Hip-Hop has seen a surge in female vocalists, but many in the genre will dismiss them as using their bodies more than their minds. Regardless of the bars that come with an artist like Nikki Minaj or Doja Cat, a lot try to discredit based on their openness of sexuality. Over the years we have seen the likes of Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, and more recently Rapsody prove that women can hold the same torch lyrically as men. This brings me to the point of this article, one of the most talented emcees of any gender who has lyrical prowess and an incredible storytelling ability. Rightfully so, her debut album on Rhymesayers Entertainment boasts both. The Sharecropper’s Daughter tells the personal story of Sa Roc’s family history along with how that upbringing plays a role in her modern-day life. With limited but powerful features, Sa Roc brings to life the emotions that many can relate to while simultaneously giving the Hip-Hop faithful a barred-out album that shows talent and finesse.
I am going to start this by saying I am a little bias being a long-time fan and member of the Goddess Gang, but don’t let my bias deter you from checking out what is easily my favorite album of 2020. It is coming at a time when a lot of people are seeking an escape from the exhaustion of this never-ending year. The Sharecropper’s Daughter begins with a powerful message from Saul Williams leading directly into Sa Roc laying the foundation by telling you to “follow me I am the wildest dreams of rebels and kings…” When I first listened to this album I wanted to just listen through without trying to think too hard and just enjoy it sonically, but it was clear by the second song that I had found an instant favorite in "Gold Leaf." Without giving too much away before the album comes out tomorrow I can tell you that this song brings heavy kick and snare vibes that have kicked off every workout since I heard it.
This album has a handful of pre-released singles; however, don’t skip over them in your initial listen as I feel this album was put together to be listened to all the way through, thoughtfully. With singles like "Forever" and "Goddess Gang," it's sometimes easy to get lost in the ease of listening and forget just the powerful lines like:
“I was 14 yrs old forcing pills down my throat so my baby fat diminished/Still got the scars from cutting my wrists when I thought that life was finished/Now they remind me what my lows look like now I know the sky’s the limit”
The last time we sat down with Sa Roc at the X-games in 2018, we briefly talked about this song and in particular:
“…I still have scars, like physical scars, and emotional scars, from things that I have been through. So, I wanted to show people that it's okay. Like, I'm still beautiful, I'm still worthy, I'm still going to show myself. I'm not going to shrink in the corner, because I'm going to be beautiful and so are you….”
The album doesn’t just boast powerful lyrics and storytelling, Sa Roc doesn’t shy away from speaking on present issues with assistance from a lyrical legend in Hip-Hop, Black Thought. Without divulging too much, I can tell you that “Black Renaissance” is not a classic, it is not a hit, it is a statement and a powerful at that.
Overall I do not like to rate albums because my views on them can change from time to time, sometimes an album comes out right when I need it and makes me rate it higher than if I just heard it on a random Tuesday. What I can say about this album and Sa Roc in general is that it is hard for me to find faults. No album is perfect and there are a couple of tracks that aren’t as powerful as the others, but from the production to the bars to listenability this album gives the listener everything they could ask for in a Hip-Hop album. For someone known for her “hippocampus and hips and thighs” this album shows that you can not only be a stunning "goddess", but you can use your power in your words to mesmerize as well. Sa Roc’s The Sharecropper’s Daughter comes out on all platforms October 2nd and should be the first thing you purchase with this week’s paycheck.