In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It,” where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Questions” — Dirtsa
How We Found It
After two solid years of doing music discovery for CentralSauce, Dirtsa is my favorite “I told you so.” I was first introduced to the French-Cameroonian artist by “UNDERDOG,” where her addictive cadence meshed drill bounce with weighty classic literature references that demonstrated a critical perspective with a poetic presence. “Sic Parvis Magna” further positioned the emcee’s music as a challenge to a worldwide structure of racial inequality.
After winning the 2021 Pernod Ricard Live Music contest in France, Dirtsa is gearing up for the release of her first EP — the details of which are as compelling as they are cryptic, but Dirsta doesn’t make anything easy, it’s not her style. Her latest single, “Questions,” left me looking for answers, but even more so wondering if I was asking the right questions myself.
Why We Like It
Dirtsa is a direct emcee — in delivery and correspondence. Each new single layers her addictive cadence with confident wisdom that leaves little time or patience for those slow to follow the pen. Each new conversation exchanged over email leaves me looking for the right questions to integrate the artist’s perspective into the words I use to describe her typically hypnotic, always energetic verses. With her latest single, “Questions,” Dirtsa takes her turn as the interviewer, projecting her interrogation at a world seemingly indifferent to injustices so visible, the most burning query is how they go uncorrected. She makes you feel the action of searching for questions without answers, demanding, not defeated.
“May we never die alone / may we do more than surviving” – Dirtsa, “Questions”
“Questions” is set to the creeping pluck of quivering strings and a steadily rolling snare that underpins her verses — dropping out for the hook to ring with her pressing thoughts. “On my mind, why I keep popping the same questions?” Direction. “Why they leave us when we facing these oppressions?” Disbelief. “How many bodies till they done needing their cushions?” Despair with the beveled edge of accusation. These aren’t questions leveled for their answers, but to highlight their continuity. The answers are as insufficient now as they have always been.
One such horror stands out to me in particular when Dirtsa raps, “When so many still keep dying on boats / how do you expect we just rise above?” When faced with an influx of legal asylum seekers attempting to cross the English Channel, the UK government employed security measures that have led since 1999 to the deaths of nearly 300 people, including 39 children. A decision made to discourage channel crossing at a human cost in substitution to providing adequate care for legal immigrants.
It’s this harshness of worldwide injustice that coats a Dirtsa song in the lyrical warrior’s fierce edge. There is no confining the artistry to art. There is no ignoring the harshness for a danceable beat. Dirtsa is in your face with it. Unrelenting. Asking questions that impose seeking answers as action to be taken.
Brandon: The nature of questions is a nature of not knowing. Where does the not knowing come into these visible and impactful injustices?
Dirtsa: See that’s where, if you would allow me, I’ll encourage you to go further. In questioning, there’s not just not knowing. There’s also seeking. Seeking what you’d ask? The truth. keep this notion in mind because it’ll be important for what’s coming next. “Questions” is an anthem about beginning the Cartesian doubt and sticking to it. It’s about gaining consciousness of one’s power and standing for your purpose, for others too living injustices. In questioning there’s action. You will not only act for yourself but also act for others though you may not realize it.
More From Dirtsa
More to Discover
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