmo’s Midnight, Noname, Animé, Ruel and others in Australia.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Owusu-Anash has released a handful of highly-celebrated singles over the past year, which have included “Whip Cracker,” and the ARIA Award-nominated smash hit “Don’t Need You,” which quickly became the #1 most played song on triple J radio — and since then has received airplay in the UK on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and recently here in the States on KCRW, KUTX, The Current and Alt98.

“Whip Cracker” and “Don’t Need You” will be prominently featured on Owusu-Anash’s forthcoming 15 song Andrew Klippel-produced full-length debut Smiling With No Teeth. Slated for a March 5, 2021 release through House Anxiety/Ourness, Smiling With No Teeth reportedly sees the rising Ghanian-born, Aussie artist further honing and developing his genre-confounding sound and approach while charting the epic peaks of troughs of mental health struggles and his experience as a black man in a very white world. Centered around raw hip-hop energy, the material routinely veers into industrial, punk, funk and pop, sometimes within the same song. And as a result, the album’s brash and defiant material is dedicated to those who boldly refuse to be boxed in by stereotypes or cultural norms, or at the very least, don’t feel that they fit in anywhere.

“Smiling With No Teeth is performing what the world wants to see, even if you don’t have the capacity to do so honestly,” Owusu explains in press notes. “Slathering honey on your demons to make them palatable to people who only want to know if you’re okay if the answer is yes. That’s the idea, turned into beautiful, youthful, ugly, timeless and strange music.” Each of the album’s 15 tracks can trace their origins back to studio jam sessions with a backing band that features Kirin J. Callinan, Touch Sensitive’s Michael DiFrancesco, World Champion’s Julian Sudek and the album’s producer Andrew Klippel.

“The Other Black Dog,” Smiling With No Teeth’s third and latest single is a cinematic take on contemporary alternative hip-hop, industrial music and pop centered around Owusu-Anash’s breathlessly rapid-fire delivery and barking, and an industrial stomp featuring off-kilter, stuttering beats and wobbling synth arpeggios. Somehow managing to balance dance floor friendliness with a sweaty mosh-pit energy, the song is a full-throttled nosedive into the hell of madness that brings the drug and booze fueled chaos of ODB, and the fury and menace of DMX to mind. Thematically, the single finds the rising Canberra-based artist giving the fearsome inner and outer demons he lives with and informs his life, the “black dogs,” a name. “The track explores the internal struggle between a hopeful spirit of endurance, and a gnashing black hole of ugliness,” Owusu-Anash explains. “One is me, and the other is also me.”

Directed by Riley Blakeway, the recently released video for “The Other Black Dog” brings the track’s kinetic and forceful menace to vividly nightmarish life: the video finds the rising Aussie artist running for his life along a deserted, night time road, desperately trying to outrun a relentless and evil version of himself and the demons that feed off his fear and insecurities. The video suggests something deeply fearful and disconcerting that we all know but don’t want to admit: there’s no escape from the devils that torment our hearts and souls — and there’s no escape from the devils that torment us in our daily lives. You can run but you can never hide.