“My papa ask me where I put my faith, feel like when I talk to gods I’m just showing face…”
Behind the lines and visual imagery of some of our favorite rap music is a dedication to the art of story-telling that is the invisible push we all feel in our lives. The need for an interesting story to keep us at the edge of our seats is a part of human life—it’s the drive of interest and thrill that makes us feel there is more to life in the midst of our hum-drum reality. Whether the story is dodging death or climbing over a mountain, someone will want to hear it from start to finish. It’s been like since caveman shared stories of hunting over warm fires, and it will continue to be like that even when we’re all downloaded into one digital consciousness—stories will always bring people from all corners of the world together.
Rap music has allowed artists to tell a story as grand and theatrical as climbing Mt. Everest but in a more realistic, captivating way. Some life-changing stories don’t happen at the biggest marvels of the world—sometimes they happen within the corners of streets we’ve never heard of. Cities we’ve never visited or States we’ve said “Hell No!” in response to. Rap music has allowed some of those stories to come out and expose people to a world they never knew they coexisted with. But what makes a compelling story is not just, who is involved, where it is, or how it ends—but how the story begins. We start with our hero and stay with them for every win or loss because we know what the journey will do to the man on the road.
In the end, the story will be told by whoever lived it, the most authentic way to hear the source of the story. As we get older and find which stories we are attracted to, we also find the need to hear a true voice behind these stories. A voice that we know is telling the truth behind their music—because anyone can tell a good story, but that experience gained is something that adds to the story like a special seasoning. The secret ingredient behind what matters the most to us—the truth. I recently came across an album that I believe holds this representation of being true. The true story of an artist accepting their skills and their flaws focused on an ultimate end goal not only for themselves but for the better of those around them.
“Coulda beenaAllstar D1 player if I tried real good, but I was too busy tryna wrap these bricks to get up out the hood…”
The album in question is Scalping Tickets To Get To Heaven by Corpus Christi, Texas artist Fatboyshaun. With phenomenal production from Cuffedgod and immaculate engineering from Nuera, STTGTH is a prominent first step towards the rest of Fatboyshaun’s rap career. Shaun has been making music for well over 4 years now and has a history of diverse sounds, ideas, and finished projects behind him. Scalping Tickets To Get To Heaven is a culmination of all of Shaun’s previous history as an artist, as well as a new history that will continue to evolve him as an artist.
“The building process isn’t my focus, it’s the pieces that go into that process. I take maybe 2 weeks to record 15-20 songs and then my team sits down and picks the best of that bunch. I believe people are more important than the process itself because if I can say, “here’s this idea, do what you do” it allows me to solely focus on the music, which at the end of the day is all I want to do.” – Fatboyshaun
Before I go into the album, I want to take a second to speak about the artwork behind it. Shaun had sent me STTGTH in its very early stages, like a scientist testing several different hypotheses. I had been sent the songs as soon as they were finished and even got the chance to experiment with the tracklisting process. It’s more than enough to say that I understood the vision to the exact detail—for me, making the cover was imagining what I would see when listening to these songs, hearing this name, knowing the artist. I wasn’t making a tribute as a fan, I was helping someone bring a piece of their multidimensional project to life. And I was only able to do any of that due to the passion and intensity I felt off of this project before it was even finished.
Shaun’s lyrical ability is stretched beyond whatever capacity he believed he could reach on this project. As heard from the stacked verses of hunger, hard work & visions of success, Shaun’s mind-state is shown to have gone through a massive change. Along with the change in the course of flows and styles of Rap, Shaun has had a bit of time to experiment and play around with certain sounds or styles before he began the stages of his final form. This is not his first time making music, and this is not his first time having this feeling of wanting to be the greatest.
This growth of skill and character has allowed Shaun to change his musician mindset for the better—transitioning to telling his story and expressing his motivation to become not only a legend where he’s from but in his field of work as well. Touching on experiences with his family, the desires and sometimes regrets he feels from his decisions made in his life, the need to always be a shark in a pond of minnows—STTGTH is not a confession to anything, but an acknowledgment of what he must do to make sure he and his family will continue to eat. Even if that means scalping tickets to get to the almighty kingdom above.
“Made more money last year than I thought I’d ever have, but I think I miss it more when me and my ni**as was down bad…”
These rap highlights can be seen on every track of this project. From solo songs like 80s, Deaded, STTGTH, or Fatboylarry, Shaun shows off his one-man rap gymnastics. Detailing that just because he’s switched a few things aesthetically, his lyricism has not degraded in the slightest. He shows us a new methodology of sound that he’s stepped into within the past few years. Foreshadowing the constant progression to come from future projects. He also showcases his chemistry with other rap artists on tracks like Roadrunnin featuring Roman Gabriel, Swine featuring HVN & Fckndummiez featuring Jxylen. Ultimately putting together a 3-course meal of a project with only 8 songs. An amazing presentation from Shaun detailing the efforts he’s taken to put himself in this position as a rap artist & chasing the dream of prosperity within reach, closer than ever before.
Be sure to follow Fatboyshaun on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on new music releases as well as any extra content that comes out behind it. You can also stream Scalping Tickets To Get To Heaven down below via Spotify and head over here for your preferred streaming service.