The writer, in full disclosure, must admit that Lazarus is the 1st Sha Stimuli project that I’ve listened to. YES! Of the multiple LP’s created by Sha Stimuli THIS is THEE 1st project that I’ve ever heard. But as they say, “better late than never”. I’m pleased to report to you that as an entry into the Sha universe, Lazarus is a great introduction.
The project’s theme is resurrection, as evidenced by the LP’s title, as well as the testimonial feel to its subject matter. Those unfamiliar with the story of Lazarus of Bethany, “Lazarus is the subject of a prominent miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death.” Sha is telling the disenfranchised that WE are LAZARUS.
He manages to maintain a cohesiveness throughout the project of “rising from the dead”, which begins by detailing an epiphany he had of a friend, who he was supposed to be with, that was killed during a botched robbery by a local kingpin. Instead, Sha decided to participate in a basketball playoff game; hence, his trajectory to pursuing a higher education, basketball, and music.
The project has a basement studio feel, which gives it a warm, upclose and personal, “let me holla at’cha for a minute” vibe. The bare, stripped down mastering allows the listener to immerse themselves in the gospel of Sha, and step away from the constant bombardment of the cookie cutter rap, which is prevalent in today’s radio rotation.
In this standout cut, “Jail University”, Sha takes us on a paradox of several emcees in which, “maybe if I went to jail instead of college, I’d be more popular”, while pointing out the disparity of convict rappers versus those who have college educations, and the accessibility to gain a record deal.
This is a unique piece that has Sha talking to us over beats, vice rapping to a rhythm, which we are so accustomed to. Lazarus is the equivalent to Jay-Z’s“4:44”, minus the huge budget and promotion.
Remember to always Support Good Hip Hop and that “every day above ground is a good day”.
Sha Stimuli – “Jail University”
Sha Stimuli – “ToGetHer”