The Starter’s Guide to Sheck Wes

Written by on September 4, 2018

A starter’s guide to Sheck Wes, a raucous Harlem rapper who fuses aggressive trap production with poignant lyricism and infectious hooks.

Who Is Sheck Wes?

Sheck Wes is a rising, raucous Harlem rapper with less than 10 songs available to the public and a record deal with both Travis Scott and Kanye West. You may have heard his recent riot-inducing guest feature on Scott’s superb new album, ASTROWORLD (“NO BYSTANDERS”). If that doesn’t scream potential, then we’re not sure what does.

A child of African immigrants, Sheck Wes fell in love with making music at age nine. Ten years later, Wes makes infectious and gut-wrenching bangers in the vein of his mentor Travis, complete with the requisite Harlem charisma and a twang of eccentrism that makes every single an instant earworm. His hooks are just that, bringing fans in for necessary subsequent listens to catch his full meaning because, as he’s made clear, Sheck Wes is really rapping.

By 16, Wes was modeling in the Yeezy Season 3 show, alongside Lil Yachty, Young Thug, and countless others. At 19, the video for his breakthrough single “Mo Bamba”—named after Sheck’s childhood friend and recent Orlando Magic draft pick Mohamed “Mo” Bamba—has over eight million views (with another 31 million streams on Spotify). The equally impressive single “Live SheckWes Die SheckWes,” which is currently just south of three million streams, could soon follow. When not modeling or rapping, Wes is shooting promotional videos for Jordan Brand.

Off the success of his singles, Sheck Wes will be releasing his debut project Mudboy before the end of 2018 on Interscope Records in a joint-venture with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music labels.

Why Should You Care?

You should care about Sheck Wes because Sheck Wes doesn’t care about clout. The upstart only cares about music. He told The FADER as much when breaking down his rap name and the importance of sacrifice. There are elements of subversion and perspective to his music that force you to think and challenge your understanding of a “banger,” a “conscious rapper,” a “New York” rapper, and every other subdivision of hip-hop. All of this, of course, is in the service of his ultimate downtown takeover.

You should also care about Sheck Wes because some of the most influential hip-hop acts care about Sheck Wes. Travis Scott shouted out “Mo Bamba” on Astroworld standout “WHO? WHAT!” Lil Yachty recently featured on “N**** AINT CLOSE.” and when Wes was about to sign to Scott’s label, Kanye West happened to press play on “Mo Bamba” and, as Wes tells it: “He flew me out to LA overnight. I go to this hotel in Calabasas, and I meet up with Ye and Pusha T… [Kanye’s] on the phone, calling Trav, like ‘Yo, I heard you’re fucking with Sheck Wes, I’m fucking with Sheck Wes too, let’s do this shit together.’”

5 Essential Songs

“Mo Bamba” (2017)

Reader's opinions
  1. asd   On   May 21, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    For sure, is a very good opinion, anyway I may thing that things should have been different if the music market was more open to new talents and less connected to the money and to the industry.

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