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Review: Shyheim – Rugged Child

Shyheim – Rugged Child was the best Staten Island hip hop/rap album by a solo rap artist from 1994. That Wu-Tang sound can be heard all throughout the album. Gangsta rap meets East Coast hip hop on this album. The album had those booming boom bap beats and jazzy jazz samples over hardcore street savvy lyrics written from a child’s perspective. His lyrics were explicit, direct like a tech, and shocking. But not surprising given that was recorded in 1993 and released in 1994. Each song on this album is worth playing. No song is worth skipping. Hip hop heads and fans should definitely have this album in their collection. Brehsive is one word to describe the album. An overlooked album from the golden era. The golden era of hip hop at its finest.

Shyheim was a child prodigy that never got the respect he deserved. Even fellow rappers Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah referred to Shyheim as a “Wunderkind” and a “prodigy”. Heck even Jay-Z admired Shyheim at one point in his rapping career.

Shyheim was slaying it with his lyrics as a child prodigy on Here Comes the Hits. Aw shit! Here come the hits ya’ll. The song is laced with James Brown funky verbal tics and a jazzy horn sample over grooving guitars.

Shyheim was making hit after hit. Makin’ MC’s quit. Then they jump on his tip for that old raw hit. (Then they jump on his tip for that old raw shit.) You thought he got stuck. Nah, kid. You’re outta luck. You thought Shyheim couldn’t flip ill styles like this. Then peep this. Check the raw, rough, and rugged the technique because Shyheim came across raw, rough, and rugged. Shyheim is a down low ill type brotha. Comin out of Staten Island with the ill plan of attack. Better get it and enter the realm of the Wu.

There’ll be none of that. Shyheim keeps on comin’ back for more. To add more points to the score. Sound the alarm for destruction is near. There ain’t no escape from the real. The way Shyheim added verbal tics to these lyrics was genius. “It’s hectic, tic, tic tic Boom I flips real quick” Those lyrics mimicked the sound of a ticking time bomb.

Shyheim is the type of brotha to drop his game on your girl and let her know that he is thorough. He grand slams in every borough of New York City because he is on third base throwing ill styles. Bad little bastard aka Rugged Child. You can’t hang. So step back because you ain’t qualified. There’s only one son on first. Here comes the man to clean it up. Here comes the hit. Now duck.

First at bat upon is a shorty that holds his own with no problems. Quickly he’ll solve them with just a little slick slang from his tongue.

Shyheim raps about the rough life he had growing up in the projects in/on Staten Island with the song On and On. On and On dealt with subjects such as gun violence and gang violence.

Shyheim walks the rough streets of New York with caution because brothers who have guns (gats) are acting dangerously. Nowadays you gots to walk the street and watch your back because brothers with the gats don’t be knowing how to act.
They always pull a glock when somebody rocks a knot. They always pull a Glock when somebody’s around or not. And if they get shot they often snitch to the cops.

Now tell me this ain’t living foul. An awful way live life. A woman just had a baby child. After the birth of the child she is back to selling cracks vials on the Ave because she’s addicted to the fast cash. She sells crack to support herself and her child. How long will that last before the cops be up in that ass? How long will this woman be able to keep selling crack before she gets arrested by police?

But honey there don’t wanna listen because she’s in a position that nobody gives a pot to piss in. She has fallen on hard times and lacks the necessities needed to take care of herself and her child. Nobody is there to help her and her child. Or give her any means of assistance. She refuses to listen to anyone because of this. Her life is stuck and filled with bad luck. So she fucks and fucks to earn another buck meaning that she turned to prostitution to make money by having sexual intercourse with different men. As a prostitute she doesn’t really care about pride or respect herself. And she jumps into another ride then committing suicide. Everybody’s doin’ their own thing from hookering to drug slang.

Times are getting hard. Shyheim even got caught trying to steal from the junkyard. Poverty is so bad on Staten Island.
He was a born terror. A Rebel without a Pause. He walks the streets at night with his head down. In this little town you see clowns that wanna be down. So they get a glock and lick shots to get props. And when shit rocks all you can hear is the shells drop. Gun shots are a common occurrence where he lives. The person that gets killed could have been/could be someone you know.

