KidSyc@Brandywine
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KidSyc@Brandywine

Savannah, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Savannah, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Hip Hop Fusion

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I don’t know how many folks have actually been paying attention — yet, anyway — to the Georgia Lottery All Access Music Search, but the contest has been going on for months now.

The Savannah hip hop band KidSyc@Brandywine is among the twelve finalists, with the winner in each of four genres to be decided in a live television broadcast on Friday, January 14th. Here’s the band’s profile on ReverbNation. [UPDATE: KidSyc@Brandywine won their category in the televised finale and will be traveling soon to Hollywood for a recording session.] The contest has some corny elements, but it’s hard to argue with such broad exposure. Here’s KidSyc@Brandywine and the other finalists performing “Georgia on My Mind” at halftime of a recent Falcons game. The hip hop performers begin at the 2:50 mark: [See Link]



One of the ironies is that KidSyc@Brandywine is the only hip hop finalist that features an actual band — in fact, Brandywine is one of the only hip hop bands (you know, with people who play actual instruments) in the region. The winners on Friday night will go to Hollywood to record at the Capitol Record Tower; Capitol Records, by the way, was founded by Savannah’s own Johnny Mercer in 1942.


KidSyc is the personable Lloyd Harold, whom I met many years ago when he was attending SCAD. Lloyd went on to teach art in a local public elementary school. The four excellent musicians in Brandywine do instrumental work on their own and can potentially back other performers. And they are busy with other projects too — I routinely see bassist Charles Hodge perform with Damon & The Shitkickers, a fabulous classic country cover band that I listen to all the time (and which I’ll post something about soon).

I don’t pretend to be an expert on hip hop, but I like it more than most of the people my age — especially if it’s obvious that skill and care have gone into the creation of the music and lyrics. KidSyc@Brandywine passes that test easily. Many people I know stereotype hip hop and rap as being all about violence and sex, but shows by groups like KidSyc@Brandywine are upbeat, positive, forward-looking. And good hip hop acts attract incredibly diverse audiences. Those audiences would be even more diverse if some folks would get over their prejudices against the genre.

Here’s another video posted by the Georgia Lottery. YouTube videos of live bands are sometimes tough to appreciate. I think this one holds up decently, but it pales in comparison with the energy of KidSyc@Brandywine’s live shows, like the one I saw last weekend at Live Wire Music Hall.

[See Link]

- Bill Dawers


I don’t know how many folks have actually been paying attention — yet, anyway — to the Georgia Lottery All Access Music Search, but the contest has been going on for months now.

The Savannah hip hop band KidSyc@Brandywine is among the twelve finalists, with the winner in each of four genres to be decided in a live television broadcast on Friday, January 14th. Here’s the band’s profile on ReverbNation. [UPDATE: KidSyc@Brandywine won their category in the televised finale and will be traveling soon to Hollywood for a recording session.] The contest has some corny elements, but it’s hard to argue with such broad exposure. Here’s KidSyc@Brandywine and the other finalists performing “Georgia on My Mind” at halftime of a recent Falcons game. The hip hop performers begin at the 2:50 mark: [See Link]



One of the ironies is that KidSyc@Brandywine is the only hip hop finalist that features an actual band — in fact, Brandywine is one of the only hip hop bands (you know, with people who play actual instruments) in the region. The winners on Friday night will go to Hollywood to record at the Capitol Record Tower; Capitol Records, by the way, was founded by Savannah’s own Johnny Mercer in 1942.


KidSyc is the personable Lloyd Harold, whom I met many years ago when he was attending SCAD. Lloyd went on to teach art in a local public elementary school. The four excellent musicians in Brandywine do instrumental work on their own and can potentially back other performers. And they are busy with other projects too — I routinely see bassist Charles Hodge perform with Damon & The Shitkickers, a fabulous classic country cover band that I listen to all the time (and which I’ll post something about soon).

I don’t pretend to be an expert on hip hop, but I like it more than most of the people my age — especially if it’s obvious that skill and care have gone into the creation of the music and lyrics. KidSyc@Brandywine passes that test easily. Many people I know stereotype hip hop and rap as being all about violence and sex, but shows by groups like KidSyc@Brandywine are upbeat, positive, forward-looking. And good hip hop acts attract incredibly diverse audiences. Those audiences would be even more diverse if some folks would get over their prejudices against the genre.

Here’s another video posted by the Georgia Lottery. YouTube videos of live bands are sometimes tough to appreciate. I think this one holds up decently, but it pales in comparison with the energy of KidSyc@Brandywine’s live shows, like the one I saw last weekend at Live Wire Music Hall.

[See Link]

- Bill Dawers


Come late July or early August, KidSyc will be Indiana–bound to claim his prize in the 2010 Sweetwater Song Contest. KidSyc is the alter ego of 25–year–old Lloyd Harold, a songwriter, rapper, record producer and graphic artist. He also runs the sound design program at AWOL (All Walks of Life) and teaches art at Pooler Elementary.

