If you checked out Kanye West's interview with Zane Lowe a couple of months ago, you probably either really enjoyed it or condemned him for his personality. One thing that stood out was when Ye stated "If you're a Kanye West fan, you're a fan of your self. You will believe in your self. I'm just the expresso, I'm just that shot in the morning to get you going and to make you believe you you can overcome that situation that you're dealing with all the time." Only a select few can admit to this act of selflessness and use their music as a vehicle to put the listener in their shoes. Though he might not be that well known yet, it's safe to say that Syler is one of those artists.
With the ever increasing sounds of electronic and R&B flooding the sounds of hip hop being presented on a daily basis, it seems like ages since we've been treated with some old school sounding boom bap. If you're like me and need that daily fix of flows and wordplay that was a mainstay in the early 90's, let New York resident Syler hook you up. An emcee who has spent countless hours studying the craft and perfecting his pros, Syler's message is that optimal mix of nostalgic 90's themes and modern day . You'd be hard pressed to find another artist from the underground that represents New York in such a way that he does and One Minute to Midnight is a perfect example of this. Though generally devoid of braggadocios rhymes, Syler's sound is one of equality for all people (without coming off as too preachy; *cough, cough Macklemore*) and accessible regardless if you're an old school head or a new jack within the scene.
Beginning with the Skyzoo and Lydia Caesar assisted "Goin Nowhere," Slyer immediately sets the pacing for the album with his vicious cadence while dropping a slick Nas quotable; oddly enough, the track reminds me of The Don's 2008 release with Keri Hilson, "Hero." Continuing with a similar formula, "Down Before" gives us a look into the New York rapper's past and the trials that got him to where he is today. Both tracks escalade into the hip hop tribute track "New York," in which Syler plays a hip hop historian as gives tribute to some of the scene's greatest years, making sure to name everyone from Grand Wizard Theodore and KRS One to DJ Premier and Pete Rock. Other highlights from the album include the DJ Devastated assisted "The Funk," and the "California Soul" sampled "Holden My Own." All and all, a solid project without any weak moments. Give it a listen down below and enjoy.
One Minute to Midnight
- Syler Music
- December 7th, 2013