With his ongoing ...Exists project, hip-hop poet Otis Mensah offers 10 powerfully charged singles that provide illuminating observations on our existence. Accompanied by original animations by Sheffield illustrator Jim Spendlove, the series provides a profound and observational voice for the young generation.
The radical storyteller and self-described 'rap-psalmist' is first the hip-hop artist to be awarded a poet laureate title in the UK. Through vulnerable expression and his unique style of powerful spoken word, Mensah sheds light on the existential commonalities we all experience.
The #OtisMensahExists series began with 'Breath of Life", a track that explores feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia against a backdrop of soulful, soporific instrumentation. Featuring Hemlock Ernst of Future Islands, this first instalment introduces the high calibre wordplay that Mensah is capable of.
With the second instalment, 'Internet Cafe', Mensah explores our generation's excessive internet use, emphasising social exhaustion and feelings of disconnect towards an alienating societal system. Producer Elijah Bane's mellow lo-fi beats and minimalist jazz-hop instrumentation provide a calm tide on which Mensah poetic verses ride. Blending humour with strong expressions of disconnect, Mensah expresses an inner-monologue that many young people fused to their monitors can identify with.