OOP Corner: Big Syke - Be Yo' Self (+ Bonus Tracks)

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , , ,

Big Syke isn't exactly the most recognizable name in hip-hop but he played a central role in the career of one of its key figures of 1990s, 2Pac. Big Syke started out in the group Evil Minded Gangstas who released a tape in 1992 and then met 2Pac in 1993, eventually going on to join his group Thug Life. If you listen to the Evil Minded Gangstas tape you can see its sound heavily influenced the Thug Life album along with New York's Live Squad. Big Syke also introduced 2Pac to produced Johnny "J" Jackson who produced much of the E.M.G. record and would go on to be one of the main producers for 2Pac while he was on Death Row Records.

Big Syke joined 2Pac over at Death Row and appeared on All Eyez On Me and started working on an album with 2Pac for his new group, the Outlaw Immortalz, as well as a solo album. Yet, these things weren't meant to be as Syke decided to sign his own record deal and 2Pac severed ties with him. This is why Big Syke doesn't appear on 2Pac's Makaveli album or any of the subsequent Outlawz albums as more than a guest. He ended up recording Be Yo' Self without input from 2Pac and the Outlawz and released it in October 1996. Syke is a more than capable rapper with a distinct voice and flow but perhaps the best part of the album is that most of it is produced by Johnny "J" in his prime. There are elements of several songs that are the same as unreleased versions of 2Pac songs that Big Syke appeared on as well. There is also a few great features by Above The Law and former Thug Life/Outlawz member Mopreme Shakur. This album went out of print and when Syke signed to southern hip-hop institution Rap-A-Lot in the early 2000s some of the album was included with a different mix/master on the new album Big Syke Daddy. This is a shame because the whole album is really a superb piece of mid-90s west coast hip-hop. Big Syke has that great balance where he spins hardcore rhymes but also reflects on the consequences of a violent lifestyle and takes time out to just relax and have a good time on the record. There is memorable lines and catchy hooks, what more could you ask for?

Anyways, I've seen this album go for anywhere from $40 to $90 (for a CD!!!!) used on Amazon, discogs and ebay so I hope some people enjoy this rip from my collection. I've also included "Forever Ballin'" from The Fan soundtrack as a bonus. It is produced by Johnny "J" and came out in 1996 so I assume it was from the same recording sessions as the rest of the album. As a final bonus I've included the song "Hittin' Cornaz" from the non-album single of the same name from 1998, as far as I know this is the only thing he released between Be Yo' Self and Big Syke Daddy which is a shame because it is one of his best songs.



  1. Unknown says:

    hey what's the password? i've been lookin for a good bitrate of this album for a long time. thanks

  1. the pass is hiphoplossless