Well-known, thoughtful lyricist and hip-hop artist Tedashii is set to release his new full-length album Below Paradise (Reach Records) on May 27. This highly anticipated project will be his first album in three years marking his career fourth studio release. The first single "Dark Days, Darker Nights" features Britt Nicole and was released to fans last week, and has received more than 80,000 views in a matter of days. This album features guest artist appearances by Trip Lee, Lecrae, Britt Nicole, Crowder, Andy Mineo, Royal Tailor and many others.
Below Paradise sheds a new light on what life is really like on this side of eternity. Last year, Tedashii took time off to grieve the loss of his son. This album is a reflection of that experience as he explores the meaning of triumph and hope amidst a life filled with patterns of pain and loss.
"In March of 2013 I had the worst day of my life," shares Tedashii. "The loss of my son changed me forever. I experienced grief and sorrow to the depth of my soul. The veil was lifted, the smoke cleared and all I had was pain. Instantly phrases like, 'It's all good' or 'It'll be ok' were cliche and, at best, empty promises. The comfort of life with no pain was gone and I saw the world in an entirely new way. I felt forsaken, alone, and in a place of darkness that has been kept masked by a focus on only the good side of this life. The reality of being a Christian and suffering so harsh a thing was hard for me to grasp."
Tedashii shares with the listener the reality of suffering, deep and true joy, the bite of life and the false expectations we carry. Below Paradise is filled with true authenticity and uncut honesty during this season of his life.
"This album is my journal shared publicly with everyone during this difficult journey as I worked to understand all I felt, experienced, and believed. I am human, I am hurt, I am His. By His grace I am what I am. I pray this will be an album that all can feel, even if you can't relate, and be moved to true emotions about the reality of life in a harsh world with a loving God, below paradise."
Below Paradise explores not only deep, emotional topics, but it also stretches the sound and style from Tedashii's previous albums. The songs on Below Paradise read like a journal. Some entries are honest and transparent, but the album is not a somber, solemn experience. Recorded in Atlanta and Dallas, these 14 tracks don't just focus on loss and grief, they are inspired by all the events that shaped Tedashii as an artist and a man. This includes his experiences in high school as a football-playing, poetry-reading member of the marching band and his conversion to Christianity during college. Meeting his father for the first time, feeling like an outsider, faith, family and fatherhood, Tedashii invites the listener to experience life "below paradise."
Fans will get to hear the new songs on Below Paradise on the upcoming Summer Shed Tour featuring TobyMac, Skillet and Lecrae. Tour dates listed below.
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May 1 Austin, TX / Austin360 Amphitheater
May 2 Oklahoma City, OK / Zoo Amphitheatre
May 3 Rio Rancho, NM / Santa Ana Star Center
May 4 Denver, CO / Red Rocks Amphitheater
May 8 Little Rock, AR / First Security Amphitheater (Formerly Riverfest Amphitheater)
May 9 St Louis, MO / Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
May 10 Memphis, TN / Mud Island Amphitheater