I am inescapably white. Pretty much as caucasian as they come. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and have very pale skin.
With that being said, I have also continually tried to understand the african-american experience better. I believe that as I will continually seek to always be a student of life, I will also definitely be a student of race. I always want to understand race better.
I heard about Sho Baraka’s release “Talented 10th” for a while. I honestly hadn’t listened to much of his stuff and didn’t think that this album would interest me. But as I began hearing more stuff from more people about the album and it’s content, I realized that this might be worth checking it out.
What I will say is that this is an album I can really go with. There are many issues that this album will draw the listener to discuss. To go ahead and get it all out there, here are some of the issues:
race, cursing, use of the n* word, social justice, secular vs sacred. I decided to not write on these issues for now but if you are still curious about the album and read more blogs, these issues will undoubtedly be the focus.
Firstly in regards to the album just on music, I gotta rank it high. This reminds me of Black Star/Common/Old Kanye with the artistry of Miseducation of Lauryn Hill within the life of a christian opening up about his thoughts with the doors closed.
This reminds me of the Black Star/Common/Old Kanye style because of the undeniable attribute of being Conscious music. I love that style of hip hop and Sho steps into that stage strong and bold. I really love the production on the album as well. He really undoubtedly shows his intellectual prowess yet also his lyrical capabilities.
Like Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was named coinciding with the popular book the Mis-education of the Negro, the talented 10th is also related to an article written by W. E. B. Du Bois titled the talented tenth. The album even is sectioned off into tracks named like chapters. Each chapter heading is interestingly chosen.
And this is the life of a christian opening up about his thoughts with doors closed. Many white pastor’s and white christians are completely ignorant of race issues in america and christian culture because few of the issues demean any uncontrollable, physical characteristics that are permanently seeped to our names and faces. What that means is that there are very few issues I am confronted in my life about because I am white and my family is white. Yet for most african-american’s, issues are always floating around that are race related yet never discussed and consistently ignored by the church.
Sho opens up like a man in a locked room telling you what he has held inside for years without the thought that any of his words would be released beyond that room. He lays his project out in spite of the fact that many white christians will never be at a position ready to hear it………and I love it.
I will leave it up to you the listener to check out the album, don’t be like the guy who reads the marriage book and skips to the sex chapter. Don’t start on the Jim Crow track. This album is a really good listen-through album. From the first track on, it’s on point.