The Rest: Travi$ Scott, DJ Drama, Tory Lanez
Most of the tracks we've listed so far are from last year, but Syk first got on a hit back in 2012, helping out DJ Drama, and, again, Boi-1da on "So Many Girls," which features Tyga, Wale, and Roscoe Dash. Rapping-wise it's nothing exceptional, and it's really the production that gives the song all its catchiness. We imagine Syk plays out these synths, which sound as though they're being sung-- to the point that the hook really writes itself. The drumwork is crazy underneath-- let's credit that to Boi-1da, but like most of the beats here that Syk contributes to, there's a breezy coolness that endures even when a wild array of disparate sounds are thrown into the mix.
SykSense also helped produce DJ Drama's latest single alongside Florida production duo The MeKanics. "Right Back" is an all ATL affair featuring Jeezy and Rich Gang young guns Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan, which we premiered last September, and made its way into our Hottest Instrumentals of the year. The track is driven by a very simple bass melody, which is bouncy, clean, and carefully pitched under Syk's control. It carries the beat but never dominates the track, allowing the ebullient personalities of each of the three Atlanta trap stars to fully be heard.
Next, we go down to Houston for one of best tracks off of Travi$ Scott's Days Before Rodeo. Most of Rodeo featured unhinged drug-imbued bangers, but "Backyard" is one of the tape's most introspective cuts, thanks to some more brilliant sampling by Syk, who partners with producer O.Z (as well as Scott himself). He samples a live version of Marvin Gaye's "Distant Lover," which, here, is barely recognizable. The result is a slowed piece of nostalgia that flutters somewhere in between g-funk and Houston chop n screw.
Last is finally a beat that is solely attributed to Syk himself. His latest feature is on the Chicago upstart Lil Herb's latest mixtape, Pistol P Project. From Houston to Chicago to Atlanta to Toronto, Syk's sound knows few regional barriers. There's a similarity that can be traced from song to song, though each beat stands on its own. Herb's "Real" is nostalgia-addled, featuring what sounds like child singing-- we'd love to know the sample here. It's also just as triumphant as most of Syk's other productions, despite the bloody-knuckled lyrical content. Syk has his mentors and connections, who will continue to help him rise up in the game, and now that his name is out there, we hope we'll see him on more of his own projects.
Stream all of the aforementioned tracks below, as well as Tory Lanez' "40 Days n 40 Nights," another Syk collab with the MeKanics, plus, we've included "Madness," another solo-produced cut commissioned for Sir Michael Rocks and Mac Miller.