I don’t wanna be pop, I don’t wanna be Pac
I wanna be an activist, but I don’t wanna get shot
People think that I’m so brave, I’m so afraid
I get lost in my own head, I’m so amazed
You could choose to be the book or either read about it
You could speak about it, be a prophet or just be a product
Sho Baraka – track 07: Profhet, 1968
Sho Baraka was signed to Lecrae’s Reach Records until March 2011 when he left and co-founded a record label and group known as High Society with fellow rappers J.R, Swoope and Suzzy Rock (now Natalie Lauren). It’s been three years since his last project “The Telented Xth” (2013) and Sho’s resurface to the rap scene after a period of silence is attention gripping (at least for the Sho fan in me); especially since I was starting to assume an early retirement. Cutting edge rhymes on “Road to Humble” (a single off the new album) after signing to Humble Beast Records was a good present to all the fans because there was obviously some catching up to do.
Now, his debut album with the new label is here and as if intentionally orchestrated, Sho’s fourth studio album comes as the perfect capping for the 2016 music year. In the words of Baraka, “don’t take my word for it”, but honestly, this is by far the best hip hop album I’ve heard all year.
The Narrative is just beautiful. It’s a creative masterpiece; a great narrative on black history and culture; a 14 track buffet of learning, art and activism; an embodiment of poise and wisdom communicated through a true and absolute worldview.
This is not your average hip hop record. A keen ear and a skew towards soul and jazz groove is a requisite for enjoying and appreciating the entire project. There are no overloads of thumping bass and 808s which is not a surprise on the creative rapper’s work, but this time its an over the top classic trap jazz feel running all through to the end.
Topics addressed on the album include social consciousness, love, fatherhood, issues of everyday life and the struggles we all face as humans. All the topics are influenced by a Gospel worldview which informs how Sho wrestles through each train of thought.
Enough talk already, its time you heard it for yourself. Consider it an early Chrismas gift from me to you. Thank me later!
1. Foreword, 1619 feat. Adan Bean & C. Lacy
2. Soul, 1971 feat. Jamie Portee
3. Kanye, 2009 feat. Jackie Hill-Perry and Jamie Portee (i love)❤
4. Love, 1959
5. Here, 2016 feat. Lecrae ❤
6. 30 & Up, 1986 feat. Courtney Orlando❤
7. Profhet, 1968 feat. Jamie Portee
8. Maybe Both, 1865 feat. Jamie Portee
9. Excellent, 2017
10. Road to Humble, 1979 ❤
11. My Hood, U.S.A., 1937 feat. Vanessa Hill
12. Words, 2006
13. Fathers, 2004
14. Piano Break, 33 A.D.
Get The Narrative here (freely given by Humble Beast)
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