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Black Sherif The Villain I Never Was Album Review. Black Sherif The Villain I Never Was Album Is a Personal Story and a Tribute to His Past

Jun 19

Black Sherif The Villain I Never Was Album Review. Black Sherif The Villain I Never Was Album Is a Personal Story and a Tribute to His Past

Black Sherif - The Villain I Never Was Album Review. Black Sherif's The Villain I Never Was Album Is a Personal Story and a Tribute to His Past. In his debut album, “The Villian I Never Was”, TrendyBeatz analyzes how he sings of himself. His story, his fear, his movement and journey through life, the yearning for adventure and his hunger to make something out of life while infusing relatable lyrics and unorthodox voice.

Black Sherif is undoubtedly one of Ghana’s brightest musical stars. Ever since he scored his viral hit single in 2021, “The First Sermon” and then his arrival with “Second Sermon”, and the subsequent Burna Boy-assisted feature where the African Giant delivered a stellar verse for its remix, which serves as a push that launched his career and placed it on the world map.

Months rolled by, and Black Sherif has never rested on his oars. He keeps adding more feathers to his cap. He’s gone on to collaborate with some global music artists, including; Burna Boy, ArrDee, Ivorian Doll, Darkoo, and Vic Mensa, to name a few. He was also nominated for Best International Flow at this year’s BET Hip Hop awards.

Black Sherif the Villain I Never Was Album Artwork

In the early months of this year, Black Sherif scored the biggest song in Africa. Albeit, It’s always been on record that a Ghanaian had never scored a number-one hit song in Nigeria, Black Sherif broke that myth with the biggest anthemic voyage song titled “Kwaku the traveller” where he narrated the tales of his migration from village to urban in search of the golden fleece.

Born Mohammed Ismail Sherrif, from Konongo in the Ashanti region of Ghana, the twenty-year-old Black Sherif had always been interested in music. For someone who grew up in the ghetto side of Ghana, life has never been an easy ride for him. Perhaps, a big factor in why his style of music evokes grit, passion and street heat marked by a humanistic revival of classical influence.

Black Sherif is a distinct artist who is travelling the road less explored and making music that carries his audience along. Though his genre could be termed Afropop, it’s drill/trap tinged, with elements of Jamaican vibes thrown in for good measure. Nonetheless, it’s really difficult to place Black Sherif in terms of genre because he seems to be an embodiment of genres: most especially highlife and hip hop. His blend, as demonstrated in his sermons and Kwaku the traveller, can only be attributed to him.

Black Sherif the Villain I Never Was Album Artwork

The album’s introductory track, “The Homeless Song”, starts with a guitar string where Black Sherif tells his story and others of homelessness, days when he had no roof over his head. There’s a pain in the feeling he sang. He said; “I’m at my down-est in life, And I’ll be homeless for a while. I know it’s unbelievable, Cause I had a home few days ago, It’s been hell, For me and the boys but I pray, It don’t lead me to do what I don’t have to”

“Oil in my head” is built on pop culture and social media slang “Oil dey your head” - a pidgin English sentence people use as an appraisal to say someone is doing something excellently. In this song, Black Sherif softly glides on a Trap beat to call the bluff of his enemies. He sings; Oil in my head, Everything I touch is blessed, All I see is blessings, And no man, can stop this, Send them away, Evil eyes don’t watch me, Cause all I see is blessings, And no man can stop this.”

On the JAE5-produced track titled “45”, Sherif flowed on another trap beat whilst sending a subtle message to his disciples to spend some time on themselves as he’s still on the road and only needed for survival.

In the fourth track of the album, “Soja,” which is also one of the pre-released tracks off the album, Black Sheriff brings to bear his unmatched vocal prowess, booming with gusto, life and hope. He perfectly communicates his emotions through his vocal delivery. He sings as someone on the voyage who feels he is getting closer to his destination, but he feels the “fear of the unknown”. Many things make him panic as he’s close to his dream attainment. He sings as a warrior and sends a poignant message in the chorus to other soldiers, warning them of impending danger. He said; Oh Soja Soja Soja Soja, Stand and beat your chest. Them dey come. Them dey come. Them dey come. No make them catch you off-guard. Don’t let them touch your skin o.”

