X-Shai, a self-designated “Alternative” artist is relatively new to Hip Hop, but something about his new song, “Tell Me” feels very, very familiar. Almost like something we’ve all heard before. Born in Accra, Ghana, X-Shai is a recent transplant to Atlanta’s East Side. Within a year of relocating there (in 2016), he had shifted his focus away from other artistic pursuits and immediately launched into a full blown music career. Between 2017 and now, he’s amassed enough content to constitute a thorough mixtape, which is impressive considering that doesn’t leave much time for him to have struggled through any kind of a learning curve.
In “Tell Me” X-Shai presents himself as an obviously talented, highly passionate rapper, and I was immediately excited about this artist when I heard his verse begin. Then I realized something — I know this flow. I know this beat, too. The main problem with this song isn’t the rapper, who, again, is actually very talented. It’s the recognizable a flow and beat that belongs to an existing, well-known song, namely, Eminem’s “Mockingbird.” This could’ve come about as a total coincidence, of course, but it seems a little too spot-on to pass off as a randomly occurring similarity. The main problem with the verses (especially verse one) is that they are recognizably copping the flow from Eminem’s song, “Mockingbird” — even some of the rhyme schemes are the same. Either X-Shai is both an accomplished enough producer that he was able to recreate a beat in the likeness of “Mockingbird” or he’s an inexperienced beginner, making the understandable mistake of thinking he can use a type-beat which ultimately sounds too similar to the original song.