Who is S-Wrap (Saran Thompson)
S-Wrap is a rap and spoken word artist from Bristol, Pennsylvania. At age 11, he was introduced to freestyle rapping by a childhood neighbor. Shortly after discovering battle rap, he began freestyling and battling at any chance. Throughout middle school and high school he continued to pursue these artistic outlets until challenged by a friend on the authenticity of the content in his lyrics. That was a pivotal time; a moment of self-realization and narrow moving. He determined he had two choices. “I could either live the life I rap, or rap the life I live.” After various negative experiences related to drugs and gangs, S-Wrap decided to quit rapping altogether.
In 2008 he began to pursue a degree in audio engineering at Middle Tennessee State University. While attending, he became involved in a student-based performance collective known as, Word Up. Students would gather at MTSU’s courtyard once a week, providing themselves a platform to showcase their talents through; music, dance, spoken word, and battle rapping. It was in this space, S-Wrap’s passion for artistic expression was yet again awakened. On occasion, he would battle rap and within a short time was introduced to a new avenue of verbal self-expression, known as, Spoken Word. S-Wrap’s lyrical agility began to expand; considering the necessity to become a crafty “wordsmith.” Taking a step forward, he found himself intensely studying the lyricism and dexterity of his favorite rap artist, Lupe Fiasco. Lupe’s artistic and lyrical approach to rap opened yet another door, shining light on S-Wrap’s understanding of literary devices and techniques. This ‘new’ style allowed him to connect with his audience while articulating his thoughts, experiences, and emotions.
He saw first hand the weight of his methods, when graciously received by his peers after reciting an original piece, entitled, Roses. Students shared how the poem deeply resonated with them. In turn, S-Wrap saw how words and music could impact a person for better, or worse. In 2010, during his junior, he accepted Jesus Christ, and that was a huge turning point. He read the verse in Proverbs 18:21 that talks about the power of speaking life or death within every word and action. He had seen the power of positive music and lyrics and decided in order to continue to give positivity through his art, he had to give up battle rapping.
In 2012, S-Wrap was given the opportunity to study abroad; traveling to Hirakata, Japan to study at Kansai Gaidai University. During this time, he linked up with a group of fellow lyricists and became an active member in a rap group known as HERC. HERC performed a few shows during S-Wrap's stay in Japan. He also collaborated with a well-known, up and coming Japanese rapper based out of Osaka, known as CZ Tiger. During his stay, S-Wrap grew an affinity for Japanese culture, learning the language and honing in on his skills to create Japanese music. Shortly after returning to the States, he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in December 2013.
In 2014, S-Wrap started working for a Nashville-based non-profit organization, Southern Word. Southern Word allowed him to become a spoken word and music production mentor to teens around Nashville. By working closely with Southern Word, S- Wrap has taken on their mission, teaching students (middle school, high school, college students) to find their voice through spoken word. Over the past, 3 years, his success within Southern Word as allowed him to live out his motto, "Speak Life."
S-Wrap uses his art to inspire people to pursue passions By "Speaking Life" in all his work, whether spoken word, rapping, or production; S-Wrap is able to reinforce authenticity and integrity in society and it’s culture. He aims to embody the phrase Ex-Nihilio, creating something from nothing.... all through art. S.L.A.P. [Speaking Life And Positivity]