RPI students are proving to have talents that extend far past the disciplines they come here to study. Eghosa Aiyevbomwan ’18, better known by his stage name, Asoh Black., is a prominent example. A business and management major from Brooklyn, N.Y., Aiyevbomwan has been making waves with his hip-hop/rap tracks.
I’ve been a fan of Asoh Black. since I first heard him perform during Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond 2014, alongside other artists at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Afterwards, I quickly discovered some of his productions on his Soundcloud account, a link to which can be found at the end of this article. I believe one of his biggest draws is his utilization of intelligent lyrics and carried themes across his tracks, which is a refreshing change from some mainstream artists.
In June 2015, Asoh Black. released his free debut extended play, 20/20, to Soundcloud and DatPiff for streaming and download, respectively. All eight tracks are well-produced and are good listens, but, in my opinion, the two most noteworthy are “Aposiopesis” and “Sway.” The lyrics of “Aposiopesis” definitely corroborate the track’s title, which is defined as “the leaving of a thought incomplete usually by a sudden breaking off.” The most prominent example of this speech device is quite literal: “College bound and this poetry’s my thesis / I hope my English teacher loves my Aposio-… / *Mmm*.” Additionally, Aiyevbomwan’s intuition and wide array of knowledge is shown through his creative and thoughtful lyrics on “Sway,” which has pegged it as my personal favorite.
Citing his brother as his initial spark for love of poetry, Aiyevbomwan explained that he’s been interested in writing his own poetry since a young age. He explained that “in its most effective state, rap is really just melodic poetry,” which explains his link to rap music. “[My brother] was a poet, and he used to have books full of written material lying around. I remember showing off to some of my classmates poems I had written using some of his lines in them.”
As they were more traditional, Aiyevbomwan’s parents did not play hip-hop music for him and his siblings when growing up.
“If it wasn’t Nigerian music, then we were listening to radio news when we packed in the car,” says Aiyevbomwan.
His brother first introduced him to rap music using his iPod Nano to share a selection of Kanye West tracks with him.
“I listened to ‘Hey Mama,’ and instantly became drawn. A couple Big Sean, Childish Gambino, and Chance The Rapper tape drops later and here I am—an emcee myself.”
When asked about his musical inspirations, Aiyevbomwan named Kanye West, Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino. He went on to explain that he sees Joey Bada$$ as inspirational for finding success from a similar situation from himself. Furthermore, if given the opportunity to collaborate with any artist, he believed that, if given “a day’s worth of recording sessions with either Jhene Aiko or Kehlani,” he could “really make something magical,” explaining that a perfect RnB-Rap collaboration “can make anybody love music.”
There is also meaning behind Aiyevbomwan’s stage name. “‘Asoh’ is Eghosa spelled backwards without ‘Eg.’ Its intentions were to show that it’s impossible to be yourself without an ‘Ego’ (you can remove the e and g, but that “oh” still remains).” He admitted that this analogy could be viewed as a reach, but explained that “in [his] head it made sense when [he] made it, and [he] like[s] it.” As for the surname, Black., Aiyevbomwan explained that it is “just set to be a blatant appreciation for the culture that raised me.”
Although he is studying business and management, Aiyevbomwan intends to keep creating new music “for as long as [he has] a voice to speak.” He also expressed his intent to pursue a career in business, which forms his reasoning for choosing his major. “Business is where the shmoney is and I’m not growing in debt for no reason.”
For future releases and updates, Aiyevbomwan recommends that interested listeners follow his social media presence. Asoh Black. can be found on Soundcloud at http://poly.news/s/3v3d6/, on Twitter as @asohblackmusic at http://poly.news/s/ew4sp/, and on Facebook at http://poly.news/s/ba5g4/. 20/20 can be streamed and downloaded at http://poly.news/s/pvffb/.