Mo Bamba” was described by Interscope Records A&R Sickamore as this generation’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It is a bombastic, melodic-yet-corrosive record that many listeners, at first, love to hate but eventually, hate to love.
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When I first listened to Mudboy, I didn’t make it all the way through. Sheck Wes repeats his own name as well as the album name on virtually every song throughout Mudboy’s 49-minute runtime. By the time it ends, both of these names remain in the listener’s memory for this reason alone — it seems this might have been done by design because there is little else to offer on this album to make it worth even a second listen.
Chippi Chippi” is a show of starpower for Sheck Wes, who handles the whacked-out and harrowing production with an attractive flavor of irreverence. The hushed swagger of his delivery ensures he doesn’t get lost behind the busy beat. Sheck Wes is clearing a space for himself on the track, and owning it with ease.
You should care about Sheck Wes because Sheck Wes doesn’t care about clout. The upstart only cares about music. He told The FADER as much when breaking down his rap name and the importance of sacrifice. There are elements of subversion and perspective to his music that force you to think and challenge your understanding of a banger,” a conscious rapper,” a New York” rapper, and every other subdivision of hip-hop. All of this, of course, is in the service of his ultimate downtown takeover.
After sharing screenshots of old text messages, in which she told a friend she was “fking terrified” and locked in a room while Wes was outside of her home “breaking things,” Skye additionally uploaded a video of Wes entering her property. “Are you going to lie now and say this is not you too?” she tweeted, along with a video of a man who appeared to be Wes jumping over a gate.
Though he can’t legally buy a drink yet, Sheck Wes is already well traveled. As a young kid, he spent his time back and forth between Harlem and Milwaukee, where his mother owned a hair salon, and he discovered a passion for sneakers at the Number One Sports store next door.
Mo Bamba” has now been bubbling for the better part of a year, and it currently sits at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’ll probably go higher. That song has a weird oblique, ominous force of its own; it’s a song with the potential to cause total pandemonium whenever it plays. And the best thing about Mudboy is that Sheck stretches that unstable energy out to LP length. At 49 minutes, the album is too long, and it gets numbing long before it ends. Sheck reminds me of Jim Jones, another Harlem rapper who made up for what he lacked in classicist skill with gravelly charisma and all-pervading self-belief. Sheck tries to show more dimensions when he can. He raps about poverty and intra-family struggles and his time in Africa, and he raps the better part of a song in the Senegalese language Wolof. But he hasn’t yet figured out how to excel at anything other than gruff battle-cry music. It’s early, of course. He’ll develop, or he won’t.
The contentious war of words has been building since October, when Skye released her single Build” and its accompanying music video. While Sheck Wes’ debut Mudboy ushers in a new wave of punk-trap music, it fails to deliver on the high expectations set by its groundbreaking singles.
I really like that question, what do you hope to gain from all this? It’s hard to answer that, but I guess for lack of a better word, more of what we’re doing. More eyes on what it is that we’re doing because we’re not just creating content for other people. We’re trying to build our own platform, and we have a lot to say. I have a lot of artists on my team, and we’re having fun, but we should be getting paid for our work. We’re all very talented, and I really believe in my guys, I value them. I wish that these artists value that too, and I’m sure a lot of them do. Sheck Wes has a lot to learn, and I think that this situation is going to bring some humility into his life, which is something that he could benefit from greatly.
Sheck Wes seems to anticipate listener fatigue from his incessant sonic cacophony and tries to diversify his production and vocal delivery on several songs throughout the album. From intro Mindfker” — that takes almost a minute and a half to start — to the atmospheric-to-a-fault WESPN,” the slower songs on the track list do not offer an interesting contrast to their more hard-hitting counterparts.
Sheck Wes brings a muddier delivery to Do That.” The natural grain of his voice is all the texture we need while Wes rattles off dream cars, girls, and other such monikers of success. The punk underpinnings make this song a raging hit.
Apparently, Justine Skye was walking with her current boyfriend, Goldlink, and some friends before they were attacked, while Sheck Wes was in a nearby getaway car. This incident sparked Skye to bring up previous occurrences of Wes’ alleged abuse.
With such a brief introduction to Wes prior to this release, Mudboy” gives us Wes sounds we haven’t heard before. On songs like WESPN” and Never Lost,” he has this whispery, half-singing, half-talking tone as he continues to tells his story. Both songs seem to have a switch from the past to his life currently, and with it comes a switch back to the hype sound we initially knew him for.
