Following a prior release of his track “Unenlightened,” Born I released a visual offering that is more than just a music video – it’s a short film that is, on the surface, a love letter to the manga and film series “Lone Wolf and Cub” and the story of Yasuke, the African Samurai. On a deeper level, it’s also a spiritual allegory about overcoming our inner demons. Written by Born I, directed by Roy Lesh, and shot and edited by Tim Shelby, the music video for “Unenlightened” features Born’s son, Siddhattha, his wife, Ayanna, and elaborate costume and mask art from around the world.
Born I is a Ghanaian-American rapper and vocalist hailing from the Washington DC area. Following the mantra “You Are Enough,” he moves seamlessly through genres while maintaining his potent lyrical ability and positivity. His influences include Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West. In 2020, he released an EDM/hip-hop album titled 11:11 and then followed it with a solo hip-hop album, In This Moment, earlier this year. He is following this with a visual album.
Born I is also an experienced meditation practitioner and teacher. He is the male voice on the popular meditation app Balance and has led mindfulness retreats across the country, using his music as a method of teaching. He sees himself as a “mindful artist” and describes his music as “trap music for meditators.” Earlier this year, he launched his label YAE, which fits his mantra, saying,
I want to create music and experiences for people to understand that it’s okay to be who you are. You are enough.
“Unenlightened” features a meditative backing track that then gives way to a beat than blends with energetic vocals to create a hynotic sound that entrances listeners. Close attention and effort is paid to the lyrical content that is nothing short of inspirational, which is to be expected from Born I, given his approach to life and the beliefs he surrounds himself by. He drops wisdom around slowing down and focusing on what matters, even in the midst of all of society’s commercialization. The music video is equally as reflective and thought-provoking. The story follows that a former Samurai seeks to reunite a child with his mother. Along the way, they face the enemies of Greed, Delusion, and Hatred. They finally arrive at Wisdom, which then leads to a calming change of pace of the track.