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Name: Adam Bernard
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Artist Of The Week - YC The Cynic
Monday, October 26, 2009

YC The Cynic is an emcee I’ve been aware of for a number of years. I’d not only heard his name from some artists I trust and respect, but I’ve even had a handful of conversations with him. What I hadn’t seen until a few weeks ago, however, was YC The Cynic perform. Thankfully he was able to jump on the mic at the last Bondfire show and it didn’t take long for me to figure out what all the talk was about, YC The Cynic is seriously dope. He’s also young, which makes him part of the next generation of emcees in NYC. This week I caught up with him to find out more about what that next generation has to offer, if he’s really as cynical as his name might suggest, and why there are certain hip-hop shows were you definitely don’t want to just hit on anyone in a dress.

Adam Bernard: I’m going to start off this interview by paraphrasing The Joker; YC… why so cynical?
YC The Cynic: I think after five minutes of speaking to me you'll notice my sarcasm is {in a Kanye voice} "on a hundred, thousand, trillion," but the most fitting meaning would be the value of self control and being independent that was associated with being a "cynic" in ancient Greece. You HAVE to have self control if you want to pursue a music career, and though it’s cool to have friends and associates, you have to be independent. I added that to YC mainly because it looked good on paper, but it’s taken a life of its own. It’s really become a different personality of sorts and its pretty entertaining, if I do say so myself.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the other sides to YC the Cynic?
YC The Cynic: I try to be one of the coolest people ever {laughs}. I’m actively trying to be humble and supportive towards others. I’m also part of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, which is a performance and multimedia community space in the South Bronx. We haven't even been open for a year and we've organized tons of events for children and adults. We've had some of the best emcees in the world come by and perform. It’s really dope. We have to be the change we look for and hopefully we'll make a dent really soon.

Adam Bernard: Let’s dive into your history. Tell me a little bit about where you’re from and what some of the standout moments of your time in NYC’s hip-hop scene have been so far.
YC The Cynic: I'm from the Bronx, homey! There’s like a huge battle of the boroughs at every show nowadays, but we need to stick together. Plus, the BX created it, so we win automatically {laughs}. I'd have to say one of my greatest personal moments has been hearing my verses on internet radio. That was a confidence boost. Another favorite moment was attending the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. I fully intend on performing there, soon. It’s a goal of mine.

Adam Bernard: You are part of the next generation of emcees on the come up in the city. I see you, Top $ Raz, Kalil Kash and the OISD clique really making moves. That being said, how have the veterans of the scene been treating you? Has anyone sprung up as a mentor of sorts to take the next generation under their wing?
YC The Cynic: Thanks, and shouts to the homies! I kid you not, it’s been 100% support with everyone I respect and admire. I've noticed the most talented people are also the most humble. They're not threatened by someone else's skill, so they show love. It’s amazing because I try to show mad love, too. As far as mentor-like emcees, I'd have to say Hipnotic, Rebel Diaz, Final Outlaw and Homeboy Sandman have been crazy helpful, far beyond anything they've had to do.

Adam Bernard: What do you feel you and the rest of this youth movement have to offer as artists that previous generations of emcees may have lacked?
YC The Cynic: I don’t want to say the previous generations have lacked anything, but we're different. Since we know that labels are becoming more and more useless every day, we don’t have to come up with a horribly fake persona or gimmick. We can just let the talent speak for itself.

Adam Bernard: What projects are you currently working on? Do you have a solo album in the works? Any collabs people can look forward to hearing you featured on?
YC The Cynic: I do have a solo album I'm working on. It’s coming along slowly, but amazingly. I’ve developed some sort of complex where I don’t want to do anything unless it’s what I'd call the best. It’s sad, but true. I'm definitely going to have some great collabs. For example, Homeboy Sandman and Niles are contributing to a song called “Suicide,” which samples Big Daddy Kane and Q-Tip. I really want to make a statement, or a bunch of statements. I want "paragraphs" with this album.

Adam Bernard: Sounds dope. Let’s talk influences. Who do you have in heavy rotation in your personal playlist and what attracts you to those artists?
YC The Cynic: I really don’t listen to much, but what I do have in my laptop is a lot of Eminem, who is easily in my top five. His wordplay is like no other and his flows are still getting better. Gnarls Barkley, B.O.B. and Gorillaz serve as my muses for sonically pleasing, off kilter, stuff right now. There are some songs from every emcee previously mentioned in this interview, and a whole lot of Michael Jackson stuff. I wanted to learn as much about what made him so dope and successful as I could and I'm still working on that. Dude has a hell of a lot of songs, man!

Adam Bernard: Finally, what’s the strangest thing you’ve seen during a night out at a show?
YC The Cynic: Strange? Well, there is a certain venue in the LES where drag queens run freely. They take no part in the actual show, but to get where they want to go they often go through the hip-hop section of the building. That, my friend, is as strange as it gets.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/ycthecynic
Twitter: twitter.com/ycthecynic
YouTube: youtube.com/y2thec
Blog: ycthecynic.blogspot.com
Rebel Diaz Arts Collective: rdacbx.org


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:14 AM  
  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger Hi said…

    Dope interview!

    YC is a cool dude, spits heat.

    -Hi Jynx

  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Homeboy Sandman said…

    Knew YC as a cadet/you could bet/it's only correct/we'd connect/the kid is next.

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger Chadwick said…

    YC is one of the live ones. Be on the look out, he's on his way.

  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Rebel Diaz said…

    YC the Cynic is the truth!

  • At 2:01 AM, Blogger Kalae All Day said…

    He's incredible.. definitely someone to watch out for ;-)

  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Optimus said…

    saw yc spit live a couple of times and i enjoyed it every time really dope really humble rare combo much respect!

  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger J. said…

    To quote the artist "YC is O.D. smoove/a lowkey dude/you wouldn't fit thru that door in these shoes/I could win a connect four in three moves"- Needless to say anything else!

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