ON ALL DIGITAL MUSIC STREAMING PLATFORMS
This latest project charts Syze's journey not
just through his rap career but more
importantly through his life, navigating the ups
& downs in the pulsating & sometimes dangerous
Kuala Lumpur neighbourhood, Brickfields.
CLOSER TO ME
The album opens with CLOSER TO ME. The beat is laced with a hypnotic bassline laid by KL-based phenomenon, Sona One. As the beat crescendos Syze tells his story in vivid detail inviting listeners to get a closer glimpse of the usually private stars, inner world.
What follows is the boom-bap banger ELEMENTS. Syze is at his glowing best, weaving complex rhyme-schemes around the song's central theme; the four elements. "I fit in beats, like water fills in brooks & rivers", he raps silky smooth, delivery and timing on-point. This record serves as a display of sheer rap skill of an echelon hardly ever seen in the Malaysian rap scene.
Next, MACHA DEI is a bit of a rarity for a rap song in that it is both conscious and a bop. Syze assumes the mantle of an advisory role, outlining the potential pitfalls awaiting those who come after him. He emboldens the youth to act on their hustler spirit, imploring them to exercise it through creative endeavours rather than risking it all in the world of gangs & illicit activities. The song's chorus is inspired by the stammer of a close childhood friend of Syze. His friend struggled with stuttering earlier in his life and would always stutter on the words, 'Macha' & 'Dei.' Noticing the inherent rhythm of his friend's speech, Syze turned this into the infectious hook for this song.
I NEVER LIED
I NEVER LIED (Badass Indian) follows next, and this is the one where Syze is on Flex Mode. With this project charting the different phases of his life & career this track is Syze's first proverbial victory lap. His first Nation-wide hit was getting regular airplay, he began getting recognised in public and all the attention sent his confidence soaring. What becomes increasingly evident at this juncture of the project, is Syze's uncanny ability to make infectious feel-good hip-hop and his ear for melodies.
It was at this point, amidst all the partying & intoxicating appeal of success, Syze was faced with the drama that comes along with it all. SALASALAPU is a track that talks about how grown-men with their heads on right should handle these matters. Coming from the world of gangs, ballers & high-stakes livin' an accidental shoulder-bump in a club could turn into a violent fracas if not handled like gentleman. Syze enlists the help of Malaysian Tamil powerhouse PsychoMantra for the project's Tamil banger slated to figure heavily in club-playlists whilst putting forth a message of maturity, civility & above all positivity.
Now that the Public Service Announcements have been shared Syze The Emcee gets back to the brass tacks of it all, out-rapping your favourite MCs. ARIRARO is based on an old Tamil lullaby/hum that mothers and grandmothers sing to kids to put them to sleep. On this track Syze bids Good Night to all the rappers as he expertly dishes out bar-after-bar of pure, potent lyrical magic. "Say y'all been raisin' the bar! How come it feels like I'm limbo-ing here?" he speed raps literal rings around the competition.
The lead single of the project, SELAMBA is next. SELAMBA is a Malay colloquialism that means laid-back. The idea being a laid-back and relaxed approach is how winners get to the top once the hours of preparation and the hard-work is done. The crux of the song within the context of the album is one of laid-back, nonchalant confidence. Now that the competition has been put to sleep, it's the proverbial Victory Lap and for this DefJam Southeast Asia's President - Joe Flizzow provides the rap verse as Syze croons SELAMBA on the chorus, proving that he won't just outrap your favourite rapper, he'll outsing them too!
ANNEH SYZE FREESTYLE
ANNEH SYZE FREESTYLE is 40-bars of lyrical-acrobatics that acts as a declaration of Syze becoming the Anneh! Anneh means older brother, and is often used as a declaration of respect for elders in the Tamil language. He's truly become a man, being a married man and bonafide elder of the scene. He's taken on the losses early in his career, and now he's grown into a more mature, meticulous and methodical artist heading his own label. Syze raps the bars in a lung-busting display of sheer performance ability where he finds pockets between the kick-drum & snares that no mere entry-level rapper would even dare to attempt.
The crown-jewel of Syze's newfound maturity is his loving marriage. ATCL
(A Thing Called Love) is an ode to the love of his life. This song has already been released and has won over new listeners the world-over. Syze croons lovingly and poetically sharing the sweet euphoria of finding the perfect match in a life-partner. This is precipitated on self-love and represents a different chapter of Syze's journey where love is the secret engine for success & life-long contentment.
HERE TO STAY
Next up is HERE TO STAY. Very familiar in approach to CLOSER TO ME, Syze raps retrospectively about his journey through the 'Dark Days' as he puts it. The narrative-centric nature of the song elucidates a point in Syze's career where the plan got derailed as he became more involved in becoming a club MC rather than a rapper producing high-calibre albums that bring forward the Malaysian Hip-Hop soundscape. He retrospectively raps about the gems & invaluable insight he's discovered along the way that have helped him move past the darker days and is a statement of intent. MC Syze is Here To Stay.
Syze is true-to-form in his multi-faceted, multilingual & multicultural self in the track PURIYATHU. Featuring Dan $hiv, 'Puriyathu' is Tamil for 'won't understand' or in the context of the song, 'you won't get it'. The song's premise is a response to the doubt he's faced from various people about the viability of a career in rap music in Malaysia. Once again, in retrospective fashion, Syze strolls down memory lane to all those instances of naysayers who didn't understand what it is to love music & Hip-Hop so much it encapsulates your entire life. Music forms the very core of his being, and PURIYATHU is a testament to that fact.
The curtain call moment of SYZE DOES MATTER is GRATITUDE. Syze raps lively as he recounts the countless people that have come in and out of his life who have helped further the dream, actualize the life & made him a better person along the way. The song is a veritable Thank-You list, as Syze raps gracefully in gratitude, carefully acknowledging everyone from Family, Close Friends, God, The Universe, Friends That Have Passed On, Acquaintances, Peers, Mentors, Guardians, Professional Colleagues and everyone in between who have helped shape the man, the artist and inadvertently, this project.
IT AIN'T OVER
Lastly, the wrap-up track of this well-balanced, conceptually-sound & sonically exciting album is IT AIN'T OVER. The tasteful mix of SYZE's sophisticated rhyme-schemes and impeccable timing are starkly contrasted by the jazzy crooning & this makes for one of the stand-out songs off the project. The soundscape of the track is ethereal & dreamy as FAUXE's velvety vocals compliment SYZE's deft verbal acrobatics as he discusses familiar themes but in an altogether fresh and exciting way that further gives credence to the claim that SYZE, does indeed MATTER.
DANCIN' (FAUXE REFIX)
At the end of the album is a bonus-track, DANCIN' (FAUXE REFIX). Syze's evergreen chart-topping, nationwide smash-hit gets a 2020 facelift from the albums Executive Producer Fauxe with reworked drums & synths that manage to maintain the original allure of the song while still managing to sonically refresh it's soundscape.