An old man got shot in a parking lot in front of his building. Shyheim hangs with his grandchildren. The nigga that pulled the trigger who tried to slide and hide got knocked by the homicide. This happens everyday around his way. So Shyheim prays that he can live another day.

Get a load of this guy. You know the Mr. Hardy? The one who talks about gats but ain’t’ busting nobody. Mr. Hardy is a fake gangsta (fake gangster) who talks about violence but isn’t actually committing violent crimes. He speaks that yin yang so we can just maintain. Shyheim would kill the fake gangsta by killing him but retaliation would occur for the killing. He got mad respect and respectable reputation in the projects. Foe was knuckle jacked.

The niggas in hoodies (real gangsters) packed up their loaded gats to kill the fake gangsta. They met up in the back so they could plan the attack. It wasn’t hard to tell that these kids was no joke. They let the pistol smoke and their .9 was doper than coke. Shyheim has seen it happen everyday where he lived. He knew a few bums and drug dealers. Most of them are fugitives. This goes on and on.

Many people misinterpreted some of the lyrics. For example, Nowadays you gots to walk the street and watch your back/’Cause brothers with the gats don’t be knowing how to act/They always pull a Glock when somebody’s around or not” is actually “Nowadays you gots to walk the street and watch your back/’Cause brothers with the gats don’t be knowing how to act/They always pull a Glock when somebody rocks a knot”

One other example is this. Now tell me this ain’t living foul/She just had a baby child and she’s back to selling cracks valves” is actually “Now tell me this ain’t living foul/She just had a baby child and she’s back to selling cracks vials” And also, “She don’t really care about Roddy/And she jumps into another ride then committing suicide” is actually “She don’t really care about pride/And she jumps into another ride then committing suicide”.

The song had quotable lyrics that were memorable for a lifetime. Below is a list of the quotable lyrics Shyheim used in the song.

Nowadays you gots to walk the street and watch your back
‘Cause brothers with the gats don’t be knowing how to act
They always pull a Glock when somebody rocks a knot
And if they get shot they often snitch to the cops

Her life is stuck and filled with bad luck
So she fucks and fucks to earn another buck

In this little town you see clowns that wanna be down
So they get a Glock and lick shots to get props
And when shit rocks all you can hear is the shells drop

Aiyo, get a load of this guy, you know the Mr. Hardy?
The one who talks about gats but ain’t’ busting nobody
He speaks that yin yang so we can just maintain

Pass It Off was a Wu-Tang Clan posse cut on the album. Come and do with the Wu-Tang hip hop for Staten Island.

Rubbabandz style is mad funky. He gots to show the funk. He doesn’t need a girl who be traps like a ho. Which means he is baggin bitches. His rhymes are getting fatter He dropped a lyrical bomb. Y’all seem to scatter. You talk and chit chatter. It really don’t matter. He is too cold to hold and badder than the Mad Hatter. He is a basket case like the man with the chainsaw. Underground sounds that he rips are from the core. The superfly funktastic Rubbabandz never took a loss because he chose to burn competition like a torch. Watch out because he will blow up just like a heat-seeking missile. Or bob-around suckas like a pistol. You beat him in a battle? Ha ha, now that’s a riddle. Rubbabandz likes to keep his style pumpin on the regular. He packs the rhymes like a tourist packs the luggage. On one hand he’s rough and on the other hand he’s rugged.

K-Tez is a wildstyle shorty not for that old ill shit. Wu-Tang slang is what he is putting in your brain. You don’t want it. They don’t want it. Niggas don’t want it. Don’t flex because his shit is real. He is sending chills through your body like Evander Holyfield. Everyday is rough out in his town. Every other day a body’s found. K-Tez got mad stacks inside his napsack. Fly in the sky like Mike Jordan.

Now here we go. Down Low Recka is back for more. Check the flow up from the Down Low as he wrecks the show
because niggas is boring. You come and go easy like a Sunday morning. That’s how he knew Wu-Tang slang was what you wanted. So he brung it. Now you done it. Tried to flip then you got fronted.

Shyheim was a bad little bastard that many people tried to flip and stick but got blasted. And dropkicked by a nigga that’s mad sick and wicked. A rebel that switch his level just like a devil. Him and his boys make noise up and down the block. His styles is buckwild and it shakes the ground with a fat sound that funk like James Brown. So heed the words from the bad little bastard.