For Sheck, a first-generation American born to immigrant parents from Senegal, he’s made decisions his parents didn’t always understand. His mother sent him to Touba, where she grew up, and stripped him of his passport unable to return to Harlem without the approval of a religious leader. The story of his 100 days abroad is told on Jiggy on the Shits,” the most introspective track we’ve received from Sheck Wes so far. He transports the listener to his 17-year-old self, where he even spits a verse in Wolof, a language of Senegal. By the tail-end of MUDBOY, there’s an overpowering nonchalance found on tracks like Fuck Everybody” and Danimals.” Both hooks are a middle finger to the roadblocks, both systemic and tangible, he’s still trying to overcome.
Another song in which Sheck Wes ekes out just the right amount of personality is the shocking third track Gmail,” with its rattling drums, perfectly subdued vocals, amazing flow, rapid-fire synths and amazing outro all coming together to make a memorable hit with endless replay value. It is unfortunate that the few tracks after this one do not come even close to replicating its charm. Sheck Wes seems to have all the talent and taste required to make great songs, but he lacks the quality control and creative cohesion required to produce consistently great bodies of work.
The East Coast rap universe has a new MVP. Sheck Wes, the Harlem born MC has caused a quiet storm stateside with some of the biggest tracks of 2018; among them the inescapable ‘Mo Bamba’, dedicaded to the eponymous NBA player and whose video has been watched 230 million times. Following Mo Bamba, Wes’ has released a run of trap bangers ( Chippi Chippi”, Live SheckWes Die SheckWes), that perfectly show off his dark, street ready rap style in the vein of Nas, Ghostface Killah or A$AP Rocky.
Wes has become something of a star in the heat of Mo Bamba,” and an artist that everyone wants to get close to. He has done lots of different interviews where he has talked about his background and how he has gotten to this point, and it is definitely not by chance. The artist talks about knowing that he was chosen for greatness. He talks about gaining insight and spirituality after being sent to Senegal by his mother and forced to stay there. He also talks about growing up in Harlem and seeing opportunities in different forms come his way. Before he was a rapper, he was a top performing basketball player throughout high school and even a very successful model. He was first featured in a Birkenstock ad and was most known for his appearance in Yeezy Season 3.
Sheck Wes is sitting in the courtyard of a posh boutique hotel in the Lower East Side, just seven miles south—but a world away—from the one-bedroom apartment in Harlem’s St. Nicholas housing projects he and his family call home. It is early evening during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and Wes, the son of Muslim Senegalese immigrants, has yet to eat today. That’s not because he’s fasting—the blunt slowly burning between his fingertips attests to that—but because he has been busy and simply forgot to.
Justine Skye named rapper Sheck Wes as her abuser in a Twitter post on Monday. The singer, model and actress previously opened up about domestic violence she endured in a former relationship but hadn’t identified her alleged abuser.
The best tracks of the project are the singles released prior to Mudboy.” Mo Bamba,” Live Sheck Wes” and Chippi Chippi” have feelings of excitement that isn’t found anywhere else on the album. Songs like Kyrie” and Fck Everybody” obviously strives to match these anthems, but they don’t quite make it. These album cuts lack the excitement, even though the energy is still there. It just becomes underwhelming as the album plays out.
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As a child, he split his time between Harlem, New York and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started making music at age 11. It took the Harlem rapper Sheck Wes about 20 minutes to make the first defining song of his young career. He wrote nothing down and recorded it in one take.
Sheck Wes has spoken out to deny claims by Justine Skye that he stalked and attacked her and her friends. Her latest accusation against the rapper is that Wes stalked her and her new boyfriend along with her friends last weekend.
At a time when a brand of nihilism has crept into hip-hop culture, with new artists such as 6ix9ine, Trippie Redd and the late XXXTentacion all aiding their careers with buzz generated by making violent threats on Instagram, Sheck Wes feels like a welcome tonic. There’s a goofiness about his persona, with Sheck Wes inhabiting a bombastic personality in his videos that’s reminiscent of the larger-than-life characters Busta Rhymes used to play.
The first five songs, including the standout Wanted,” are all bursts of energy that few artists today can match. The tracks also outline much of what becomes Wes’ signatures on the album, in the ad-libs on songs like Mudboy” and B—h,” as well as his references to himself in the third person.
Wes initially set his sights on a career in basketball. Around the age of 13, he started to take basketball seriously — a decision he credits for making him more lenient in life and in music. By the time he was 16, his hoop dreams on the back burner: he signed with a New York modeling agency, and performed in his first show a day later.
Much of the track’s popularity can be attributed to the rising star Mo Bamba himself, who was drafted sixth overall in the NBA draft in June 2018, coinciding with the song’s ascension in popularity. Nevertheless, Wes remains the shining star on the track with his passionate and energetic vocals, heard over driving synthesizers and punctuated by ad-libs after nearly every line, combining to create arguably the catchiest trap rap song of 2018.
