The past few weeks you have gotten to know Napoleon Da Legend via his lyrics, his style, and his clean-cut music videos. I had the pleasure of writing up an article about him last week "Erasing the Stigma", which explored the meaning behind his name. His lyrics are precisely chosen to match his philosophy on life and the reason why he raps.
Napoleon Da Legend is an artful rapper when working solo, but he is also a beast on any collaboration. There is a misconception that rappers must maintain a selfish bravado and their ego won’t allow them to work peacefully with other ingenious rappers in the game. NDL is a humble rapper with a passion for all things within the arts, and his passion allowed him to receive the honor of collaborating with A. Sesay on "Sinking With the Ship".
The track is a reflective track that explores the "crabs in a barrel" mentality that dismantle respect in the rap game. I knew this track was a beautiful piece of art when I played it for my dad and he listened to it a few times. My dad is passionate about classical musical, house, gospel, indian, african, really all types of music. He went to Georgetown Prep and Princeton, so attending such prestigious institutions influenced his musical choices. He doesn’t listen to a lot of hip-hop because of the lack of originality in commercial music and most underground music contains to much foul language for his taste. But, when I told him about Napoleon Da Legend and showed him the track, he immediately started rockin to the beat. He said that "Napoleon Da Legend got some skills! He is bound to be one of the next greats in hip-hop"
For my dad to approve of it and give it such high ranks, I knew that Napoleon Da Legend is one of those rappers that holds a diverse audience. People from a variety of lifestyle can enjoy the pure quality of NDL’s music and add him to their list of favorites. The track "Sinking with Ship" was a wonderful collab that started unity amongst DMV rappers.
I asked Napoleon Da Legend why he decided to collab on the track, and as usual, he eloquently provide me a wise answer. He said "A. Sesay got in touch with me and broke down his idea for it. We didn’t know each other at the time. He told me he thought I’d be a good fit, he had his artist Doe Cigapom on it, as well as another DMV artist Adversary. During that time Adversary had just finish winning a few weeks in a row at the 106 & Park rap battles."
After giving a brief introduction to how the artist all met and their qualifying rights to be included on such a passionate track, Napoleon Da Legend continued explaining what motivated A. Sesay to do the track. " We just came together on the song and it worked. We wanted to promote good hip-hop and unity as artists striving for a common goal in our area (DMV). We don’t stand for that crab in a barrel mentality".
The crabs in a barrel mentality is one that creates such tension amongst those within the rap game and other aspects of the arts. It’s sad that we have shows and blurbs on gossip sites about beef between so and so. In entertainment industry you have to unite and learn how to appreciate someone work other than yours. Being a united force in the arts is the only way to make a stand for your passion and find mentors and inspiration from positive people in your respective field. The "Sinking with the Ship" is an excellent example of the concept "united we stand".
The video overall personifies simplicity, but it showcases the Greater DC Metropolitan and all the rappers working together in harmony. When explaining the video, Napoleon Da Legend says " The video was a blessed occasion where many of the major artists from the DMV came true and showed love. The rest is now history."
I love how he ended it, "the rest is now history". Napoleon Da Legend is stepping out in society and his goal is to become a legend, someone who makes a stamp in history. "Sinking With the Ship" is a bound to be a legendary track off of A. Sesay’s EP "A Special". If you haven’t checked out the EP then your missing out! His flow is different from Napoleon Da Legend, but his mentality is one that many NDL fans are accustomed to and can appreciate.
Check out the video below and the behind the scenes.