Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Artist Spotlight & Album Review: Shawn Chrystopher

Enter Shawn Chrystopher an up and coming Hip Hop artist from the left coast, fully reppin Inglewood, CA. And why is he cool you may wonder? Well to start out with I'll let you get to know him a little better with this video:

Now that you've got a feel for his style, which might I add is not what you're used to hearing from a cat coming out of Inglewood aka a hotbed for gangsta rap, he's a little more complex than most Hip Hop acts. Having received a 4 and a half year scholarship to USC at age 16, the intelligence and drive are there. Add to that the fact that he takes pride in doing everything from writing, producing, mixing, and mastering all of his own music because he sees that ability as being a necessity in the music industry if is going to achieve longevity in the industry.

I'll transition this spotlight into a review of his new Album:

After giving City With No Seasons a full listen, I am now officially a fan of his. I already really really liked his first single Untitled, which shows the depth of his creativity with poetic lyrics and a dramatically orchestrated instrumental. If you haven't heard it, please do Shawn a favor and check it out:

Shawn Chrystopher - Untitled
Hot!! First Single

After listening to a few more songs, he does a good job at continuing that theme of storytelling through poetry. My favorite track on the album is hands down is Position, the one where he takes John Mayer's Heart of Life song and adds to it a few inspired verses, while leaving the original John Mayer hook. He adds a few subtleties to the original acoustic version with the percussion and does a good job at tweaking just enough to make it sound different than the original. Check it out:

Shawn Chrystopher - Position Hottt!!! Best Song on the Album

Continuing on, another standout track is Believer, which sounds more like a Tim and Bob beat with the rolling, measured beat claps. Interesting chorus too with the electronica flavored sound and then he throws in some electric guitar sample which adds some complexity before gradually fading out to a more basic version of the beat and ending with an a symphonic tip with the strings ending the song. Just goes to show how well it sounds when someone is experimental in adding instruments and sounds that aren't common in Hip Hop to a Hip hop song. Check it out:

Shawn Chrystopher - Believer Great track!!

Overall I give his debut album a very solid and underrated 3.5 headphones because my feeling is there is a lot more and a lot better to come from Shawn. He has a few aforementioned standout tracks that really should start to gain him the love he deserves and I really hope you all give him a shot and especially listen to the tracks I posted above. You'll regret it if you sleep on him....


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