Bleckshire
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Bleckshire

Monroe, Georgia, United States | SELF

Monroe, Georgia, United States | SELF
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"Bleckshire - Unspoken (Album Review)"

Artist: Bleckshire
Album: Unspoken
Review by Jason Randall Smith


It was March of 2010 when Bleckshire released his debut album Unspoken as a free download, allowing an entire village of hip-hop fans to sample this full-length record at no charge. Representing both Georgia and Houston, TX, it was clear that he had a lot to say with this album and a myriad of ways to express himself. From his growing love for rap music in his early years to bad breakups and father-son relationships, Bleckshire lyrically ran the gamut on his debut, accompanied by impressive production and on-point arrangements. It’s an awfully good first impression, fluidly oscillating back and forth between tender moments of vulnerability and the natural aggression that comes with verbal braggadocio and wanting to be the best at your craft.

The tender piano interlude that begins “Follow Me” remains a constant as the song progresses, layered with the sounds of shakers and video game-like glistens that cascade from the sky. Bleckshire expresses dreams that reach just as high during his verses, but he sounds content with rhyming for the love of it. “I’m doing this for fun,” he proclaims. “If something comes of it, that’s that.” Similar sentiments can be found on the song “In My Heart,” featuring lyrics penned between his middle and high school years. Although at least a decade had passed since he wrote them, he recites the verses with such enthusiasm that you would think they were written yesterday. Reminiscing on hearing artists like Run-D.M.C. and Big Daddy Kane for the first time, he raps, “I ain’t know what they was saying, but I kept with the flow / I said a couple o’ words and hummed the ones that I didn’t know.”

Sonic seduction is the name of the game on “Secret,” a selection caressed by synthesized stabs, rhythmic clicks, and xylophone melodies. Bleckshire’s rhymes equal vocal foreplay on this one, walking a fine line between slightly naughty and X-rated fare. While “Secret” casts him in the role of the player, “I’m Giving In” repositions him as the one getting played. Incorporating samples from the late Teena Marie’s “Out On A Limb,” there’s no denying the heartbreak revealed on this song. The music builds to great dramatic effect towards the end with a series of percussive punches that accentuate Lady T’s vocals. “Nothin’ Like You” is even more heart wrenching, relaying a tale of a father who was never there until it was far too late. Over a hard rock guitar solo and an isolated piano melody, he lays it all out on the table. There is no other song on the album that’s more brutally honest than this one.

The musical aggression continues on “Rock The Crowd” as metallic guitars slice through a head-banging beat and Bleckshire envisions doing his thing before arena-sized audiences. The dream bubble soon bursts and songs like “Breathe No More” snap him back to reality. As he wrestles with the frustration of taking one step forward only to take two steps back, a female vocalist acts as his guardian angel, belting out the hook and soaring over an achingly beautiful arrangement. Considering the strength of this album, it’s rather ironic that his 2011 follow-up was entitled Evolution, for it contains none of the authentic and raw moments that dominate Unspoken.

One may be tempted to speculate whether his debut follows his heart while his sophomore effort follows industry trends, but ultimately such questions don’t matter. Evolution may be the new album, but Unspoken remains the true album, and that’s not just because a free download is the price of admission. Real will always recognize real, and Bleckshire garnered the accolades that his debut album was rightly due because he kept it real with the listeners. Hopefully that aspect of his music wasn’t a one-time fluke.
- Jason Randall Smith


"Top 8 in 32-Contestant Rap Contest"

Bleckshire ranked top 8 in the 2011 2Racks Rap Contest in Atlanta, GA. - 2011 2Racks Rap Contest in Atlanta, GA


Discography

Unspoken (2010)
Evolution (2011)

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Bio

For 24-year-old rapper Bleckshire, recording music is one of the greatest feelings in the world to him. Born and raised in Houston, Texas and spending his more recent years in Georgia, he brings a unique Southern style to the table.

Bleckshire is currently working on his new album entitled Evolution. It will be his second complete album after his 2010 free debut album, Unspoken, which received remarkable praise. Bleckshire believes that over time he has come to find his own style within himself, evolving into what he is today; hence, the title. Evolution will be releasing late spring/early summer 2011 and will be on sale through digital download and hard copy disc with case and cover as well through bleckshire.com, iTunes, and more.

Lyrics, performance, recording, engineering, artwork design. Bleckshire does it all by himself while at the same time being happy to lend engineering help and tips to a fellow musician or a blazin' 16 bars to an up-and-coming artist for their track. His love for music shines through in everything he does and he just wishes to bring it to everyone who will listen.

"Whether you like me or not doesn't matter. The question I'm asking you is, 'Did I have some hot-ass music?' Be honest when you answer too. If you do like my music, that's great. I love fans and try to do everything I can for them. I love getting fanpics, e-mails, comments, and voicemails. I'm just doing what I love doing and I'm glad you like me doing it. If you don't like my music, that's cool too. I appreciate you listening. Next critic."

Bleckshire is just having fun doing what he loves. Creating music. His influences obviously come from growing up in Houston, including artists such as Chamillionaire, Trae, Z-Ro, Devin the Dude, and UGK. He also placed top 8 in the 32-contestant, 2011 2Racks Rap Contest in Atlanta, GA.

To contact, call or text 830-255-7473 (830-BLK-SHRE).