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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 7: “Radio Raheem” is the Most Woke Song Out

Peace.

With all of the coonin’ going on with black celebrities scared to speak up for the oppressed, the latest single from Otayo Dubb (@tayodub), titled “Radio Raheem”, gives life to all of the real ones out there. I wrote a few volumes back about what defines a real emcee, and Otayo displays his real emcee bona fides from beginning to end on this track that he both wrote and produced.

Within the first few seconds, you know the beat is going to be a neck-snapper. And once the beat drops, you think to yourself, “I knew it!” as you bob your head to this rhythmic masterpiece. But the lyrics are just as dope as the beat!

If I were to try and extract the thesis of the song, I’d say it could be found in these lines:

“They love it when it’s straight and smooth,
They hate it when it’s nappy.
Love when you’re just singing.
Hate it when you’re just rappin.”

Originally, Otayo was going to release the song as part of a full-length album. Then Bill Nunn, the actor who played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s classic film Do the Right Thing, passed away and Otayo felt he should release the single now to honor the iconic actor.

The brilliance of the track is it’s take off from Radio Raheem’s philosophy on the polar forces of love and hate. Otayo takes that framing and applies it to the pressure society places on the oppressed to view the world in a way that will reinforce their oppression.

One of my favorite quotes in life is “Through whose eyes do you see the world?” One of the biggest tricks played by mass media is to make the masses see the world through the eyes of an ill-intentioned select few—and this is especially true in Hip Hop. Otayo’s bars are pure heat, delivered from the worldview of a man on the side of the oppressed.

Stay woke.

If you want to hear music from dope underground emcees, be sure to check out the Vaytus app in the iOS App Store.

Music for the Rest of Us is an exploration of dope music made with artistic integrity— music that’s about something more than just the turn up. Written by Aniefre Essien.

By Aniefre Essien

Aniefre is a Los Angeles native with varied interests ranging from the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira to an undying love of Lakers basketball, even in the lean years. He's an alum of both San Francisco State University (BS) and the University of Michigan (MBA), and is a firm believer in education as its own reward.