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Track of the Week: Shine

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Look out for Buddy (not Hield) in 2017.

I was driving home from work about two weeks back, listening to my favorite radio station in Minneapolis while stuck at one of the many stop lights on Hiawatha Avenue. It’s called Go 95.3 and since launching just over a year ago, it’s been my go-to station.

For years, I’ve kind of leaned on 89.9 KMOJ, otherwise known as “The People's Station,” for good rap and hip-hop when I’m cruising around the city. I still enjoy KMOJ, but there was definitely space for a station like 95.3. Someone needed to focus on new school hip-hop in Minneapolis, playing it 24/7.

I know a lot of people don’t listen to the radio anymore, with their smartphones kicking out whatever music they want from iTunes and Spotify and YouTube, but there’s something nostalgic about the radio for me. I guess it kind of brings me back.

But back to the story. I’m driving home and this new track I’ve never heard comes on. It’s by an artist named Buddy and the song has an obvious West Coast vibe. I find myself getting lost in the beat and the hook.

I still can't help but shine (shining)

I can't help but shine (shining)

I still can't help but shine (shining)

And we can't help but shine (shining)

In verse 1, the Compton emcee says, “I know I can't fail if God testing my faith.” One of the reasons I love checking out the site Genius, as I’ve written in the past, is because artists can add verified commentary to the song page. Buddy wrote the following about this line:

I’m a Christian, I grew up in the church. My dad is a pastor right now, he was a preacher the whole time I was growing up.

We went to New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in L.A. My uncle was the pastor, rest in peace. Uncle Lonny Dawson. His death was an event. I believe in God fully.

There’s a lot of things that can test my faith: infidelity, temptation, bullshit, drugs and girls.

The transition from being a child who is unaware to a young teen who is slowly becoming aware, to a young adult who is still not fully aware. It’s trials and tribulations and rash decisions.

I am sinner, I am not afraid. I have faith. I repent and I ask for forgiveness. And God is a forgiving God.

“Shine” is a smooth single about his ambitions to be great instead of letting the rough neighborhood he grew up in bring him down.

“I was raised in Compton, California,” Buddy writes on Genius. “I grew up off Harlan and Alondra. It’s a Crip neighborhood, the nutty blocks. A bunch of crips and a bunch of bloods doing a bunch of gangbanger stuff and I grew up in the midst.”

This track should certainly get Buddy, who signed with Pharrell Williams' i Am Other record label, more attention moving forward. The video above currently has 103,553 views, but I would be surprised if this track didn’t explode onto the scene early here in 2017.

Here’s the audio version only (it’s better quality if you simply want to listen to the song):