Genesis Owusu, the genre-bending Ghanaian-Australian hip-hop phenom, is taking the praise of his acclaimed debut Smiling With No Teeth and running with it. The momentum hasn’t been lost. With a massive slate of festival appearances as well as serving as the supporting act for Glass Animals, Khruangbin and Tame Impala for the rest of the year, Owusu offers up his first single in 2022, “GTFO.”
The single features a much sparser arrangement than a lot of the maximalist, jazz-laced beats on his debut. Owusu floats over an indiscernible choir loop as he opens with the jarring line, “Singing hymns to a god that I abandoned.” He plays with religious imagery and reflects on his success. The sparse choir is joined by marching drums and Owusu leading a “get the fuck out” chant that also serves as the song’s chorus. The accompanying video finds Owusu deep in prayer until a pesky cockroach escapes, driving him to the brink of insanity as he tries to hunt it down.
“There are many people like Roach,” Owusu explained. “Strugglers, doing whatever they can to get through hell and high water. Bankruptcy, depression, sickness; God himself can try to stand in the way, but a struggler has to keep struggling. And a Roach has to keep Roaching. Even when it’s told to GTFO.”
Below, watch the video for “GTFO” and revisit Smiling With No Teeth along with 49 other amazing albums for Paste’s favorite albums of 2021.