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Audio: Kobi Onyame Rolls In The Green Green Grasses

Listen to UK rapper Kobi Onyame's "Green Green Grasses" featuring M3nsa.

Included recently in the Scottish Sun’s "Ones to Watch" list of 2011, Kobi Onyame, (b. Kwame Barfour-Osei) is a Ghanaian/UK hip-hop producer and artist, who draws his influences from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Talib Kweli. His new album "Green Green Grasses" shows off the multicultural influences he has developed over the years as a result of his dual nationalities and American hip-hop influence. The album's title track fuses highlife guitars with modern day hip-hop rhythms and features fellow Ghanaian artist M3nsa. Onyame may sound like fellow UK rapper Dizzee Rascal, but his beats have more of a welcome familiarity to them while also incorporating hints of his Ghanaian roots. Take a listen to the title track "Green Green Grasses" below, and get the album off iTunes here.


Green Green Grasses ft. M3nsa

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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