Born to Nigerian parents living in Inglewood, California, Booth newcomer Cobe Obeah was raised on a musical diet of Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, in addition to traditional African tunes. From an artist with such a diverse set of influences, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected – and, predictably, mixtape title track Song of the Starz (making its world premiere here in the Booth!) finds Obeah and production group Argonauts serving up a sound best described as “unpredictable” (confused yet?). Backed by a headphone-worthy blend of ambient synths, piano, chopped vocals and reverb-drenched percussion, Obeah shows off his versatility, tackling the time-tested topics of cash, the grind and wanting to marry Janelle Monae in his rapped verses and delivering mellow sung vocals on the chorus. Not to mention, he drops the first reference to the “Mama se, mama sa…” hook off MJ’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ that I’ve heard since…. oh, was that yesterday? In any case, listeners digging this out-the box jam will be able to hear more on the artist’s 2DopeBoyz-presented mixtape of the same name, set to drop May 7.
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