Sunday, November 30, 2008


When I received word that I would be interviewing the present, the future, Sha Stimuli; I became overwhelmed with excitement. From the time I heard him outdo his counterparts on Joell Ortiz's 125 pt. III on his debut, The Brick: Bodega Chronicles, I quickly became an eager supporter of Sha's verbal wizardry. This excitement would soon transform into anxiety because that very week my pockets were running on E, and there was no way I could cover a meal at Juniors (site of the interview). Anyway the day of the meeting came, armed with my tape recorder and a rehearsed excuse of, "I am not hungry- just ate lunch" I self-assuredly made my why to Juniors. True to its nature, the unreliable G-train was not running that afternoon so I had to adjust my route which ultimately made me run late. This would prove to be a blessing in disguise because it seemed as though we arrived at the same time, and I had barely escaped sitting by myself- with a glass of water. When we met (Sha came with his boy, Fame) we briefly exchanged pleasantries and of course the subject of food came up (logically, it's Juniors), and I, like clockwork mentioned I ate. We soon got our tables and after they ordered their respective meals, the interview commenced. Much like he does on the mic, Sha commands you with his eloquent presence. The interview was very much like listening to his music as I found myself steady head-nodding as we discussed several topics including, HBO's The Wire, and the New World Order (Novus Ordo Mundi).

ER: Why do you go by Sha Stimuli?

SHA: I don't even know man; I don't even have a real story behind that shit. I came up with that name back when I was in school doing battles and shit like that. I said it off the top of my head. I used to smoke back in the day, so it probably came from that. I said it in a rhyme and it sounded cool. I looked it up later on and it was something that provoked a response. I felt like, that is what I wanted to do with music. I didn't want to play the middle, you know at that time I was kind of in between if I wanted to rap or I wanted to be like an A&R, use the business as a fall back plan. So when I had a name that people fucked with, that was the first time I leaned towards being an artist.

ER: On, My Life", you spit, "after he wins will a John Wilkes Booth or a Lee Harvey appear again", is that something you believe?

SHA: (Laughs) definitely, I think that's definitely like something that- a lot of people got in the back of their minds but I just brought it to the forefront. Like a lot of that song is me sitting around listening to other people talking youknowwhatIamsayin! Cause' I ain't the most political person, I am an individual that's just around things. And being that I got the microphone in front of [me] - I use it. So that comes from me being around people and listening to different opinions and my knowledge of history of Lee Harvey...

ER: You also mentioned the New World Order; a lot of people don't know anything about that?

SHA: Yeah, yeah a lot of people don't but I am privileged to a few things. Things I could talk about, the North American Union and you know certain things that are been done right before us without us knowing. I think music is supposed to educate as well as entertain. So if I could make a good song and say some things that people might want to research, you know take their own opinion, I mean that's what it's for. I never, like I don't take a stand with saying the thing about a Black president getting shot; I just say it could happen. I am not trying to predict the future or make some big claims but it's just enlightening people and you take that information and do what you want to do with it

ER: I know you have a love for the Wire...

SHA: Oh man! I am an addict man; I still watch it like every day (laughs)

ER: Could you speak on its realism and significance? You even made a mixtape using the concept of The Wire as a theme...

SHA: Honestly I tell people that CD-I didn't do the show justice. Like Victorious put that together, we put that together kind of like quick. Like he took a lot of songs that he thought had the same the theme that you know that dealt with the same issues. At that time I had just seen Season Five, and Season Five made me go back and watch Season Four and Season One again. And I saw all the layers that where within the show and then [the writers] incorporate the media I just think that was brilliant. I just started analyzing the police story you know and everything being about the books, about the numbers. Like with the school system, the mayor elections, everything being about the numbers and stats. The kids not even getting an education because you know it's all about the tests, the city wide tests. Like everything was about numbers, they didn't want to bring crime down for real. They just wanted to make it look like crime was being brought down, so the next person could get elected, so everybody could keep their jobs, and things could keep moving. A lot of us focus - Like a lot of times I would fast-forward through that part and just watch the street shit because I was so interested in Marlo's rise...I just got to give kudos to the writers- insane depiction of the ghetto.

ER: What do you think happened to Marlo?

SHA: I don't know that ending was just crazy, like I didn't even expect that. He's from the hood, he's from Flatbush.

ER: Yeah he runs or owns that clothing line Royal Addiction...

