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Favorite Bars:

“I’ve been slipping on my own, I’m admitting I can’t do it myself/Slowing down my own progress, I’ve been chopping and skrewing myself” Take Me Back.

Very seldom do we get an album to review that I can’t pick my favorite song. Very seldom do we get an album to review that speaks to me personally. Very seldom do we get an album full of testimony and so transparent that it has me intrigued through the whole album hanging on intently and listening to every word. Very seldom do we get an album that makes me thank God for the artist, and for the artist deliverance! “Thank You, Lord, for setting Shyne On Me free!”

With musical influences of Donny Hathaway, D’Angelo, Bilal, Bootsy Collins, Musiq Soulchild, Dru Hill, DMX, Drag- On & Cassidy, Shyne soulfully spits his testimony on this EP with just the right mix of Hip-Hop. Shyne never compromises the gospel of Jesus Christ on the whole album.

This is hard to do in a time of where we are in music! To have substance, to be transparent in content, and to be able to give testimony that people can feel is hard enough. But to not get caught up in self, while denying self, to deliver an album where you can totally feel the artist was saved by the Blood of Jesus; and to sound truly humbled and not arrogant and truly grateful for what God has done for you…. that is extremely hard to do, if not impossible! Well by the grace of God, Shyne On Me was able to pull it off with “Haters Will Say It’s Photoshopped.

The first track “Blood Of Jesus” feat. C.R.E.W is breathtaking! What a way to set an album off!

With my first listen, I really didn’t know what to expect. I hear a man talking about when the chains were broken and how long demons were dwelling in him. Then he said, “when the demons left me the chains were broken and that was the beginning of my walk”, my ears raised up. I became a little more interested and next I heard a choir singing “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” a well-known gospel song that has been done over and over again, but this rendition sounded so calming. Then, out of the calming voices of the choir, I heard this neo-soul voice  singing,

“Ten years struggling with addictions, getting it from dealers and prescriptions.”

I was like, “WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE!!!”

Once Shyne said, “the Blood of Jesus working on me non-stop/A new man, but the Haters Think It’s Photoshopped” at the end of the first track, I was locked in. Nicely done on the intro song, “The Blood of Jesus featuring C.R.E.W.” to set you up for a musical adventure full of metaphors and testimony!

If I had to pick a song as my favorite it would be the next track, “Take Me Back.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you are not just fed up but you are just tired? You’ve tried everything you know how to do and nothing works. The bill collector keeps calling, the spouse is complaining. The kids don’t understand anything that’s going on but are still in need of you emotionally and financially and your job seems like it can’t get any worse. You’ve exhausted all your methods and you’re physically and emotionally drained!

Then your spouse leaves and takes the kids and then you lose your job and on top of all that you resort back to your addictions you thought you had kicked. The sad reality is ‘tis life for a lot of us.

Have you ever heard the cliche statement, “never kick a dog while he’s down?” Well, moments like this when you are just tired of being beat up, running into brick walls and ready to give up is a perfect time to go to the church house. Not just walk in, but sprint in and sit on the front pew! ?

I love how Shyne set “Take Me Back” up from beginning to end. The phone call from his non-judgemental friend who calls to drag his friend to church. Please don’t miss the point, it’s a believer calling another believer to take him to church. Ain’t God good!

Hiding your sins from people is easy for a lot of us, but carrying that weight from them is tiresome.

I can put my church clothes on all day and preach my best sermon and the only way you would know I’m not sinless is because the Word of God says no man is without sin. Simply put; it’s easy to fake break in front of people.

But when you walk in that church house and you are already tired from all your burdens and God equips that preacher to speak to your soul. You get tired of hiding and maybe you cry, or just sit quietly, but The Holy Spirit identifies with the Word of God and that is where real thankfulness, humility, and strength to turn the corner comes from.

Shyne said, “I need a Word from the sermon, come on life is a whirlwind/ I know the devil is working, but my two-week notice is turned.” Wow!

Have you ever been so grateful to God you questioned yourself like “Why did He take me back?”  Well if you haven’t maybe you need to take a look in the mirror and evaluate your life again.

Our problems/sins may be big to us, but Jesus being nailed to the cross for our sins is a Bigg deal! WHEN you have an AWAKENING moment and you realize The Shepherd has come back to get His lost sheep/you, this is a very, very, very humbling experience.

With lyrics like, “But I failed on my own that’s why I’m giving my life to You” it makes the song feel so real and you can imagine sitting in church with the spotlight on you and hearing a message from God, just for you.

By the end of “Take Me Back,” I was thankful that God had saved a wretch like me and had blessed Shyne, so he could bless others with his talents.

Conclusion:

This is more than an EP; it’s a journey. At the end of the EP, you will find yourself pulling for Shyne to make it and you’ll be thanking God for delivering this brother.

I personally can identify with the deliverance from drugs. Marijuana was my drug of choice and I never knew I had a problem until I tried to quit. After 14 years of being sober, I really can feel what Shyne went through and anyone who listens closely can hear it on this album.

Shyne’s talent is a whole different article but you can tell Shyne is completely comfortable in his artistry. I will honestly say that it’s a line between being creative and being too creative.  Well, Shyne is an artist who knows how to stay in his lane!

What makes it enjoyable is even though you can hear his influences through the album he’s not trying to be them or trying to keep up with what’s hot in the rap game now. He’s singing, not auto tuning. He’s rapping about things that are relevant with substance. He’s giving his testimony so it can save souls and not just so he can hit top 10 on Billboard.

By the end of Shyne’s EP/testimony, you as a believer will find yourself praying for Shyne and others who broke free from the chains of drug addiction, alcoholism or anything that God has delivered someone from. If you are a non-believer you may find God after listening to this album!

I have listened to this album at least twice a day for 3 weeks. I tried and tried to find what I didn’t like and I only found one thing. The only thing bad I have to say about the project and the reason for giving the lyrics an 8.5 is, I wish it was a full album! It’s just too dang short! ?

With that being said, one of the best things about the album is that I’m still trying to believe is this is a free project! But please give a love gift if you enjoy it as much as I did. You want artists like Shyne to have the funds to keep making great music. It’s available on all major outlets.

I want to thank Shyne for asking me to do a review on this EP. It was an honor and an enjoyable album.

Shyne On Me, “Haters Will Think It’s Photoshopped” is an INSTANT CLASSIC and Bookkeeper Approved!

For listener of Sean C. Johnson, DeAngelo, Anthony Hamilton, The Roots, Christian Gray, Musiq Soulchild, Dru Hill.