Gather ’round kids..
Is it safe to assume that Toronto has a factory where they make artists? Gyasi (pronounced JAY-see) is no different as the Toronto rapper drops off his latest EP, ‘Episode 1’. Consider this to be similar to an audiobook for a TV show with just six tracks for its pilot season. The scene takes places on the train as Gyasi and Co converse about society, relationships and the mentality of the people around them. The two friends ride the train through Jane & Finch. This neighborhood is notorious for its violence and crime, yet it shaped Gyasi into the artist he is today.
“You gotta, you gotta really fight to see yourself in a different light than how we are portrayed” – Intro
For Black people and people of color, this statement holds a disappointing truth. Representation is integral to cultivating the self worth and self esteem of our people. Discussions like the one we hear in ‘Episode 1’ place us in the right direction, but afterwards, action must follow. Gyasi takes action by presenting with this body of work that merely begins to scratch the surface.
New state of mind, new perception of self
‘Episode 1’ moves through a selection of different sounds. The easy bopping trap sound like we hear in “Really” to more dimensional beats and lyrics like in “Madonna” or “Why Me?” We hear soul samples mixed with trap hats and even a small audio bite of Drake. What I find most enjoyable about this project is the seamless incorporation of the many moving parts. The topics of discussion paired with excellent lyrics and crisp production form a full piece of work, regardless of length. Well done, Gyasi.
Listen to ‘Episode 1’ below