A chat with Kanye
From getting booted out of chemistry for writing rap songs to chatting with rapper/producer superstar Kanye West, former Gisborne Boys' High student Mustafa Sheikh has come a long way.
Auckland-based Sheikh, better known as Mussie and the founder of child poverty eradication organisation Bread Charity, is poised to press play on his second rap song On Me.
“I want to make a collection of music with a variety of artists that tells a story of their journey and how they got to where they are,” he says.
Mussie's first single How About You is about a commitment to giving, of community building and of judgement by others.
On Me focuses more on selflessness including these lyrics —
“Break bread like you mean it.
“Everyone should give back and not just to pose, give back like they mean it.
“Then the light you might see it.
“People will realise what life is about once they develop true selflessness.”
Lil Mussie (Mussie's rap name) is joined on the new single by four-time Grammy award-winning engineer Anthony Kilhofer, who has worked with Kanye West, Michael Jackson, and US hip-hop artist King Chip.
Kanye even took time out from his US presidential bid to talk on the phone with Mussie about his new song, as well as the importance of education and influencing future generations.
“Kanye heard the song and he liked my line ‘slipping pesos to the state homes'. I'm pretty chuffed to have been complimented by him on my lyrics.
“We related a lot because of my efforts with Bread and his vision with his Yeezy Campus — just like how we're developing a youth centre here in Auckland.
“A Kanye feature could happen in the future but we talked about life and shared ideas more than music banter. Let's see what happens.”
After writing On Me, Mussie found the song needed development.
He sent King Chip his verse, hooks and beats, and left the second part blank for the artist to fill in.
“He got back within a day. After hearing him I realised I needed to up my game. I reworked my whole verse. That was an experience for me. Every song has to be better than the last.
“My main focus is lyrics. The first song was an introduction to me and my story.
“In this song I reflect more on my progress over the years and of giving back.
“King Chip goes along with that.”
King Chip even references Mussie in his section of the recording.
“I'm in New Zealand with Mussie now. Pulling up, hopping out spending bread.”
Mussie started the Bread Charity three years ago as 22-year-old university graduate to help kids in poverty. Inspiration was drawn from his childhood and seeing the effects of poverty first-hand.
“As I grow and achieve in life I want to uplift others. There's no point in individual success.
“Real success is achieving yourself and bringing up others with you.”