Sho Baraka - Talented XthHungry for some perspective? Sho Baraka's new album is full of many perspectives that will challenge and inspire you.

Title: Talented Xth
Artist: Sho Baraka
Label: Lions & Liars Music
Time: 16 tracks/64:24 min.

I know I am not exactly the world’s foremost expert on rap, but I do enjoy an occasional rap album that is well done and original. That is how I would describe Sho Baraka’s tenth album, Talented Xth. What you get with this album are deeper lyrics, more organic instrumentation, and better word skills than you find on your average rap album. Each song focuses on a particular person (sometimes famous, sometimes not) and then explores issues related to that person in some way. Songs like “Madoff” and “Jim Crow” get more than a little rough in places… but what do you expect with those topics? Those are the “controversial” songs on the album that – like most “controversial” Christian songs – don’t really deserve the controversy. I guess I have an edited version – I didn’t hear the cuss words that were apparently on there originally. But even with those words I don’t see what the big deal is. There is also a lot of cultural exploration in the lyrics that might be a bit eye-opening for those that (incorrectly) believe that racial equality is a current reality. My favorite tracks are the more experimental ones like “Mrs…” and “Hello Change,” but every track is quality. At 16 songs it does get a bit long, but that can be said about many albums today. I recommend this for regular rap fans as well as occasional rap fans such as myself.

By Matt Crosslin


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