Rusangano Family released their second album “Let The Dead Bury The Dead” April 8th and at this early date in 2016 we may already have our album of year as it provides us with some home truths while giving us a snapshot of life in Ireland in 2016.
Direct and beautifully produced as it excavates issues both personal and international the trio, MynameisJOhn, MuRli and God Knows, are a testament to their influences, their homes and their stories. As MuRli and God Knows talk about disappointing their family, finding their identity and moving to a foreign country to follow their dreams, MynameisJOhn moves from afrobeat, grime, soul and electroica with ease. Where rap is no longer foreign in Ireland Rusangano Family have used it as a way to tie their stories and their place here with issues that are prevalent in 2016. “Let The Dead Bury The Dead” is an album about hope in the face of adversity, let those dead ideas of racism, sexism, and bigotry bury themselves because Rusangano Family have no time for it. They are a part of modern Ireland, moving forward and they are telling you to follow them.
“Let The Dead Bury The Dead” is one of the most exciting works of music I have heard. You can’t miss the rap and RnB references made through the album from Outkast, Public Enemy, Kanye West, Shaggy and Dr Dre to name but a few. These influences have taught Rusangano Family the art of provocative lyrics. We are not short of verses that will be referenced well beyond 2016. Lines like “It’s not all black and white // Zebras and pandas // Shifra’s and Sika’s // Asylum seekers // Sugar daddies in slippers // Spooning Nubian grim reapers // This is where history finds us // Our history binds us // No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” from “Heathrow”. Or talking about disappointing family expectations to become a rap star in “Blabber Mouth”, “My friend Ben’s son’s already tipped to become the Irish Obama // And all you do is making up lies on paper // Calling it drama”. And this blinder from “Lights On” as they discuss finding their identity through music in Ireland, “I just wanted to be Harlem // I just wanted to be London // I just wanted to be Trenchtown // Now it’s time to be shining // Now it’s time to be Limerick”.
“Let The Dead Bury The Dead” is an unflinching look at the world, and at Ireland. Rusangano Family are not just talking about their story, they are talking about your story, they are talking about issues we all face everyday. Like any great anthropologist Rusangano Family (significantly the two words mean the same thing) having observed our society may find it wanting but have hope. Like any great storyteller they have found bridges that makes each strand of the tale relatable. “Let The Dead Bury The Dead” is a work that will stand the test of time for the snapshot of Ireland in 2016 that it provides.
Rusangano Family have two dates left on their tour.
April 22nd – Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick
April 23rd – De Barra’s, Clonakilty