The Official SA, or Off. SA for short, is a rebel emcee with a message to send. His latest release is hard-hitting, thought-provoking track titled World We Know, and is a must-listen for any fan of defiant political hip hop.
Currently living in Romford, East London, Off. SA was born Adewole, or ‘Ade’ (pronounced Ad-ee), to Nigerian parents and grew up as a child in Hackney. “I am unapologetically Nigerian,” the rapper told SOuthside in a recent interview. “Luckily enough for me, my parents were very strong about my Nigerian heritage and instilled a great sense of pride in me.”
“Speaking English was actually banned in our house,” Off. SA continued - “got a bit of stick from friends for it, but it didn’t me from excelling in English Language and Literature; I actually got an A* in both.” This might help to explain Off. SA’s bold wordsmithery, as exemplified in his criminally-underrated BL@CKBOX performance (s16e121) as well as the articulate new single World We Know which released at 00:00 on Friday the 4th of December, 2020.
The song addresses racial profiling, police brutality, the Yemen crisis, as well as other comfortless topics of today. Interestingly, these lyrics were not originally intended to be published on a record, Official SA explained to SOuthside. Off. SA begun writing the words all the way back in June as a sort of therapy. “Many events came to light this year,” the rapper elaborated, “and being how I am I felt them all very deeply - especially the BLM movements. But, that’s the thing. These things have been going on for a while, but this year it hit a certain nerve...I had to articulate how it made me feel otherwise I was gonna go crazy.
“I know there will always be problems and injustices, but we’ve gotta fight them. We can’t just ignore them.”
“I just wanna see a lot less corruption”
When asked what he would change in the world, Off. SA replied “There’s so many things I could say on this, but I’m gonna keep this one short: I just wanna see a lot less corruption. ‘Cause from corruption comes greed, from corruption comes a lack of love, from corruption comes so many other ugly things; that’s why we live in an ugly world man, do you know what I mean. Like, yeah it’s nice in the circle you surround yourself - I personally have beautiful people around me, but outside of that bubble, oh my days. It’s so ugly. There’s no love out there.”
Insight to Off. SA’s reflections on corruption can be evidenced in World We Know, one of the many thought-provoking verses exclaiming: Think: how many wars are we profiting off? // We manufacture deadly weapons to be selling them off // They say money makes the world go round // Looks like money made the world turn mad.
Throughout the interview, Off. SA maintained that he was not claiming to be a spokesperson with World We Know but, rather, expressive of how the year 2020 had made him feel on a personal level. Finishing the interview as humbly as he’d started, the father teases at what’s next for The Official SA: “I’m excited for what’s next - I have a few surprises coming. I’m just gonna enjoy my Christmas and then, after that, I’ve got a lot of work to do!”
Ade means ‘crown’ in Yoruba and - while SOuthside bumps World We Know, adding it to our conscious rap playlist - the country is this king’s throne. Where the name ‘Official SA’ came from is yet to be spilled, next time right here on SOuthsidemag.co.uk!
Tap the album artwork below to listen to World We Know on your streaming platform.