Award-winning actor and musician, Ramey Dawoud, hasn’t been resting on his laurels during the lockdown. Off the back of June release, 'Pull Me Down', the Sudanese artist has teamed up with compatriot, Oddisee , for a new track that the trials and tribulations if being a third-culture kid.
‘The Strife’ doesn’t just talk about the topic in a general sense, though. The two rappers relate it to what they present as a very specific Sudanese diaspora experience, one complicated further by how their race and culture manifest together and separately in modern America. Produced by Dawoud’s Black Smoke Collective co-founder, AK, the track provides a suitably melancholic but soulful backdrop for both rappers to ruminate in. The R&B-leaning track is carried by a subtle piano melody and the soft whistling of swirling synths.
They discuss how, when growing up, the street culture that they were exposed to continually clashed with being raised in a Muslim household, by parents who held their native culture paramount. They delve even deeper and talk about the inevitable identity crisis many Sudanese-Americans face. “Are they black and African, which is validated by their experiences in America?" a description of the track reads. "Or [are they] Arabs due to language and culture?” We're seeing the full extent of what being black in America means, as we speak, and being an Arab or Muslim there is well documented, too. Imagine being all of that.
Check our feature and interview with Dawoud and AK, Home, Diaspora & Hip-Hop: How Sudan’s Black Smoke Collective is Aiming to Cross the Borders of Ethnicity and Art.Follow Ramey Dawoud on Instagram and Facebook.