In a feel good story for what has been a dogshit year, Fiona Apple has reunited, and made a song with, the Shameika she sings about on her 2020 album Fetch The Bolt Cutters – one of the best albums of the year so far.
For those who haven’t heard the song ‘Shameika’, we’ll fill you in: it’s about a girl, Shameika Stepney, that Apple went to school with as a child who told her that “she had potential” after seing her being bullied in the cafeteria. n a long winded and round-a-bout way, had a profound impact on Apple’s life.
But, Shameika has been busy making music as well, having spent the past three decades rapping under a variety of monikers.
“She got through to me and I’ll never see her again“, Apple sings on ‘Shameika’, not knowing how wrong she was. The two reunited earlier this year thanks to their third grade teacher Linda Kunhardt, and enjoyed a near-two hour phone call.
The result – two new musical outputs. The first is a new version of ‘Shameika’ that uses the namesake rapper’s voice in the intro. The second is a whole new song, ‘Shameika Said’, which sees Stepney deliver some spitfire raps over a transformative interpolation of the original song, as well as some new verses from Apple.
“She stood up for me / I wish I could have done the same for her”, Apple powerfully sings on ‘Shameika Said’, making for a real poignant moment between the two long lost classmates.
Listen to both ‘Shameika Said’ and ‘Shameika’ below.