Sonshine is the Akron born rapper’s fourth album and is right on par with KB’s instant classic, Today We Rebel. Swoope address some tough societal issues, issues often times avoided by Christian artists espcecially when it comes to race and the Black Lives Matter movement. In an interview with Kick The Concrete, Swoope goes into the meaning of the album.
Sonshine is multi-faceted, I almost tried to fit a double entendre into one word. So it’s Sonshine with an O, not a U. The primary meaning is that the Son of God is shining on me and there’s a plethora of songs that refer to that, and not shining in the happy-go-lucky way, but moreso there is an ever-present covering and contentment that I had to find myself was only in Jesus.
Track 6, TSNK addresses the shootings that have occurred with the police and African American victims. He raps, Shot at the stop or found dead in your cell, That’s about as bland as it got for Sandra, Make them casket plans when cops say “hands up”, We got our hands up, don’t shoot
They say “put them cams up don’t shoot” (yah yah). Many fans may be offended by lyrics such as these. Some say it’s better to remain silent and not speak out on issues such as these, but how could Christians turn a blind eye to their fellow neighbor? Read through the Gospels and you’ll see a deep concern for Jesus as it relates to people of all walks of life. Regardless of class, race or gender, Jesus loved everyone and He challenged us to love each other as you love yourself.
Track 8, Black Boy continues to explore Black identity, but this time how it relates to God. It begins by saying, But you are more than a descendant of a slave. In many black families, this conversation is a must have between parents and sons, especially in light of recent events. The song then asks the question, Uh, black boy, black boy, did you know that the world is yours? Take off your natural eyes and put on your spiritual ones, this question isn’t a nod to the film Scarface or Nas’ famous song with Lauryn Hill, If I Ruled The World, it takes on deep spiritual meaning. Swoope answers the question in the same verse:
Your Father built it, presented it to you without a blemish
Your Father’s gifted, your Father’s gift is a sinless existence
No cause for tears when your eye lid is dripping
Wild up with liquid as your soul cries, water falls from those eyes
Cheek rivers roll by, dropping to the concrete, making a rose rise
Black boy, black boy, did you know that the world is yours?
Your Father built it, and he made it with His hands alone
And then He left you with Emmanuel
How to produce fruit
Behind Sonshine’s deep meanings, there’s a masterpiece of production. The album was produced by Kevmo, Natalie Lauren, Swoope and theBeatbreaker. Track 3, Never Left was a signal that the listener will be taken through a musical artistic masterpiece. I’m back like I never left, blessed what you call that, I ain’t came up, God came through, all facts, Errybody got a story, mine ain’t funny
Errybody got a price, mine ain’t money. Swoope doesn’t stop there, but goes on to rap, I’m an Anomaly, Check the gold plaque, ‘Crae, tell ’em we still follow Jesus, They can hold that, I’m back like a chiropractor off of vacation, Couldn’t come home ’til I covered all my bases, It’s it’s least I could do, like I’m working out of Avis, Eyes on Zion, unplug from the Matrix, Now I’m back.