By: Diego Austin
In her 2021 song “I Want,” Enny exhibits both her British and Nigerian identities. Enny is a British-born rapper and the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. As a result, she identifies with Nigeria, the Nigerian diaspora, and Britishness, especially her home of Southeast London. Along with her Nigerian identity, this last point is also emphasized throughout her discography, as seen in her 2021 song “Ask About Me Freestyle” when she says she is, “Southeast London educated baby born and raised.”
In the first verse of “I Want,” Enny says “identity crisis for me and my crew, we’re Black and we’re British and African, too, but so far removed.” This reflects the split identities many first/second-generation immigrants face. On one hand, they carry the culture and memories of their homeland, and on the other, the experiences and possibly upbringing of their host country. Additionally, “my crew” likely refers to the African diaspora in general, which may be a profession of Pan-Africanism, which many diaspora-based hip hop artists exhibit. “But so far removed” refers to shedding elements of one’s original culture after integration in the host culture.
Enny then says that she would “like to go back to her mother’s land” which exemplifies an effort to claim her Nigerian identity after being brought up in British culture. Her representation of Nigeria is further shown in the second verse when she says, “I want less work, a lot more money, a vacation spot, a Nigerian honey.” While living in London, Enny continues to have pride in her home identity and people and wants to show her audience that. Enny’s use of British slang like “peng” and “calm” again shows how she has a British identity existing along with her Nigerian one.
Throughout the video, several scenes show Enny doing what would commonly be considered low-income work, like waiting tables and working at a convenience store. This may be a reference to how immigrants often leave to the US or Europe seeking more opportunity or wealth but are then met with poverty and similar sets of social issues in the host country.