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Shy'an G Champions Community Power on 'Better Daze'

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Shy'an G.  (Photo: Jackie Espejo; illustration: Kelly Heigert)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

Shy’an G is a truth-seeker taking an unflinching look at history—and a change-maker plotting her takeover—on the new track “Better Daze.”

“Better Daze” kicks off with a loop of a retro-soul vocal sample, floating over a heavy bass knock. Shy’an opens with self-reflective lyrics, but “Better Daze” isn’t simply a motivational sermon about personal accomplishments. Instead, she focuses on the collective power of the community to create a better world. “Tell me what’s your politics / From the people for the people / That’s my motto, kid,” she repeats in the hook.

As Shy’an raps in her low alto, her voice often swells with passion, and her dynamic delivery takes listeners on an emotional ride. In the second verse, she quiets down to reflect on her family history, paying tribute to Ms. Susan, her four-times-great-grandmother, who was enslaved.

“Give them all of your arms and legs / Build a house for some / The key is on Ms. Susan’s back / In the shapes of lashes / They evolved into bullet holes and stolen assets / We got the nerve to claim them back? / Damn right, you fascists,” she raps, spitting the last bar with venom.

“I am speaking to the audacity that we as Black people have to no longer tolerate the brutality that we and our ancestors have suffered, that is the theft of our basic human rights,” Shy’an tells KQED in an email. “Better Daze” holds these heavy truths and then turns them into fuel for the fight ahead. As she says in the hook, “We got a lot to do, better be in shape for it.”

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