Sitting on a leather couch in a plush hotel in London’s Soho, his sharp gaze transfixed by a poppy plant (that’s where opium comes from”) on the glass table in front of us, Wes is far away from the projects where he was raised. The son of Senegalese immigrants, Sheck Wes had a disrupted childhood, splitting his time living with his dad in Harlem and being with his mother, who owned a hair salon in the mid-west, out in Milwaukee. He says he’s always been rooted in the ghetto, and that lyrics about being able to hold cockroaches in the crib” are based on a humble day-to-day reality.
Last month, Skye went public with her allegations against Sheck, even providing video of an encounter the rapper had with her. Wes has denied all claims. Pitchfork reached out to Skye to get a statement about the decision.
As Wes began building momentum with his music and fashion, his mother sent him to live in Touba, Senegal, where his passport was promptly confiscated by his older brother. Informed that he’d need a religious leader’s approval in order to return home, Wes first resisted his surroundings, but eventually had a shift in perspective and discovered a deep love for his family’s homeland. By the time he headed back to New York, 100 days later, Wes felt a new sense of purpose and a determination to empower others with his music.
Mo Bamba” is, without a doubt, the centerpiece of the album, and perhaps still the best song on MUDBOY. It is three minutes of raw energy that is still rough around the edges as a result of the one-take, in-the-moment recordings that Sheck Wes seems to prefer; that moment when the instrumental cuts out and Sheck screams, Oh! Fuck! Shit! Bitch!” is as gravity-defying as ever. Despite its minimal production, the track feels enormous and oppressive, and implores you to jump, thrash, and dance.
Apparently, the California-based media strategy agency was told that the rapper didn’t like the video that they shot for MUDBOY” a few months ago. From there, they stopped hearing from him and Universal Music entirely. After weeks of not hearing back about receiving payment for their work, Ridge Production got the last laugh by posting the video anyway which resulted in receiving a cease and desist letter from the label lawyers. The production company initially cooperated by removing the video, but founder Pat Ridge decided to upload an altered version that included new screenshots of messages exchanged between him and Wes on Instagram.
Sheck Wes is exceptionally savvy and cerebral. I’m talking about some shit!” Wes told Pitchfork The high replay value of his music smoothes over the sucker punch of his messaging, making him all the more accessible without sacrificing meaning. One thing I did for Kanye is just rap a lot of my songs without the beat; I was teaching him shit, and he was teaching me shit,” he continued.
What’s most impressive to me about Sheck Wes’s generation of African immigrants, is that they are able to seamlessly be both African and American, two things that we are often taught are oppositional. I believe this comes from the solidarity that is formed in the global North’s working-class communities, built out of surviving in the trenches sometimes with someone of a different cultural and identity background than oneself. It is a lesson that cultural and political commentators across the world would be wise to pay attention to, because Sheck Wes’s path to the center of black American cool via the working class urban American experience is one of hard won collective battles, not individual achievements. Such battles are not unique to African immigrants, but are at the core of the working class immigrant experience.
Before Wes could get his big break, however, his mother sent him to Senegal, Africa to clean up his act with initially no passport to return. Wes describes this time in his life as being a major turning point in his attitude towards the world and his music. After living in Senegal for a year, Wes was able to return to New York, ready to devote himself to his music.
US rapper Sheck Wes has been accused of stalking and domestic abuse by his former partner, the singer Justine Skye. He has denied the accusation. Skye, 23, sparked a back-and-forth conversation on Twitter when she claimed she was walking with friends and her boyfriend when the group was stalked and attacked by Wes, 20, and his friends.
Harlem rapper Khadimou Fall, professionally known as Sheck Wes, is known for not playing by the rules. Today, a rap recorded in 20 minutes can go from internet obscurity to a Drake-approved club smash. The artists Sheck Wes, 16yrold and Take A Daytrip show us how they did it.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A good-looking teenager from the northern reaches of Manhattan becomes a high school basketball star. But instead of seeing how far he can go with that gift, he finds himself drawn into the cultural vortex of his city. He spends time around globally famous musicians and larger-than-life figures. He also becomes acquainted with darkness and drugs. And eventually, spurred by an insurgent music-driven youth movement, he finds himself screaming into microphones in front of extremely fired-up crowds.
Sheck Wes is a rising, raucous Harlem rapper with less than 10 songs available to the public and a record deal with both Travis Scott and Kanye West You may have heard his recent riot-inducing guest feature on Scott’s superb new album, ASTROWORLD (“NO BYSTANDERS”). If that doesn’t scream potential, then we’re not sure what does.
Having worked for years in film and video production, many of which as a freelance turnkey video editor, there have sadly been several times where I’ve been left hanging by clients. The excuses vary from lack of available resources, the you’ll get paid once I get paid” line, to straight ghosting and lack of returned emails and calls.