Reviews

Black Sherif “The Villain I Never Was” Album Review

The Villain I Never Was

Black Sherif

  • Genre: African
  • Date: 06 Oct, 2022
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: USA
  • Track(s): 14
  • ℗ 2022 Blacko Management / EMPIRE

The début album by Black Sherif, titled “The Villain I Never Was,” has finally been released. It pays homage to the gloom that the Ghanaian star’s soul confronts on a daily basis. Even between tracks 10 and 12 where he talked about love, it was still from the perspective of heartache and pain. Sherif utilizes music, like he has in the past, as a way to deal with his pain and as a cathartic release that leads to long-term recovery.

Album Cover Art

Black Sherif &Quot;The Villain I Never Was&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 28, 2024

Blacko, in his all-black attire, stands on what appears to be a theatre stage fashioned in the setting of a living room, complete with an upholstery and a lamp stand. As the limelight beams on him, he strikes a pose that brings his fingers into play, showing off his rings and letting us into the world of the villain he never was.

Tracks and Features

On the album’s opening track, “The Homeless Song,” Black Sherif confesses, “Homeless for a while/I know it’s unbelievable/Cause I had a home a few days ago.” It is a startling finding because, given the praise that has followed his songs, no one could have predicted a homeless Black Sherif. However, it serves as an illustration of the honesty Blacko has embraced throughout his career. He reiterates that he will always rise back up on his feet even if he stumbles, channeling the sentiment from “45,” where he sings, “If I fail, I needed that/I’ll come back stronger.”

One term that best describes Black Sherif’s attitude in his songs is defiant. He describes a communal trauma on “Soja” and tells the listener that he won’t back down or accept less. He encourages listeners to resist letting life’s darkness overpower them, acknowledging that he is not the only one in the world experiencing difficulties. Even during Blacko’s best times, that defiance is present. He chimes, “Man don’t stay down when man fall/I get up and come for more,” as he relishes his triumphs on “Oil In My Head.”

“Sad Boys Don’t Fold” is a dedication to the true believers of melancholy. Black Sherif portrays himself as “the man who’s always been sad and ballin’ every day” in the song, which has a positive spirit. He brings similar sadness to “Oh Paradise,” which struggles against the song’s joyful horn blasts. Black Sherif dedicates the song to his late lover, who went away in 2017, and recalls their relationship while lamenting the happy moments they were never able to experience. He sings, “Sleep well my lover/I will be fine my lover/And my love for you’ll be forever.”

Black Sherif confesses on “Toxic Love City” that he can’t bring himself to let go of a romantic relationship who makes him act badly. Although he wants to go, he is unsure that someone else will accept him. He decides to prefer the known evil above the unknown good. However, the mood on the reggae-influenced song “Don’t Forget Me” is better. He opens out to his loved one and asks for some time together before he ultimately departs and hustles in the outside world.

Black Sherif, a self-described street preacher, honors his heritage on “Konongo Zongo,” reflecting on difficult choices he’s had to make in the past. On “Wasteman,” he stays on the streets of Konogo and gives viewers a glimpse into the daily struggles that many young people living in informal settlements deal with. Nigerian musician, Burna Boy adds color to Sherif’s certified street smash record, “Second Sermon (Remix),” which was published last year and contributed to his ascent.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 The Homeless Song 2:44
2 Oil in my Head 2:29
3 45 2:52
4 Soja 3:01
5 Prey Da Youngsta 3:01
6 Sad Boys Don’t Fold 2:40
7 Konongo Zongo 2:41
8 Wasteman 2:31
9 We Up 2:27
10 Toxic Love City 3:12
11 Don’t Forget Me 3:37
12 Oh Paradise 3:07
13 Kwaku The Traveller 3:05
14 Second Sermon (With Burna Boy) 3:14

Album Theme

This album explores themes of suffering, conflict, depression, struggle, establishing faith despite lack of faith, and discovering happiness and light in the midst of hopelessness and gloom.

Production Credits

AoD, Dystinkt Beats, Ghanaian Stallion, JAE5, Joker nharnah, LiTek, London, RNDM, Samsney, WhYJay & Zaylor took care of production.

Stream

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