Define Me: Sha EK
Interview: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story appears in the Winter 2023 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

It’s hard to tell the story of Bronx drill without Sha EK these days. Since dropping songs like “Shoot or Get Shot” in 2020, the spitter has utilized his hoarse vocals, blistering flows and scabrous lyrics to embody the raucous energy of the subgenre. Over the course of three years, he’s used his six solo projects to cultivate his status as a leader of the movement. With a new effort on the way, Sha is now taking the time to look back. Here, he breaks down five songs that show who he truly is as an artist.

“Face of the What”

All the kids was doing trends on TikTok. I knew I could do it before I was dropping a lot of songs; it was going up. But this one was different [because] I repeated the hook four times.

“D & D” featuring Blockwork

The energy behind it and the story behind the song [made it successful]. I never thought that it blew. It blew up three months after it was out already. [People] told me they knew it was gon’ go crazy.

“Who You Touch” featuring Bandmanrill

We brung the Jersey Club together like New York, New Jersey. Nobody ever did that before. His style is more fun. Mine is straight drill. I mixed it up. People could dance, eat, sleep, do everything to it.

“Luv 4 My Block”

[I] went to the stu’ and I dropped it. Then three months later, it started going crazy. I was surprised because I didn’t really want to keep doing that song, but my team talked through it and it went crazy.

“Been On Hots”

I took somebody’s song and responded to it and made it my song. And they went crazy. A couple [mainstream artists] stole my lyrics from there, too. So, I knew that was the one.

Read Sha EK's interview in the Winter 2023 issue of XXL Magazine, on newsstands now. The new issue also includes the cover story with Latto and conversations with Killer Mike, Flo MilliDD OsamaMaiya The DonMonaleoMello BuckzzSexyy RedBigXThaPlug, plus more. Additionally, there's an exclusive interview with Fetty WapQuality Control Music's Coach K and P discuss 10 years into the label's growth, in-depth stories on the popularity of sampling in hip-hop in 2023 and the state of hip-hop touring, and the best moments of hip-hop's year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

See Photos From Latto's XXL Magazine Winter 2023 Cover Story

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