After significant hiatus, the veteran Northwest rapper formerly known as Shaolin prepares to release his sophomore solo album The Gateway Drug under his new handle, Shao Sosa. The project is being released under his label Razor Tongue Music and is led by singles “What Time It Was” (now available on itunes) and “Undeniable”.
No novice on the West Coast hip-hop circuit, Shao has appeared on tracks with big name artists such as Mac Dre, Jay Tee of N2Deep, Cool Nutz, Frost, and Messy Marv. Rather than focusing on marquee names to push his product, however, he takes the high road with this release and relies on his own abilities to reel in fans.
Production on The Gateway Drug is handled by a global variety of beatsmiths representing the northwest (Terminill, Charlie Ray, On One), Germany (PI & Dizzy P), Texas (Nuno), and Colorado (Bryson Foster). The album also features vocals from longtime crooner cohort Arjay and the young upstart M-Status. Tacoma heat spitter Illizm, Spokane sensation On One, and Compton veteran Big Tupp round out the record with blazing verses on their respective tracks.
Born and raised in Washington State’s Tri-Cities area, Shao’s life and music career have been anything but easy; nonetheless, his highly introspective and remarkably honest verbal assemblies are surprisingly positive and empowering. In his focused and deliberately street-wise rhyme style, he bears his heart to all that will listen. Holding no issue with exposing his own insecurities, he continues to push forward with an impeccable work ethic.
Once on the verge of becoming a dominant force in the ever competitive hip-hop scene, Shao Sosa is now poised to reclaim his position... and take it to the next level. With international production credits, The Gateway Drug showcases Shao’s ability to appeal to a wide variety of hip-hop fans. His lead single “What Time It Was” is an explosive up-tempo party song, while the follow up “Undeniable” is an inspiration to all of those who have suffered through life. His versatility continues throughout the record and a harder, more gritty Shao is evident on the street anthem “Kiss of the Dragon” and the politically charged “Rally”.
The Gateway Drug is planned for release May 3rd, 2011 and Shao will be taking his brand on tour throughout the West Coast.
"It has been over ten long years since Shaolin now known as Shao Sosa dropped his first solo album , but his latest effort “The Gateway Drug” shows he hasn’t missed a step. With a matured delivery and his content widened ,Shao shows his ability to mix punch-lines with storytelling while still keeping his sound relevant to today’s fans."--thanorthwest.com
"Shao Sosa is back! New album brings ten years of life experiences with a refreshingly real hip hop album"--ittybittybeatclub.com
"The Gateway Drug shows Shao Sosa has a lot of promise..."--rapreviews.com