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CyHi The Prynce is considered one of the most vivid lyricists in hip-hop. The Atlanta native initially made headlines after Beyoncé told Kanye West to sign him following his memorable verse on “So Appalled.” CyHi soon became Kanye’s trusted writer and played a key role in the creation of several of his award-winning albums. But in the midst of Atlanta’s reign in hip-hop, CyHi struggled to stand out as a solo artist while dealing with record label bureaucracy.

After years of viral freestyles and notable mixtapes, CyHi finally gets to share his story with his solo debut, No Dope on Sundays.

No Dope on Sundays takes a unique view of Trap music and life in the Trap. The story that unfolds is that of the aftermath of being involved in the drug game. It sheds light on the good, bad and sobering effects of the illegal drug business has had on Black communities. But more importantly, it seeks to add rules and a religious temperament. It’s an album where he intertwines lyrical punchlines with dope boy tales of survival and redemption.

The album opens with a prayer and the scene-setting intro, “Amen.” From the onset, listeners follow the dealer who is seeking to find peace within his dirty profession at church on Sunday morning. “I’m the new testament, the last five chapters, and God said He would come back by rapture, The Lord even lets me lie about the pastures, So I never told the truth to the plan clothes, this a flashback of bullet holes in my Durango,” he raps.

That theme continues with the spiritual track, “No Dope on Sundays.” Backed by a choir, CyHi raps about Sunday being a sacred day, even for criminals.

“No dope on Sundays, You know the Trap back boomin’ Monday, but no dope on Sundays, When you out here dirty, this the day you do the laundry,” CyHi raps on the chorus.

Pusha T closes the song with a mesmerizing testimonial of the pain of dealing drugs and its affects on the human body and soul. “When I recognized what you did to your nose, I couldn’t justify what I did to my bro, Fed an addiction, I just let it snow, Failed my religion, I couldn’t let it go,” Pusha T raps.

Another powerful moment on the album is the BJ Chicago-assisted, “80s Baby.” CyHi writes from the perspective of a child in the womb of a drug addicted mother who is also in an abusive relationship. It adds a sobering look at how children are impacted by drugs and the Trap.

CyHi also delves into the untimely deaths of young Blacks who are killed by police or their peers on, “Don’t Know Why.” With Jagged Edge on the hook, CyHi flips 2 Pac’s “Pain” and speaks on the senslessnes  of violence in urban communities.

But beyond the serious themes, CyHi also provides potential club bangers. He makes street moves with Schoolboy Q on “Movin’ Around”;  stays true to Atlanta rap with 2 Chainz on “Trick Me”; and possibly has the biggest hit of his career with the Kanye-assisted “Dat Side.”

Overall, CyHi proves that he’s more than just a ghostwriter and rapper who can spit bars during radio interviews. He embraces the current movement of Atlanta Trap music and provides a much-needed aspect to the thriving subgenre. In a year that featured a multitude of great projects, No Dope on Sundays stands with the best of 2017.

 

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.