Black Sherif Picture

On a large chunk of “Prey Da Youngsta” and “Sad Boys Don’t Fold”, Black Sherif wears the street preacher cassock. The exhortations are filled with personal and real-life stories. Although they are sometimes emotional, the sincerity of purpose cannot be ignored. He displayed his secretive lifestyle on the ninth track titled “We Up” and the seventh track “Konongo Zongo” chorus when he said; Who no know me, Ask who know me say who I be? I no dey open up to nobody, I keep my yawa to myself ma guy it’s only me.”. It’s self-asserting and might come off as cocky to the listeners.

“Waste man” is a jangly tune. Drill tinged. It is both raucous and bopping. Black Sherif tells a story of a man whom he called his bredda (which means brother) who wastes his life while searching for greener pastures. The opening lyrics, “In search for better life man no still get am, He no fit cope he start dey learn some habits, That’s the whole ting, that’s how it started”, is the storyline.

“Toxic Love City” track is a proper drill, and Black Sherif’s flow on this one is just superb. The song has a sing-along chorus and an interesting instrumental, and a story-lined verse sees Chike in his most reflective mode. It shows the downside of love. A toxic relationship. It’s a deliberate intermission from Black Sherif. As expected, it was filled with a lot of questions when he said, “Will you only be here for the higher days? When the sweet times are over are you gonna stay? Had to ask you early girl I know I’m late But if you tell me something then I’ll be okay. It’s nice to have you but I can’t continue with these thoughts in my head.”

Black Sheriff took up his Rasta man spirit on “Don’t forget me” He flows smoothly on reggae. It’s a soulful reggaeton with some infusion of Caribbean spice. It gives a skanking feeling while chanting; “Let’s make some memories girl I don’t know when a man is gonna see you again I don’t know when I’m leaving but it’s not too far from today, Let me be a favori before I leave so you don’t forget me, Come hold my hand look into my eyes and say to me something.”

Black Sherif Picture

On the emotional laden “Oh Paradise”, another drill tune, Black Sherif puts on an operatic performance while supported by an orchestra of piano strings as he grapples with the subject of loss. “Sleep well my lover, I will be fine my lover, And my love for you’ll be forever” registers emotions.

In the pandemic track that went viral, “kwaku the traveller,” Black Sheriff narrated the tales of his migration from village to urban in pursuit of greener pastures.

“Remember you know a traveler The name is Kwaku the hustler He’s been far away chasing gualala..”

He brings his talents to the fore with this track which I’m going to tag as a timeless piece. The timelessness is obvious enough, lying in its potential to become the song that gives prominence to the popular notion that nobody is above mistakes and also becomes the working man’s anthem. “Of course, I fucked up, who never fucked up hands in the air, no hands?” Kwaku the traveller sounds like a song you should play on the loudest volume as you pack your back to go on a voyage.

The “Second Sermon” Remix featuring Burna Boy ends the spin. On this track, the two artists complement each other’s styles with their lyrical dexterity and deep flows. He tells his story of travails and hardship that’s still very much present in Ghana. This shows his empathy and undying love for the streets. His lyrics are a clear indicator of him being a champion of the downtrodden, and Burna Boy’s Lyrics ooze class and braggadocio as usual.

Black Sherif Picture

There is no single doubt that Black Sherif has lived life, grown, and surmounted life’s challenges. The outcome of this formed a large chunk of this album. A thorough listen to the first seven tracks on the album; it’s easy to deduce that the black sheriff has mined painful incidences from his past to produce beautiful & artistic music and remains committed to the socially conscious school of music that represents the streets and the hustlers who have been cheated or trampled upon - those who are deprived of survival.

In all, the technicality of the audio production does a great job of complimenting the themes of each song. Though, he overused the drill beat, which makes it hard to differentiate one track from the other. At some points, it gets oversaturated, which makes the song yearns for more collaboration.

What are your thoughts about “The Villian I Never Was”? Do you think this album is a masterpiece? What are the things you feel are missing from the album? Let’s know your thoughts.

SOURCE: TrendyBeatz

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