His song “Snapshot” won the Grand Prize from Sweetwater, a pro audio and music retailer in Fort Wayne. So he and his freshly–minted band, KidSyc@Brandywine, were awarded eight hours at the facility’s top–of–the–line recording soundstage.

“It’s still a while away,” Harold says, “so we get to ride that excitement wave all through the summer.”

“Snapshot,” with the easy flow, hooky, incessant beats and rapid–fire lyrics on KidSyc’s well–known local mixtapes and CDs, took the big prize over hard rock, pop, country and other kinds of tunes, from independent artists all over the country.

The band includes Daniel Butler on lead guitar, Charles Hodge on bass, Lane Gardner playing keys and Derrick Larry on drums. From Atlanta, rapper Speakeasy and keyboard player Def Steph contributed to “Snapshot.”

“It was actually the first song we had completed together and had mixed down,” Harold explains. “The deadline was a week away, so I entered that. After that, it was up to us to get downloads from friends, fans, family and all that stuff – the downloads counted as votes, and the more votes you got the more you moved up on the list.”

They got into the Top Five, winning a big box o’stuff: ProTools, studio monitors, keyboards and software, a total of $2,500 worth of home studio equipment. After that, it was up to the judges.

For the Indiana gig, the band plans to rehearse like crazy up until the moment they hit the road.

“I’m trying to get some of my friends that are in the Atlanta area to come up to Indiana,” Harold says. “Let’s get as many people as I have creative admiration for involved in this thing, and let’s make it a renaissance for real.”

KidSyc@Brandywine hasn’t been together all that long – “Snapshot” is part of a freshly–minted CD called The Rapper Next Door – but Harold says the band plans to bust out on Savannah stages this summer.

Still, hip hop with a live band isn’t all that common.

“Our bass player coined the term ‘living hip hop’ instead of ‘live hip hop,’ because everybody plays more than one instrument or has more than one talent,” he explains. “It’s a really organic experience every time you see it – it’s never gonna be the same show twice.” - Bill DeYoung, Connect Savannah


"Well, it’s not the mindless “Jeep bass” and booty music that seems to have both the club scene and modern urban (and pop) radio in a vice grip. It’s a more thoughtful, contemplative brand of hip-hop" - Jim Reed-Connect Savannah


KidSyc@Brandywine in our first on screen interview - Jennifer MensterSavannahnow.com


A few months have passed since I last spoke with Lloyd Harold, so he's had time to refine his thoughts on his upcoming independent release, "Yes!" and his ideas about hip hop.

That can all wait, though. We're in the studio, and it's time to cut a track.

Harold, who performs as KidSyc, takes a lyrics sheet scrawled with a hieroglyph hand and pins it as best he can against the soundproofing foam in the corner of A.W.O.L.'s recording studio on Drayton Street.

"I wrote it while I was at the high school, I think it was around 12 (p.m.)," says Harold, a substitute teacher at Beach High School. The time now reads somewhere between 3 and 4 p.m. A quick turnaround, but KidSyc is ready to record.

"The monitors will be on mute, so all you'll hear will be a little from the headphones and then just me," Harold says. Then he turns his back to the wall, listens to his count-in, and starts rapping.

... and the science ...

After a few takes, KidSyc turns to his computer's music software and gives a listen.

"Yep, that's a winner."

Just before recording, Harold had explained how he mastered the processing of his own voice, and created presets with EQ curves adapted to different moods or tasks in a song. Now he adds a track to the master and gets set to add depth to the vocal.

"All right, ad libs. We usually do one more layer of the same verse, and then take out a few words and pan it all left. Do one more and pan it all the way right," he explains.

... of a philosophy of affirmation

Music holds the power of persuasion. Hip hop in particular, Harold believes, has a built-in ability to sell a message.

"I heard Saul Williams," Harold says, "he had a quote where he said hip hop is the only music that demands an instant affirmative.

"Which means, when the beat drops, the first thing you start doing is nodding your head. So, what that does is, it sends a message to the rest of your body and to your brain to accept whatever is coming in. So, when you have lyrics like, 'f this, f that, get money, it's all about me,' basically the end result is where we are right now, as far as the kids who listen to that music."

Harold started working as a substitute teacher at Beach High School in November last year. The rapper, who has performed with local collective S.O.L. Essential since 2002, started assembling his record around the same time. He decided to dedicate the album to 13- to 18-year-old kids like the ones he teaches, and the youth he mentors at All Walks Of Life, a nonprofit that describes itself as a "hip-hop-based youth development organization."

