Existential Hip Hop from Sheffield in Collab with Future Islands. - Otis Mensah x Hemlock Ernst: Breath of Life
Offers listeners a moment to confront their own, internal contradictions of spirit and intention.
We've covered the music of Otis Mensah before - he is a young rap-poet with a bright future and an interesting story to tell. "Breath of Life" is the first episode from #OtisMensahExists — a series of singles that welcomes new listeners to Sheffield’s poet laureate and his signature off-kilter, jazz-inspired hip-hop.
Featuring Hemlock Ernst (of Future Islands), this brooding track explores themes of anxiety, fear, and claustrophobia. Against a canvas of mellow, jazz-flavored musicianship, Otis & Hemlock paint a complex lyrical scene with precise language and effortless flow. The vibe is sentimental, and offers a platform for extensive self-exploration: as his work sheds light on existential commonalities through the lens of vulnerable expression, Mensah offers listeners a moment to confront their own, internal contradictions of spirit and intention. Life is the gift, and it is up to each of us to understand the value of it. With a live sound to the rhythm section, and a beautiful counterpoint of soul-flavored vocal harmony, "Breath of Life" exposes a new facet of nuance with every listen.
brave is the novelist
I sleep with the bayonet because
sly is the orifice
Time is the coroner
live at the concert hall
Lyrics & performance by Otis Mensah and Hemlock Ernst. Instrumental music by Brelstaff. Recorded by Oliver Harrap. Mixed & Mastered by the intern.
This song is featured on our Hip Hop playlist.