The rapper and advocate of eastern philosophy known as Sha Dra Elav8 has released his latest single, “Peace Up.” The track has been concurrently released with an instrumental version showcasing Sha Dra Elav8's copious talents as a producer and digital composer. Taking cues from both his Asian heritage and the culture of the southern United States, Sha Dra Elav8's “Peace Up” is a message from the world's greatest teachers speaking through Sha Dra, and also a booming American rap track from one of today's most intriguing urban poets.
Sha Dra Elav8 (Shah-Drah Elevate; Shaman Dragon 玄武) cites as main artistic influences Tupac Shakur, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Yelawolf, and Tech N9ne. Of these, his sound, style and themes take some from all. He has the razor-sharp skill of Tech N9ne, the philosophical bents of Tupac and Lennon, and southern nuances much less obvious than Yelawolf's which form an important part of Sha's overall character.
Speaking of the meaning of his latest single – about which themes he is always keenly emphatic – Sha writes that it is about “Peace. Right now in the media and in the world, there are many tragic situations happening. Disease, war, and oppression are just a few of the things plaguing humanity. There is a lot of fear and confusion. There is also a lot of anger and resentment. I just want to put something else out there for people to focus their energy on, such as the feeling of peace.”
As is usual with music from Shaman Dragon, however, distinct undercurrents of Buddhist thought run parallel to the overall message of his single.
“'Peace up' is not a noun,” he writes, “it is a verb. It means to emit a strong peaceful vibration of total calm.”
An official music video for his newest single is also in post-production for “Peace Up” after having been shot at two important locations in Taiwan, Ba Gua Mountain in Tai Zhong city, and Fo Guang Monastery in Kaoshiong City. The rapper describes the latter of these locations as being “36 meters high and the highest standing Buddha in Southeast Asia. It is also surrounded by 480 smaller Buddhas.”
Sha Dra Elav8 does not identify as a Buddhist in the strictest sense of the word, but rather, “respects it as a philosophy and spiritual practice.” He writes that he chose to shoot his video at Fo Guang Monastery “because of its beauty and the possibility of Enlightenment that it represents.”
He has written elsewhere that he believes that our feelings and emotions strongly affect and even create our reality.
“If this is true,” he writes, “then there is nothing that is stopping humanity from achieving peace on Earth. Nothing, save ourselves.”
“Peace Up” by Sha Dra Elav8 is available online worldwide. Watch for the release of his upcoming music video in coming weeks.
Lead Press Release Writer
“Peace Up” by Sha Dra Elav8 –