featured REVIEW


Shaya Fallen Awake Interdependent Media • 2008

It took him years of selling handmade CD's and mixtapes, but now, with a debut album under his belt, a fresh and progressive label behind him (with also J Davey, K'naan, Windimoto and Tanya Morgan on their roster) and under the wings of A&R iD (who discovered Little Brother), Shaya is out for recognition with his self-proclaimed 'thinking man'-music under the motto 'why disappear from the stage when I got so much to say'.

With an accurate feeling for integrating plots into his rhymes, Shaya tells stories to which a lot of independent rappers can relate but maybe they couldn't describe it as such. Cocky at times, as in 'Sleepers Anthem' ('ya rhymes are older than ya mamma, get a new gig'), but always honest and heartfelt as in 'Speed Of Life' (y'all niggus think I'm all hate and anger, but I got love') and showing much dedication to the game ('Father figure was a mic'), Bay Area’s own digs deep into his soul and lives up to OC’s device 'the more emotion you put into it, the harder I rock'.

Further highlights include 'Industry Life' (where he reminds us of Defari in 'Focused Daily', partly because of the Dilated Peoples-sample in the chorus), the uplifting 'Proud', the thinking man-anthem 'Thinking Cap' and the good vibes of 'Take A Ride', on which the production line-up, consisting of The ARE and Jake One, drain the beats in a West Coast vinegar. With 'Run It Down' even, the ARE reincarnates an Alkaholiks beat.

Shaya (= Arabic for 'worthy, deserving') honours his name with a strong debut, with not too many guests, and therefore accentuating his own talent, proving that years of hard work end up being rewarded anyway.

POSTED ON 08|20|2008 by cpf

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