Florida femcee Shunda K is on course to release The Most Wanted, her solo album. In the meantime, she’s given us two EP previews of the LP’s offerings. The first, Here I Am to Save the World, was a club-ready apocalyptic bounce, featuring Cindy Wonderful of Scream Club. The second, I’m Da Best, is a collaboration with Shunda K’s former rhyme partner Shon B. They formed the group Yo! Majesty in 2000. Here, Shunda K takes the rapid fire delivery of Twista and meshes it with a syllable blending, idiomatic flow reminiscent of E-40.
Shunda K melds spirituality with a focus on female empowerment, though she doesn’t shy away from sexuality or an explicit delivery. Listen to Yo! Majesty’s 2008 single “Kryptonite P*ssy” if you’re a skeptic. From “I’m Da Best”, we see that Shunda K’s spirituality is not without its criticism of “traditional” thinking or tenets of organized religion that she views as providing solace to gender oppression. Mainly, though, she’s vehemently opposed to sexual bartering, as in women trading sexuality or physical intimacy for career advancement or an ephemeral boost in self-esteem. Lofty ideals, for sure, but the entertainment value isn’t being traded for the message.
The hard hitting track “I’m Da Best”, like “Here I Am to Save the World”, is available in maxi-single format. This one goes all in for 13 tracks, in old school mode, showcasing eight vocal mixes after the album version, a radio mix, an a cappella, an a cappella of one of the remixes, and an instrumental. My low marks are for all of this repetition. While the track itself hits me as a six out of 10, it would seem that 13 versions of the song are quite enough. Between the two maxi-singles, though, I’m curious about Shunda K’s future long-player potential. From that angle, I have to say, “Bravo.” The maxi-single gambit was well-played.
// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article