David Sha: The Politics Behind Not Wearing Any Drawers
Songs end up in our inbox all of the time. All of the time. Sometimes they go there to flourish, to (eventually) be posted here with praise and e-high-fives. Sometimes they go there to die, a Bad Music Graveyard, if you will. Rarely, though, are they the sole reason why someone or some band is chosen as Artist of the Week.
But that's exactly what happened when we heard "Carverdale (She's Alright)," a sweaty, sultry R&B single ostensibly about a girl who doesn't wear underwear (naturally, it's about way more than that).
So we reached out singer David Sha to find out what the song is really about, what a Carverdale is and why so many R&Bers have popped up these last two years or so.
Rocks Off: In exactly six words, tell everyone everything they need to know about David Sha.
David Sha: I'm a versatile revolutionary evolutionary spirit.
RO: Now, in exactly six words, tell everyone why your "baby don't wear no drawers."
DS: You should ask my late uncle.
RO: We're going to stay with the "Carverdale" theme here for a bit, because the girl that you're singing about sounds exceptionally interesting. If we're to understand it correctly, she a) doesn't wear underwear; b) deals drugs; c) doesn't take any shit; d) periodically sells herself to make rent; and e) gets thrown away by everyone. Still, though, she's all right with you. Two questions:
1. Are you singing about an actual person, or is she some sort of metaphor for something else entirely? Music would seem to fit all of those descriptions; so would Eve, though.
DS: First of all, my Uncle "Boy D" Armstrong used to sing that line to my older cousins and myself when we were little. I don't remember him singing any other line. I thought about that one day and the rest of the words just flowed. It's absolutely a metaphor. It's a triple layered metaphor, in fact.
I personified the "hood" in the form of this non-refined woman. She does what she has to do in order to survive. It represents everyone that came from these impoverished neighborhoods, including me, and saying that I know that it's not a politically correct environment, but I'm not ashamed that "she" nurtured me.
Politics created these environments. It also represents the struggle of the urban woman and letting her know that someone understands and I'm not passing judgment on her because I know that she's doing the best she can against seemingly insurmountable odds.
RO: Why, after all that, is she still all right?
DS: It ain't a girl, but several young ladies that heard it said they thought I was talking about them [laughs]. But she is all right with me because I've seen that outside influences rooted in racism and greed has set up these circumstances that most of them have to face. Matter of fact, these circumstances were set up generations before they were born and it still carries over into the present day.