Say'hu. Photo courtesy of Say'hu
Say’hu. Photo courtesy of Say’hu

The Gambian rapper Say’hu is back, releasing his brand new single, paying homage to his roots and the world’s game. The track inspired by life events and his love for soccer, particularly Arsenal, exemplifies Say’hu’s lyrical prowess and musical diversity. The Niner Times sat down with Say’hu ahead of his anticipated release:

What was the inspiration for the “90th Minute”?

“90th Minute” was inspired by a lot of things and events. I was about to graduate from college with no internship, no job experience and no real life goal. All I wanted to do was go full throttle with my music, which seemed very much like a dream and fantasy to my family (it still does). Nuke was also going through it at home, and so was Mohammed and Fatima. At the end of the day, all these people including my family are counting on me. All I could do was just write and record. So these events actually helped write this song.

How has the game impacted your life personally?

Like every other kid outside of the United States, soccer or should I say football was my first love. I dreamed about going pro, and of course I worked hard towards that as well. I’d like to think that I was really good. I played striker for my neighborhood team in Latrikunda, and I was given the name Ronaldo by a very skillful player whom I looked up to.

If you could play soccer with any player, past or present, who would it be and why?

That’s a very tough one to be honest. I don’t think I can pick one, but I’ll try. Henry of course. I want to know how he runs so fast with the ball, but still has complete control of it. I actually want to play with Zidane as well. Not just because he is the best midfielder the world has ever seen, but also because I want to know why he head butted Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup.

Say'hu. Photo courtesy Say'hu
Say’hu. Photo courtesy of Say’hu

What is the importance and significance of soccer in your home country, Gambia?

It’s like the only thing you can do for fun as a kid. The first toy you’re ever given as a kid in Africa is a football. Unlike here in the United States and other developed countries, we usually don’t have proper stadium or field to play soccer on. Therefore, we grow up playing soccer in the streets.

In your eyes, what is the difference between the sport here and in Europe or Africa?

Well because of the World Cup hype, soccer is starting to be appreciated in the United States. I mean if the whole entire world is watching something, then Americans have no choice but to join the party.

Favorite club?

Arsenal, the mighty Gunners.

When will Arsenal win the Premier League title again?

Oh we’re going to this season, with the way we’re playing. The chemistry between Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil reminds me of the one Henry and Robert Pirès shared.

What is your favorite soccer memory?

I have quite a few, but I’ll just give you one for the sake of time. My favorite soccer memory was when Arsenal won the Champions League; it was the best day of my life. Wait, that never happened — scratch that. I’m joking, my favorite would have to be the time Senegal beat France 1-0 in the 2002 World Cup.

Most disliked soccer club?

Manchester United. I don’t even have to think about it.

Who has the best hair in the sport?

Wayne Rooney simply because it’s a $22,000 haircut. You can’t top that.

What’s the story behind Thierry Henry gracing the song cover image?

Well like I said earlier, he is my favorite player and I wanted to be just like him. There was a time when everything was going bad for Arsenal, and they needed the captain to step up and save the day. I feel the same way and that is what the song represents. I’m the captain of my team and it’s time for me to step up and lead us to victory. I’m not taking no for an answer. This is just the beginning of everything, my music career just started. I’m Thierry Henry.

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Jared Allen is the Sports Editor for the Niner Times. He has been involved with the newspaper since August 2014. In addition to being a part of the Niner Times, he hosts "The 91st Minute Radio" and calls play-by-play for the Charlotte 49ers men's and women's soccer teams on Radio Free Charlotte. Aside from being a sports (predominantly soccer) fanatic, he enjoys blogging, traveling and occasional backpacking. You can contact him at sports@ninertimes.com

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