So Who is Mystic? An artist's work is usually as interesting as their own lives. That's why come of our best artists are those who have experienced the most. Mystic demonstrates that type of artistic depth as she draws from her own far-reaching experience on her dynamic debut album, CUTS FOR LUCK AND SCARS FOR FREEDOM. On the album's 16 songs, the California performer raps, sings and delivers spoken word poetry over an addictive assembly of eclectic beats. As you may imagine from the album's descriptive title, Mystic puts time, energy, effort and thought into her work. "I had been putting the phrase 'cuts for luck and scars for freedom' in rhymes for about four years," she explains. "It was just always something that was really visual for me. Over time, it developed into my philosophy that over time we all go through experiences that cut us, where we break down but we heal and it's alright. But there are other experiences that we go through that cut us and we're scarred for life. They dictate whether we're able to love or be loved, whether we're parents to our children, whether we choose to live legally or illegally." On "The Life," the collection's first single, Mystic sings passionately about the strength of the under appreciated people within humankind. She sings with an optimistic vibe about the good in the common person. "It's a feel-good song that makes me happy when I listen to it," he says. MYSTIC -THE LIFE Although Planet Asia is the only featured guest on the album, Mystic worked with a variety of producers on "Cuts For Luck, Scars For Freedom." She collaborated with Shock G, The Angel, A-Plus, Spontaneous, Chops, Amp Live, and others. Despite incorporating a number of producers, the album flows smoothly and effortlessly from one cut to the next as each song arrives as a perfect mesh of music and lyrics. "I connected with so many people and their music," Mystic says. "I had a vision of what my album was going to be long before I got a deal. Meeting people and hearing music that fit into the vision helped me out. I heard a lot of dope stuff, but it didn't work with what I was trying to do. "Since she was a child Mystic has been focused. She has been writing nearly her entire life. But it wasn't always the writing that would make a profound impact on her. While growing up with her mother in such diverse locals as rural California, Hawaii and Oregon, Mystic did everything from running naked in the countryside to traveling in the ghetto in her eventual homebase, the San Francisco Bay Area. Her travels gave her a wide perspective at an early age and also helped her come in contact with a wide range of people. In elementary school, she became fascinated with breakdancing and graffiti. As her love for hip-hop intensified over the next several years, she developed her rapping skills and grew to love being a female rapper in a male-dominated field. Mystic's early collaborations with The Angel became underground favorites and she eventually started a friendship with Digital Underground's Shock G. She appeared on DU's "Who Got The Gravy" album as the DU Goddess. Mystic also recorded her first song as a singer, a cover of Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday" that was included on the soundtrack for "The Funeral." Her time recording and touring with Digital Underground was memorable. "It was incredible to be part of the crew, especially such an open crew," she says. "You can do your own thing." Now with her debut album, on Goodvibe Recordings, Mystic amply demonstrates that she can stand on her own as one of the most promising, important and insightful artists to emerge in quite some time. "My album is not a happy-go-lucky album," she says. "It's about how we go through pain, struggle, heartache and loss and how we question who we are and what this world is about. But there's always some kind of brighter day, but not in the sense that it will be alright because for some people, it's never alright. But I hope with my album that people can cool out and get some peace. That would make me happy." MYSPACE: Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom Mystic

Last updated by Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist Aug 14, 2008.

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