Speaking with HipHopDX just hours after his bail release in April, Shyheim The Rugged Child shed light on the legal charges he is currently facing stemming from his Staten Island Gang Squad arrest and drug charges. He also took the time to reveal his own New York City-heavy top five list with a nod to some of Hip Hop’s most praised albums of the ’90s.
Shyheim kicked off his list with the fourth album from late legend Tupac Shakur which topped the Billboard 200 charts in 1996. All Eyez On Me, a Death Row Records double-album notably included Shy’s own Wu family affiliate Method Man on “Got My Mind Made Up.” The sessions for the song also included Inspectah Deck, though only Meth, joined by Redman and Tha Dogg Pound, appeared on the album. The Rugged Child emcee kept it in the same year but switched coasts for his next selection: Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z. Reportedly, Shyheim was slated to appear on the song “Coming Of Age” on Jay’s Roc-A-Fella/Priority Records debut. Following their appearance alongside Sauce Money and Ol’ Dirty Bastard on Big Daddy Kane’s 1994 single “Show & Prove,” Jay took a mentoring role to Shy. However, Memphis Bleek ended up taking the spot on Reasonable Doubt, and becoming a supporting cast member to Roc-A-Fella and Jay-Z since.
He went on to name two more New York City classics in Nas’ 1994 debut Illmatic. The same year Sha released his own debut, AKA The Rugged Child, Illmatic sported production from longtime Nas affiliate L.E.S. Sha would enlist the-then-Trackmasters affiliate on his follow-up, 1996’s The Lost Generation. Lastly, Sha highlighted his cousin Ghostface Killah’s debut on wax, his Wu-Tang Clan family’s 36 Chambers (Enter The Wu-Tang).
The Stapleton emcee went on to jokingly name his own 1999 release before quickly scratching that selection: “And, um, [my album] The Manchild [laughs]. [But I gotta] exclude myself out of that so I’m gonna have to say Notorious B.I.G. Ready To Die.” Shyheim famously appeared alongside host Big Daddy Kane, when Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. freestyled on the same stage in 1993.
Like a lot of other list-makers, Shyheim threw around a few other titles and added a definitive runner up before qualifying his own best of list: “Oh, and #6: 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. I mean [those first five], that’s just of the ’90s era, you know what I mean, but then of course you got your [Big Daddy] Kane’s, like that’s always a tricky question because each generation I probably have five from, you know what I mean.”
Shyheim is currently prepping the release of his eighth album, The Commissary, which does not yet have a firm release date.