Music News

Critic's Choice

When Mystic rolled through town as part of Slum Village's Family Tree Tour in July, she won the audience over with her conscious rhymes and soulful singing. By the time the then-unknown vocalist hit the first few bars of her first single, "The Life," she had heads nodding and people dancing in the aisles. The undeniable strength of the single -- with its tributes to people who persevere over everyday struggles -- helped the Oakland-based artist get extensive airplay on urban radio and both MTV and BET. Mystic's debut disc, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, is an impressive effort that documents the rapper/poet/singer's own struggles and those that afflict the community and people around her. Mystic avoids a "woe is me" sentimentality in favor of a more straightforward, sincere reporting style. As an artist, she's all about transcendence -- and her record is a testament to her pursuit of that goal. This multifaceted talent, who doesn't need to boast about rocking Prada or Gucci to prove her worth, opens for the Black Eyed Peas on Saturday, October 6, at the Ogden Theatre.
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James Mayo