September 4, 2013

The Molotov Cocktail-throwing, YC the Cynic returns with the video for “The Heaviest Cross.” Points allotted for mastery of the Tyler, the Creator psycho stare into the camera, the overturn of stuffed animals, general liveliness, and no overt crucifix imagery. A lesser talent would’ve just strung himself up on a pole and stared blankly while rapping. We get it. And no one would ever top Aesop Rock abandoning all hope anyway. I also admire anyone willing to include cynicism as their reason for being.

If you first tuned into YC on his 2011 Fall FWD, he’s vastly improved. He’s an example of how the Internet can actually be unkind to still-developing rappers. I checked him out, shrugged, and ignored everything that followed. Then I heard “Molotovs at Poseidon” and realized that he’d found his voice. Less faithful to the 90s than the other New New Yorkers, but still very much the sound of someone Bronx bred. You forget that rapping is like anything else: you get a lot better the more you do it, until you do it for so long that you fall off and start writing songs using slang that 16 year olds abandoned three weeks ago. Because he is a rapper, he rips on critics who rate music too fast (probably true), mentions his mom’s master’s degree and his decision to drop out, and various other crosses to bear. He mocks people who wear Che shirts and Abercrombie, which is the sort of universal skepticism that we deserve.

He has a new album, GNK, some which you can listen to below, along with other videos and “Rudeboy Jamaican,” which succeeds like nearly all New York rap songs that channel the other emerald green isle.

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