harlem by C.A. Parkinson September 10, 2018
Sheck Wes, known as the “best-kept secret” within the New York rap scene, has been cultivating a plethora of excellent tracks over the course of a saturated market full of Lil Xan imitators.
Harlem born, Sheck Wes was forced to move to Africa by his parents for his wild behavior. Sheck focused heavily on his basketball career after seeing the opportunity opened through college sports, he dropped the ball for the mic after going into the modeling.
In his single from March 2017 “Live SheckWes Die SheckWes” Sheck speaks on growing up in Harlem and living Sheck Wes,
“My mom don’t got time for my wants, she only got time for my needs. So I gotta go get my wants on my own.”
Sheck Wes has grown up around the glitz and glamour of the city just a train ride away from his home in Harlem with parents struggling to keep everyone happy and conveys it to his audience with conviction and ringing eardrums. In a February interview with Pigeons and Planes, he said,
“I’m a mudboy. I came from the mud, oozed out the concrete. I’m not a rose. I’m a mudboy, I came from nothing.”
Sheck has struggled through the most theatrical of life-changing experiences, having Kanye play his song after modeling for YZY SZN 3 and being exiled to Africa by his mother. Developing a sound that captured these experiences but still let the audience tap in is what Sheck Wes has been focusing on for the past year.
Sheck Wes shines with the youth of today due to the fact that he is able to resonate with them on an emotional level. No, he does not tap into their sensitive side, but is able to channel their energy as demonstrated on such tracks as “Mo Bamba.”
Sheck Wes’ ability to move an audience by just yelling “BITCH” as a vehicle for his bars demonstrates the fact that he is reflecting what teenagers are mad at, whether it is school, relationships, the state of the household, etc.
Sheck has figured out a way to reach out to his audience. It is advised that playing Sheck Wes within your whip may result in it falling apart due to the Travis Scott-esque energy that he encapsulates.
Travis definitely noticed and he even signed Sheck to his label earlier this year.
I signed a record deal with Kanye West and Travis Scott under the INTERSCOPE Imprint. I’m very excited . I hope you are too.
— Sheck Jesus (@sheckwes) February 1, 2018
His tour with fellow rapper Valee is evident to this fact due to its very name: MOSH.
In an interview with Mass Appeal, Sheck is asked about “Live Sheck Wes Die Sheck Wes”:
“I feel like alot of people dont understand Sheck Wes… Live Sheck Wes is about how I live; People judge us and shit right, but most of the time it is not our fault. You or me, it’s the setting and the shit we get into around friends.”
The song starts with @FGNFITIN talking about Sheck Wes and an unnamed artist. This quiet British man is telling the audience exactly how Sheck Wes sees Sheck Wes and the reason for his persistence as an artist.
“There’s only one artist in the world who is unparalleled, who can deal with the time that we’re in right now, who sees what needs to be seen. He knows the truth, it’s a dystopian time and the world needs a dystopian artist. The world is in a dark place right now, we need a dark artist to bring the light back out; Sheck Wes is that artist.”
That quote clarified the modus operandi for Sheck Wes. The youth is responding to political correctness with the counterculture. Screaming bitch and removing the individuality of your brand to get your audience to feel like they are you are not politically correct.
Sheck knows this and understands why he is misunderstood by most people in his target audience’s age range: “all legends and like, all the greatest of all time were never understood when they first came out.”
Sheck’s other hit is Mo Bamba (who he grew up playing ball with Harlem and is set to become a first-round NBA Draft pick), is one of the loudest, minimal songs that gets people to literally fight,
“Its so fire when your song get played in the club and fights break out CITY ON JAHANNAM.”
Sheck almost sings on the track with the long drawn out syllables, and at the halfway point of the song, Sheck snaps after messing up, then recovering his flow catching the beat and completely smashing the second half of the song after bringing the volume to the ceiling.
This track alone was the reason Kanye even heard his music in the first place as Sheck described how it all happened below:
With such a short discography of fewer than 20 songs, fans of Sheck Wes are anticipating amazing things from the Harlem native.
It would be ignorant to assume that Sheck Wes is not an individual that demands attention. He is one of the rising stars in the realm of rap as he is consistently breaking the mold and harnessing a rarely heard way of the annunciation in rap music.
Sheck Wes is the future of New York rap, specifically for the fact that he is capable of translating the daily lifestyle of the city into music.