Shawn Chrystopher - The Lovestory LP (Review)

Shawn Crystopher - The Lovestory LP

"The Lovestory LP" is the second studio album by Inglewood, CA emcee Shawn Chrystoper. The album features guest appearances from Dom Kennedy, Polyester, Ashly Breshe and Janai Evans as well as production by Zaire Koalo, Shawn Chrystopher and Cameron Wallace, among others. It was released on July 23, 2013.

1) Intro - Nice little piano instrumental track by Zaire Koalo.

2) Pull Up - The first song on the album has some light and airy synths over energetic drums that help to give the instrumental a nice lighthearted feel. Shawn Chrystopher comes correct and spits some braggadocio bars about his women and his rap skills as well as inviting anyone who has a problem with him to come on over settle it one-on-one. The beat is dope and Shawn Chrystopher does his thing. I'm feelin' this track.

3) Minding My Business - The beat on this song uses the same sample as Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents", but Shawn Chrystopher flips it totally different. The end result is very atmospheric, with some soft vocal samples coming in over the beautiful piano loop. Lyrically, Shawn slows his flow down a bit to match the calmness of the instrumental as he rhymes about just minding his own business and trying to become successful in life. Another dope track.

4) The Grindin' Interlude - Shawn Chrystopher wonders about his future and about whether or not he will succeed in the rap industry over a ethereal instrumental with some spacey synths and a distorted vocal sample. The beat is beautiful and Shawn rips it: 
"Minding my business, keeping my mind on my business
Told all my niggas devote they life to this shit and I'll get that ass out of that Civic
Who am I kidding? Doubting myself every minute, back and for like I'm in tennis
Bottle of Henny, I chased it with Remy, now look at me nigga I'm finished"
This shit is fire and is one of my favorites on the album so far.

5) Wysg '93 - Shawn Chrystopher kicks some rhymes to his woman over a smooth Zaire Koalo instrumental with more synths and laid-back drums. I'm really diggin' the cohesive feeling of the album so far. The beats have all been similar in vibe, but each song has its own unique qualities and Shawn keeps changing up his flow to keep things interesting. This is dope, but not my favorite on here.

6) The Situation Interlude - Zaire Koalo comes through with another piano instrumental similar to the Intro.

7) Situation (featuring Dom Kennedy and Ashly Breshe) - Shawn Chrystopher and Los Angeles emcee Dom Kennedy spit some smooth verses over an upbeat instrumental while Ashly Breshe provides the background vocals. The beat has more energy than many of the other instrumentals on the album so far and both emcees rip it, especially Dom who just seems to float over the beat. Very dope.

8) The Revolution - The beat on this song is actually a collaborative effort between Shawn Chrystopher and Zaire Koalo and it's fire. The instrumental is upbeat and jazzy, with a dope horn sample over some head-nodding drums and Shawn rips it, spitting about about everything from his father leaving him to race relations. Despite the somewhat serious feel of the subject matter, Shawn Christopher flips it and raps his verses in an almost carefree, rapid-fire flow. Very nice.

9) Palm Trees (featuring Polyester) - The beat on this track is real breezy and laid-back, with some light horns and a sprinkle of soft piano keys. Shawn Chrystopher and guest Polyester ride the beat effortlessly and kick some boastful raps about life in Inglewood, California. This is dope, and I'm feelin' the lighthearted feel of the song, but it's not one of my favorites on here.

10) One of My Homies - Now this is a bit better. Zaire Koalo returns with a very dope instrumental with some mellow drums and smooth synths that have a ton of ambiance to them. The beat is knockin and Shawn Chrystopher rips it, spitting a slew of one-liners about his homies and their current situations. He starts out pretty much every line on the song with "one of my homies...", which is giving me flashbacks of Cool Breeze's classic song "Cre-A-Tine." This is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album.

11) The Temptation Interlude: Vicki Cristina - Shawn Chrystopher kicks a quick verse about his temptations over a murky instrumental that is a bit darker than the others on the album so far. The song is only a minute long with the last minute or so being a skit, but it's still pretty ill. Not the best on here, but not terrible.

12) Hi(Gh) (featuring Janai Evans) - Zaire Koalo comes through with another energetic synth and keyboard heavy instrumental for Shawn Chrystopher to spit fire over. The beat is really dope and Shawn bodies it, spitting some more braggadocio bars in a double-time flow while Janai Evans provides the chorus. Very nice.

13) BlackandWhite - Shawn kicks a story about having an interracial relationship over a atmospheric instrumental by PM. The beat is ethereal and solemn and the subject matter is a bit heavy, but the song comes together quite nicely as a whole. The vibe is very different than the other songs on the album so far, which makes it stand out as a nice change of pace from the more lighthearted feel of the album. This is one of my favorite tracks on here.

14) Dinner with a Supermodel - The beat on this track, provided by Cameron Wallace, is really laid-back, with some soft pianos and subdued synths. Lyrically Shawn is on point and spits about the various women in his life, from dating a woman he thinks is out of his league to talking to his sister on the phone. The lyrics are honest and candid as Shawn raps:
"I got a sister that's 9, I love her ass to death
My mommas all by herself because her daddy left, and
I be doing these shows, I'm never home
I'm knowing that she's alone so I hit her on her phone
Then I ask about work and she tells me bout her day
For like 10 minutes it be feeling like everything be feeling ok
We forgetting that we broke, we forgetting that we hurting
It's funny how the phone can make a nigga feel in person"
Very dope.

15) Nobody on this Earth - The final track on the album has a crazy instrumental by Zaire Koalo that has a spaced-out, trippy feel to it. Shawn Chystopher comes through and bodies it, spitting some heartfelt rhymes about the various ways he loves his woman while using a different sort of spoken-word flow. I'm really feelin' this track. Very nice way to end the album.

I'm going to rate the album

3.75 / 5

because its really good throughout. Mostly all of the beats are dope, with many having a similar vibe that helps to give the album a cohesive feel. There are a few minor missteps here or there, but the majority of the beats are really good. Lyrically Shawn Chrystopher is on point for the most part and changes up his flow and delivery on almost every track. My only real complaint about the album is that some of the songs tend to wander around with no real direction as to the content. This is more evident on the first half of the album moreso than on the second half, which features a handful of conceptual tracks where Shawn sticks to the theme throughout the entire song. The lack of direction coupled with a few mediocre tracks keeps the album from getting a 4-star rating, but its not far off from it. Regardless, this album is really dope and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Shawn Chrystopher in the future.


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