- Authority Figgas - S. Forever
Shaka Wilson AKA S. Forever is a Jamaican born American rapper and entrepreneur. Birthed to a single mother in one of the world’s most violent cities (Kingston, Jamaica) in the 1980’s, Shaka was secretly taken in the country as a child and an illegal immigrant, a status in which he kept for almost 10 years. First, moving to the South Bronx, New York and then finally settling in the North Miami and later Miramar, FL area in the 1990’s. His passion for Hip Hop began as a teenager and he has been writing and performing music for over 10 years. His songs have a wide range of appeal and an aggressive sound.
Lyrical, witty, confident, and wise beyond his years “S. FOREVER” is in it for one thing only, Greatness. His first single “Authority Figgaz” is a gritty and entertaining look into his personality and mindset. “S.FOREVER” raps lines with a hunger that is rarely heard in these current times of lack luster rap vocal performances. His recently released Ep titled Shakaveli (The 8th Day), features complicated rhyme schemes presented with an extraordinary delivery. He is currently an Independent Artist looking to expand his brand into the commercial market as well as the ever growing digitally distributed music industry.
What is your background? Tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
First and foremost I want to thank Moe Rock and the entire NowHipHop.com magazine family for helping me get the exposure I need. To answer the question though I was born in Kingston, Jamaica came to America as a child and spent 2 years in the Bronx before moving to South Florida, so you can say I’m a Florida boy. North Miami, Miramar, and Hollywood to be exact. I was raised by a strong island mother who worked all her life to support her 2 kids and of course papa was a rolling stone, so we need not mention him. I pretty much spent my youth chasing that cliché black ghetto boy dream “I’m gonna be the next MJ” which wasn’t that farfetched in my mind at the time because I was a really talented basketball player. Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit to anything that required me being told what to do by anyone. I guess you can say “I got a problem with authority.” I was a hell raiser throughout my teens. Growing up in the late 90’s in South Florida was a free for all, a lot the girls were hoes and a lot of dudes were street so being a square was never an option. I was smart enough to get that high school diploma though, and basketball was a major reason for that, you can’t play if your grades are below average, so in between knocking down the hoes and smoking bud I would play ball and go to class often enough not to get deemed ineligible. Real talk. I don’t consider myself a gangster or a thug, but as a black man in America I will say that sometimes you may have to do some gangster sh*t to get by. I will leave it at that because to be honest most of my stories and experiences can’t be spoken on. I don’t want to make it seem like that is normal because it’s not, to think that as a youth your only options for success are Sports, Entertainment, or the Streets is pretty sad.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
When I was in high school I recorded a mixtape and I named it “N*ggaz Gonna Feel it” after a song by a local rapper that had a buzz in Miami at the time. I forgot his name, but shouts out to him. The mixtape was hilariously dark. I even made a song about killing a girl I had asked out who turned me down. The song was called “love and murder” over that old Jay-z & Mya “Best of me” remix beat and once people heard it they started copping the tape anywhere from $5 to $10 a pop. They started calling me Black E. meaning the Black Eminem. I really didn’t think about it until now, but that was a pretty sh*tty thing to do so I’d like to apologize to that shorty. It was all in fun though. After making almost $200 that week I realized I might be good enough to make this a living one day, not by making songs about killing chicks, but in music itself as a career where no one could really tell me what to do. I loved the feeling of hearing people say “Yo Shaka can rap!” I felt like I should focus and really master my craft so one day maybe I’ll get mentioned as one of the greats. Plus I did make more money that week off my mixtape than my off my lousy nickel bag weed sales, so it was a no brainer. Do what you love and get paid doing it.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
I am inspired by greatness period. Growing up of course Pac and B.I.G had a major impact on me, but also Allen Iverson. Nas was the one though. I can’t even front, every time I listened to his word play I found myself challenged as an M.C to put words together that people could feel and marvel at like he could, it definitely made me a better writer. In practice though I tried the Jay-z style of keeping my rhymes in my head. I did it for like 3 years straight didn’t write one bar down. I just would memorize them and spit it within about an hour of hearing the beat. That out of everything was the hardest thing to learn how to do. I went back to writing once I got my time down to about 45 mins. Hov does his in like 15-20 mins, now that’s crazy. It really didn’t make sense for me to shave another 30 mins off my time when I was already such a great writer so I stopped memorizing and picked back up the pen, but those were my influences, the Greats! As for who I would like to collaborate with honestly these days everybody works with everybody, pretty much if you have a hit song, here comes the bandwagon. In order for me to work with someone though I would have to be around them, see how they move, and what their energy is like in a room. Now days everyone just emails tracks to work together while more than half of them don’t even like each other. I’m not that guy. If I rock with you then we solid if not then so be it. I will say that listening to Nipsey Hussle these past few months is what really got me excited about rap again, I had no clue homie was an M.C and not just a rapper, there’s a big difference! Now outside of rap I would work with FKA Twigs or Rihanna.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
I hear a lot of people complaining about the current state of Hip Hop. Don’t get me wrong this sh*t has turned into a sideshow but it’s all in how you look at it. I personally love it. This is the best time to get in if you are a real artist with skills and hit making ability. You can go independent and collect your own royalties, own your masters, and release music at will, that’s unheard of. I mean years ago I couldn’t just get a feature on a site like this, it would have to be arranged by some label guy with his hands in my pockets. Now for my true lyricists out there I do feel your pain, with the exception of a couple M.C’s this sh*t is like shooting fish in a barrel or like Lebron going to a second grade basketball try out on an 8 foot rim. The bar is low! Take advantage! The guys people complain about are needed in the game. If you show up on a block and everybody loves smoking dirt weed, don’t be the guy to sh*t on them for it. Be the guy that introduces them to High Grade. They will thank you for it and put money in your pockets.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about?
