Album of the Day: Obuxum, “Re-Birth”

Somali-Canadian producer and beat-maker Obuxum returns with Re-Birth, a follow-up to her 2018 EP, H.E.R. As she did on that record, on Re-Birth, Oxubum pairs house and techno beats with lyrical themes of gender and equity. Opener “Ayeeyo’s Intro / Can you feel my rage?” pits a vibrant, thumping, soulful house beat against looped narration explaining the gender-based violence that women face in Somalia. “Black Girls Flying,” another standout, is meditative and futuristic, making a deep impression despite clocking in at just over a minute. On the equally brief “Does your blood not move?,” Obuxum unveils a piercing, footwork-like beat that gives way to the Balearic “EQUITY!!!,” a moving track that opens with a portion of Viola Davis’s 2015 Emmy’s acceptance speech.

Obuxum has said that the album, “isn’t your average ‘beat tape.’ I created deliberate little worlds that tells numerous stories. Stories that I hold so dear to me.” And, indeed, Re-Birth does sound like a succinct project made up of multiple little worlds. Obuxum’s world-building is seamless, and taken together, the songs feel like one long track. With Re-Birth, Obuxum demonstrates that she has a singular vision, and is in a beat-making league of her own. 

-Diamond Sharp

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