“Don’t Be Scared.” The track title, though seen as an injunction, invites us to enter the frozen suburbs of Ottawa.
Following on from the streets of Port Harcourt in the rapper’s native Nigeria on “Wide Awake,” Asuquomo now depicts a darker corner of his world in a stunning visual: the icy world of Ottawa. A multidisciplinary Nigerian-Canadian artist, Asuquomo performs through the visual arts as well as music. His latest EP, Diobu, released in June, is an Afro-spiritual arrangement with a clear objective: providing truth with substance and elevating immigrant communities through wordplay. For the substance he’s given to the immigrant experience, the rapper recently received the 2020 Emerging Artist Award from the Ottawa Arts Council and RBC.
The haunting, avant-garde visuals depict a kind of shadow magic that symbolizes a universe in which Asuquomo evolves. It comes at a time when the world expresses itself through viral videos with few words, and it can sometimes feel easy to cut corners on reality. Asuquomo asks us to not simply be spectators of these videos, but to venture further and see for ourselves, without being scared. It’s about living the experience of Ottawa’s immigrants in a dark and spiritually haunting universe. This time we get more warm drums, mixed with grime influences and progressive rap fusions. Asuquomo sees the pan-African movement from less of an Afrobeat perspective, in order to make its lyricism heard worldwide.
For those unfamiliar with his work, the rapper has launched his new project, O.T. Riddim, a short 4-track mixtape with two new songs, “Unceded” and “Don’t Be Scared,” that showcase his lyricism and endurance. Asuquomo isa Canadian artist that everyone should be looking to right now.