Sound Check: Wes Pendleton – Above the Clouds

I have this theory that the best music is made as the result of some sort of struggle; that struggle–external, internal, or both–makes for introspection creative types thrive off and the world benefits from. Wes Pendleton has not lacked for struggle and as a result, his latest project Nebulous is complete with the joy and pain of someone that has learned from all of life’s offerings with a bird eye’s view from the 215.

The influences of Wes Pendleton’s childhood are the realities of his today; he learned the drums and piano at an early age and was enveloped by gospel music and favored such artists as James Cleveland, Thomas Whitfield, and the Hawkins singers. However, the strongest influence on his life is that of his parents, as they provided the foundation that has allowed the room for his growth. He’s a P.K. (Preacher’s Kid) and the base he’s developed learning at his father’s feet has carried through his music and in his everyday walk.

Nebulous, his first solo project, comes after years of his family and friends urging him to explore his talent on the other side of the boards, as he’d been producing since his career took off at the beginning of the millennium. Any initial fears of being the front man have cooled as he’s sharing his story as a triple-threat act; he’s rapping, singing and making the beats these days and all at a high level. It turns out that he’s inherited his mother’s singing voice and has been able to use hip-hop to work out more of his ideas in a song. The combination works; his voice is on par with your favorite singer and lyrically he’s saying far more than your favorite M.C., so combined listeners are in for a treat on the brief EP.

Pendleton and his crew at Illect Recordings are a brotherhood, a crew with the common goal to open the eyes of their listeners and to inspire one song at a time. Yes, it can be categorized as gospel music, but it’s far from being preachy, as the hope is to encourage and share stories that the listener can identify with. The cast that makes appearances on this release drop quick verses that pack a lot of life and leave you wanting for more, a tactic the artist used to set the tone for his next EP to be released in July and the full-length album coming at the top of the new year. Nebulous clocks in at just over 30 minutes, but he was able to find the time to allow close friends Ant and Young Joshua time to rock, as well as U.K. ambassador Serene. Dre Murray also makes a scene stealing appearance on “Hurt So Bad” and really sets the tone for his upcoming release Hell’s Paradise 2 with his partner Wit.

“Hurt So Bad” is that song that’s closest to Wes Pendleton’s heart, closest to his experience over the past few years, the uncertainty of life, the personal battles many of us face as we progress through our 20s and the challenge our spirituality presents us as we do battle with life. Much of that battle has to do with balance, whether we know it or not; Wes Pendleton has restored the order in his life and looking to help tip the scales of the mainstream as well, as he attempts to help restore the focus of the moral foundation. It’s no easy task by far, but he was bred for this type of fight.

Wes Pendleton is a husband and father. A Christian and an entertainer. A Son and student. A friend and a businessman. A teacher and a brother. Many roles to juggle, many roles to master, but I’m sure he’s up for the challenge.

Follow Wes Pendleton on Twitter @WesPen_215 and check out his Facebook page Download Nebulous at and be on the lookout for more music from Wes Pendleton and the rest of the Illect Recordings team.

 –Al-Lateef Farmer

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer: Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought can be found at, and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Site by Fishbucket