Genesis Owusu's Debut Album, 'Smiling With No Teeth,' Embodies Its Title : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN Owusu's Smiling With No Teeth is a big musical blender, showcasing his abilities in rock, hip-hop, soul, R&B and more, while meditating on depression and covert racism.
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Genesis Owusu On World Cafe

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Genesis Owusu's Debut Album, 'Smiling With No Teeth,' Embodies Its Title

Genesis Owusu's Debut Album, 'Smiling With No Teeth,' Embodies Its Title

Genesis Owusu On World Cafe

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/980612214/980784545" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Genesis Owusu Bailey Howard/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Bailey Howard/Courtesy of the artist

Genesis Owusu

Bailey Howard/Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "Gold Chains" Smiling with No Teeth
  • "Whip Cracker" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
  • "Don't Need You" Smiling with No Teeth
  • "Wit Da Team" Recorded Live for the World Cafe

I've never heard an artist name-check a video game as one of their biggest influences, but the cult classic Jet Set Radio Future wasn't your average game. In it, you played as a rollerblading graffiti artist rebelling against massive conglomerates in the future; it was stylish and bold, the anti-corporate slant just hiding under the surface.

Genesis Owusu's debut album, Smiling With No Teeth, has some structural similarities to Jet Set: It's a musical blender, showcasing his abilities in rock, hip-hop, soul, R&B and more, making for a danceable, groove-filled record that begs to be turned up loud. And not too far beneath that impressively glossy surface a host of important and difficult issues are explored.

He joined World Cafe to discuss Smiling With No Teeth, life in Australia and music-as-therapy.

Episode Playlist