District of Columbia, USA

Just A Wave


Behind the Music

As a hip-hop artist and an African, storytelling is deeply woven into the fabric of music for me. Every song is a story. It’s one thing to show facts and capture the weight of a narrative through journalism. But when you add music, you’re able to arrive at the soul of a story as well — an entirely untapped emotional dimension that can’t always be explored through the written word — and, in doing so, you give the audience an immersive experience. In my case as a rapper, I’m also incorporating my own written words into my tracks. All the elements then combine together to create a mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual experience.

One of my favorite parts about working on this project was the chance to step into another person’s life and tell a story from their perspective. Hearing my tracks is a multi-sensory experience  — you can taste the ocean, feel the fishing nets cutting into their fingers, endure the accompanying salty sting of the sea washing over their open wounds. You can smell the oxidized metal of a ship’s sleeping quarters, and see all the stars in the open sky. But in addition to that, I think there are universal truths about the human experience present in extraordinary situations — like loneliness, desperation and optimism — and this project highlights many of them.

About BORN I

Born I (aka Born I Music) is a Ghanaian-American rapper, representing the Washington D.C. area. He is known for his work as a multi-genre artist. Born I has created a catalog of music that includes several Hip-Hop, EDM, House Music and hybrid releases. Serving an audience with diverse taste, Born I's lyricism and positivity resonates with fans across the hip-hop and electronic music spectrums. His songs have been noted by Diddy, and he is a frequent collaborator with top electronic artists. 

To date, Born I's music has received over 20 million collective streams across all digital platforms. Between 2015 and 2018, Born I's name was attached to over 100 releases, including his singles “Supreme Mathematics,” “Hell No” “Numbers,” with high profile features on “I'm Up” with Bassnectar, “Gospel” with Spag Heddy and “Breakfast” with PEZNT. Notable labels include Dim Mak, Amorphous, Dirtybird, Never Say Die, Firepower and Circus. Born I continues to bring his dynamic performing style to stages both solo and with his collaborators, playing alongside Spag Heddy at EDC Vegas and at Deja Voom Festival most recently. In 2020, Born I released multiple solo projects across genres including trap, hip-hop, bass music and house. Stay connected with Born I, a prolific artist whose music pushes boundaries and inspires listeners.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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