Never Say is an intoxicating repetitive interlude you may want to skip depending on your mood. Nevertheless the song has stellar production from the legendary RNS. The basslines and lyrics are what make the interlude catchy of course.

One’s 4 da Money was Shyheim at his best. His lyrics were direct and on point on this song. The way he was flowing was flawless. This song was the epicenter of golden era hip hop and rap. Golden era hip hop and rap at its finest.

Here comes the shortie with the tec twenty two (Intratec “Tec” .22 caliber pistol). But if you can tell, he’s gonna blast you. from the projects worst ghetto section. So he bought a gun for protection. Shortie do-wa more Juice than 2Pac. Come and do with the Wu-tang hip-hop. Shyheim is not a mac daddy or a daddy mac. Touch his napsack, boy, you gettin’ pimp smacked.

He was rapping and using quotable lyrics at such a young age such as these lyrics.

Microphone so keep licking on that wish bone
You had you’re chance but you fell out on tune
So you’re hanging out with deuce, now you say that rock rues
You make me laugh as you’re mom’s get smoke
You get ain’t like a taffy, and red like the chokes

Flow with the flow from the Wu-tang free-style
You catch yo bow-bow, And they’re two’s this wild, child
From the Staten the Island, the temple
Just an example how pop goes the pistol

Microphone so keep licking on that wish bone
You had you’re chans but you feld out on tune,
So you’re hanging out with deuce, now you say that rock rues
You make me laugh as you’re mom’s get smoke
You get ain’t like a taffy, and red like the chokes
Flow with the flow from the Wu-tang free-style
You catch yo bow-bow, And they’re two’s this wild, child
From the Staten the Island, the temple
just an example how pop goes the pistole

So you got beef
Run on sonny go get ya posse
Cause I’ve got a mosse when you wear Huaraches
Then you hear me kicking as I own you, it’s mad rugged

And be dropping mad skillz like my name was Pad Mark
The rebel to society
Everyone’s trying me

To make it real snappy, and little nasty-nasty
Things get pawsie-pawsie

From the projects worst ghetto section
So my back but gun from protection

Shortie wa-wa, shorts sniki sha-sha
Go-go, ga-ga, now you want me popa

From the projects worst ghetto section
So my back but gun from protection

Cause I let the microphone spark right after dark
And be dropping mad skillz like my name was Pad Mark

The rebel to society
Everyone’s trying me

I’m not a mac daddy or a daddy mac
Touch my napsack, boy, you gettin’ pimp smacked

Like Eric B. and Rakim
Don’t sweat the technique

He used clever, catchy, and witty one-liners such these ones below.

Just an example how pop goes the pistol
My slang and my gang bows up the concrete
Looking at me strange leave dim raid it’ll amaze me
And be dropping mad skillz like my name was Pad Mark
I’m not a mac daddy or a daddy mac
Cause I’ve got a mosse when you wear Huaraches
Then you hear me kicking as I own you, it’s mad rugged
Shortie wa-wa, shorts sniki sha-sha
Come and do with the Wu-tang hip-hop
Touch my napsack, boy, you gettin’ pimp smacked

Move It Over Here explained how brothers kept testing Shyheim. So he moved them with his lyrics. So watch out! There’s a big bad motherfucker coming your way.

There be a lot of shorties out here rockin the mic for like one or two singles but they don’t keep comin at em. You got to come non-stop like consecutive blows to the head dome. You gotta keep em movin non-stop.

Nowadays brothers keep testing Shyheim. Brothers are trying to get him open and take out the best of him. They pull up rough, get snuffed, and then bust when he kicks that old underground funk stuff that’s comin atcha. better run from the rapture before he gats and blasts ya. Kid you’re outta luck, Try to flip and you get stuck by the Wu-Tang sword, You shoulda bucked south because Shyheim is spittin out on brothers straight from his mouth. You just been ripped. Now watch your blood drip right down your lip. He’s got sweets for all the sweet MCs that fake the funk in the streets.

