By : Shamus Hill
4 min read
Dorchester is one of Boston’s most reputable neighborhoods. Not only is it a place rich in both culture and history, but it’s home to a myriad of creators, many of whom aim to intertwine the essence of their home into the fabric of their work. One of such artists is Gio Shyne, a rapper and vocalist who, time and time again, utilizes his music as a deep form of self-expression. Whether delving into the dark corners of his psyche, or uplifting himself when he needs it the most, Gio is no stranger to facing his inner-self when he steps into the booth. Nowhere does this ring true more than on his most recent release, A Reason To….
Resting just north of seven minutes in total length, A Reason To… is a collection of three songs which according to a recent Instagram post of his were assembled during a time where Gio “was really going through it the most and trying to find a reason to live.” Faced with overwhelming emotion and a desperate plea for the light at the end of the tunnel, this EP serves as his guiding light. With help from longtime collaborators Briefcvse, Christian Yoon, and Timbo who help shape the sonics of A Reason Too…, Gio refreshes his mindset, taking happiness into his own hands when all else seems to fail.
“Warm Sun” kicks off the project. From the song’s very beginning, ethereal production paves the way for Gio to overcome bouts of negativity by reminding ourselves of who we really are and what we’re capable of accomplishing. At times, the lyrics almost read as a pep talk in the mirror, shifting his focus away from helpness and toward control. “Vegas” quickly follows up on this sentiment, with shimmering guitar strings and piano notes that come together to create a magical soundscape for Gio to float atop. My favorite part of this project comes at the end though, with “Pink Sky. This song is a strong addition to his discography, as the Dorchester native reflects on the pure fact that his life is just beginning. Despite all of the turmoils that have brewed within, there’s still so much beauty out there to experience, and that alone is a reason to keep going. In the EP’s waning moments, listeners are met with the repeated line “dust it off again and try and be a better me.” Whenever life isn’t going our way, this is the mantra to live by, and it is one that has helped revive the Gio Shyne that we all know and love.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #152 November 2022
Check out all the art and columns of November's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass