By Jack Barnes
Flexing his rhyming prowess over innovative instrumentals from his hometown’s best producers, Montreal rapper Wasiu brings complex concepts to life through his music. Telling a tale of a complex relationship with mythological imagery over a halting electronic production courtesy of Soulection’s Da-P, Wasiu shows his talent on “Odyssey.” Directed by Maxime Deroschers, the video is rife with mythological and religious symbol, finding Wasiu relaxing in his castle and disturbed by the presence of a beautiful woman. Enjoy this video stream below after the jump.
While the woman begins the video as pure and innocent, she becomes a succubus as she plunges into a dark liquid, turning Wasiu’s dream into a nightmare and leaving him a husk of his former self. Premiered by ELEVATOR, “Odyssey” is a highlight from MTLiens 2, Wasiu’s recent album. Featuring an all-star cast of producers from Montreal, including Kaytranada, High Klassified (The Weeknd, Future, as well as guest appearances from hometown heroes including KNLO and Lou Phelps, MTLiens 2 is a tribute to and product of Montreal’s rich underground music scene and all of its intricacies.
Explains Wasiu, “This song is the modern day epic voyage Inspired by Mos Def’s ‘Ms. Fat Booty’ and the Ancient Greek poem ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer. I took my favorite parts from those two amazing stories and made my own tale about taking a long trip across the city and getting seduced by a goddess. Will I ever return? I might get lost on this journey and drown in an ocean of sinful bliss. If I die spread my cautionary tale across the land in the form an infectious song, with the siren-esque properties of Da-P’s beat. In the video version, the journey takes the form in many parables: a race throughout my mind, the path to unity with what you think someone was but is not, a woman’s path to vengeance, a man’s path to getting betrayed, a set-up, a man’s journey to his casket, and other things. Curiosity killed the cat, since it took me too long to break from the spell of mesmerization… As I sit there, helplessly, the beautiful demon sucks my soul while my body is left to decay into a corpse. I guess my soul took a trip in her, and now I’m lost forever, unable to return to my body. I’m under her possession.”
A fierce ambassador for his hometown’s art scene, Wasiu’s music captures different aspects of Montreal’s distinctive scene. In September, 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. With Snow Mexican and MTLiens 2, Wasiu establishes himself as one of his city and country’s premier rap talents, able to go bar for bar with anyone North or South of the 54th parallel.
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Props to ELEVATOR