COVID-19 impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions and millions of humans. While the effects of the global pandemic were just about inescapable, it did impact people in different ways. For Sha Ek, it gave him the time to pick up a new hobby: rap. More specifically, the 19-year-old Bronx native began tapping into drill music. After displaying his aggressive and high energy flows on a few tracks, he went viral with bangers like 2020’s “D&D” and has continued to live up to the hype from there.
Coming out of New York City, where there are far too many self-proclaimed G.O.A.T.s or kings, Sha EK would rather be known as a forefather of Bronx drill. “If I never thought of doing music, there would not be no Bronx drill,” he says confidently.
With one of the loudest voices in the emerging subgenre of hip-hop, he is confident enough to allow his fans to dictate what he’s the face of. This led him to naming his debut project, Face of What. The 17-track project, which dropped last week, features the singles “New Opps” and “We Droppin’” and appearances from SleazyWorld and PGF Nuk. Face of What, which also happens to be his first project under his recently announced deal with Warner Records, made headlines upon its release as a result of an unauthorized verse from Kodak Black that was initially slated to appear on it.
During the week of the release of his debut, Sha Ek, who will touch the Rolling Loud stage later this month, chatted with ONE37pm about the inspirations behind Face of What, being inspired by Lil TJay and being at the forefront of Bronx drill.
ONE37pm: What inspired your name?
Sha Ek: I ain't want to tell people my real name, so I just put “Sha”. Then I put the “Ek” for everything K, so then it just went together.
ONE37pm: How did growing up in the South Bronx influence you as an artist?
Sha Ek: It helped me a lot. It influenced my aggressiveness and the way I rap and the way I make my songs.
ONE37pm: You have an aggressive, high energy flow. What artists would you say had an impact on how you rap?
Sha Ek: Me. Like the way I rap, is me. I don't sound like nobody. Like I fuck with people’s music, but it's straight me. It's a new flow that nobody ever heard. I don't sound like nobody.