Mohammed Ismail Sharrif famously called Black Sherif gained mainstream prominence with the heavy-hitting “Second Sermon (Remix)” single and ever since it has been a roller coaster of melancholic Pop-Rap songs sung over Hip-Hop productions with a recurring theme of strong emotions and a sense of self-awareness ever present in those songs. His debut album titled The Villain I Never Was provocatively carries these themes on its 14 tracks.
One thing about Black Sherif is his unrelenting passion to speak about the environment surrounding him, whether that implies speaking on his crew’s (or “breedas” or “n–gas” as he prefers to call them) vindictive character to hit back at enemies crews (or “opps” or “paigons”) should they decide to carry out an irrational attack on them as heard on Wasteman, We Up and Prey Da Youngsta; his indisputable musical talent which brings forth a formidable resolute commitment to carry out his passion till the end despite the odds – Kwaku the Traveller, Sad Boys Don’t Fold, Oil in my head, 45 and The Homeless Song; the dangerous neighbourhood he grew up in and the sad loss of souls he had to face – Soja, Konongo Zongo and Second Sermon (Remix) or his complicated love life – Oh Paradise, Toxic Love City and Don’t Forget Me – it is clear Black Sherif has a lot of stories to tell, this he does in intelligible lyrics, using English, Pidgin and Twi as his languages of choice.
Another element Black Sherif is conversant with is the infusion of Drill beat packs in the production of his songs, using it in a very unorthodox manner which has him pouring out his emotions (be that sadness, guilt, love or grief) on the instrumentals, instead of the usual ferocious tone embedded in Drill beats. Almost all the songs in The Villain I Never Was album have an infusion of Drill production except Don’t Forget Me (produced by London). and Oil in my Head (with production credits from AoD, RNDM, WhYJay and LiTek); the only song on the album with a feature is the commercially successful Second Sermon (Remix) with Burna Boy.
Listen to Black Sherif’s chronicles on his impressive debut album—The Villain I Never Was.: