Shyheim aka the Rugged Child has been making rounds doing interviews since being released from a prison bid. It has given him the opportunity of being reflective of his life and career as well as future aspirations. At the age of 14 he was heralded as a prodigy. His poise, presence, and subject matter delivered was well beyond his years. Early on his two most influential mentors were legends Big Daddy Kane and Prince Rakeem aka RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan.
Shyheim – VladTV Interview
Shyheim – AllHipHopTV Interview
Even before releasing a single Shyheim at the age of 14 in 1993 showcased his skills and talent on a freestyle alongside Big Daddy Kane, Scoob Lover, Notorious B.I.G., and 2Pac in Madison Square Garden. It has been considered a significant moment in hip hop history. Late that year Shyheim went on to his release his debut single “On and On” which vividly painted a picture of the rugged environment he grew up in. The single was also given the remix treatment by none other than one of the best producers to ever do it, DJ Premier.
Big Daddy Kane – MSG Freestyle feat. Scoob Lover, Notorious B.I.G, 2Pac & Shyheim
Shyheim – On and On
Shyheim – On and On (remix (prod. by DJ Premier)
In the spring of 1994 Shyheim would go on to release his debut album AKA the Rugged Child. The track “Pass It Off” served as the follow up single with his mentor Big Daddy Kane hopping on the remix. Later that year Shyheim appeared on Big Daddy Kane’s posse cut “Show and Prove” with Scoob Lover, Sauce Money, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Jay-Z. Years later it was revealed that Jay-Z wanted Shyheim on his debut album Reasonable Doubt but it never came into fruition. To cap off the year Shyheim popped up on Lil Vicious’s “Life of a Shorty” with Doug E Fresh. The song was a staple in New York clubs in the nineties.
Shyheim – Pass It Off (remix) feat. Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane – Show and Prove feat. Scoob Lover, Sauce Money, Shyheim, Jay-Z & Ol’Dirty Bastard
Lil Vicious – Life of a Shorty feat. Shyheim & Doug E Fresh
Shyheim’s 1996 sophomore album The Lost Generation would have a larger Wu-Tang presence. Raekwon was featured on “Young Godz” with Killa Sin, the most notable member of Wu-Tang’s affiliated group Killarmy. The track was produced by RZA. Method Man contributed the hook to “Shaolin Style” one of the most known songs from the album. Around this same time Shyheim cut the track “Still Fades em All” produced by Redman with Jamal, a Def Squad affiliate. Jamal was around the same age, cut from the same cloth as Shyheim delivering mature rugged lyrics.
Shyheim – Young Godz feat. Raekwon, Killa Sin & others (prod. by Rza)
Shyheim – Shaolin Style feat. Method Man
Jamal – Still Fades em All feat. Shyheim (prod. by Redman)
At some point in the late nineties Shyheim would record “Furious Anger” with another upcoming prodigy Big before his untimely passing. The song would appear on Shyheim’s 1999 project Manchild. The album represented the culmination of Shyheim’s relationship with the Wu-Tang Clan. It was executively produced by the Rza and released through the label Wu Tang Recirds. Method Man would team up one more time with Shyheim on “Am I My Brother’s Keeper”.
Big L – Furious Anger feat. Shyheim
Shyheim – Am I My Brother’s Keeper feat. Method Man
Over the last twenty years Shyheim has continued to put out material periodically. Unfortunately, it has been overlooked and he has gone through difficulties with the legal system. The fact of the matter is though by the age of 20 he had released 3 albums and worked with some of hip-hop’s finest. He was held in a high regard for his presence, skills, and talent. Someone who delivered well beyond his years. At this point it sounds like he is ready to remind everyone why he was considered a prodigy at such a young age.