Philly Lyricist Shawn smith returns from rap hiatus with chain gang

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Rhiyen Sharp

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 Innovative, prolific and authentic, Shawn Smith is a timeless MC whose lyrical work transcends trends. His words, integrated with intention and substance, touch parts of the human soul that transports you into a different realm. A product of Southwest Philadelphia, Smith cultivated an interest in music as a young teen finding inspiration in the underground battle rap scene, which is the heartbeat of the city’s culture.

Inspired by iconic figures like 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Jay Z, Smith is an outlier; a throwback to an era in hip-hop when artists spit bars about the streets while also raising the collective consciousness. A modern day renaissance man, Smith crafts narratives ranging from urban struggles as a young, black man to politics, to art and fashion, showcasing his diversity as an artist.

On his latest single “Chain Gang” Shawn reveals himself as a master storyteller. He brilliantly paints his rhymes in cinematic detail pushing the boundaries of hip-hop while also paying homage to the OG’s that paved the way. Describing the raw and gritty record with intricate punch lines as a “State Property flip,” Philly inflections pepper everything from the bars to the beat.

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Shawn smith