Being 100% Independent I wear many hats so my mindset has recently switched gears to the promotion and marketing phase of my first single “Authority Figgaz”. I am pretty excited about getting out there and networking with people and pushing my single. My second single will be released in March and is called “RainDance” it’s a mix of Trap drums and EDM synths it’s really a different sound but it goes so hard. I have tons of music on deck and when I say tons I mean it. Imagine a guy sitting down and writing music for 10 years straight, recording alone, mixing alone and focusing on just one moment. I’m that guy and this is that moment. I just needed enough visibility to say here’s some music people, hope you like it.
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
In the next 10 months I will have shot and released a visual for one of my many songs and hopefully have made a name for myself as someone worth paying attention to in the music industry. I will have my publishing company set up by then and be looking into expanding my brand overseas, there is a lot of money to be made and with the internet I can have fans in Japan and not even know it, that’s a beautiful thing.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years?
My long term goals are pretty straight forward, write at least 5 hit songs for myself and 5 hits for other people in the next 2-5 years. I don’t have a problem with ghostwriting as long as I collect my publishing and I remain who I set out to be as an artist. I am here to plant my flag period. I’m going to make sure to put myself in a space where I can control my own destiny as an artist and stay true to everything I said I would before I entered this industry. I will be taking proceeds from my music and buying property as well as investing in the stock market. I’m trying to retire young, get married, stay rich and travel the world. Egypt is a destination of mine within this time frame whether or not this music things blows up.
If you had one song out of the catalogue you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
That’s easy its track 4 off my Shakaveli Ep. The song is called Sodom and Gomorrah done over on the Eminem “Beautiful” beat. I believe it is a timeless display of lyrical storytelling. I promise it’s like nothing anyone has ever heard before. The mix has this underground feel that I purposely put there because it felt wrong to mess with it too much. At first I tried to sing the hook but it just needed something extra so I reached out to a really talented singer/songwriter named Jessenia Wess and she nailed it. J. Wess did her thing and captured the mood perfectly. It’s most likely the darkest song I will ever make. I dare anyone reading this to go on datpiff.com search Shakaveli and listen to that song then tell me it isn’t some serious content. I guess it’s my version of Jay-z’s D’evils but much worse. It will go over a lot of people’s heads on the first listen because you have to understand the art of storytelling and rhyme schemes to see how impressive it really is. You’ll have to replay it a few times to understand every facet of that story.
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
I represent for the have nots. I’m a proud black man who loves being black, staying black, and giving back. I don’t claim to be a bigtime gangster, nor a killer, or El Chapo’s lost black nephew nobody knew of. I‘ve been through many of the things that your average guy goes through growing up in the hood. I have lost close friends and associates to murder and prison and that could have easily been my story too. I just happen to possess a talent that enables me to paint a picture that captivates an audience and tells them my story in a unique way and a different perspective. I am not going to make songs about how I can take your girl, F*ck her and send her back to you, nor will I clown anyone for being a broke n*gga, cause you know what, not everybody can be a criminal, or a player and I understand that. I’m from the third world, born in Kingston, Jamaica in the 1980’s, smuggled here illegally, lived in an attic with my mother in the Bronx, the whole nine, so I understand the struggle, things got better because our mindsets got better. Just know that every song that I create is with the intent of being the song the blows up helping me break that cycle of poverty in my family bloodline, so you will feel my passion in it. I am not a lazy artist.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
Authentic, Classic, Lyrical, Truthful, and Introspective.
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
I’m okay with being politically incorrect. I tell it like it is whether you like it or not and have no problem with being labeled as the rebel or renegade. I speak from the heart and being genuine is my true nature. I can’t fake it even if I wanted to, which I don’t.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
Don’t do what everyone else is doing find your own voice and your own sound. The cycle of fads and copycats will always come and go. The originals are the only ones that last. Also invest money in yourself and not in someone else’s plot to separate you from your money. There are a lot of scams online about marketing and promotion, don’t waste your time. Get with legit people and don’t be afraid to question people’s motives. They might not like it but they will respect it. Lastly make sure you are ready for your success, preparation is key. My high school basketball Coach Bernie Hamrick (god rest his soul) used to yell out every day “ Shaka, Practice don’t make Perfect, Perfect Practice makes Perfect!” that always stuck with me, so work on your craft and don’t let critics or naysayers block the vision.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
Buy my single on cdbaby it’s just .99 cents
Please support good music!
Download Shakaveli (The 8th Day)
My social media looks all anemic so help a brother out and follow me!
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
Nothing, I left them out for a reason.