Otis Mensah is a young rap-poet embodying a contemporary take on alternative hip-hop music and spoken word poetry. Otis’ work reads like a stream of consciousness, and sheds light on the existential truths that all humans share: the need for artistic expression, the emotional space between vulnerability and aggression, and the quest for spiritual self-determination.
Drawing from influences such as Common, Aesop Rock and The Roots, Otis delivers off-kilter lyrics with a sentimental vibe. He has performed live with the likes of Arrested Development, Killah Priest, Oddisee, Illa J, Mahalia, Lowkey, and many others. As an emerging artist, Otis continues to release music independently, touring in support of his latest album "Mum's House Philosopher" around the UK & Europe. He has appeared on stages at Hip Hop Kemp Festival (Czech Republic), Garden Wonder (Budapest), University of the Underground (Amsterdam), Conne Island (Leipzig), Poetry Meets Hip Hop (Berlin) and Glastonbury Music Festival (UK). Describing Otis as "dynamic, skillful, and radical," former Lord Mayor and current MEP Magid Magid appointed Otis Mensah as the first Poet Laureate of Sheffield. From delivering school assemblies to leading poetry workshops, Otis now engages young people and institutions in his hometown, advocating for Rap as an effective vehicle for emotional communication. His debut book premiere "SAFE METAMORPHOSIS!!" is a collection of poems and philosophical ideas that explores the voice of unspoken trauma and everyday life-transformations. His new EP “Rap Poetics” is a continuation of the book, exploring rap as an intellectual art form and a potent force for the evolution of poetry in a world of commercialized and listless mainstream art. The music video for Ted Talks is a visitation with the meta-cultural experience that is Otis Mensah: he covers a laundry-list of socio-political touch-points, in just over 2 minutes, with a verve and style that is uniquely his own.
This song is featured on our Conscious Hip Hop playlist.