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This week, Shawny Binladen, one of the most original and quietly influential artists in NYC today, dropped the deluxe version of his latest project, ‘Wickipedia’ - unloading 17 brand new songs showcasing his captivating, truly one-of-a-kind style in addition to the 17 on the original version released in August.
Shawny Binladen is one of the most unique and compelling emerging artists in hip hop. From the first second of his raspy vocal, perfectly ‘offbeat’ cadence, and unapologetic bars outlining the gritty details of navigating the streets of NYC in 2021, it’s clear that you’ve never heard anything quite like it. On top of that, the real magic of Shawny Binladen is his clever, unintuitive use of samples - frequently flipping popular, soulful samples of yesteryear into gritty drill-inspired hip hop beats with the help of innovative NY-based producers like Cash Cobain, 2tblossom, and Epondabeat, Doubleupfinesse, and Calluptay. As a result, Shawny is widely considered to be a pioneer of the current widespread trend of “sample beats” (or as some seem to be calling it: “soul drill”) sweeping through New York and the industry as a whole.
Shawny Binladen’s unorthodox style and particular taste in production are on full display on ‘Wickipedia’ (Deluxe). Several of the early standouts from the project are the tracks built around flipped hit songs from the recent past: songs like “Hands on the W” (Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness”), “Adrenaline” (Rihanna “Pour It Up”), “In the Vault” (French Montana feat. Kodak Black “Lockjaw”), and “Shawn Ye” (Kanye “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”). There’s also “Grinch’d Up Life”, built around a flipped sample of “It’s The Hard Knock Life” from ANNIE. What makes these songs so compelling is how they are somehow contorted to fit into Shawny’s gritty, asymmetrical style while still managing to capture the unique qualities that made the original song what it was.
‘Wickipedia’ (Deluxe) also features several of Shawny’s close collaborators, bonded together by their unorthodox approach to rap and love of exclusive fashion, streetwear, snacks, and mind-altering substances. In many of his songs, you’ll find artists like FOUR50, Big Baby, K$upreme, and Big Yaya - the last of which is probably the next most notable Grinch at this time, with his own counterintuitive style and absolutely hypnotic vocal that sounds so wrong it’s right.
While the rest of New York zigs, Shawny Binladen continues to zag. Once you’ve acquired a taste for his style of music, it’s almost impossible to listen to anything else. He’s already bringing out big crowds, and his name is brought up constantly as one of the most interesting new acts, not just in New York but everywhere. ‘Wickipedia’ (Deluxe)makes it clear that there are nearly endless directions to take Shawny Binladen’s one-of-a-kind sound, and it will be exciting to watch as he continues to develop his style and rise through the ranks.
Anyone that considers themselves a fan of innovative, outside-the-box hip hop needs to be familiar with Shawny Binladen, and a great place to start would be the new videos for “Shawn Ye” and “Hands on the W” below - two early fan-favorites off Shawny Binladen’s ‘Wickipedia’ (Deluxe) released this week.
Shawny Binladen “Shawn Ye”
Shawny Binladen “Hands on the W”