It’s safe to say that Denton High School student Shaheed Barket, who started making music when he was 14, has come a long way.
The 18-year-old rapper is on the verge of releasing his debut album, Gold Ceilings, and has performed live for the first time.
“In the four years since I started rapping, I have definitely progressed,” Barket said. “I was recording on my friend’s computer. I was just being dumb, rapping about killing people and stuff I really didn’t do. I was 14, so I really just followed what the crowd said.”
Now, he says, “My style has changed. Right now, it’s a lot more professional.”
Barket performed for the first time in front of an audience at Andy’s Bar on Jan. 17. He had planned to perform seven songs, four of those being from upcoming album, Gold Ceilings.
“I’m pretty stoked,” he said. “I’ll have a 30-minute part, and the show ends at 1 a.m. You have to be 18 to get in, but it’s going to be really fun. I’m not nervous at all. I’m ready.”
He is planning to release his album this and will be selling them for $5.
“This album is going to actually be mine,” he said. “The style of it is all me since I’m now using my own beats. It’s called Gold Ceilings because that’s the accessory of a king. Gold Ceilings is just a representation of becoming royal and entering a higher life.”
As Barket writes lyrics, records music and produces songs, he keeps his musical goals in mind.
“My goal for rapping is to make it into the music industry and get my name out there,” Barket said. “I really love putting my music on YouTube. I like the networking of YouTube because it helped me meet producers. I want my music to spread as much as possible.”
Barket hopes to be able to take his music to the next level soon.
“Touring is the main thing on my mind right now,” he said. “I just really want to get the chance to meet new people. Whenever I tour, I want to go all across America. If I keep going, this could definitely be a possibility.”
Senior Diego Davila has been by Barket’s side since the beginning. And having been friends with Barket for the length of his music career, Diego has high hopes for his future.
“I’m incredibly happy for him,” Diego said. “I’ve always told Shaheed that he’d be great. With the rate of progress, I think that he’ll definitely have statewide popularity in a year or so. He has more lyric and rhythmic talent than he knows. He has great abilities and will only improve.”
Barket’s mother, Zella Barket, is also happy that he is chasing a music career.
“I’m very proud of him,” Zella said. “I’m very supportive of his choice to make music. I think he’ll start to be more and more popular as the years go on. He’s already popular as it is, and I only see him getting better.”
Even though Barket doesn’t have expensive recording equipment, he is still happy with the materials that he has.
“Right now, I record all of my music at my house,” he said. “It’s not much of a studio, because it’s only a microphone and an interface. I use an Audio-Technica AT2035 for a microphone. Even though it’s small, it still gets the job done. I’ll probably go to a studio whenever I start making major moves. For now, I’m just going to work in my house.”
Whenever Barket faces adversity, he thinks of his fans who give him supportive feedback.
“At this point, the fans are the people who motivate me the most,” Barket said. “I really like it when a person tells me, ‘Dude, that’s a cool song!’ That makes me want to keep making music. The feedback’s been great. It’s all about the fans. I love the people, they love my music, so why stop making music?”
In the song “Pimp C,” Barket explains talent is required in order to “make it.” According to the lyrics, “everybody wants to make it, but nobody’s got the talent.”
“For people who want to get big doing something, they definitely should have the talent first,” Barket said. “Don’t give yourself false hope. If you’re trying to be talented, my advice for you is to practice. That will definitely make you better. Repetition is the father of learning. When you’re being told opinions, just remember that what you do is what you do and you know how you want it done.”
Barket believes that having dedication to something is vital to becoming successful.
“I love making music because it’s something to be creative with,” Barket said. “I want to become successful. I think that, generally, if you want to be successful, you have to really want it.”
Brenden Kimberlin is a sophomore at Denton High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” program for student journalists.