The Bronx has been the source of Hip Hop’s origins as well as some of its finest lyrical talents, and the Boogie Down native YC The Cynic is hoping to continue that trend. A constant presence at Hip Hop shows throughout the five boroughs of New York City and beyond, the young lyricist garnered attention after his You’re Welcome mixtape gained momentum online. Since then, the young emcee has been further honing his skills as he tears down stages and prepares his new mixtape entitled “Fall FWD.” With a youthful voracity and skills to back it up, YC the Cynic is a standout in the cutthroat New York City underground scene.
Living In Hip Hop’s Birthplace: “It feels like there’s a void in the Bronx, and I don’t necessarily feel like I have to fill it, but I feel like I could. People aren’t putting pressure on me yet, because I’m still up and coming. But I feel like that will happen in the future, and I’m ready for it. It does motivate me, because I have to be dope.”
New York’s Underground Scene: “It’s like a renaissance. There are so many different styles and talented artists in New York City that are bound to blow up real soon, and people’s iPods will be filled with New York Hip Hop.”
The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective: “It’s a Bronx-based collective that I joined from meeting Rebel Diaz. Just knowing them on a personal level and respecting what they did on an artistic level…they’re living off the music. That’s what we all want to do. They’re really conscious. They’re activists, and they’re out there working, not just rhyming about it. So naturally being around them more, I’ve been involved in rallies and everything. With the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, it’s like a home base for the action that we do around the country. We’ve been doing rallies, which are all based on music, but it’s so much deeper. Music is just an acceptable form…it’s inspirational. We use that to better the community and the world.”
On The Difficulties Of Being An Independent Artist: “The biggest difficulty is not knowing where to go next. Not having a blueprint. When you’re on a major label they kind of lay it out for you. Like, ‘Aight, we need a single now. We’re going to push it.’ When you’re independent, there are no steps to success. There are so many different ways and it can be overwhelming. Not knowing what’s next is a roadblock that is seemingly impossible to get over.
Career Highlight: “The best moment in my career would have to be when I recently headlined a show at Southpaw in Brooklyn. I had my own show and had a great crowd. Shouts to everybody that rocked with me. It was crazy. Having people scream my words back at me is just a great feeling. It’s like I wrote these words, and it was my show.”
Fast Forward To Fall FWD: The new mixtape is called Fall FWD, after a song on the tape. It’s going to be real dope. I got production from J-57 of Brown Bag All Stars, and also production from new, up and coming people. I jacked a couple industry beats from people like Lupe [Fiasco]…it’s just a lot of different sounds than what were on my first tape, You’re Welcome, which was a more old school, classic Hip Hop style. This is my debut of my music, and people are going to get a feeling of what I’m all about. The features are mostly New York cats and will include my favorite emcees such as Sene, Soul Khan, and Wordspit. It will be released March 1st.”
Standing Out: “I don’t know how many people are actually spreading a message without being overbearing. A lot of people are either hitting you over the head in some annoying way, implying you’re a horrible human being, or they’re telling you to be a gangster and sell drugs. I’m in no way telling you to be a gangster, but I’m a human being and I let that out in my music. In a subtle way, there’s a message in there, and I’m not being overbearing with it. And the lyrics are dope. [Laughs]”