T. Sydir’s new single “Freedom!”
Without any fanciful introduction to guide us into the lyrical lashings that await upon pressing the play button, T. Sydir’s new single “Freedom!” pounces on the audience inside of ten seconds’ time and immediately gets us moving to its groove before we know what to do with ourselves. This track, which features Terrell T-Rex Simon collaborating with Sydir, is hardly an instrumentation-focused number, but I wouldn’t be giving it an honest review were I to dismiss the textural communication that precludes its opening verse. There’s something to be said about provocative hip-hop that gets our engines revving before we even get into the meat and potatoes of its lyricism, and this summer, “Freedom!” just might be the perfect example of well-rounded indie rap in action.
The vocals are obviously the most physical element for us to behold here, but this is no small statement to make when you take a look at just how much intensity the bassline and percussion are affording the big picture in this single. There’s a bludgeoning effect created by the sway of the collective assault in the backend that had all the potential in the world to interrupt the fluidity of the verses, but alas, Sydir and T-Rex stylize the stanzas to be so nimble the instrumentation and rapping never collide into each other. It took some precision and a lot of heavy lifting behind the sound board, but when all is said and done, “Freedom!” is one of the most complete works either of these guys have recorded in their careers thus far.
There didn’t need to be a ton of focus on the dueling between the low-end string parts and the drums in the backdrop in order for us to pick up on the insistence of the rhythm – if you’re paying attention to the vocal (and, more specifically, the cadence of its versus as they come flying at us), there’s already a sense of urgency present in this track. I really like that when Sydir and T-Rex got together to record this piece, they didn’t deliberately try and stylize it off of something that was already out there, in the pop culture lexicon, this summer. This has the feel of an original protest anthem, and that’s hard to accomplish amidst the crowded talent pool producing them right now.
Hip-hop fans of all ages, races, backgrounds and creeds really cannot afford to miss this highly relevant single paying tribute to the fight for justice this season, and if you haven’t already, I’d give it a spin before the day is over. With America being in as volatile a place as it is right now, there’s nothing more powerful than music when it comes to healing old wounds, addressing long-overlooked issues and finding ways to open up the channels of communication between people otherwise kept divided by the powers that be. T. Sydir and Terrell T-Rex Simon are doing their part here and, from where I sit, their new song poses but one question to the audience – are you?