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Big Sty Biography

23 April 2006 No Comment

Virginia has made its mark on Hip Hop by way of production superstars Timbaland, The Neptunes, and Missy Elliott, but bubbling below the surface is a scene that has yet to reach its full potential. Richmond native Big Sty is bringing a strong voice to the new generation of Virginia music with his debut album Stycology, which is due for release this Spring on the Richmond-based Accurate Music Group label.

Big Sty grew up respecting the talent of veterans like KRS One, Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J, however it was the harder gritty rap of NWA and Kool G Rap that made him want to pursue a career behind the mic. “I’m a product of what these young cats today would consider old-school – the times where lyrics and original concepts were the premise,” Sty explains. “These days, everybody wants to bounce. That’s cool, but I still feel there needs to be a balance between the two. I’m trying to bring that lyrical ability, that conceptual ability, and bring it to a point where it’s still tight and it’s still Hip Hop at the same time. My life isn’t a mirror image of the hood, but I represent each side of the hood”

Big Sty made noise in 2004 when he called out most of Hip Hop’s current elite on the controversial single “It’s A Problem”. He spent time developing his live show, and has opened for the likes of Juelz Santana, MC Lyte, Scarface, Outkast, and Lil’ Kim. After establishing a healthy street buzz with the mixtapes Best of Big Sty Vol. 1 and 2, Big Sty began preparation on his double album Stycology, subtitled Don’t Get Mad, Get Money. 

He has connected with established emcees in his day to day business, but he made a conscious decision to keep the Stycology project local. “Where I’m from it’s hard for artists to get exposed, so I figure the same way that Atlanta and Houston artists stick together, there could be an outlet on my album for artists who don’t have that opportunity,” he says. “Maybe down the line I’ll get some of these all star cats that I know to do remixes, but initially I want this to be about Richmond.” 

Guest appearances on Stycology include lyricists Commissioner Wigg, Boog in the Hood, Jimmy Boon, Ruin, Chief, and labelmate Deshara Renee, a songstress who is featured on the candid and touching track “Cry For Us”. The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina affected many people around the nation permanently, and while Big Sty was not directly hit, he found inspiration for “Cry For Us” through his friends. “I was on the road doing a promotional gig,” he explains. “I passed through Dallas, and a friend of mine who was with me had family members that had just relocated from New Orleans. I had a chance to talk to them and see the whole struggle they were going through with getting situated. Hearing the story from their mouths prompted me to do the song.”

Sty has embraced Richmond’s virtually untapped production talent with beats from Tettris, Absolute Reality Productions and J.B. Easy. Additionally, Wyshmaster out of Chicago, Knessesary from Texas, Robb of Atlanta, and New York’s Moel have also blessed Stycology with their special gifts. Big Sty reflects on the variables of his own position in the rap game. “I’m a walking contradiction – what I feel today I may not feel tomorrow. Understand that I’m still a work in progress like everybody else. I say some things that I may regret, then again I may not. People keep saying ‘keep it real or keep it gangsta’ – I’m keeping it authentically me.”

Accurate Music Group secured a distribution deal with indie experts Select-O-Hits for Stycology. Founded in 2005, the label is growing quickly, and the CEO’s of AMG have already positioned themselves as trendsetters in the Southeast market. As both Big Sty and Deshara Renee have added more shows to their ever-growing schedule, the AMG crew is consistently behind them with tactical marketing.

Anticipation for the Stycology album is building with the lead single “That’s Me”, as more fans are drawn to Big Sty’s lyrical flair. “We’re going to show people what it’s about in Richmond,” he beams. “I guarantee this album is going to bring everybody back to the basics. I want to let people see that a hot album can be attained and be entertaining at the same time – without compromising anything.”

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