Black Sheep Optimists are a hip hop trio based in Austin, TX. Since joining forces at South by Southwest for their debut performance in 2019, Black Sheep Optimists have been working hard to deliver that quality studio sound to match their high level of energy which gets artfully displayed at live shows. Multi-instrumentalist David Price produces hard hitting instrumentals for lyrical emcees Van Aarde (Daryl Uberoi) and Maneikis (Greg Maneikis).
Their debut EP “Book One“, released July 17th, generated a feature article in the famed magazine “Austin Monthly”. Featuring performances by guitar legend Jackie Venson and neo-soul singer Kalu James, “Book One” immediately put BSO on the local and national radar. The group believes their name represents a common thread amongst many musicians: the need to remain optimistic despite choosing to pursue a life founded in artistic expression as opposed to direct fiscal reward. Their music draws inspiration from artists such as Kanye West, Run The Jewels, and Black Star. Currently, BSO is working on recording their sophomore project at their home studio in Austin, TX.
On “The Path“, epic producer David Price samples horns from a Cold War era government PSA and adds layers of live instrumentation to really drive up the energy of the track. Emcees Maneikis and Van Aarde then captivate the audience with clever lyrics and unique rhythms to provide their own perspective on what chasing passion means to them. Maneikis starts by acknowledging his privilege of growing up in a happy home, but instead of deciding to dive into a business career like his father… he chose art instead.
He raps “Yo I was dealt a decent hand, my pops a decent man, no hate to the rat race, but the cheese I’m chasing’s that way”. Van Aarde continues along this theme with his sweet vocals in the hook, singing “I’m on the path that you don’t know, that leads to something beautiful, no 9-5 to funeral, but momma don’t you fear, the way ahead is clear”. In verse 2, Van Aarde then shares his own point of view on his artistic path when he raps “Give it everything I got, make the most of it, no coasting here, I’ve been reaching for the top and I’m almost there, the road is clear…”.
To close out the track, classically trained Price flexes his chops on the violin (a commonly used weapon across many BSO tracks and live shows). Price’s revealing of the fact that he plays violin drives crowds wild, as this type of talent has been pushed to the wayside in recent years within the music industry. In short, The Path is an anthem track for anyone looking for motivation to continue chasing their dreams.
“The Path” is universal in its message. It’s all about taking the road less traveled and believing in yourself in order to accomplish that which you hope to achieve. This can be added to anyone’s workout playlists because of its positive message and upbeat instrumentation. These classy gentlemen are masters of their craft, and something to keep your eye on undoubtedly.