Judging by the number and the caliber of artists Salaam Remi and Maimouna Youssef (AKA Mumu Fresh) have worked with over the years, it’s not a stretch to say that they are each dream collaborators in their own right – he on the production side and she as a featured artist. So it’s inevitable that when these two forces combine, it’s gonna be pure flames. And fire they did make with their newest single “EmOGs,” an all-too-familiar tale of love in the ‘hood.
The track is rumored to be taken from a forthcoming joint project. While we wait for a solid confirmation, we can at least enjoy the song’s creative, animated visuals, directed by Mr. Remi himself. Popular character actor Hasaan Johnson plays the man who’d “rather hug the block than hug me” as the narrative unfolds onscreen. Mumu delivers poignant prose as she pleads with her man to leave his old ways behind and take positive steps towards their future. Don’t let the adorable memojis fool you, the duo has a serious message that addresses street life mentality while also touching on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. To drive the point home, Michael K. Williams, Johnson’s charismatic former co-star on HBO’s The Wire, channels his inner thug to deliver a stern warning: “Stay Yo Ass Inside!”
Youssef provides some background on the overall concept, saying, “…with some creativity and an #iphone Salaam Remi managed to tell the stories that a lot of couples are going through when one of them refuses to stay in the house. The sad part is that staying home could result in hunger or lack of essential needs for a lot of families and risking your life feels like the only way to save your life. It’s a catch 22 that a lot of us are caught up in right now! But if you CAN stay home, then stay yo asss at home! Periodt!”