With his sophomore album, Sho Baraka gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to be a "Lion" in this culture and master ones domain for the glory of God. We can only be Lions if we negate the lies that this culture bombards us with and gives us a distorted view of what success is.
Sho collaborates with Lecrae, Jamie Portee, Trip Lee, Tedashii and many more to help remove "Lions" from the endangered species list. With production from Dj Official, Cheese Williams, Alex Medina, and G-Rocc Lions & Liars promises to be a sonically diverse journey that will encourage believers to be a "Lion" in this culture.
Rapzilla.com Review: Sho Baraka 'Lions & Liars'| Posted March 31, 2010 This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Rapzilla.com
116 Clique is a mainstay and one of the clear leaders in Christian Hip Hop. They have blazed trails with their curriculum and amazed with their focus on ministry and being in the mission field. There has been a great divide between those who are with Reach, Lampmode and Cross Movement Records and everyone else. However, at times I started to wonder if Reach artists were being elitist. Then I started seeing these artists building with others outside of their camps. I started seeing relationships being built publicly on Twitter. I probably should not have assumed anything.
With all that being said, Sho Baraka released his colossal new album, 'Lions and Liars'. This album is an obvious tug-o-war between the man of God and the sinful nature of man. This album features some heavy hitting guest artists including the expected, Tedashii, Trip Lee, and Lecrae. Outsiders that weren't so expected were reggae artist Benjah (don’t sleep on him), rock group After Edmund and even such artists as Propaganda and Cajo artist, Erica Cumbo. The beats are banging hard and the ministry aspect is strong, while Sho’s growth as a lyricist is very evident.
The “Lion’s Anthem” is an ode to those who are repping Christ in their respective jobs or ministries while “Liar’s Anthem” takes a look at the life of those who are controlled by the life of living in sin and walking after the flesh. Sho brings it home in the last verse and calls for all to give their allegiance to Christ. Both are bangers and both deserve to be listened to carefully.
Pro laces the track and sings the hook on “My Life (My Aim)”. Sho is very candid about where his past decisions took him along with the identity crisis that he dealt with. At times, I found myself lost in the beauty of the lyrics which reminded me of things that I went through. “Me Myself and I” is another look at the struggle of dealing with living for self, while striving to live for Christ. The hook and track (featuring a simple, but crazy syncopated beat) are so infectious. “Shut Us Down” is a rock-fused anthem for the ages. Don’t believe me? Just take a listen and get ready to pump your fist and nod your head. After Edmund brings the rock edge while Lecrae flows oh so nice. “Word” is a CERTIFIED BANGER... period.
It is good to see Sho take chances and do some things differently. This is evident with lead single, “We Can Be More”, featuring JR. This is song about seeking a pure and loving relationship and it is done with excellence, minus the cheese factor.
It was a pleasant surprise to hear Propaganda present the poetic interlude, “Boys”. Sho then gives props to men who are taking care of their families on “Revolutionary” featuring Trip Lee on the hook. Others songs to peep are “The Rising” featuring the clean raspy vocals of Erica Cumbo and the southern flow of Trip Lee. Also noteworthy is “I.T.W.N.O.I”, a song with the wow factor because of the good balance of gritty rappers, Tedashii and R-Swift, and singers Benjah and Honey LaRochelle.
There have been several Christian Hip Hop albums that I have been reluctant to recommend to others, but I recommend this album to anyone. There is so much to enjoy on “Lions and Liars”. This CD makes me even more proud to be a Christian and Sho challenges me not to live just a mediocre life on the sidelines. It was a well crafted and well put together album. Buy it. Enjoy it. Buy it for others and watch lives become impacted.
No More Excuses, Stop Sleeping on Christian Rap People, It's Time to Wake Up!| Posted June 22, 2010
Reach Records artist, Sho Baraka recently released his sophomore album entitled, "Lions and Liars" this past month. Leading up to the release date, Sho Baraka two teaser videos of the songs, "Oh Well" and "Revolutionary Died". Sho also released the single, "We Can Be More", a love anthem that reflects Godly relationships, something not heard often these days. By releasing these three songs,the anticipation for Lions and Liars grew and Sho caught the attention of secular music sites, most notably Global Grind. Though Sho's lyrical talent has always undeniable, Lions and Liars has truly shown his growth as an artist since the release of his debut album, "Turn My Life Up". With songs like "The Rising" (featuring fellow rapper Trip Lee and songstress Erica Cumbo)and "Shut Us Down" (featuring rock group, After Edmund), Lions and Liars is an album filled with eclectic sounds and Christ-centered lyrics, making for one amazing album. Lions and Liars is easily one of the top albums of the year and the only way to truly know how amazing this album is and to really understand the concept you need to listen to the album.NOW!!!
a step above| Posted March 31, 2010
Keeping in line with the rest of the 1-1-Six, Sho Baraka's sophomore Reach Records release was definitley better than his first, and his first was nothing to laugh at. Sho's unique style sets him apart from his lablemates and this album is the most eclectic rap albums i've heard in a while... one that was actually good that is. There isnt one filler on the whole ablum. My favorites are LIONS ANTHEM, SHUT US DOWN, WE CAN BE MORE, ME MYSELF AND I, LIARS ANTHEM, I.T.W.N.O.I, and five the bonus songs at the end of the cd.