Saturday, September 24, 2005

Review: Haystak - The Natural

Artist: Haystak
Album: The Natural
Year: 2002
Label: Koch/ In The Paint/ Street Flava

Jason Winfree, better known as Haystak, hails from the southern state of Tennessee, USA. Unlike a lot of hip hop coming out of Tennessee, Haystak doesn't rap about the glamorous lifestyle but instead he raps about his struggles - both in the rap game and in life in general. Haystak's parents died when he was a little kid so growing up he had to struggle to survive. From a young age Haystak was in trouble with the law. At 15 he got busted for bringing cocaine to school and hip hop became his only outlet to vent his frustration, as a result Haystak's music comes straight from the heart.

Haystak's appearance is totally different to 99.9% of rappers out there, you can see that just by looking at the cover . He is a fat white dude that looks more like Bam Bam Bigalow than a rapper, but with two successful releases under his belt before signing a major distribution deal with Koch/In The Paint and releasing this album, he had already established a huge underground following.

"The Natural" has 18 tracks and from the get go Haystak lets the listeners know what he's all about and what he stands for. After the intro comes the track "White Boys" where Haystak comes out proudly proclaiming that he is poor white trash, he talks about how hard it was as a poor white southern rapper coming up in the hip hop game. The track is sick, the beat backed by some smooth piano playing suits the track and the rapping can't be faulted either.

Haystak mixes up track styles on this album quite a bit, one minute you'll be listening to up tempo tracks like "In Here", "Fucked Up" and "We Get Them" and then slower paced tracks like "Cool People" and "Different Kinda Lady". The majority of the album is mad so it's hard to pick out the stand out tracks but "Run Hide Duck", "Bangin" featuring Quanie Cash and "You Got Money" all deserve a special mention. There are a couple of tracks on the album that don't really impress me "Ain't Talkin' Bout' Nothin'" being the worst.

Overall the album impressed me, I've already heard "Car Fulla White Boys" by Haystak but I forgot how good he was, his style is original and that makes him stand out from a lot of other rappers. You can tell his rhymes are sincere, he isn't just talking shit to sell records so he deserves respect for that. I get the feeling that people will either love or hate Haystak's style so I wont bother making recommendations, I'll just let the MP3 speak for it's self.

Haystak - You Got Money

Rating: 3 and 1/2 Daytons out of 5

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