Too many things have been said about what this guy sounds like. Oh he sounds like Travis Scott, Big Sean, Tyler The Creator. I’ve even heard he sounds like Tyga. Personally I just think he sounds like a guy that smokes waaaaaaay too much BUT what he sounds like doesn’t take away from the content in his music or his flow. If anything, could be a plus.
Enter Shukid with his tape, Too Much To Offer (TMTO). Compiled earlier this year, but most tracks released towards the end of 2015, this is a 7-track project that I’m excited to review as I feel that the rapper really experimented with different sounds, artists and producers.
Shukid was one of the freshest of JumpOff Freshmen 2015 and that’s where I knew him from. If you missed that profile, click here.
Very first track I loved off this project was Say What You Want (SWYW). Shukid performed SWYW at a past Industry Nite and thinking it was an old song (I hadn’t really paid much attention to him before that) I went and searched for it online and even asked him where I could find it, only to be told that the record wasn’t out yet. I guess we could say SWYW was the “gate opener” for me into Shukid’s music; past and present. I may have caught on late, for you who has probably been bumping to his stuff from the beginning but hey, at least I’m here now. SWYW was Shukid’s way of making a statement: Exposure really isn’t going to pay the bills. If you call me for a gig (or need anything from me that involves my music) show me where the money at.
The next track that I absolutely loved was Do No Wrong. I remember just coming across the link to the track online and immediately falling in love with the beat as soon as I heard it. For a brief moment I actually wanted to be a producer. Lol. I was like how can a human being (hi Kevin Grands) bring that into existence from nothing? That just did it for me. Then Shukid raps about how he’s just tryna have himself, his family and friends eat the right way. He wasn’t (isn’t) trying to do no wrong basically. BANGER!!
Another track I loved was Hit That, a collaborative effort that included Ace Tha Don (Freshmen 2014) and Pascal Tokodi (finalist Tecno Own The Stage). Produced by Shatzy K, who is also part of his label ID37 Music, this one had me jumping from start to finish. It’s a party track. Pascal can sing really well, Ace Tha Don has bars and of course, production was dope. Nothing to complain about here.
Then there was Ungenipenda. I’m not sure if the reason I love(d) this record was because Shukid doesn’t really show the emotional side of him, at least in his music, or the fact that he took a Zilizopendwa track, Karubandika by Orchestra Marquis Original and made it so different, breathed new life into it and made it sound oh so good? Could be both reasons. I’m really not sure. And that he’s aware of Karubandika just shows how huge his playlist is. Even I had no idea what the original track was. Somebody needs to ask him how he thought of using that sample in his track and, is this a true story? Hmmmm……
Don’t Worry Bout It (DWBI) feat Kevin Grands. Hmmm, where to start with this? When I first heard it I wasn’t too sure Kevin was the one rapping on it but I definitely loved the way he fused the message in his rap with Shukid’s. Song content? I felt like Shukid was talking bout how he gets too much ass because he’s a rapper and in this particular case, from a chic who was in a relationship but she told him not to worry bout it. Being a healthy heterosexual male (lol, this excuse), he had no problem getting to cut despite the circumstances and true story or not, I think I kinda judged him for it. Kinda. Great storyline tho.
Then Hustling Backwards featuring Poppa Don (Freshmen 2014). First time I heard this track I was just like, why is Shukid so mad though? It’s like a mixture of anger and bitterness and little bragging (women and children sing his lyrics and a blog named him one of the top 10 Hip Hop artists in Africa). It’s an absolutely great record that has been receiving it’s fair share of airplay on radio and Poppa Don represents well. Only question I have is, Poppa says “You reap what you sAw” TWICE! Like what does he mean? SOw and sAw ain’t pronounced the same way tho. Nobody said anything… or was that the way it was intended to be? I know Poppa’s diction is very, very good, so maybe…
Then the dancehall-like track, Get On The Floor which features the vocals of a singer called Shie. When I listened to it I didn’t love it instantly like many tracks off TMTO. Shie can definitely sing, not hating on a sista and I’m all for artists trying different styles as long as they don’t dilute their content and delivery and Shukid didn’t. It may have taken me a while but after a couple listens I think it’s an OK jam. In his verses, Shukid even references Konshens’ Tear Di Road and Brick and Lace’s “Bad To Di Bone”. On this, unlike other records of his, he actually sounds happier. You can almost feel it and he has playful lines such as “…no they ain’t children they ain’t kidding around…” I’m listening to the track as I write this and I think I’m fully on board with this now. I do see myself dancing to it at 3 a.m if it comes on in the club or at a party. Yes. I’m with it.
Love the whole tape generally but there’s a couple tracks I love more than others. I’m only human.