As the mecca of Hip-Hop, New York City has long been a incubator for some the world’s most unique and brilliant artistic movements of the past century. Bringing a myriad of different sounds, cultures, traditions and people from all over the world together it comes as no surprise that New York City not only birthed the culture we know as Hip-Hop. But, created a entire movement that has not only served as music of the streets, and the pulse of the people, but has functioned as a means to speak truth to power.
Continuing on in this long, storied tradition is none other than Azomali, an Underground Hip-Hop artist from Freeport, New York. Inspired by artists such as Nas, Mobb Deep, Lauren Hill, and Mos Def. For the past fourteen years, this Afro-Colombian wordsmith has made earned his stripes in New York’s underground Hip-Hop scene. Where he has not only created his own unique sound, but crafted inspirational music that is not only accessible for modern listeners, but can remain timeless future generations to come as well.
Like many of our guests previously featured here on Step Off! Radio, Azomali regularly incorporates philosophies of decolonization, pan-Indigenous unity across, and is a vocal critic of U.S. Imperialism in his music. Whether rapping about Colombia’s beauty, incorporating ancestral sounds, spinning tales about his journeys stepping through New York City streets Azomali serves as a link between two worlds. Effortlessly switching back and forth between English and Spanish, Azomali combines both the influences of his Colombian roots with that of the gritty sounds of New York’s underground.
From traditional Colombian music to Boom Bap, to the modern sounds of Drill music, Azomali has created a tapestry of sounds, ideas, and philosophies in his music that sets him apart from anything being created by his peers in the underground Hip-Hop scene of New York City. Having garnered a dedicated and growing following online, Azomali has quickly become one of the prominent torchbearers at the forefront of Indigenous resistance in underground Hip-Hop far beyond the border of his home base in New York.
During our discussion with Azomali, we were able to discuss his personal history growing up in the streets of Freeport, New York. His mixtape Where The Mangos Grow, his move out to Southern California and, the contrast between the East Coast and the West Coast. As well as his incorporation of decolonization and Indigenous resistance in Hip-Hop. we here at Step Off! Radio hope that you all enjoy our conversation with Azomali.
Featured below is our full interview with Azomali available through our official SoundCloud page. You can listen and subscribe to Step Off! Radio on your preferred podcast streaming service by visiting our brand new Podcast page. You can listen to Azomali’s latest mixtape Where the Mangos Grow, available now on Spotify and SoundCloud. Please be sure to rate and review the show!