A few weeks ago the Delerme Discussion got an opportunity to catch with Sy Ari Da Kid while promoting his latest single, “Popular” ft. K Camp, alongside his two new mixtapes, Ultrasound 2: The Birth & Sy Ari Mix. We spoke on everything from his relationship with K Camp & Slim Dunkin to his thoughts Kobe vs Lebron and what he would do if Kendrick Lamar called him out. Read Below
Tony Delerme: You’re from New York, correct?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Yeah, I from New York.
Tony Delerme: But you also rep Atlanta, where does that come from?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Well, I was born in New York and raised a little bit there. But I was really raised in the south. I moved to Atlanta when I was 9.
Tony Delerme: Which city do you identify with the most?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Really, I rep them both. I go home, to the South Bronx, all the time. But I also rep the north side of Atlanta cause it’s the city where I built my whole career out of. When I’m in New York I feel like I’m at home. When I come back to Atlanta, I’m home. I’m pretty much good where ever I rest my head at.
Tony Delerme: When did you get into hip hop and start taking it seriously?
Sy Ari Da Kid: I started raping when I was about 18 but I really started to take it seriously around 21-22.
Tony Delerme: What was the inspiration behind the Sy Ari Mix mixtape?
Sy Ari Da Kid: I was doing the “Hot Nigga” freestyle and once I finished it, I didn’t want to just put that out by itself. There were so many songs I felt were hot at the time. So I asked my fans what beats they wanted to hear me rap over. From there, I decided to do a whole mixtape and I did it in about four days. I gathered up all the new hot songs, did one old school beat and put my sway in the morning freestyle on there. I finish the whole tape before I even got the artwork done.
Tony Delerme: Speaking of the old school beat you chose, it’s actually one of my favorite hip hop songs, “Luchini”, by Camp Lo. What made you jump on that beat?
Sy Ari Da Kid: That’s one of my favorite songs. The cadence of the flow is crazy, the beat is crazy and everything about that record, in general, is crazy. I can listen to that song 20 years from now and it’ll still have the same effect like I just heard it for the first time. Also, when I was younger, I never really knew the words to the hook. So if you listen to my version, I don’t say the hook correctly. I say what I always thought the hook was. I felt that was kind of creative.
Tony Delerme: What inspired the song “New Malcolm X”?
Sy Ari Da Kid: I thought of that song, I think, either on MLK Day or Malcolm X’s birthday. Unfortunately, the day had passed so I was gonna wait till Malcolm X’s next birth day to release it. But with everything going on right now with the Mike Brown situation, Earthgang tweeted me saying it’s time to drop it. I felt that it was relevant to what’s going on now, so I put it out.
Tony Delerme: One thing I picked up about you, while listening to your mixtape, is that you’re very family orientated. How important is that to you?
Sy Ari Da Kid: To me family is everything and I don’t always mean just your parents, brothers and sisters. Of course that’s where it starts at but I feel like if people are going to be around me, then your either going to be my family or not. I’m not with all that in-between shit. I’m not big on vacations. Most people want to go to Hawaii and Paris. As for me, I wanna go to the crib with my family and eat, that’s my vacation. So I always speak on that because that’s just me.
Tony Delerme: What’s your connection with K Camp?
Sy Ari Da Kid: That’s my little brother, we went to the same high school. He’s a little younger than me but we’re family. I’ve been seeing him grind for a minute and we kind of have the same vision, so it all worked out. When I first started hearing him rap, he didn’t really have his sound yet, to me. Not that he was hot garbage, but he was definitely in a stage where he had a lot of growing. But if you listen to him now and listen to him back then, you’ll be like, “god damn!”, cause you can tell he stayed at it.
Tony Delerme: Who are the Slum Lords?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Slum Lords is something that my brother K Camp started. It’s him, me, Joker, Dan Diego, Damar Jackson and Marissa. The mixtape was hosted by DJ Genius. We’re not, necessarily, a group but it’s probably gonna turn into that cause we all move together.
Tony Delerme: What was your relationship with Slim Dunkin?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Me and Dunk were like brothers, I met him through a shorty we both knew. He needed some studio time and I owned a studio that everybody like Waka and Roscoe Dash, use to go through. When he was getting in the booth I’d be the first to tell him, “that shit is wack”, “get out the booth an re-rap that”, “you not breathing right” and stuff like that. Keep in mind, Dunk was one of them niggas who had hella fights, niggas feared him. I think that he adjusted to me looking him in his eyes and being honest because he had a lot of yes men around him. I showed him how to count bars and format his verses. Some time had passed and Dunk told me that he wanted to do a mixtape. So we made one together called Bad Boys and that’s how I meet Trap-a-holics. From there we did a few shows and built a brother hood.
Tony Delerme: When was the last time you spoke to Dunk before his passing?
