Mystic Cuts For Luck Scars For Freedom

Introspection and humility are not the first qualities that come to mind when thinking of an MC, but Bay Area MC Mystic has ventured where many would fear to tread with her standout debut album. "If you talked to me ten years ago, I was on some battle-oriented style, but as I've gotten older, I'm like there's so much more to talk about than how dope I am." Don't get it twisted though, Mystic likes a battle rhyme as much as anyone, it's just that's not what she's about on the mic. With a little help from her producer friends, such as the Angel, A-Plus from the Hieroglyphics, and Chops from the Mountain Brothers, Mystic has fashioned an album that topically and sonically explores uncommon ground successfully. Despite the number of producers involved, the music retains a consistently warm and atmospheric feel and Mystic weaves through the tracks with her fierce MCing, plaintive vocals and spoken word interludes, touching on issues ranging from her own troubling experiences ("Fatherless Child") to speaking on societal ills ("Ghetto Birds"). One of the recurring themes is perseverance over adversity and finding solace and comfort from unlikely sources. "My mother stood in welfare lines for me. That's beautiful. There is beauty in pain," she affirms. Mystic's willingness to use some seriously weighty episodes from her personal life as a springboard to impart wisdom maybe dismissed by some, and uncomfortable for others, but is undoubtedly brave and its this honesty that is its greatest asset. "I'm not one of those artists who are like this is just my album, but this is who I am in my time," she says. " No, my album is who I am all the time. Everything on it is who I am." (Good Vibe)