One big debate in hip-hop these days is the style’s next steps of progression. On a national level, there are a lot of contenders and pretenders with the purists being bothered by the existence of “mumble rap” being displayed by the likes of Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert. In Providence, there’s a new wave of rappers that hark back to hip-hop’s old school, using original beats and rhythms while also conveying a conscious lyrical essence reminiscent of local legends Sage Francis and B. Dolan.
Up and comer SydeSho, real name Oliver Arias, is making his presence felt with his latest album SydeSho The Maestro that dropped on Friday (March 3). Working with producers F. L. E. E. The Maestro and Cognate, SydeSho displays a consistent groove while also bringing a no-nonsense approach.
“It’s a smooth melodic album with the intent to bring out the rawness that is hip-hop while also embedding my message to the masses,” SydeSho tells Vanyaland. “My ultimate goal is to utilize the culture of hip-hop in it’s purest form to uplift communities and remain relevant in present day society.”
Throughout SydeSho The Maestro, there’s a jazzy element that fuses with a hard-hitting aesthetic. It’s an artistic continuation of what SydeSho has done with fellow rapper Eric Axelman as part of the hip-hop group The Funk Underground. On top of his musical skill, SydeSho is also one of the few artists in Providence who exhibits the classic breakdance art of b-boying. With his constant appreciation for the genre’s roots along with his fearless way of separating himself from his contemporaries, SydeSho has what it takes to be one of a few who’ll be carrying the torch for Providence’s hip-hop scene in the coming years.
“Imagine That” features Chloe Kibble on guest vocals while having an atmospheric flow. It has SydeSho giving an idealistic view of what the world can be while also showing a bit of hope in uncertain times. With an electronic tone, “Excuse Me” is a jam for the hopeless romantics and the lost lovers. The track possesses the sexiness of R&B while the beat lays the vibe down in excellent fashion. Big Scythe adds intensity for a guest collaboration in “Better Than Yourz” and there’s a lot of smack being talked to all the haters while SydeSho lays claim to his gifted delivery.
While no shows have been announced as of yet, we’re sure that SydeSho will be performing around Providence in the coming months. Also, keep tabs on the educational non-profit Pushed Learning & Media where he joins up with Axelman to put on lectures around the country examining social and racial injustice. Until the next time he performs, stream SydeSho The Maestro via Soundcloud below and get down with it.