One of the UK’s most exciting hip-hop artists, Otis Mensah pushes the envelope with every release. His new EP, Rap Poetics, is as surprising and challenging as ever, developing the conceptualism, intelligence, and artistry that we’ve come to expect from the rapper and Poet Laureate of Sheffield.
The EP explores rap as an intellectual art-form and style of poetry in the face of a white-washed, elitist art world. Focusing on the power of vulnerability and artistic expression as emotional communication, Rap Poetics is an ode to art-as-activism in the face of oppressive structures.
Mensah’s eloquent flows are filled with candor, humour, and razor-sharp wit, with production by Berlin-based producer the intern providing the boom-bap and jazz-hop backdrop.
In the lead single, ‘Grand Finale Funeral Show’, Mensah declares himself the bearer of bad news. A double-sided mirror, from the pews, it reflects the unhealthy adjustments that people make to fit into a hierarchical and materialistic society. On the stage, the mirror sees Mensah juggling the pressures and expectations of a contemporary artist.
Ever championing the cultural value of hip-hop, you can catch Mensah presenting a lecture on hip-hop and philosophy at the University of Sheffield on November 7.