Zagg, Dubb Sak
Hell In Auguzt
Catch You When It’s Hott
Zagg, Brotha Lynch Hung
No Body No Caze
Zagg, also known as Shawna Coyle or Shawna Mann, exploded onto the West Coast hip-hop scene with her debut album, “Hell In August,” released through Siccmade Muzicc on December 19, 2000. As a female emcee from Sacramento, California, Zagg brought a unique voice to a genre traditionally dominated by male artists. Her connection to the industry runs deep, not just musically but personally, as she is the former spouse of renowned rapper and producer Brotha Lynch Hung, a.k.a. Kevin Mann.
The album opens with “Beware Deadly,” featuring Dubb Sak, setting a tone of caution and lyrical ferocity that permeates the record. The title track, “Hell In Auguzt,” featuring Marvaless, is a testament to the fiery trials and tribulations of life, delivered over beats that mirror the intensity of Zagg’s words.
With “The Manipulate,” Zagg showcases her ability to weave narratives that reflect the darker corners of the psyche, a theme that continues into “Murda Train,” an ominous track with haunting contributions from Alexus. “Nightbreed” stands alone as a centerpiece of the album, with its storytelling drawing listeners into the night’s unforgiving realm.
“Catch You When It’s Hott” introduces Jazzy and presents a shift in tempo, creating an urgency that feels like a chase through the depths of a Californian summer. “Broad Daylight,” with Loki, and “The Argument,” featuring Brotha Lynch Hung, add layers of confrontation and complexity, underlining the album’s narrative of survival and struggle.
“No Body No Caze,” featuring C.O.S., brings a raw and unfiltered look at the consequences of street justice, while “Top Secret,” again with Jazzy, delves into the clandestine aspects of street life. “Contagious,” with Alexus closing out the album, leaves the listener with a lasting impression of Zagg’s lyrical infectiousness.
Production credits include Brotha Lynch Hung, who shaped the sound of tracks 2 to 5 and 7, bringing his signature style to the mix, while Phonk Beta handles the keys on track 5 and production duties on tracks 1 and 6. Siccmade Muzicc rounds out the production on tracks 8 to 11, ensuring that the entire album is a cohesive representation of the label’s sound.
“Hell In August” is not just an album but a narrative wrought from the lived experiences of a woman who has navigated life with the kind of authenticity and resilience that only real-life can instill. Zagg’s debut stands as a bold statement in the realm of Gangsta Hip Hop, marked by her distinct voice and uncompromising vision.