Talk true friendship, Ghana & Black Lives Matter
Photographer: Philip Raheem // @philippraheem
Stylists: Taija Weekes and Jennifer Eleto // @taija_leorelle & @jenelectro
Styling Assistant: Jodie Haworth // @jodiehaworth
Videographer: NAKAASH // @KASHKAM
Interview: Johnson Gold // @johnson_gold
Featuring:NSG // @nsg_music
Manifesting from the UK to Africa
London born rap collective NSG surfaced their sound across the boroughs to manifesting their dreams all the way back home in Africa. Dropping endless vibes throughout the pandemic, there’s no stopping the boys from growing. The collective’s Afro-Bashment music hits differently, unnoticed, NSG has stamped its place via our playlists. PAUSE caught up again with NSG members, OGD, Kruddz, Mxjib, Papii Abz, Dope and Mojo about their meaningful time in Ghana. The boys share with us their reason for opening The AREA Bar in Ghana, what the Black Lives Matter movement showed them to who their 2021 Lupita girl is.
Let’s get into it. Do you remember when I interviewed you guys back in 2019. I asked you guys if you had ever performed in Ghana or Nigeria, and you said to me: “that would be amazing, it’s in the plans…” and you’ve just done that.
Papii Abz: C’mon, when we say we’re going to do something, God wills it.
How does it feel to accomplish that and where do you guys plan to perform next?
Papii Abz: You know what, it’s an amazing feeling to accomplish everything you say, you want to accomplish. Manifestation init, next we’re manifesting more of Africa lands. You get me? More of the African nations to shell it and everywhere in the world. Global ambitions.
NSG: INTERNATIONAL BABY!
When you say international, where’s that exactly?
Papii Abz: Should I tell you? You want to go Tokyo.
Mojo: Oh yeah! Tokyo!
Kruddz: Obviously, America.
Dope: Miami… China.
So, tell me, how important is real friendship? I know this means a lot, especially now, with the whole year that we’ve gone through back in 2020. How important is real friendship?
Papii Abz: You see with real friendship, it’s with any ship that you’re in. it’s got to be a balance and it’s got to be both sides. It can’t be one-sided. For us, everyone understands each other.
OGD: If you go one sided, you’ll fall into the sea.
Mxjib: If you’re not sailing the ship well, might to a titanic thing. (A Kate Winslet thing!)
Now in Ghana. Where are the best places to eat and chill?
Mojo: The AREA Bar!
Papii Abz: The best place to chill is Labadi Beach!
OGD: Yeah, Labadi Beach
Kruddz: Do not go to clubs and order Kebab, Roadsides Kebab is the best.
And your favourite restaurant in Ghana?
Papii Abz: Bôndai
In terms of Nigeria, where’s the best restaurant? To chill?
Kruddz: I can’t lie, we’re really cultured so we like the domestic places.
OGD: We don’t do these boujee restaurants. It’s not the best food for us.
Papii Abz: It doesn’t satisfy us.
OGD: When we go to Ghana, there’s a place called Asabea. They do the best Banku [Ghanaian Dish].
What about the best chill spots in Nigeria?
Mxjib: Moist beach.
Papii Abz: Silver Fox. That’s America in Lagos.
How important is it to bring your music back home?
Papii Abz: The reason why it’s so important is because it’s the origin. The origin of everything. That’s why we feel the love more, because it’s going back to where it came from. If you go to the origin of anything – you get the best.
Kruddz: Everything is connected to that and them. If they’re connected, they’ll push it the most and for our sound to be really magnified, it has to be from them.
Who’s the smartest in the group?
Papii Abz: I think it’s either Mojo, Kruddz or Abz.
Who’s the funniest?
NSG: Mxjib or Mojo.
Who’s the most stylish?
Who’s the most turnt?
Who’s the laziest?
NSG: *collectively shout* – DOPE!
Let’s talk about this one topic now. Last year, it touched a lot of people and that’s the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. For each of you, the whole moment and situation, how did it feel for you? What message do you want to give to young, black boys who may be going through a situation that may be hindering their growth?
Papii Abz: It was very difficult but at the same time it was about understanding and learning black history and being able to educate others, even if you cannot do anything about it. It was a difficult time, Black Lives matters forever, yesterday, today. Forever matter.
Mojo: I feel like even though it was a tough time, it showed the power we have when we come together.
Kruddz: The power of unity was shown. We forced those that didn’t want to speak, speak up. Brands etc.
Mxjib: In ten years’ time, there will be bigger stuff. It’s not easy being a black person in this country.
Papii Abz: It showed a lot of black people go to where you are celebrated. That’s it. Where everything you create is celebrated, your art, go there.
Kruddz: That’s part of the reason why we try and connect there. When it’s all said and done and we have to go back to our own country, they’ll accept us, take us in. They listen to our music. We’re still good.
And what advice would you guys give to the youth struggling through the pandemic?
Kruddz: What don’t break you, makes you stronger.
Mojo: Invest in yourself. Even if it’s the smallest amount. It will come through for you.
OGD: Find what you’re strong at. Focus on It now because right now you can’t really work or nothing, focus on what you really want to do. Really and truly you don’t want to work with Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s. Build yourself init. That’s what it is now.
Papii Abz: Whilst you’re at home. Understand yourself and who you are. You can be the best in the world when you understand who you are.
Mxjib: Build yourself to be a monster! So when you’re ready you can attack anything. African Giant.
What collaborations can we look forward to in 2021?
OGD: The whole world. Say one mad artist. Say an artist who you feel should be on our project?
Now you’re putting me on the spot.
OGD: We’ve flipped the interview.
Oh, wait. What about Burna Boy?
OGD: It’s there. We asked you to think of someone. It’s loading…