Genesis Owusu: “What Comes Will Come”

Genesis Owusu is no stranger to being an outcast. On his shape-shifting 2021 debut Smiling With No Teeth, the Canberra native dramatized his alienation by deploying the image of “black dogs,” a metaphor for the racism and depression that’s been chasing him since he was a child. On his second album Struggler, influenced by philosophers and writers like Albert Camus and Franz Kafka, he casts himself as an outsider known as “The Roach,” a pest that’s reviled and tormented for simply existing, but surviving nonetheless.

On the reggae-pop-rap highlight “What Comes Will Come,” Owusu grapples with this sense of powerlessness, first adopting a veneer of swagger (“Make some noise for your momma’s favorite agitator”) before admitting to his own fraudulence (“To survive, got me feeling like a fuckin’ faker”). Before his critics can push back against him, he’s beaten them to it: “Busy making new trauma so I got something to rap about, self-inflicted stabbing doubt, baby what’s that about?” As the song amps up with a tight, skittering breakbeat and additional synth flourishes, you might expect Owusu to unleash his rage. But he has accepted his fate, exposing himself, to quote Camus, “to the gentle indifference of the world.”