An Anthem for the people 24 Comments

i aint mr. right but i am mr. bright/

the starlight type/

the bark fits the bite

There’s never been a lack of intelligence in Hip-Hop; never been a lack of clever, witty lyrics and impressive flow. So what makes this cat Anthem different than the rest?

Perhaps some context is needed. Ant is a 24 year-old MC born to a loving but stern single Ethiopian mother, four years getting his degree from the prestigious yet decidedly love-me-or-hate-me Duke University, and another two in a suit in the cutthroat world of Wall Street. Oftentimes, a passion becomes a passion first by providing some type of outlet.

While in school, Ant would enter (and frequently win) freestyle battles with hundreds in attendance; he honed his lyrical acumen well before he polished his business one, and worked hard enough to escape the proverbial trap of music-as-only-way-out.  While working on the Street, Ant realized his heart was always in the music, however financial difficulties at home prodded him to continue working and stand tall for his family. When presented with the opportunity to chase his dreams, he jumped on it, and the rest is where I come to today.

Anthem’s mixtape, entitled “Almost There”, is due out soon. The album is velvety mix of exuberant lyrics and quintessential make-ya-head nod beats; some have compared Ant to Drake, but that is a superficial assessment. What is interesting though is that like Drake, Anthem seems to be another step in the evolution of Hip-Hop, with the genre moving away from gangsta notions of masculinity and towards an ability (and even a strong tendency) to express more complex emotions and display vulnerabilities.  In ‘Bachelor’s Theme’, an ode to singledom, he starts off the song with Can’t stay heartbroken forever baby!.

How often do you hear artists rap about heartbreak?

She had pretty wings but bear witness/ I’m hoppin over heartache with rare fitness.

The hook has him freeing himself of what could easily stand for the shackles of his previous profession,

Back in the day I used to love a girl but not anymore, now im free and I don’t wanna have that shit again/ Bachelor phase is how I’m livin’ we aint lovin these hoes/ and I bet that we’ll menage if you have a friend..

On “LaLaLa”, he tells his prospective lover, Stay up all night/Get it on right/ be my anti-narcolepsy…, displaying a knack for chuckle-worthy witticisms while staying true to the art of storytelling. Anthem’s creed is “Campaign Grassroots/Champagne Glass Flutes”, a line that speaks both to his familiarity and appreciation of the finer things as well as his commitment to making quality popular music that can be enjoyed simply for what it is: a record that makes you feel good. Ant’s music resists labeling, and if there is any overlying message to be had from his music or story it is to chase your dreams with abandon, ‘cuz you really only do have one life to live.

Whether my introspective rhetoric betters your souls/

Or you connect to my degenerate goals of getting at hoes/

It’s an honest reflection of my psyche/

If I’m lyin then may lightnin’ strike me/

I got my back to my past/

My chest to the moon/

Countin’ my lucky stars it’s the best feelin’ too/

I see them in my E Y E

And I’ma dream till I D I E

You gon see bout me…

Anthem will be performing at our 4th Anniversary Party at the Warehouse Loft on Sat May 29th 2010.

Check out his music for yourself on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter

24 Responses to “An Anthem for the people”

  1. 1 Telisi

    Dunno about you guys but for me Janelle Monae is the best ever! This girl has just landed from Heaven via a cosmic event. She has a very unique genre.She is all the past great musicians combined in to one. She is like a cyborg/bionic human:-)

    Here is a short-list of songs from her latest Album/AcrhAndroid

    Dance or Die
    Cold War
    Come Alive


    Just listen to the lyrics! I know I will be playing her songs on my ipod all the way to soccer-city stadium, Joburg, SA.

    Wish you though a good-luck,brotha!

  2. 2 Nolawi

    So he is an ethiopian Rapper? This will be interesting.. There are som many doing their thing now!

  3. 3 Mamitu

    Nothing on U-tube to sample, for those of us who are technicaly challenged?

  4. 4 Leo

    I know what you mean, i wanted to hear the sample and i searched his real name and stage name, but to no avail.

  5. 5 NTM

    find his music at

  6. 6 Luli

    ugh hoes? seriously? thought this would be slightly different but i guess Hip Hop is stuck!

  7. 7 genius

    @ Luli:

    Whaat about hoes? You gotta call a spade a spade.

    What would you prefer he use? birds, chickenheads, pigeons?

    I hate these holier than thou comments.

  8. 8 spacefog

    I think music is available on his fb wall.

  9. 9 justme

    loving his shot..and the background choice.

  10. 10 Mamitu


    Thanks for the info. I will not be wasting my time looking for the songs. No misogynistic hip hop for me!

  11. 11 Maria

    Whaat about hoes? You gotta call a spade a spade.

    What would you prefer he use? birds, chickenheads, pigeons?

    what about women, human being etc etc. you will find birds and pigeons are different creatures to women if you look hard enough

    I hate these holier than thou comments.

    Sure you’re are not calling a spade a shovel amigo?. The statement below is far from holier than thou, it is in fact quite mild in expressing dissapointment of the lack of growth in hip hop.

    ugh hoes? seriously? thought this would be slightly different but i guess Hip Hop is stuck!

  12. 12 genius

    @ Maria:

    whomp whomp. My comment was sarcasm, not a serious attempt to respond to her.

    Firstly, it’s pretty ignorant to make hip hop the scapegoat when patriarchy and misogyny is embedded in society. Secondly, how simple must she-and you — be to reduce dude’s music to one word especially one he prefaces with “degenerate”? Out of the entire verse, that’s the one that got your attention? and you lament at the state of hip hop? lol

    It’s clear that dude has something to say besides trying to generate the latest dance craze, so it’s pretty narrow-minded for folks to dismiss him.

    so again, whomp whomp

  13. 13 Maria

    @ genious

    “Whaat about hoes? You gotta call a spade a spade.

    What would you prefer he use? birds, chickenheads, pigeons?”

    So this is called sarcasm is it? I best not question the entire line too closely eh, who knows I might read something other than sarcasm in it.

    Amigo listen no one even made any great big statement about hip hop, only that it was set in its old ways, or as the precise word used was “stuck” is that what you call scapegoating?, One mild word, stuck (not yours)brought back three strong ones (yours), no one lamented, as a lament is a very different thing to writing that a musical genre is stuck,that is lament?, no that is not a lament,if it is I will eat my shoes, no one has shown neither high intellect nor low ignorance about hip hop since the only words written abouth the whole thing were stuck (not mine)(lack of growth) mine.

    “it’s pretty ignorant to make hip hop the scapegoat when patriarchy and misogyny is embedded in society.”

    Are patriarchy and misogyny the same thing now?… I know there is a very thin line between the two, but a line nonetheless.

    Lastly if anyone in art or music is contributing and actively encouraging mysogny what does that make them?..mysognist all the same are they not? or maybe just opportunistic in its use?,though of course it was all there and embedded before them and cant really be their doing…what if we were to say the same thing about racism then? the same reasoning of it being enbedded in society could be applied to it but I bet if you were its target you would think it twice to justify it or defend it. Anyway keep whomp whomp and mind it doesnt give you any funny turns…

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