Under The Radar: Shades Lawrence – Turn My Head
Dude, I really can’t help but smile when I listen to this! Shades Lawrence is an emcee from Montreal, doing big things with her music. She’s heavily involved in the Montreal music scene, both performing her own shows and helping organize & host events. You can check the links at the bottom of the post for some of projects that she’s involved with. Right now I’m still cheesin’ on her new song, “Turn My Head”.
Look, this is a bit of a touchy subject for some, buuuut this is my blog and I’m only sharing my opinions. Personally, I think the biggest obstacle for female emcees, as far as what makes me want to listen to them or not, is their voice. There are plenty of great examples, like Rapsody and Jean Grae, but then there’s a ton a women who try to sound like Nicki Minaj or Cardi B, and I honestly can’t stand that. Shades Lawrence would fall into the former category.
By the way, this isn’t gender specific. I mentioned something very similar in my latest Rad post, where I was saying how some of favorite rappers have voices that are taxing on my ears. I appreciate an MC of any gender that has a voice that’s easy to listen to for an extended period of time.
“Turn My Head” (and nod my head)
Shades has a unique voice, and she’s smooth as hell. Her flow and delivery are on point, her rhymes are dope, and her message is real. “Turn My Head” is a queer love song, which is absolutely not commonplace in the hip hop world. I gotta be honest though, if you listen to this song and even slightly have a problem with that, you’ve got a problem with yourself. “Turn My Head” is a dope hip hop song, period.
Illuid Haller is credited with producing the track, and I’m really digging it. The beat has a kind of old school vibe to it, blending hip hop and R&B together in a way that makes it perfect for rap vocals, but still smooth enough to support Emma Maryam’s soft singing on the hook. Her voice is incredible by the way, I really like it. I was hoping to find more music from her on Spotify, but this is the only song that she’s credited with on there.
My Thoughts on “Turn My Head”
Regardless of sexual orientation, I think that anybody can listen to this song and relate to it. It reminds me of being younger and chasing after girls that I was crushing on. I mean, it’s a love song and everybody can relate to love. Also, some of the lines remind me of a friend, who at the time was a self-proclaimed lesbian, but is now a transgender man. We worked together, and there was a girl she was always trying to get at, but that girl wasn’t sure about here sexuality.
Jokin’, maybe sorta
Though she’s still gatherin’ thoughts, and gettin’ sorted
Straight girl status, and I ain’t mad at it
I’mma ride this wave, and enjoy the magic
Shade’s lyrics definitely remind of conversations that my friend and I would have. I think that’s why I like this song so much, Shades Lawrence is completely honest about her feelings and who she is. You can empathize with her and it’s like seeing into a world that you’ve never been before. I truly believe Shades has done us all a great service with “Turn My Head”, by not only providing dope music, but including an important message that hasn’t really been delivered in the form of hip hop.
More Info on Shades Lawrence
I hope you guys are feelin’ this one as much as I am. I’ve had “Turn My Head” in my headphones for a few days now. I got a private link before the official release, but now it’s available everywhere. I even added it to my Spotify playlist and reposted on Soundcloud. Let me know what you guys think in the comments section below. Also, just for fun, what’s your favorite hip hop love song?