Rising emcee Shawn Mics’ latest effort Shawn 3:17, is a 13 track body of work that was birthed after the loss of his mother to cancer and the title is a play on the famous Bible verse John 3:17 which reads “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. The overall concept anchors on using one’s pain to be a force of good as opposed to being resentful or hateful. Over 13 tracks, Shawn shed light on several things, ranging from his flaws, addiction due to the loss and the process he took to get back on track.


Overall, the project feels like we are reading pages from his journal as Shawn doesn’t shy away from being candid when it comes to his life. His lyrics are direct and he uses over-the-top metaphors sparingly so as not to dilute the message. The opening track “Uncle Joeys Intro” set the tone with its advisory message about how the world would deal us the wrong cards but it’s up to us to make the best out of it. Shawn Mics is mostly in introspective mode on tracks like “Be Like That”, “Sunny Side” and the sombre “Get Away”. “Be Like That” is particularly sombre and reflective with Shawn detailing his coping mechanism as follows

I’m praying that it’s diamonds underneath the boulders, I used to combat the feeling with some doja, now the fire don’t blaze it just smolders

“Sunny Side” lives up to its title with the bright guitar plucks and relatable lyrics that dwell on being self-reliant, even in hard times while “Get Away” digs deep into life after the loss of his mother. He talks about his missteps and flaws as he tries to overcome the emotional pain with a much-needed detachment from the world to recalibrate his thoughts.


“Out of Touch” talks about the modern age human interaction and how life is filled with people with micro agendas. The summer-tinged beat is underpinned by Shawn’s world-weary demeanour. He is unapologetic with his stance on being left alone to gather his thoughts. “All In” sees Shawn pouring adulations on that special someone who lights the fire in his heart. His descriptive lyrics are the icing on the cake as they paint a picturesque embodiment of love and give audiences a glimpse into his vulnerability. “Wishing Well” and “One Shot” continue the reflective theme as the former dives into self-inflicted pains while the latter centres on taking the day and making the best of it. This is followed by the mellow dreamy “New Life” which ushers in a new Shawn Mics as he overcomes his past addictions and becomes a new man. Other interesting tracks are the go-getter anthem “Independent Grind” and the gloomy “Break Down”, 2 distinct tracks that show two sides, a confident man who is also plagued by his inner demons.  “ME”  is capitalized for a reason: self-accountability is a major key for one to grow, and Shawn Mics doesn’t shy away from accepting it. The final track “Part of One (Outro)” is surreal and dreamy in all aspects and Shawn brings the story to a closure with a semi-autobiographical account of his journey, from his early days rapping in his mother’s basement to dealing with her loss and coming full circle back to where he began.


Overall, the project Shawn 3:17, is highly relatable, and authentic and shows how a man deals with his pain the best way he knows how. The production is crisp and engaging as well and while most of it has warm and nostalgia-inducing elements, he still employs a few moody beats for extra-sensitive topics that are dear to him.




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