Diverse musician Shaq_Gwapo on fast-track to be a household name thanks to new singles
BRONX, NY – When life gets rough and you’re searching for something to take the pain away, Shaq_Gwapo has the kind of music that’s the perfect antidote.
Hailing from The Bronx in New York, this up-and-coming artist who blends Jamaican Patwa with smooth R&B and hard-hitting lyrics is soon to become a household name across the U.S. With hits like “Pain,” “Need a Whole Load” and “Hotboy On Da Block,” this rapper from the trenches of Tremont Avenue is coming with a sound and style that demands attention.
“Pain” is the most recent single he’s released, and it’s the perfect example of the unique blend of sounds and styles that he brings to his music. The lyrics pull from his experiences on the streets, making his way through the struggle and earning an extra buck any way he can.
“Ever since I was a teenager and even in middle school, I always had money because I always found a way to get some money,” he said. “Whether that was selling candy or selling CDs downtown in Times Square, I was always doing whatever I could to get the gwap – that’s the lingo in the Bronx for getting money. But everybody in my neighborhood knows me as Shaq, so I just put those two things together to make my stage name. And ‘Pain’ tells the story of coming up through that struggle. If you listen to it, you’ll hear me talking about the shootings that seem to happen out here every week, and how innocent kids are getting killed because of all the violence. Two of my friends were killed by gunshot violence in 2010 when we were only teenagers. A guy came into a building and started shooting and my two friends got killed. And it seems like everything has boiled up even more since then. There’s just so much violence going on, and I felt like I had to make this song straight from the heart so that people could hear the pain we go through every day.”
Shaq_Gwapo said he pulls inspiration from some of the biggest names in the game including Drake, Usher, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Migos, Max B, and Juelz Santana. While going through the hardships of his childhood, he often connected with those artists and eventually realized that he too, could deal with the anger and emotions of his life through music.
“I’ve been through a lot and I just put everything into sequence and just let the flow and my mind ride the beat,” he said. “I’ve been grinding for a long time in the streets, and now it’s time to show the world what I’m made of.”
Shaq said “Pain” is just one example of the kind of music he wants to create. His diversity as a musician has wide ranges – from strip club songs, to R&B tracks, to harder-hitting Reggae. And throughout every song he creates, he builds stories of truth derived from his own life or from things he’s seen around him. Sometimes those things will be depressing, he admits, while other times he’ll create music that will help listeners have a good time and just move for a bit.
“I want my music to be known for being a potion or an antidote,” he said. “What I’m going to speak about or have already spoken about is everyday situations we go through. You can survive and strive out there. I’m really trying to show the community and the youth that you can have that faith. It’s all about faith. You can’t let anybody put you down. There are a lot of critics out there and you just have to push through – just be yourself and be driven and stay connected. Never give up. Keep striving. Have faith. And like my dad always said: live life one day at a time.”
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