Published on April 12th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Shaheed and DJ Supreme Teach with ‘World of Water’
When it comes time to get back to the basics with some old-school, feel-good hip-hop, look no further than Shaheed and DJ Supreme. These two sages of the game are here to school you—in rhyme, wisdom, and generosity. They aren’t gate-keepers of the craft, but compassionate teachers who crack open hip-hop up to new generations, sharing its ability to motivate, heal, and inspire. They’ve proven their grit and gifts through their multiple LPs and live performances alongside acts like Scarface, Jurassic 5, and The Jungle Brothers. Over the years, they’ve transformed this raw talent into their own special brand of heartwarming, head-bobbing do-goodery, dropping bops through their label, Communicating Vessels, and launching community initiatives through their non-profit K.R.U. (Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding), based in Birmingham, AL. Catch the next iteration of Shaheed’s smooth lyrics and DJ Supreme’s soulful production on their upcoming LP, The Art of Throwing Darts.
The bell has rung and class is about to begin—teachers Shaheed and DJ Supreme are dropping some wisdom on the kids in “World of Water.” Laid out across a spacious and swaying beat, the duo raises their hands to the beauty of nature and the most life-giving of its gifts: water. Flowing like a clean river, the unpretentious and playful lyrics fill our spirits with gratitude and awe at the majesty of water. Get refreshed in your approach to the planet with this timeless track.
The music video for “World of Water” showcases that which so endears us to Shaheed and DJ Supreme: their heart for and commitment to their community. In the video, our dynamic duo roll up to Birmingham-Southern College’s Southern Environmental Center and the McWane Science Center with a rowdy crew of elementary schoolers, ready to soak in some science. Exhibit by exhibit, their smiles and swagger grow as they research and rap alongside the two emcees. As always, they keep it real and keep it fun—never over-hyping themselves as they wave and welcome in anyone who dares to care for others.
Why was “World of Water” necessary to create, and how do you hope it impacts listeners?
Shaheed: This song was necessary because it is important to protect the environment and to protect the water and the fish, and drinking clean water is very important for everyone no matter who you are or where you from.
DJ Supreme: The message of clean water has indeed been conveyed before in song mode but not quite like this. I wanted to make sure the beat was organic and tribal-sounding. I took some samples from some of the exhibits at the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College and crafted the beat. I hope the song inspires the listener to care for their environment.
Can you describe the behind-the-scenes experience filming the “World of Water” music video? Why is this visual the perfect depiction of the song?
Shaheed: The behind-the-scenes was amazing. These video shoots have turned into field trips for the youth that come to our workshops at our non-profit Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding and we love to see them learn and have fun. Additionally, the videographer, Richard Giles, did an excellent job filming the video.
DJ Supreme: The behind-the-scenes environment was fantastic because the kids were subjected to the video making process in addition to the exhibits themselves. Whenever we make videos like this, it’s like a school field trip for the kids.
What is the songwriting and production processes like as a duo? Where do you both tend to draw inspiration from for Shaheed and DJ Supreme’s songs’ messages?
Shaheed: The inspiration comes from life, nature, and our way of life, and it comes from being able to understand that we have an obligation to the next generation by encouraging them to be better than us.
DJ Supreme: Our motto is “Truth over beats” and we try to stay true to that formula. Lately our inspiration has been drawn from our nonprofit organization Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding, in which we teach the youth the fundamentals of hip-hop culture. You can check it out at KRUHiphop.com.
What are you both proudest of as artists and most passionate about in your music careers?
Shaheed: I can honestly say we have been blessed to travel the world doing this and our Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding Foundation working with the youth is at the top.
DJ Supreme: Right now, our nonprofit organization Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding (KRU) is what we are proudest of. We’ve been fortunate enough to partner with some great organizations to bring this learning process to the youth. We are certainly passionate about teaching the youth the fundamentals of emceeing, deejaying, making beats, break dancing and drawing.
What is next for Shaheed and DJ Supreme? How do you hope to make a difference in the music industry?
Shaheed: The Art of Throwing Darts, our album – be on the lookout for that. It features Slug from the legendary hip-hop group Atmosphere, Akil the Mc and Chali 2na from the legendary hip-hop group Jurassic 5, Raheem Devaughn, and the legendary Percee P.
DJ Supreme: Our long-awaited new album, The Art of Throwing Darts, is finally dropping this summer. It’s some of the best work we’ve done and features great artists such as Akil the MC and Chali 2na from Jurassic 5, Slug from Atmosphere, Percee P, and R&B star Raheem Devaughn.