sho-baraka-the-narrativeStill on my quest to listen to artist who I’ve heard about before but haven’t heard their music. Sho Baraka was one of them artist. I saw he recently released this project called The Narrative. I bought it, gave it a listen and frankly, I’m still listening. This mug jamming. It’s totally different from what I expected, even though, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It starts off with Foreward. It is really the intro to the project, just like a book. It explains what the project will be about. Soul is a horn induced soulful upbeat song about what he is about and what he believes. He say, “I’m Frederick Douglas with a fade”. The next track is called Kanye feat Jackie Hill Perry. It about both of them just ranting (like Kanye would) about things they’ve noticed and dealt with.

The next track is called Love. It might be one of my favorites. It’s like a James Brown remix dedication to his lady. He say, “I fall in love everyday I don’t need a pickup line”. I find myself respecting men more when then they take the time to honor their queens. He has another one called Here featuring Lecrae. It’s a powerful song highlighting the positive things we should be here for and the negative things we should stay away from. The next was called 30 & Up feat Courtney Orlando. It’s a party song for the grown ups reminding us to act maturely.

Profhet feat James Portier was a song comparing being righteous to getting paid. He say everytime I tell the truth, I lose money. Maybe Both feat James Portier is a song addressing the injustices in society today. Now, this song Excellent might be my favorite.  He really talking about being the best you can be.

He has some other songs on here like Road to Humble, Myhood USA feat Vanessa Hill, Words and Fathers. All laid back emotional songs laced with lyrics of just being an overall better person and better Christian.

Dig these bars from Excellence…

Bars like attica, rap Benjamin baniker
building up communities, here to raise the standard up
yeah that new peter and paul
gordan parks off the charts
like Kobe without a ball
but fatigue giving knowledge for cheap
smart and cold thats a college degree
excellent like building strong families through years of oppression,
there is no recession when all you know is the great depression,
we the phyliss wheatley I’m trying to avoid the greedy
mother teresa in sneakers trying to serve the needy
staying cool in school fam you in tuskigee
new school educators, the high end to beaty
focused like Moses but I’m feeling ill equipped
I’m praying for a ride and the red sea to split
a crew to hold me up and a Pharoah to beef with
just point me to the promise I’m exiting Egypt

Yeah, so this project The Narrative, is definitely grown up music. The production reminds me of a late evening in a jazz lounge where you just vibing. Matter of fact, Sho mentioned the phrase “Trap Jazz” more than once. That is exactly what it is. It’s loaded with laid back songs that have a live band feel to them. His lyricism and education was definitely on display as meticulously dropped bars on each song. He made sure to keep it known that we must be about our fathers business. It’s a jamming project…one of those let it play, bob ya head and just ride albums. Try it yourself.