"I made beats that cause you to bob your head first, and cause you to say 'yes' first. So it might take a month, it might take two weeks before the words actually sink in, and you realize, whoa, hold up, there's a couple songs on here where he's like, saying something.

"It's almost like you're sneaking enlightenment on people."

Hopeful of an impact

Harold didn't grow up listening to rap; his mother didn't approve of the genre, so his first exposure to hip hop was after his sister mail-ordered Eminem's "Marshall Mathers" CD when Harold was 16.

"At that time we were learning how to break down rhyme schemes at my English class in high school," he says, so he applied his learning to the tracks on Eminem's CD, and went from there. He started making beats during his freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and soon joined up with S.O.L. Essential.

Harold admits it's hard to gauge with his own students whether they are impacted by the message in his music. "Are you a Christian rapper?" is a question he often gets. The answer is no, although his Christian faith does influence him as a person and an artist.

Lloyd used his SCAD minor in sound design to help A.W.O.L. start a sound design program.

"He's a phenomenal artist," A.W.O.L. Founder Tony Jordan said. "He has this background, he's also a music artist. So he would bring those different elements that I would need to pull out of certain kids for the program."

Quentin Smith, a 19-year-old student and A.W.O.L. participant who also writes and raps, calls KidSyc a role model.

"He taught me a lot of stuff about mixing. But with lyrics, he's a beast. He's a fool with the words," Smith said.

Harold hopes those words stand out.

"I was listening to the songs they were singing, the songs that they like," Harold said. "And I'm like, all right, if I can figure out a way to make something that sounds like that, but isn't so degrading or negative, if I can flip that, that's where I want to go with it." - Joel Wiekengant-Savannah Morning News


A minor in sound design during his studies at The Savannah College of Art and Design might explain the depth and attention to detail that's found in 23-year old rapper KidSyc's songs. Born Lloyd Harold, on "No Speaky" the Georgia native brings together stringed instruments with melancholy flavor with flow that's brimming with emotion and is complemented perfectly by the female counterpart featured in the track. KidSyc's influences (Black Thought, Jay-Z, N.E.R.D., Ludacris) are evident here, from the easy swagger with which he draws the listener in, later gaining urgency and spitting like nobody's business. Here's one to keep your eye on. Enjoy "No Speaky" below.

- Aylin Zafar


A few months have passed since I last spoke with Lloyd Harold, so he's had time to refine his thoughts on his upcoming independent release, "Yes!" and his ideas about hip hop.

That can all wait, though. We're in the studio, and it's time to cut a track.

Harold, who performs as KidSyc, takes a lyrics sheet scrawled with a hieroglyph hand and pins it as best he can against the soundproofing foam in the corner of A.W.O.L.'s recording studio on Drayton Street.

"I wrote it while I was at the high school, I think it was around 12 (p.m.)," says Harold, a substitute teacher at Beach High School. The time now reads somewhere between 3 and 4 p.m. A quick turnaround, but KidSyc is ready to record.

"The monitors will be on mute, so all you'll hear will be a little from the headphones and then just me," Harold says. Then he turns his back to the wall, listens to his count-in, and starts rapping.

... and the science ...

After a few takes, KidSyc turns to his computer's music software and gives a listen.

"Yep, that's a winner."

Just before recording, Harold had explained how he mastered the processing of his own voice, and created presets with EQ curves adapted to different moods or tasks in a song. Now he adds a track to the master and gets set to add depth to the vocal.

"All right, ad libs. We usually do one more layer of the same verse, and then take out a few words and pan it all left. Do one more and pan it all the way right," he explains.

... of a philosophy of affirmation

Music holds the power of persuasion. Hip hop in particular, Harold believes, has a built-in ability to sell a message.

"I heard Saul Williams," Harold says, "he had a quote where he said hip hop is the only music that demands an instant affirmative.

"Which means, when the beat drops, the first thing you start doing is nodding your head. So, what that does is, it sends a message to the rest of your body and to your brain to accept whatever is coming in. So, when you have lyrics like, 'f this, f that, get money, it's all about me,' basically the end result is where we are right now, as far as the kids who listen to that music."

Harold started working as a substitute teacher at Beach High School in November last year. The rapper, who has performed with local collective S.O.L. Essential since 2002, started assembling his record around the same time. He decided to dedicate the album to 13- to 18-year-old kids like the ones he teaches, and the youth he mentors at All Walks Of Life, a nonprofit that describes itself as a "hip-hop-based youth development organization."

"I made beats that cause you to bob your head first, and cause you to say 'yes' first. So it might take a month, it might take two weeks before the words actually sink in, and you realize, whoa, hold up, there's a couple songs on here where he's like, saying something.

"It's almost like you're sneaking enlightenment on people."

Hopeful of an impact

Harold didn't grow up listening to rap; his mother didn't approve of the genre, so his first exposure to hip hop was after his sister mail-ordered Eminem's "Marshall Mathers" CD when Harold was 16.

