The Rise to Stardom of Rapper Sheck Wes

Twenty Eighteen has been one of the biggest years in recent history for rap music. Songs by artists such as Travis Scott, Juice Wrld and Drake have become wildly popular and dominate the Billboard Hot 100 chart for weeks on end. There has been one song in particular however that has become one of the biggest songs the world has ever seen even though its release was more than a year ago; Sheck Wes’s Mo Bamba, released June 17, 2017. Wes is currently signed to Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack record label and Kanye West’s GOOD MUSIC.  The song currently has over 190,000,000 plays on Spotify and currently sits at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart while continuing to rise weekly. It has created an anthem for America’s youth.

Sheck Wes’, real name Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Fall, is 20-years-old and was born in Harlem, New York to Senegalese immigrants. He spent his childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from age five to fourteen with his mother and moved back to Harlem at age fourteen to live with his father. Wes attended school in Milwaukee and spent spring, winter and summer break in Harlem. Before taking music and fashion seriously, Wes played basketball competitively in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball league, one of the most highly touted youth basketball leagues in the country as a teenager. This led him to play with current National Basketball Association (NBA) rookie Mo Bamba. Bamba, who is the name behind the hit single, is also one of Wes’ closest friends whom he grew up with in Harlem. Bamba asked Sheck to put his name in a song and out of the request came Mo Bamba. Wes’ inspiration for the song came from him and Bamba’s similar experiences within the music and sports industries. As Wes’ popularity as a rapper grew, multiple record labels and agents began to contact him in hopes of signing him while at the same time Bamba was constantly scouted, contacted and offered scholarships by big basketball schools such as Duke, Michigan, and Texas. Wes’ lyrics to Mo Bamba are a nod to these experiences as he raps, “I got coe-s, calling, a young Sheck Wes phone,” “I be ballin like a pro” and “I be ballin like my brotha Mo.” The song was first released onto the app SoundCloud by producers of the song 16YrOld and Take A Daytrip and gained popularity as Bamba became a bigger name in college basketball and Wes built a name for himself in the music industry. The song’s popularity grew to a new level in early 2018 as popular YouTuber and Instagram influencer YesJulz had Take A Day Trip DJ her party at the 1 Oak Club in New York City. Viral videos of the crowd in the club “turning up”  to the song appeared on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram resulting in viewers frantically trying to discover what this new song was called and who it was by. It continued to grow during the summer of 2018 as Sheck was the opening act for rapper Pusha-T’s United States tour, was featured on Travis Scott’s critically acclaimed Astroworld album and when a viral video of the song causing a floor to cave in at a house party was posted on the popular Instagram account 5thYear. To cap off his big year, Wes released his first official album, MUDBOY in October which featured Mo Bamba on it. The album was met with positive reviews, earning an 8.2 on Pitchfork and four out of five stars on MetaCritic.

With only one album out and a joint record deal with two of the biggest rappers in the world, Sheck Wes has transformed from a street kid in New York City to a worldwide phenomenon in a very short period of time. Wes’ unique rap style and ability to captivate the new generation of rap fans proves that he is not going anywhere anytime soon.