Sy Ari The Kid: It’s kind of scary. I had got word from my man DJ Bus that Dunk got shot. I panicked a little bit, but Bus told me Dunk was still alive. I was like alright, cool, so I texted him, “yo, I heard you just got shot”. Dunk was like, “yeah we at the hospital now”. So the nigga text me back, I texted him again and even after that he was still lol’n and all that. So DJ Bus came and picked me up from the crib and as soon as I got to the hospital I saw cats throwing trash cans and they was mad. I asked what was going on and they was like, “the nigga didn’t make it”. It was about 45 minutes from me texting him to the time of his death. They said he went into surgery and I think when they tried to take the built out, the nigga wouldn’t stop bleeding.
Tony Delerme: Is there an official report on why Dunk was killed?
Sy Ari Da Kid: I heard a couple of stories but from my understanding the niggas had a scuffle. Homie felt like Dunk beat his ass and one of his niggas handed him a gun and he shot Dunk. The situation was over something small. But things happen, that’s life. Honestly, I’m not gonna say I’m happy that he’s in a better place cause I wish my nigga was still here. But at the end of the day, Dunk was a wild nigga and now at least I know he aint gonna get in no more trouble. I know my nigga is in a better place, but that shit was tough. I keep my nigga name alive because he helped me do a lot of shit. He’s responsible for a lot of my fan base.
Tony Delerme: On a lighter note, on the Sy Ari Mix mixtape, you big up Kobe a lot and you kind of downplay Lebron a little…
Sy Ari Da Kid: I’ve been having to clear this issue so much. First off, I personally think Lebron James is the best player in the league right now. I think Jordan is the greatest of all time. Now, I wasn’t of age to understand basketball when Jordan was playing. I’m 28 now, so for me Kobe is my generation. I’m not a 90’s baby, so Lebron aint my generation. With Lebron, I don’t feel he has the game and the skill set, yet, that Kobe and Jordan had and have. Kobe and Jordan are niggas that played on the same team they whole careers like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki. I became fans of people like that because I respected that when times were good and bad they stayed in their situation and grew within it and made people come to them. If you’re the greatest, get what your worth. Lebron took a pay cut, went and created a whole nother team and got his rings there. Also, he’s passing the ball out at the last few seconds. The greats didn’t do that, the greats took that shot and not only did they take it, they made it. Jordan and Kobe did the dunk contest, Lebron didn’t. My nigga, you the most athletic nigga I ever seen in basketball. But you won’t go do the dunk contest for your fans. It’s little shit like that. Kobe did it one time but that’s all you need. Vince Carter is the greatest dunker of all time but at least he did it one time. It’s almost like in hip hop, people consider Eminem one of the best rappers to ever do it. Em did a BET cypher, but then you got Drake and J. Cole who say that they’re the best. But they never did none of the cyphers. And to me the cyphers are like the dunk contest of hip hop. Look at Joe Budden, he stepped into battling and got his ass busted. But I respect it because if you the best, claim your spot. Go toe to toe with one of the greatest. Jump in the ring or the cypher. To me J. Cole and Drake are two nicest new niggas out. But then again, they’re like Lebron to me. They don’t go do the dunk contest, they don’t go do the cyphers. They don’t go do the extra stuff that the fans really want. If you really the best, then go against the best and see who wins. So we can stop all the speculation and all the subliminal disses on records. That’s where I’m coming from when I speak on to the whole Lebron, Kobe and Jordan comparisons.
Tony Delerme: Speaking on Drak, how did you feel about him not responding to cats directly getting at him like Kendrick Lamar?
Sy Ari Da Kid: If you listen to Drake’s music, that’s not his character. He doesn’t look like a dude you can approach too aggressive. He seems like the kind of guy who wants his space and sets his vibe right. I got homies like that. Now personally, if that was me and I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would’ve told Kendrick to either meet me at the Breakfast Club or Funk Flex and we’ll battle it out. Fuck all that studio shit, come face to face and we gonna battle and see who is really the best.
Tony Delerme: So you don’t think that hurts Drake?
Sy Ari Da Kid: Nah, cause that nigga winnin’. Drake drops his singles on SoundCloud and that shit ends up on the radio. I don’t even think Jay-Z can do that. That shit is scary. Drake dropped his album, sold hella records, had multiple hits and then you still saw him put records out on SoundCloud. Niggas can’t keep up with this nigga man. Trust me, he’s gonna keep that spot.
Tony Delerme: What do you have lined up for the rest of this year?
Sy Ari Da Kid: We’re planning on dropping the “Popular” video and I’m also gonna drop a lot of new music come September – October. I’m a keep pushing my projects, Ultrasound 2, Slum Lords and The Sy Ari Mix. I also got an album coming out with Bumpy Knuckles called Wisdom and Strength. We’re just gonna keep flushing this music in people’s faces.