In a world where people are rightfully being held to account for discrimination in all its forms, it seems politically-charged music is finding its way back into the forefront of the charts and our minds. We only need to look at tracks like Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ to realise the power of art to start conversations on sensitive issues – and it certainly helps if the track is a banger too.
Australian-Ghanain hip-hop sensation Genesis Owsusu is clearly a believer in this idea. ‘Awomen Amen’ is a potent homage to women in his life and their importance in forming his identity. “Awomen, Amen is not a love song. It is an ode to the female in all of her grace, elegance, nastiness, power, rebellion, boldness and ferocity.” Owusu says.
“I didn’t write this song as one of the ‘Nice Guys’. I didn’t write it to show everyone that I’m the perfect man, who has never disrespected a woman in his life, or to be the poster boy ‘male feminist’. I have been gross and misogynistic before – I’ve been a teenage boy. Sometimes I still have to catch myself from being susceptible to my inherent male conditioning.”
It’s a refreshingly honest take on the male gaze that also includes an excerpt from a speech originally given by anti-slave speaker Sojourner Truth at a Women’s convention in 1851, titled ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ delivered by Owusu’s Zimbabwean friend from high school, Abi Maminimini. The quote is sandwiched by verses that highlight the rappers silky, effortless flow and is a fittingly powerful addition to the track.
Genesis Owusu is currently on a national tour with Cosmo’s Midnight (info here).