Up comes a shorty named Shyheim who’s sneaky one armed with the loaded gun. A bad little bastard that is a rugged child classic. Shit’s on lock until he’s done. Check how Shyheim flips his tongue like a pro. 15 years old with enough skills to flow. If rockin hip-hop was a crime call the cops. Become a wanted man who was forced to be a fugitive. A shorty outta Shaolin Isle with something new to give. You wanna hear it? It goes a little something like this. The Wu-Tang click is comin thick. His napsack’s full with mad goodies. His click keeps a low profile with black hoodies.

Back in the flesh it’s the wanna get buckwild from Staten Island. It’s the return of the rugged child.
He’s no pimp but he walk with a slick limp. And he catches a dunk off the funk like Shawn Kemp. He be the beat of the rugged rhyme freaker. To blow out your speaker and got more soul than sneakers.

Buckwylyn is a song about Shyheim and his crew buckwildin’. They’re just out there doin it and they don’t really give a damn what’s happening. While Shyheim and his crew are out in public buckwildin’, they get held up by a group of 4 police officers. Shyheim’s man Amsin pushed back an officer and one officer pulled the trigger

Shyheim and his crew were chillin on the ave. Buggin out and lookin dap. And these 4 cold boys (police officers) rolled up in a cab. They pulled out their guns and said, “Get against the wall!” Fuck that! Shyheim and his crew would rather brawl and then go out at all. Shyheim’s man Amsin pushed back an officer and one officer pulled the trigger. His body hit the floor. Blood covered the ground His right hand man could be dead. How that sound? The red glare with these tears made Shyheim shed.

Shyheim couldn’t let that police officer flee or have him and his crew lounge in peace deceased. That ain’t him. So they dash and put the police officer on that ass in the grass. Their life is now come to pass. The fear made him shrimp. Aw shit. The gun slipped and discharged. Shyheim’s man picked up the burner and emptied the clip in his back. Shyheim and his crew retreat back to avoid getting arrested for murder one

Shyheim knew a kid named Dane. He had mad fame in the drug game. Dane was throwing his life down the drain by selling drugs illegally. He slang mad rocks on the block until it got hot. Then he hit the jackpot by striking it rich. Now he owns a crack spot (trap house). He always got blunted and smoked up the Philly Blunt. Now he uses White Owl minks with his illy. Dane had lots and girls around his finger. Dane is the neighborhood banger and the hot rock slinger.

The cops are on his back. He had a plan that was def so he stepped. He stuck up Bill. The one from up the hill that was chill. Now Bill wants to kill Dane dead for his name and his fame. So Bill killed Dane. He lit up the kid with lead in his head. Now Dane’s dead.

There’s a party goin on down the block. His whole crew’s strapped now that they loaded the gats. His crew’s in here deep ready to bomb ya. Shyheim got the ill rhymes. Niggas are lookin for a show. But it’s gettin kinda hectic on the mad down low. Honeys with the big butts whine to get stuck. And they kill a bitch and it’s time to get bucked. Niggas wanna drop cause it’s real hot. And some knucklehead wants to blow up the spot. And it stopped when these 2 kids busted shots. The party’s in a smash and the Wu got it locked up. It’s the man on the mic.

Get Down was the song on the B Side of the One’s 4 da Money vinyl single from 1994. The song was on the vinyl edition and CD edition of the One’s 4 da Money single. Get Down had verses from Rubbabandz, Leatha Face, and Snagglepuss.

Shyheim spoke the deepest lyrics in rap at that time for a wunderkind. “My thoughts are deep and unique like a Malcom X speech” The lyrics were deep and unique. No child rapper at that time could have had the capability to have came up with these lyrics.

Bring The Drama was the song on the B Side of the On and On cassette single from 1993. The song was on the vinyl edition and cassette edition of the On and On single. This song first appeared on the first pressing (1st press) of the On & On 12″ in 1993 which also had the Premier remix. RNS did the beats. Bring The Drama should have been included on this album on as well but was not for whatever the reason(s) may have been.

The song had the quotable lyrics which went “I’m on a mission, ready for all the action/A stick up kid that wants to be paid like The Jacksons”, “This is manslaughter/So ya better head for the boarder/I go thru walls and walk on top of water”, and “I’m a live shorty that keeps it real/I don’t pretend fuck a dog a man’s best friend is a mack 10”. Shyheim came tight with the illest flows on this song.

I rate this album 5/5*****!

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