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Thutmose Shares His Immigrant Story with a Foreward from Erykah Badu In “Pressure” [PREMIERE]

“Pressure is a song about perseverance and hope.”

Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-raised Thutmose just released his latest visual for his song, “Pressure.”

Erykah Badu is featured with a foreword to the song, which appeared as the closing track on the rapper’s debut project, Man on Fire.

With “Pressure,” Thutmose chronicles his first generation immigrant experience, having moved to Brooklyn from Lagos, Nigeria as a child.

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From a gun being pointed to his mother’s womb before his birth, to the Lagos Armoury explosion that threatened his family members’ lives, to his first memory upon immigrating to New York being a SWAT team raiding his family’s home and putting a gun to his father’s head, Thutmose addresses the trauma to document his life from then, to now.

“Pressure is a song about perseverance and hope,” Thutmose told Okayplayer. “I moved to Brooklyn at 8 from Nigeria and when you’re new to a country you have to be quick and adapt however it’s tough to do that when you’re against the odds. So I made ‘Pressure’ to share some of my stories and to inspire and give hope to people when it feels like everything is going wrong.”

On being inspired by the words of Erykah Badu and featuring them on the track, Thutmose spoke on his long-time admiration for her artistry.

“Back in Nigeria, I used to see videos of Erykah on TV and instantly was inspired by her craft. Erykah’s words were very spiritual and in her quotes she mentions sadness and fears being manipulated and different energies within ourselves. To me, we all go through many highs and lows in life and the song touches upon staying strong. Pressure is felt everyday by so many people and I wanted to let them know that their not alone.”

He continued, “All I know is that Erykah’s personally listened to it and was supporting in being a part of it I’m blessed to have a legend like her on my debut project! If you told the 7 year old version of myself, I’d have Erykah’s vocals on one of my songs…I mean…just wow..don’t let anyone stop you from following your dreams.”

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The deeply personal track appeared alongside lighter records on his debut effort. While making the project, Thutmose also spent time in L.A. working with Scott Storch, who produced his track, “For the Night.” He also teamed up with fellow Brooklyn rappers Desiigner and Jay Critch on “Ride With Me” and ” WuWu” off the project.

“My ‘Man on Fire’ mixtape showcased the versatility of my sound,” he said. “This was my first project to the world so for ‘Pressure’ I wanted to give fans the chance to come in my head and give them something to relate to. The video was shot in my old hood and even at the old apartment building I used to live at so everything about the song hits home for me.”

Watch “Pressure” with Erykah Badu below.

Ivie Ani

Ivie is a Nigerian-American, native New Yorker, and journalist covering culture. Usually on-air, on deadline, and on point. @ivieani

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