SHA¥ Khushrenada – 10’s (Prod. Toby Kenobi)
‘SHA¥ shines as he blesses the beat with a barrage of cool, sharp hip-hop lyrics’
25-year-old East London underground hip-hop mastermind Jason Adabra, AKA SHA¥ Khushrenada, prepares to burst back onto the scene alongside his Astronaut Heroics collective with a free mixtape, ‘The Karman Line’, set to drop on 11th March 2016.
The eclectic yet perfectly arranged 10-track release features the hip-hop prodigy’s lyrical expertise, taking cues from a vast array of genres from soul to grime to form a cohesive body of work with the peaks and troughs indicative of the artist’s unique style. Both SHA¥’s moniker and the name of the Astronaut Heroics collective, which will shortly be launching as a label, represent the acknowledgement of Japanese culture, Sci-Fi and the cosmos as influences in his work, explaining that “the title ‘The Karman Line’ runs off a space theme. It represents the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and outerspace”. Khushrenada itself is the surname of a character from Gundam Wing, one of a number of Japanese anime series, including Outlaw Starand Cowboy Bebop, from which SHA¥’s work has drawn influence.
The mixtape opens with the ominous ‘Third Degree’, featuring a ticking trap rhythm that slowly builds before being joined by SHA¥’s fast-flowing rhythmic rap. The mixtape then moves seamlessly into the old-skool hip-hop inspred beats of ‘10s’ and ‘Got It’, the latter being reminiscent of Tyler, The Creator’s ‘She’ ft. Frank Ocean. ‘Cry’ marks the midway point of the mixtape, calling to mind Mos Def and Talib Kweli as Black Star, utilising soul driven samples to provide a foundation for SHA¥’s expertly crafted and emotive lyrics. Having grown up in Stratford, East London and witnessed the birth of the grime sub-genre, with ‘Don’t Stop’ it is no surprise that SHA¥ demonstrates he is just as comfortable spitting over grittier trap influenced beats. Backed up by R&B singer and fellow Astronaut Heroics member Wilz Taylor, who cites the likes of Michael Jackson and Donnell Jones as his influencers, ‘Winter Mornings’provides an old school boom bap respite, with punchy snare-led percussion and a rich bass riff reminiscent of The Roots. Penultimate track, ‘Candles’, features another Astronaut Heroics member Poetic P, a multi-talented 23-year-old MC and radio presenter on Radar Radio, and is accompanied by stunning visuals directed by E.Greaves, which have already featured onGRM Daily and Lost Culture. SHA¥ finally brings the mixtape to a close with the emotive and soaring string-based backing of ‘End to End’, which concludes with a classical inspired final flourish.
SHA¥ explains that, “for this project I was influenced a lot by Kanye West’s early material…in terms of the more personal tracks content wise and in terms of beat selection” whilst for the more trap sounding tracks, he cites the likes of A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott in terms of “vocal effects and structure” and The Clipse in terms of “lyrical delivery”. However, SHA¥’s own unique style shines through in terms of picking beats and approaching the concepts for the tracks, backed up by production from Astronaut Heroics in-house producers Toby Kenobi andTrebor Llams, whose wide range of genres contribute to the unique sound of the release as a whole.
With influences ranging from Lupe Fiasco and MF Doom to Pharrell and Isaac Hayes, SHA¥ Khushrenada looks set to break into every scene with his new mixtape ‘The Karman Line’, set to drop 11th March 2016.