In Case You’ve Been Missing…Shyheim

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Name: Shyheim a.k.a The Rugged Child

Where You Find Him: On Facebook and Twitter .

What You Might Know Him For And Why You Could’ve Cared: In his autobiography Decoded, Jay-Z mentioned his past admiration for Shyheim, as the then teenage MC flexed incredible rhymes and knowledge that were well beyond his age. The Brooklyn-born rapper, who grew up in Staten Island, spent his early childhood days alongside Wu-Tang Clan co-founder Ghostface Killah in the Stapleton Houses. While never sworn as an official member of the nine-men Clan, Shyheim’s refined rapping abilities, earned him support from Wu-Tang affiliates. This resulted in the 14-year-old MC’s sharp Virgin Records debut AKA the Rugged Child.

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The album peaked at number-seven on the US Billboard R&B Chart, which allowed for the follow up The Lost Generation. While it failed to garner similar success as his previous effort, Shyheim’s name rang alongside some of New York’s hottest emerging talents. His appearance on Big Daddy Kane’s posse cut “Show & Prove” next to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Sauce Money, Big Scoob and Jay-Z, earned him a respectable nod by the future King of New York. And though not as often recognized, Shyheim landed a freestyle verse next to the Notorious B.I.G, Tupac, and Big Daddy Kane at Madison Square Garden, a party staple that’s still in heavy rotation amongst East Coast DJs.

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His subsequent solo releases Manchild in ’99, The Greatest Story Never Told in ’04, and Disrespectfully Speaking in ’09 neither garnered commercial nor critically acclaims. While he concentrated on acting for a brief period—notably making an appearance on TLC’s “Waterfalls” video, and starring in minor roles on In Too Deep and The Preacher’s Wife—a two-year prison sentence from 2001, followed by a series of lackadaisical musical outputs held back the Rugged Child’s reemergence.

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Current Status: Since his self-released fifth album, 2009’s Disrespectfully Speaking, Shyheim has not yet put out a follow up. Most recently, he celebrated his 33rd birthday. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)

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