Queen of the South. When I first came across this album, I was so excited. After the success of Dobale, the diaspora was excited to hear about Shaybo and her newest project. As a UK-Nigerian rapper, Shaybo has released music since 2011 when she was 15. Now 24, Shaybo has released an album called “Queen of the South.” As the album gains more exposure, I finally got the chance to give the album a listen.
As I listened to the album, I realized the story behind the words. Shaybo takes us through her life as she goes through the industry. From ‘Mud’ where she says “I’m from the mud/Out here, there’s no loyalty or trust” to ‘My Sister’ where she says “He never treated you like a queen when you was buckin’ him/So, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you did for him,” Shaybo gives the listener a journey through her experience as a woman trying to make it in the hip hop industry. When you listen to this album, you are reminded of just how close we as black women need to be. We have a unique experience. No one will ever understand that. In every field, we are considered the underdogs even though we are significantly better. In Shaybo case, she is one of the best in her scene. Yet, as she raps, you hear how the experiences she has to face have shaped the type of artist and woman she is. With a deep voice, most perceive Shaybo as rough. But with Queen of the South, she breaks through that perception by showing the listener a sensitive side that explores the raw emotions of survival and struggle.
In this song, we get an Afro-beat, carribbean style song. In this song, Shaybo speaks on avoiding temporary people and focusing on being the bad bitch you are. The right people will be attracted to you based on your energy. If you carry yourself with boss energy, you will be treated as such. She carries herself as a queen and therefore expects to be treated as such.
In this song, the listener gets to experience Shaybo almost talking to herself about letting a man walk all over you. Sometimes, we forget how valuable we truly are. We let other define that worth as if we weren’t queens before we met said person. Shaybo is saying to forget that man and throw yourself into your career. Make money moves and be the boss you were meant to be.
This song is towards the end of the album. Towards the ends of the album, we get more of a present feeling. The songs reflect Shaybo being in the present and remembering how good her life is now that she is doing what she loves. In this song, Shaybo talks about how she has no worries because she is living the life she’s always wanted. She’s famous now and she thanks God for where she is currently. The song ends with her saying plans to make a splash before it’s her time to go. It makes me hopeful to her the rest of her albums as she continues to grow as an artist. It is only up from here.