Watch: YC the Cynic—”The Heaviest Cross”

New York has steadily been regaining its prominence in hip-hop with the emergence of a slew of artists and groups that having been working with and feeding off each other. Groups like A$AP Mob, The Underachievers, and Flatbush Zombies as well as individual artists such as Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson all know of each other and have either collaborated together at some point or at least made reference to one another in some form or fashion. You also have newcomers like Black Dave and Bryant Dope who have been taking a more minimalist, nostalgic, and boom-bap approach to their music. Then you have YC the Cynic. Everything from his flow, and its content, to his beats and even his sense of fashion distinctly mark him as belonging to a league of his own. He recently dropped a cleverly titled single, “Negus,” where he touched upon socio-political topics that ranged as far back as ancient Egypt. However, in his video “The Heaviest Cross” he drops the political dynamic to delve deeper into the personal and social issues that afflict him. The visuals demonstrate that he seeks to set himself apart as a lyrically driven emcee by refusing to bolster mainstream tropes such as money and fashion. Interestingly, he possesses a level of weird that is reminiscent of Odd Future, but in a good way. In fact, YC the Cynic almost comes off as a New York Tyler the Creator, but perhaps less extreme. Nevertheless, he has a unique and solid flow that shows a lot of promise for the future. Also, he has some serious production behind him provided by Frank Drake. Watch “The Heaviest Cross” above and if you like what you hear, grab a hold of the Bronx rapper’s newest album, GNKContinue reading

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Listen: YC The Cynic—”Negus”

Holding true to his name, YC The Cynic takes shots at the society that surrounds him and coming from the Bronx gives him plenty of ammo to work with. Produced by Frank Drake, “Negus” has a smooth and evocative beat that YC The Cynic matches perfectly by painting pictures of ancient Egypt and modern times. An especially powerful verse comes after the first chorus when he says, “Picture langston flipping language dipped in Royal garbs./Marcus Garvey did The Garden in embroidered scarves./Politicians tried to hop the fence and fought the gods./Tossed from Zion all we sighted was a fallen star.” The figures that YC mentions in just these four bars should give you an idea of what kind of cynic he is and the tradition that he follows in. There’s also the title of the track, “Negus,” which has its own implications, but for more on that you should read Dharmic X’s article in the link below. Listen to YC The Cynic’s “Negus” from his upcoming album GNK. Continue reading