In the last 20 years hip hop has become extremely lucrative and frustratingly overcrowded. As fans and not simply someone who “raps too” it’s become impossible to discover good new music. Gone are the trust we had in the rap mags and the word of mouth from friends is usually based on bias for the group of artist they stan over. What Do You Rap About? Who Do You Sound Like? Has been replaced in new artist rap debates with, How Many YouTube Hits Do You Get? How Big Is Your Buzz? As if your art should meet A&R standards to be considered worthy of a listen. There is one artist who may not be on a lot of people’s radar but deserves a listen with the open ears of a pure rap fan instead of a know-it-all rap nerd critic. I present Syncere out of Baltimore, MD.
Formerly known as Homicide, Syncere has been rapping since he was a teenager and shows the flow and confidence of an artist who’s taken time to understand how his voice and the microphone work in unison, not simply rapping over beats like most amateur MC’s. Partnered with Baltimore’s upstart OTR label, Syn released his debut 21225 last year to local acclaim. This year he’s set to unload the EP I Appear Courtesy Of Myself, followed by the full LP version in the fourth quarter.
So why should you spend your precious time listening to this guy? What makes him any more different than any other unsigned rapping azz rapper who claims to be nice? It all breaks down to lyrics. Syncere is a product of his city which he constantly mentions in his lyrics, but this is more than city repn’, listening to his music you really get to experience the hunger of someone from such a bleak environment, not that Bmore’s post-Apocalyptic Walking Dead Atlanta, but it may as well be. Syncere doesn’t spit kingpin raps, or d-boy struggle tales, he realistically raps about his situation as an artist trying to make it in a city where everyone is a rapper, the temptation of the streets that’s constantly calling, and the deadly environment of his city that will never change no matter how many Superbowls Joe Flacco wins. Not to think that the music is downbeat and depressing, to the contrary, the bulk of Syn’s production is up-tempo and trunk rattling, maybe not as commercially polished as the sounds coming from the south, but it is definitely designed for the car rather than cheap PC speakers. I will admit that Syncere has room for growth as far as song structure and varied subject matter. I’m sure his future projects will find him cracking the formula of successful hooks as well as limiting the inside references that only locals may understand. Still, the lyrical complexity and moxie displayed when talking about topics that usually come off as generic such as women and money are extremely witty and entertaining. I highly recommend downloading the mixtape and keeping up with his Youtube.