Shyste, not to be confused with Shystie, is another solid and entertaining rapper from Albany's PCM (Pitch Control Music) family. Each rapper and release from the 518 domonstrates skill, and this product is no exception. Everything is extremely professional, yet underground and independent. The production is enjoyable, with a variety of approaches, whilst the emceeing is of a quality easy to appreciate.
The twenty-three track debut album begins with 'The Ox Swinger' which features Dez and is produced by Profile. The hook has a cool stuttering vocal whilst the verses showcase a deep but clear and concise voice. '4 Bars' produced by D-Tox has a subtle click to its beat which works nicely alongside a shaker and some guitar which adds a lot of flavour.
'Have You Seen A shitfaced Gremlin?' is a skit in an English accent, which is always enjoyable to hear a yank attempt. It leads into 'Suntin' which Shyste produced himself. It's a fairly layered beat, although feels a little repetitive after a few repeats of the loop. After quite a long intro, 'Glocks n Techs' eventually gets into swing, with a reserved but atmospheric beat and verses which are enticing to the ear. 'Goodbye Sunshine' has a nice electronic sound throughout and a catchy chorus sung drunkenly.
'Drop Ya Backside' has some nice bass which would sound great on a loud system. The track adds some diversity to the moods of the CD as a whole. Shyste's Caribbean accent and natural voice slide in and out of each oher impressively. I'm sure some of the background chatter is in a Brit's accent too.
'Break North' sounds like it was recorded on a pirate ship thanks to its use of what sounds like an accordion. Dez and Sween make dope guest spots. 'A New Day' instantly stands out as an album highlight. The production, handled by D-Tox, takes from a classic Nina Simone track. There's strings, piano and a fat bassline. It'd be silly for this track not to become a single.
'Where I'm From' has some dope aggressive verses although the track's let down by the repetition of the beat's loop which gets too much to bare, especially when the fairly uninteresting chorus rolls. 'Cow Tippin' is loud and developed. There's lots going on in terms of production and it really gets the head nodding that little bit more than other tracks on the album.
The self produced 'Last Call' ends the album which remains consistent throughout, with no track noticeably much better or worse than the others. Perhaps if the track listing's were shaved down by five or so numbers, the album as a whole would have a greater impact. The likeable thing about this album is that it doesn't seek to be ultra intelligent or particularly hardcore. It's straight up enjoyable hip-hop.
For more information on the artist visit www.therealshyste.com