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Otis Mensah – Rap Poetics

“Grand Finale Funeral Show” is part of Otis Mensah‘s 6 track release “Rap Poetics“. Here Mensah successfully combines topical references and lamented commentary with warm, vintage production – intelligent, creative lyrical content shines behind vocals delivered with absolute conviction.

Absolutely everything seems absolutely fucked – doesn’t it? – This is reflected in numerous current releases but to differing effect. Although usually well-intentioned – artists are having a crack at social commentary despite a lack of any valuable creative insight. Offering up a political or social stance solely as a marketing tool for musical success is clearly morally unethical, and there’s nothing worse than a lecture from the ill-informed and the uncreative. Otis Mensah isn’t jumping on a band wagon here. He’s not inserting token social commentary to generate Facebook likes – he means every word and it’s tastefully considered, unpretentious, interesting and delivered with endearing passion.

The way song structure is used is refreshing when most Independent artists are pandering to an audience with blown out concentration spans. Single ‘Grand Finale Funeral Show’ has no defined chorus and instead presents catchy unsung and sung vocal hooks one after another, offering the listener what might potentially be repeated catchy sing-a-longs but never delivering a second time around. This serves this single well and encourages multiple listens.

“Rap poetics” is full of of warm, jazzy basslines and textured, rich drum sounds. Motown-esque string shrills, keys, chimes, bells and white-noise vinyl crackle all strike well against Mensah’s darker contemplations. Well worth a look in.