Ghania born Genesis Owusu takes aim at cultural appropriation on the funk-disguised track 'Wit' Da Team', produced by Callum Connor.
Way back in January, we picked Canberra-via-Ghania rapper/producer/performer GENESIS OWUSU as an artist to watch - and boy howdy, has he proven us right! Exhibit B in our thesis titled 'Why You Should Be Paying Attention To Genesis Owusu' comes in the form of his latest cut 'Wit' Da Team', a track of biting commentary under the guise of a slick retro-funk banger produced by Callum Conner of Free Nationals.
From his breakout hit 'Sideways' to his previous 'Awomen, Amen', Genesis Owusu has cemented himself as a driving force in of Aussie hip-hop's new wave, not only for his ability to produce an utterly unique sound, but for how he uses his music as a vehicle to tackle the world around him. Where 'Awomen, Amen' saw him confronting his masculinity, 'Wit' Da Team' takes a powerful stance on cultural appropriation - "more specifically the exploitation of black culture along with the simultaneous neglect of black people," says Genesis. "The song is disguised as a funky party track because you catch more flies with honey."
Channelling a mix of retro-funk and the greatest of Outkast slappers, 'Wit' Da Team' doesn't fail to deliver it's party track vibe. Crisp percussion, sharp slap bass, jazzy keys and tinny guitar noodling luxuriate in the background while Genesis alternates from multi-tracked falsetto harmonies to a soulful lower register. Underneath the laid-back atmosphere is a finger firmly pointed at those who poach the culture of people of colour in the name of fashion.
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In a time where people are happy to engage with the culture of people of colour while ignoring the prejudices and oppression they still face today, 'Wit' Da Team' is a vitally important track. Genesis Owusu has proven once again that he has the chops to not only produce an impeccable funk cut, but use his music as a means to shine a spotlight on something truly significant. If you've yet to hear the magic that is Genesis Owusu, there's no time like the present.
Photo by JOSEPH CRACKETT
Words by MAX LEWIS