SHA: Yeah, but for him to keep his money you know...but they had to make him get out the game and for him to end back up on that corner, I think the closed it crazy. Because the whole time I am sitting there wondering why does he have Snoop and Chris like this, like soldiers and like Marlo never put no work, we don't see it. But we assume that he got in this position by doing something. But then to go out there with, "Do you know who I am?" the kid didn't who he was-that ending was just crazy to me. I would love a Season 6, or a movie or something

ER: Your bio mentions that Biggie is your lyrical idol, how do you feel the game has changed; I am not talking about as a whole, but specifically speaking about in New York and Brooklyn?

SHA: It has changed a whole lot. As far as the credentials for certain artists, like what we consider hot, what we consider good has changed a lot. When B.IG. was around, there weren't as much gimmicks. He was authentic; he talked a lot about what he saw. I think a lot of people gravitated towards that story. After him passing a lot of people kinda took pieces of other artist's lives and they glorified things that they thought would make them hot, get them popping. So we as fans started paying attention to street credibility and you know things that didn't really matter as far as talent was concerned. It kind of watered down the game a little bit because you got people that are authentic, that are real, that have been to jail and just don't glorify it as something that's going to get them popping but they have been through it. And you got other people that they feel they got to do this because that's what you know rappers...

ER: Do!

SHA: Yeah, that's what rappers do.

ER: Yeah I remember you got a track where you talk about this kid asking you how long he has to sell crack before he can make rapping happen...

Fame chimes in, "Get Better."

SHA: Yeah Get Better, and that's real. Kids are growing up- I talked to this school last week, and this kid asked me if you have to sell drugs to rap? And I was like, "Wow!" If you think about biggie, his story was that he had to do that. You know and he lived in a house, Biggie wasn't from the projects or nothing like that but that's what he had to do, and that was his story and- it's real and the music came out real, so there's nothing wrong with that. But then you got people that think that's what you got to do and the music is just getting saturated because the fans believe in that, and you got no direction. Like artists, DJs, they don't know what to play, artists don't know what to say, they don't know how to sell. The game has turned into something that- it's very different. It has turned into this business, where people are going into a booth and picking up a pen and thinking about a dollar. And before you just wanted to say some shit, you had the dollar in the back of your mind, you knew you were going to get there, but you wanted to be different you wanted to say some shit. It's tough, it's tough for artists nowadays because now you think about how to get that bread-and it changes your format.

ER: Could you speak on The N Word track you made, almost seems like you are contradicting yourself on the song at times.

SHA: Yeah, like I take a stand sometimes, other times I just be talking. That song came from me being on a panel at...a panel about racism with juveniles. There was one dude that was older that was there during the civil rights movement, he's like every time he hears the word he cringes. Then we had a younger dude that was like, "We took the ER of it and empowered it" Then you had this dude that was half White half Black that was saying how he doesn't use the word but he's around a lot of people that use it. And when he's around Caucasians he's mindful of it. I thought of my own situations, I don't like the word, I use it in raps because of the semantics, and it sounds good. I use it around my dudes that are of the same ethnicity. I play ball with a lot of Caucasians, and when we use it I cringe. And if they were to use it, I would be upset. So now you got all these conflicting ideas in one person, I just put it all out there.

ER: So what do you think about Nas's upcoming album

SHA: I don't know, I have heard him talk about it but I don't know what it's about. I sent him the record [The N Word], hopefully he heard it but (laughs)

ER: How would you describe your style? It's almost conversational, like you speak to people.

SHA: I try to be a speaker man. I feel like- I feel like people rap you to death all the time. A lot of rappers are trying to be hot, try to be the best you know. I talk that shit, but at the same time me being on this earth all this time I feel there's people out there that just need some real shit you know They don't always want to be preached too, they just want to hear about shit they go through. So me being an artist and I could sit here and tell you I am the best that ever did it you know lyrically, put words together, flows and if I say that like with any job it's because I have experience. I have been doing this shit for a long time, since I was a little kid. But at the same time what's going to make me different spitting these hot bars than the next dude that puts words together and got flows. But my thing is I am going to take shit that people are living, talking about day to day bring it to the forefront and deliver it to you in a way that it's not going to beat you in the head but you could be like, "Oh shit! I have been through that, I know what he's talking about." Sometimes I go over their heads you know but that's my love for words you know I play with them, I twist them up- You can't be mad it.


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