Friday, September 7, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 12


Mystic shows her cuts and scars on thought-provoking debut

Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom
Goodvibe Recordings
3 stars

Joining the growing progressive rap movement is West Coast rapper-singer-poet Mystic, who doesn't mince words in her delivery of vivid images of
self-love, self-respect and righteousness.

Her debut album, titled Cuts For Luck and Scars For Freedom, proves a formidable entry into the female rapper genre, which has been dominated
of late by sexual dynamos such as Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown.

Listeners will need the ability to swing from mood to mood to effectively navigate the sound-sculpting of 11 beat technicians, each of whom creates a
different musical realm to help realize Mystic's wide-ranging vocal talent.

Her departure from sexual innuendo for the sake of sales makes a daring attempt at respectability for female MCs for their lyrical skills as opposed to
cleavage, big bootys and did-you-see-that outfit.

Her debut single "The Life," which has enjoyed regular rotation on Black Entertainment Television, intricately dissects the many facets of ghetto

Produced by A+ of Heiroglyphics, this notable track allows Mystic to showcase her range as a vocalist. This sister can be quite complex, but is
refreshingly honest in her approach.

Another notable track, "The W," is a celebration of life delivered to all the West Coast enthusiasts who shun the collective belief that the Golden
State is nothing but a shoot-'em-up destination on the hip hop horizon.

"Current Events" sets the tone for this opus with its forceful delivery.

Mystic is letting all comers know that she can flow with the best of them.

"Once a Week" borrows Too Short's famous question, "Hey, h*, do you like to f***?" to show females have taken a page from the male book of

The blazing "Neptune's Jewels" is an ethereal track that draws on clearly sensual undertones. 

Overall, Mystic delivers a solid debut set, which will prove necessary if she plans to move female lyricism beyond the perpetual ditties of sex and
materialism, and present it with a new face of lounge-style singing and lyrical boasts.

Only time will tell if her cuts and scars for creativity will win her the Purple Heart in the war for progress beyond the stagnant musical landscape of
our time.

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