David Sha: The Politics Behind Not Wearing Any Drawers
Songs end up in our inbox all of the time. All of the time. Sometimes they go there to flourish, to (eventually) be posted here with praise and e-high-fives. Sometimes they go there to die, a Bad Music Graveyard, if you will. Rarely, though, are they the sole reason why someone or some band is chosen as Artist of the Week.
But that's exactly what happened when we heard
a sweaty, sultry R&B single ostensibly about a girl who doesn't wear underwear (naturally, it's about way more than that).
So we reached out singer David Sha to find out what the song is really about, what a Carverdale is and why so many R&Bers have popped up these last two years or so.
World Famous Gospel Brunch
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 1:30pm
Mas Musica! featuring La Gusana Ciega, Porter, Siddhartha
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 6:00pm
Nothing But Thieves presented by Ones To Watch
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 7:00pm
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
THALIA - Latina Love Tour
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 8:00pm
Rocks Off: In exactly six words, tell everyone everything they need to know about David Sha.
David Sha: I'm a versatile revolutionary evolutionary spirit.
RO: Now, in exactly six words, tell everyone why your "baby don't wear no drawers."
DS: You should ask my late uncle.
RO: We're going to stay with the "Carverdale" theme here for a bit, because the girl that you're singing about sounds exceptionally interesting. If we're to understand it correctly, she a) doesn't wear underwear; b) deals drugs; c) doesn't take any shit; d) periodically sells herself to make rent; and e) gets thrown away by everyone. Still, though, she's all right with you. Two questions:
1. Are you singing about an actual person, or is she some sort of metaphor for something else entirely? Music would seem to fit all of those descriptions; so would Eve, though.
DS: First of all, my Uncle "Boy D" Armstrong used to sing that line to my older cousins and myself when we were little. I don't remember him singing any other line. I thought about that one day and the rest of the words just flowed. It's absolutely a metaphor. It's a triple layered metaphor, in fact.
I personified the "hood" in the form of this non-refined woman. She does what she has to do in order to survive. It represents everyone that came from these impoverished neighborhoods, including me, and saying that I know that it's not a politically correct environment, but I'm not ashamed that "she" nurtured me.
Politics created these environments. It also represents the struggle of the urban woman and letting her know that someone understands and I'm not passing judgment on her because I know that she's doing the best she can against seemingly insurmountable odds.
RO: Why, after all that, is she still all right?
DS: It ain't a girl, but several young ladies that heard it said they thought I was talking about them [laughs]. But she is all right with me because I've seen that outside influences rooted in racism and greed has set up these circumstances that most of them have to face. Matter of fact, these circumstances were set up generations before they were born and it still carries over into the present day.
RO: Are you familiar with all of the other R&B talent that's been bubbling up lately? Why do you think it is that there's been such a surge in male R&B artists recently? Does it have something to do with Barack Obama?
DS: Same reason that there's always a flood of similar sounding artists at any given time in the industry. The music industry is fueled by greed and it's a copycat league so to say. Once one artist emerges as a cash cow, all the copy cats come out and put out a similar "artist" to take advantage of that artist's momentum.
They just milk the game dry until they can find something else to copy. I don't see any connection to Barack Obama personally, but I'm not omnipotent either, so I can't say for certain [laughs].
RO: Have some music you want to plug, or a cheap shot you want to take at another artist? Here's your chance.
DS [laughs]: I don't take cheap shots at other artists. I would love, however, to smack the industry leeches around a few times. I have music online that can be downloaded for free and one album for sale on that same site.
I'm working on an EP with the homie Dee Rail (Oslo. Norway) called Full Spectrum dropping later this summer, my LP UGLY dropping this summer. I would like to big-up all indie artists staying true to their spirits and putting out solid, substance-filled music. Riders Against the Storm (Austin, TX), Frontline Union (My Crew), K-Rino and The SPC.
RO: Lastly, is there any way possible we could convince you to do a remake of "Come On Be My Baby Tonight" by David from the New Orleans season of The Real World? I kind of thought you might be him when I first heard your name and that you were a singer.
DS: I've never seen it. Don't watch a lot of TV. I'll check it out and may give u a spoof of it, but I've never been on the real world, just live in the real world.
RO: Anything else you want to make sure gets mentioned? Now's the time to do it.
DS: Yeah, Much love to my hood Carverdale, TX [wink]. No way I could be who I am without the upbringing I received from within her bosom. Much thanks to my main man Asim for making moves that matter.
Big-ups to all the RBG soldiers, the Mothers, Hip-Hop lovers, True Artists, and Real publications that support our quests to fulfill our dreams. Here comes His Royal Freshness, aka The Shaman.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.