Category Archives: music

Why SIYA’s New Mixtape ‘What Never Happened’ is DOPE!

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I’ve continuously listened to this mixtape for about 3 days straight. All I can say is that it is dope. From her life as a dealer to her creating her own lane in the music industry SIYA takes you a rollercoaster ride of  life, love, lost, and dopeness while being true to who she is.

SIYA joined the world renowned DJ Skee to deliver the dope mixtape, What Never Happened. You are a dope if you don’t listen to this mixtape, her follow-up to “Better Late Than Never”. Every mixtape SIYA releases is a glimpse in the life of Michele Sherman (her government name). This one is no different.

In “1997” she reminisces about growing up making references to the rappers who were popular in that year like Biggie, Jay Z and Big Pun as she raps about her experiences as a dope dealer. She doesn’t glorify her life as a dope dealer, but she introspectively verses about her former life as what she knew. In “Judge Me” SIYA flows about her haters, how they don’t know her to judge her and gives you a glimpse of her struggles as an independent artist in the public eye.

But it’s her lyrical prowess laced with straightforward honest that separates SIYA from other rappers. Like MC Lyte in her highlight SIYA cannot be compared to any female mainstream rapper. Not Nicki Minaj. Not Dej Loaf. Not Iggy Azalea. SIYA is creating her own lane in this music industry. In “Industry Interlude” SIYA talks about industry rule #4080 of ‘the record company people are shady!” A sample of DMX’s discontent with the music industry plays as she flows about the hypocrisy of the music industry and how she’s circumventing the conventional way of making money by ghostwriting for other rappers and doing shows for her fans.

Yes, SIYA’s openly lesbian, but as she raps about the ups and downs of her relationships, anyone can connect with the lyrics. For her experiences are universal. In “You Know That” SIYA raps about a complicated love where she messed up and want her back. But in “Know Better” she talks about giving her all to a girl who doesn’t deserve it. In “La’Golden” she speaks about loving that special woman. We’ve all been there no matter what our sexual orientation is.

The bottomline is SIYA continues to make her lane by putting out real dope music. Even though she can be introspective and sensitive, she still shows her street side in songs, “Come Get Your Bitch” and “Real Nigga Business”. Thus, giving this mixtape a balance between mainstream and hardcore rap which is rare in today’s hip-hop music.

SIYA is definitely on a mission to be heard and be recognized beyond Sisterhood of Hip-Hop reality season. The unconventional tutelage of R&B singer-songwriter, Tank, doped SIYA up to take on the music industry. Tank has helped SIYA to navigate the music industry while being authentic to herself.

Unlike the previous mixtape Better Late Than Never which featured big stars like Chris Brown and Problem, SIYA (and her talent) is at the center of attention. You should check out this mixtape below to hear SIYA’s progression as an artist and a human being.

It’s Time to Check Out The Internet

Last week my little (figuratively speaking) brother (actually just younger for he’s not so little anymore) asked me if I heard the latest The Internet album. Who? I’d never heard of The Internet. As I’ve gotten older I spend less and less time looking for new artists and new music. But if you haven’t heard of them, you should check them out. You’ll be happy that you did.

Ego DeathWith a little research on the Internet (Google and Wikipedia are useful), The Internet originally formed fours years ago as a side project for then Odd Future’s DJ/now The Internet’s lead  vocalist Syd Tha Kid and producer Matt Martians. With the single, “Long Song-1”, The Internet and its sound was introduced to the world. A few months later Purple Naked Ladies was released, creating a R&B hybrid of jazz, trip-hop, neo-soul and hip-hop. The Internet started as a duo but evolved into a full band with the addition of Patrick Paige II, Christopher Allan Smith, Jameel Bruner, and Tim Lancer.

Like Foreign Exchange, Janelle Monáe and fellow Odd Future’s brethren Frank Ocean before them, The Internet uses R&B as the bases but also draws influences from jazz, trip-hop and hip-hop. The Internet reminds us why we love R&B a musical commentary of relationships. But what’s different (maybe revolutionary) is Syd Tha Kid, a masculine of center lesbian sings directly to the women of her affection. In past interviews Syd Tha Kid downplays the importance of ‘gayness’ in her lyrics. She is comfortable with who she is, but she does not want it to overshadow The Internet and their music.

On June 30, 2015, The Internet released their third studio album, Ego Death. The result is enough to make a cynic fall in love with R&B again. Especially if you’re tired of listening to same ol’ R&B of Trey Songz or Chris Brown, please check out Ego Death as a healthy alternative. When you fall in love with that album, do yourself a favor and check out the first two albums, Purple Naked Ladies and Feel Good. You’ll hear the progress as artists and Syd Tha Kid’s vocals. In a nonconformist nature, The Internet identifies with an Afropunk alternative of R&B that draws from their blackness and their appreciation for an eclectic musical influences such as Kate Bush, Meshell Ndegeocello, The Roots and Bjork.

But it’s Syd Tha Kid’s unapologetic and honest lyrics that is the album’s strength. In songs, “Get Away” and “Under Control” the protagonist is trying to ease the her lover’s insecurities as she gets attention from others. With “Just Sayin’/I Tried” she slams a former lover by repeating “You fucked up” but feels at ease because she did everything she could to try to save the relationship. “Special Affair” is a playa anthem as a scenario of when you see a beautiful lady in the club you want and what you would say to her.  “Girl”, the album’s Kaytranada-assisted song is a sweet ode to a ‘girl’ that she deserves better than she is currently receiving, for all she has to do “tell ‘em you’re my girl/And anything you want is yours.”

Yes, it’s obvious Syd Tha Kid is a lesbian, but her lyrics are about human emotions of love, loss and lust. When it comes to love, we have to let go of our ego. Therefore, there is an ‘ego death’ for love to exist. Syd Tha Kid reminds us that you have to be honest with yourself and the person you want to have the authentic connection with that ‘Girl’. That is probably why anyone can relate to her storytelling.

What’s remarkable is that The Internet are just being unapologetically themselves. Syd Tha Kid can sing to women without fanfare from the LGBTQ community. Their music can transcend R&B and dabble into something familiar yet different. They can be a band of black kids who loves futuristic sounds of techno and trip hop while remaining true to their R&B and hip-hop base. Basically, they can be beautifully human and put out good music. Let’s continue to follow The Internet and get rid of our egos and just be free to be ourselves.