Sha Stimuli Asks Why A Prison Stint Is More Valued Than A College Degree In Hip-Hop (Video)

Last week Brooklyn, New York MC Sha Stimuli released Lazarus. The 10 Minutes Late Records release marks a return to a once highly prolific career, after a period of comparative quietness. In the last year, Stimuli emerged with a series of singles and music videos that were rooted in concept. “Together” chronicled racism in America throughout the ages, 2016’s Just Blaze collabo “New Jordans/A Poem For Mike” unpacked the status symbols associated with Air Jordan sneakers, and the politics attached, and “Sticks And Stones” examined what hurts and causes violence in the present day.

Those questions, analyses, and investigations are at play in Lazarus video single “Jail University.” This song questions what counts for more, a college degree or coming home from a bid. One seems to go underplayed compared to the other, and this is reinforced through popular culture and media, including The Wire and Jason’s Lyric. Even looking at his career, Sha deduces that “a record would help with my record,” when some rappers are marketed based on legal battles. Moreover, in a crunched economy, Stimuli weighs out the opportunities for graduates as a whole.

In the video, he portrays a student, a graduate, a prisoner, and an Everyman looking for a job (look closely, as the character’s name is “Mike Holder”). In between, he’s raps to the camera as himself. For well over 10 years, Sha Stimuli has been a beacon of thought-provoking, personal, and expressive Hip-Hop music. Lazarus shows that he’s certainly back, but was never dead in any way, shape, or form.

The complete Lazarus album for stream and purchase:

It features Mela Machinko and others.