Hip-hop artist Symon G. Seyz lives not for record sales but for the passion of making music. The 28-year-old rapper is a member of the hip-hop underground – where unsigned musicians find audiences by giving away their own mixtapes on the streets, performing at clubs and private parties, and using Twitter as their de facto booking agents and PR support.
You won’t find the hip-hip underground in the pages of Hip Hop Weekly but on social community Global 14, where many hip-hop artists are connecting with audiences and others like them. In fact, Global 14 is where I met Symon G. Seyz, a resident of Hammond, Indiana, an industrial town just south of Chicago.
In the following interview, Symon G. Seyz, a teacher by day and rapper by night, provides an open assessment of what it’s like to create and share your music in the hip-hip underground. And he has a lot on his mind. He believes hip-hop has an image problem, and he worries that maybe he’s too clean to be cool for hip-hop – or at least what middle-class America wants to hear from the art form.
Be With-Out You by SymonG,Seyz
“Be With-Without You” by Symon G. Seyz caught my ear because of its smooth arrangement reminiscent of better ‘70s R&B. What makes the song is SymonG’s soulful rap punctuated by a recurring Isley Brothers-style guitar riff (listen for it 27 seconds into the song).
Symon G. Seyz shared this one with me viaJermaine Dupri’sGlobal 14 social destination, which is an outstanding source of emerging music from aspiring hip-hip and rap stars.
Symon G. is an emerging artist from Hammond, Indiana, and he has a string of mix tapes under his belt. He cites his early influences as Silkk, the Shocker, Mystikal. As he commented to me, “It is so hard getting people to check me out because none of my songs are about drugs or shooting people . . . I’m fighting an uphill battle.”