“I’m not fist pumping; I’m raising my fist.”

– Siimba Liives Long

The “it” factor is undeniable, unavoidable and can’t be fabricated. No matter how much money you dump into an artist, if they aren’t unique enough to truly stand out, then they’ll have a rough time building a loyal fanbase. A relative newcomer on the scene, Siimba Liives Long, is one such with an undeniable “it” factor. An Ethiopian-American artist who was born in NY resided in Brooklyn and grew up in Addis (Ethiopia’s capital) is about to take off – and for so many reasons. Here’s three.

First off, he’s talented as hell. He has bars, and judging what I’ve heard from him this far, he seems to be along the vein of golden era inspired reality rap that artists like Joey Bada$$ inhabit; however, he has a unique sound. Second, he has a dope sense of style. Draped in traditional garb, and with a demeanour that almost puts me in the mind of late 90’s Afu-Ra, he stands out.

Lastly, his first single/video Cocaine Bimbie off his upcoming sonic-series Zemenay’s Gemiinii is flames. Even the fact that he calls it a sonic series is cool!

The video itself deserves all the attention I already know it’s going to get. It premiered yesterday on Noisy and is a must-watch. I mean homie is walking around with lions and eating fire – it’s hypnotizing. This isn’t a “rent lions and ball out in a Lear jet” kind of video either. He’s in straight up Africa, with lions! He shot the video in Ethiopia, South Africa and Brooklyn because they all play(ed) such a big role in his life and his journey. Also, again, keep in mind that he’s an unsigned artist – so no fancy label budgets here. He still managed to make one of the dopest visuals we’ve seen all year. Just saying, though.

Siimba Liives Long is an artist to keep on your radar. Just remember where you heard it first.