“I want to create experiences,” says Amisho “Sho” Baraka. “I want people to remember things about my show.” Baraka is a 38-year old Christian hip hop artist bringing a fresh new take on faith, culture, politics and life with his latest album The Narrative. He is on tour now promoting his fourth studio album.
I was treated to my first Sho experience last Saturday night in Brooklyn at Park Slope Christian Tabernacle. I went to college with this guy and never saw this side of him. Sure we discussed rap music. His music takes me to the places Kendrick and Stevie’s does. I like music that makes me think, makes me feel it in my soul as if some part of me wrote the lyrics too. I can definitely relate to his lyrics on “30 and up.”
“Some will celebrate someone want you to struggle Don’t get bent out of shape but just keep those Squares Out Your Circle We too mature to be acting like teenagers Acting like I’m fake to impress these strangers somebody must have found the Fountain of Youth. Bottled it up and didn’t give that bottle to you!”
Saturday while trying to capture what “A Night With Sho” fully is, I got caught up too. Several times throughout the evening I had to remind myself I was there to get the story not jam out at a concert. I was definitely rocking my hips to the music and had a groove in my step, as I moved about the stage getting the best footage of Sho. I was stirred by the diverse crowd that the Sho experience attracted. This brother definitely spits pro-Black lyrics. His latest album The Narrative was inspired by Frederick Douglass.
But his message of finding your own identity in Christ and not through the masses interpretation of Christianity is one the deeply resonates with his fan base. His music truly is for everybody. There were young kids dancing in the crowd to Sho’s infectious beats. My little five year old was one of them.
Attending his show made me long for our college days when we were part of a Christian college ministry called Plumbline. We had retreats and parties of nothing but Christian hip hop music with awesome guest like The Ambassador. I was feeling nostalgic watching my old pal rock the mic.
Backed by a three member live band and one backup singer, Sho Baraka brought high energy to every song performed. A true hip-hop show that is family friendly is something unheard of in rap music and I’m glad I got to attend.
It was an easy process from the time I entered the door. I was greeted in a welcoming manner. I loved the body Christ that assembled to sell his merchandise, opening his show acts and those men and women who kept us secure. The team effort created a helpful and friendly environment to worship. Fans who purchased VIP tickets got an exclusive Meet and Greet with Sho before his concert and a discount on merchandise. Being so up close and personal with a favorite musical artist is the ultimate fan’s dream! Sho shared his favorite TV shows, books he was reading and got a chance to learn about his fans also.
Speaking of his opening acts, I missed the first young lady setting up my camera, but I caught his second opening act by the name of Robert Williams, Jr. and his band The Cookout. He really brought the crowd into a place of worship for the Easter weekend. Check out my video of a few songs he performed.
#ANightWithSho is a Holy party for everyone to enjoy. It’s definitely for us folks that need to get a sitter for the night. His show is for the grown, the cultured and the folks that don’t want to have to worry about stepping on someone’s shoes at a concert.
Did I mention there was a SOUL TRAIN line at a HOLY HIP HOP concert!! “They are going to remember that a Soul Train line broke out in the middle of a concert.” Says Sho Baraka. For that reason alone, you need to grab your tickets to the next #ANightWithSho which will be hitting Durham, NC April 21st and Nashville, TN April 29th! Sho will not disappoint you with his style and grace as he uplifts the Savior and your self-esteem!