Shysti - Border Music

Pancho Villa. Emiliano Zapata. Che Guevara. Malcolm X. Leonard Peltier. Cesar Chavez. Zapatistas. Those names evoke the true meaning of revolutionary. And when talking about the Chicano rap game, rapper/producer/poet Shysti definitely befits the definition of revolutionary (some of you may remember his dope verses on Frost’s “Latin Kings”) and more than lives up to that designation with his ground-breaking album, Border Music.

From the outset, Shysti lets you know what his music is about and who it’s for. With sharp lyrics in both English and Spanish that can match any of today’s mainstream or underground rap stars, Shysti slaps you upside the head with the knowledge that will enable you to understand the Chicano culture like you never thought you could have before. With uplifting messages for our people to tales about the drug game and a little bit of street poetry, Shysti breaks down all frontiers with Border Music.

The album begins with “Libertad,” the Chicano anthem of the new century. Production is handled by Shysti on the whole album and he delivers an amazing beat on this track with a stringy, guitar sound that evokes the pain of our people and a hard-hitting bass line that beats like one of our ancestor’s war drums. Mated to this hot track is Shysti’s unrelenting verbal assault on those who are standing still in this ever-changing world with dope lyrics such as-why is it called the movimiento if it seems to be standing still / who you trying to kill / are you part of the problem or the solution? / check yourself and join the real revolution‘

Not to be confused with the Thanksgiving holiday, “Pilgrimz” is a track where Shysti turns to professor as he enlightens us with the truth about the early colonists and sends them a just message in regards to their illegal occupation of this land-‘Pilgrimz! Go back to your homeland! Pilgrimz! This is my homeland! Pilgrimz! I want my independence…from you and all of your descendents!’

Another great track is “Hermano Cesar,” where Shysti again educates the youth with his homage to Cesar Chavez and the initial stages of the Chicano Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The song chronicles the great yet forgotten Cesar Chavez in all his plights and struggles and how those episodes have influenced Shysti in both his thinking and way of life. If you think the topic is not suited well for a rap song, check the dope beat Shysti supplies to keep your head nodding as you learn a thing or two about a real Chicano. "Xicano Manifesto" is another song where Shysti informs the youth about the Chicano Movement of the '60s and '70s.

Shysti doesn’t forget about the his roots growing up by the border in San Diego, and relates some of those experiences with some great tales about the drug game involving both the U.S. and Mexican border on tracks such as "Traffico," "La Frontera," where we find Don Cisco of Latino Velvet fame lending a helping hand, and "No U Don’t," in which Shysti incorporates the characters of the popular Mexican game, Loteria, in a clever tale about the narcotics business.

Shysti’s passion for Chicano poetry and spoken-word is widespread throughout Border Music. On "Nonanzine," we find Shysti’s mother reciting a poem, in both Spanish and Nahuatl, originally written by the great Mexica emperor and poet, Netzahuacoyotl. We find some spoken word and tight production on "Maiz," as well as "El Nopal," "I Use" and "Stay Tuned," where Shysti reflects on the events that occurred on Septemeber 11 and adds a controversial twist to his message.

The remainder of Border Music includes “Barrio Nights” with Johnny Z and Shandy; “Musica Nueva,” “Intocable” with Melissa Blythe and Jaybe, “The Damn Thing,” “Ponte Trucha,” and “Vamonos” where again we find Don Cisco blazing the microphone.

With Border Music, Shysti proves why the revolutionary label aptly applies to him and his music. A veteran in the industry as a rapper and producer for more than 10 years strong, Shysti is no stranger when it comes to stepping in the booth to blaze a track or sit down behind the boards and produce some hot tracks for artists such as WCW wrestling star, Konan; Brotha Lynch Hung, Don Cisco, and Lil One as well as Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, and P.O.D.

Be a part of the revolution and be on the lookout for more of Shysti as Riverbottom Entertainment delivers some blazing new material on Califas-Rap En Español, Mr. Lil One-The Requiem, and Sicko Camp-Loading Up The Musket.

Written by: Gerardo Garcia III

Official Riverbottom Entertainment Website

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