Sheck Wes


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About Sheck Wes

Rap’s history belongs to the upstarts, and in 2018, Harlem’s Sheck Wes kicked off a thrilling new chapter with just three syllables: “Mo Bamba.” Born Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Fall to Senegalese parents in 1998, Wes bootstrapped his way into rap’s upper echelons, and his ascent—fueled by talent, determination, and a distinctly rebellious streak—is a quintessentially American tale. He grew up playing basketball, modeling, rapping, and causing trouble. Sent to an Islamic school in Senegal, he finally got his act together at 17. The friction between those experiences powers his music, in which elemental rhymes and stripped-down 808s harness punk’s incendiary energy. “It gets tragic where I live, everything is negative,” he rapped on early single “Live Sheck Wes”; “Everybody grew up tough, bunch of diamonds in the rough.” His breakout hit was an ode to one of those gems: his neighborhood friend Mo Bamba, an NBA rookie and fellow son of immigrants. The song’s shouted chorus and mosh-inducing bass became the summer of 2017’s most inescapable anthem—particularly in New York, where it became a statement of purpose for a generation of restless kids. “It’s having a real impact,” Wes told Apple Music. “The kids are like, ‘If he made it out, I could make it out.’” Wes signed a joint deal with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music for his debut album, 2018’s coming-of-age tale, MUDBOY, but he has been careful not to flood the zone with non-essential songs. “I’ve never been a follower,” he explains. A born leader, he rewrites rap’s future every time he steps to the mic.

Harlem, NY, United States
September 10, 1998
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