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When the Son Shines

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Caleb Sewell, Sports Editor

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On February 2nd, Ohio born, and Atlanta-based Hip- Hop artist: Swoope, released his third album titled Sonshine.

Some may not be familiar with Swoope. He isn’t really considered a mainstream artist as of now, but he has certainly made his presence known with prior  producing and songwriting. With his Sonshine album, brightening up the hip-hop atmosphere, Swoope is definitely an artist that people should be looking out for.

The album is a mix of authentic hip-hop grit with a side of Gospel influence, similar to Chance the Rapper. The album includes 11 tracks, all different sonically, but they all shine some light on perspective, faith, confidence, and realness when it comes to the discussion of social justice. The album title Sonshine for Swoope was designed to tell people where he got his hope from. He thinks it doesn’t matter if you’re atheist, agnostic, a believer, or whatever, everyone is looking for hope, and the album is explaining where he found his. Swoope stated in a “Kick the Concrete” article, “The primary meaning is that the Son of God is shining on me and there’s a plethora of songs that refer to that, and not shining in the happy-go-lucky way, but more so there is an ever-present covering and contentment that I had to find myself that was only in Jesus…Then there’s also sun ‘cause you shine like one. I feel brighter than I ever have. Even though I’m kind of starting my career over, I feel like yeah, this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Swoope doesn’t shy away from sharing his hope on the album. Along with hope, he touches on what it’s like to be a black man in America on tracks: “Old Me”, “TSNK Thou Shall Not Kill)”.

“Black Boy” which is a song dedicated to his sons. “Old Me” begins with Swoope saying, “I woke up feeling black, couldn’t be better.” “Old Me” is referencing Swoope being confident in his skin and going back to his old ways of being happy to be black even when some people in society don’t want him too.

Lines that stood out to me in this song were  one verse where Swoope stated, “Being black in America is dumb hard, somebody always saying that we pull the race card, then America turned around and pulled the Trump Card.” As well as him speaking on social justice when he rapped, “If you comply, resist, or you run off. See your one crime is your skin, if your tone’s dark. You’re the lead role, getting killed on the film, with the phone’s out.

Who’s the next victim getting screwed by the system. Would they dig you a grave, or would they make you a slave? Dirt cheap tombstone or 13th loophole just to make you behave. It’s insane.” That resonated with me because it seems like in America, there’s never a way to be safe being black. When you look at the criminal justice system, there’s not always justice, and an interaction with law enforcement may be your last time being alive.

Swoope’s “TSNK”, starts off with the sounds of Alton Sterling being shot and murdered by law enforcement. The song takes on the role of police brutality and the topic of protest for justice, like Black Lives Matter protest and how some people don’t want to address the injustice done to minorities.

His verse that he rapped, “Got Philando in his car for tail light. Explain being choked to death. You won’t Garner an answer. Won’t hold my breath. You ain’t gotta agree, this is my opinion. I’m just hollering ‘please can we stop the killing’? Whether cops on a beat or get shot by a G on your block ‘cause you shopping the kilos, it’s not a feeling any mother should feel, that’s why the Father said ‘thou shalt not kill’. There’s good cops, I’m just looking for balance. Can we stop hashtagging caskets please?” The importance in this verse is that Swoope recognizes that there’s good cops, he recognizes a gang affiliated murder, but he also recognizes that there needs to be a balance of satisfactory cops compared to unsuitable cops and that killing is not necessary.My favorite song on the album is “Black Boy”. The song wasn’t supposed to be on the album originally, but then he stated in the same Kick the Concrete interview, “So it wasn’t even supposed to be a song that saw the light of day, but it’s such an important message that I want to uplift my sons specifically, but I think will uplift African-American sons across the world.” That’s exactly what the song did. Being raised by a single mother I never had  the “talk” with a male before, and this song by Swoope gave it to me in a beautiful form and uplifted me and my blackness.

The album covered different multitudes of topics with hope, love, and awareness. It gave hope to every listener with every track that it possessed. It’s one of my favorite Hip-Hop albums that I’ve heard this year and I believe it’s an album for anyone wanting to find hope in a world where it’s hard to find.

One of the best lines on the album was on Swoope’s song “Never Left”, where he said, “Know your worth then add tax.” That line lets the listeners know the self-confidence and self-worth that everyone should have and Sonshine is definitely a masterfully crafted piece by Swoope.

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About the Writer
Caleb Sewell, Sports Editor

Caleb Sewell, currently a senior at Eaglecrest, is entering his first year on the Eagle Quill staff as the sports editor. In his free time he enjoys long walks on the beach,  good vibes, and good tunes. He hopes to be a social justice journalist with a side of sports. He lives by the motto; “What would Jesus do?”

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When the Son Shines