Following a trip back home to his native Nigeria to “reconnect” with his roots after experiencing a dark time in his life, Obie Iyoha returns with his new song “Karats” — an upbeat, breezy earworm premiering today (Feb. 8), exclusively on Billboard.
Obie’s smooth, melodic flow connects with the afrobeat, groove-centric rhythm, featuring thumping drums and airy synths. The Michigan MC raps about trying to live his best life in spite of troubles that seem to follow him — like experiencing his cousin get deported and police brutality.
“‘Can a n—a live, get it how you live’ are the first words you hear, and that’s because this song is one of personal growth for myself, in becoming a mouthpiece for my boys back home in Edo State, Nigeria,” Obie tells Billboard via email. “I’ve recently had family deported for all sorts of reasons, back to harsher living conditions, just trying to survive.”
Obie says “Karats” is a dedication to his brother, and decided to lead with the single as the first taste of his upcoming album after hitting “a low point in 2016.”
“My older brother and I traveled back to Nigeria where I got to reconnect with myself,” he continues. “Karats” will be featured on Obie’s forthcoming album titled Pink Moon, due out later this year.
Listen to “Karats” below.