Last updated: 04/26/2001 05:02:13 AM
With rabble-rousing rapping and wrought-iron beats,Shyheim first burst into our consciousness in 1993. Turning the focus on himself and he gritty ghetto surroundings, this associate of the Wu-Tang swaggered and bounced,
brilliantly representing his mandate -- "to rap out the realness in the street." Presenting vivid, high-resolution images from his Staten Island hometown, the five-foot shortie stirred a big buzz. He gained fans and won accolades for his inspired Virgin Records debut, "AKA The Rugged Child," which included smash singles like "On And On" rose to No. 7 on the Billboard R & B Album chart. His latest album is "The Lost Generation,"
which refers to 90's new jacks. According to Shyheim,"A lot of kids my age are just about buying a gun, cursin', and getting they blast on.What I'm saying is that we gotta get up off that or we ain't gonna last too long."
Besides developing a rep as a gifted MC - he has also contributed to recordings by Vicious, Jamal, Big Daddy Kane and Ruffa - Shyheim is cultivating an acting career. A cameo role in TLC's award-winning "Waterfalls" video last year led to a major role in "Original Gangstas," an action-packed urban drama which reunites 'Blaxploitation' stars Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Ron O'Neil, Richard Roundtree and Isabel Sanford. Shyheim makes his debut film performance as Dink,
a clever teenage hustler who sells information to the highest bidder. This fall he will also appear in the Penny Marshall directed Disney film, "The Preacher's Wife," starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. Shyheim says, "They're true superstars. I'm excited about working with them because I grew up watching both of them."
But despite his blossoming film career, Shyheim's first commitment is to
elevate himself as a hip hop artist. Rap first engaged Shyheim eight years ago.In the dark-and-scary landscapes of the Stapleton Housing Projects,
he became enamored with L.L. Cool J., Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. As drug deals went down and brothers blasted off like the space shuttle, he rehearsed his flow to recorded raps. Within months he was writing verses of his own. "I kept that quiet for a while," he remembers.
"Then, when I was finally satisfied with my skills, I decided to come out of the closet."
Shyheim says everything he writes involves his life or the life of someone he knows. Usually he creates at night, while watching old movies or just coolin'.After going public with his talent, the MC battled anybody, anywhere,anytime. He also performed in talent shows and on the block. That's where he met RNS, his first producer. The pair started ollaborating in 1991, working on what would become "AKA The Rugged Child."
Shyheim says, "I want muthafuckas to know I can Hang with the best.I want everybody to just listen to the way I get down."