"At that time we were learning how to break down rhyme schemes at my English class in high school," he says, so he applied his learning to the tracks on Eminem's CD, and went from there. He started making beats during his freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and soon joined up with S.O.L. Essential.

Harold admits it's hard to gauge with his own students whether they are impacted by the message in his music. "Are you a Christian rapper?" is a question he often gets. The answer is no, although his Christian faith does influence him as a person and an artist.

Lloyd used his SCAD minor in sound design to help A.W.O.L. start a sound design program.

"He's a phenomenal artist," A.W.O.L. Founder Tony Jordan said. "He has this background, he's also a music artist. So he would bring those different elements that I would need to pull out of certain kids for the program."

Quentin Smith, a 19-year-old student and A.W.O.L. participant who also writes and raps, calls KidSyc a role model.

"He taught me a lot of stuff about mixing. But with lyrics, he's a beast. He's a fool with the words," Smith said.

Harold hopes those words stand out.

"I was listening to the songs they were singing, the songs that they like," Harold said. "And I'm like, all right, if I can figure out a way to make something that sounds like that, but isn't so degrading or negative, if I can flip that, that's where I want to go with it." - Joel Wiekengant-Savannah Morning News


Lloyd “KidSyc” Harold spends his days dropping dope beats—but that’s not the only medium he uses to mold young minds. Lloyd is also an art teacher at Pooler Elementary, which may seem like a strange combination of professions to some... but only those who haven’t met him. “You see,” he says, “people don’t pay attention to what you say as much as how you say it, or what you say it through.” And so, each day, he does his best to inspire people to look at things in new ways, and use their unique differences as clues to answer the questions about who they will become. Emphatically he insists, “You have to attack with boldness the things that take you out of your comfort zone. And never be afraid to stand out.”

What’s the best thing about reading skirt!? “You can tell it’s all about empowering women, and I dig that!”

What’s the best thing about wearing a skirt? “The breeze.” - Skirt! Magazine



The Atlanta-based rap artist KidSyc describes his latest release,
KidSyc : The K.I.D.
The K.I.D., as "not quite an album, but much more than a mixtape." The honest lyrics, reckless freestyles, and occasional braggadocio keeps the production firmly grounded in southern hip-hop mixtape culture, while a few tracks, including the standout "Die", could be a hit anywhere. On "Different", KidSyc challenges the listener to "Find a rapper you can call me worse than / With better flow, rhyme schemes, and awesome wordplay". The flow is impressive, the thoughtfulness and substance of the lyrics even more so. In ten tracks KidSyc exalts, entices, entertains and shows rap the way out of a mindless booty beat wilderness into the twenty-first century.

Opener "Die" floats a cool brass loop over a breezy beat while KidSyc ruminates on mortality between breathy, haunting choruses. The tempo heats up on "Fire" and quickens on "Golden Void" as deft rhymes are unleashed with Mortal Kombat-esque velocity. Producer Alex Goose keeps the mix fairly clean throughout The K.I.D. KidSyc's flow doesn't require a lot of fancy dressing; his mic skills provide all the fireworks. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the two tracks "Hold The Line Freestyle" and "Spaz_Freestyle". The rapper turns his talent loose spouting off-the-cuff freak-outs about yellow submarines, Salvador Dali, and supreme pizzas.

"Syc's Back" and "Victory" busts out the braggadocio. The ‘comeback’ and ‘triumph’ themes have been tried-and-true rap staples since before LL Cool J's "Mamma Said Knock You Out". You can't quite swallow "Syc's Back" because he hasn't been here for years. But The K.I.D. has got something special that could lift him up above an already exceptional hip-hop scene. If Lloyd ‘KidSyc’ Harold continues his upward trajectory, combing thoughtful rhymes with slick beats, he might be a lot closer to "Victory" than people know. - QRO Magazine


Lloyd “KidSyc” Harold spends his days dropping dope beats—but that’s not the only medium he uses to mold young minds. Lloyd is also an art teacher at Pooler Elementary, which may seem like a strange combination of professions to some... but only those who haven’t met him. “You see,” he says, “people don’t pay attention to what you say as much as how you say it, or what you say it through.” And so, each day, he does his best to inspire people to look at things in new ways, and use their unique differences as clues to answer the questions about who they will become. Emphatically he insists, “You have to attack with boldness the things that take you out of your comfort zone. And never be afraid to stand out.”

What’s the best thing about reading skirt!? “You can tell it’s all about empowering women, and I dig that!”

What’s the best thing about wearing a skirt? “The breeze.” - Skirt! Magazine


The Atlanta-based rap artist KidSyc describes his latest release The K.I.D. as “not quite an album, but much more than a mixtape.” The honest lyrics, reckless freestyles, and occasional braggadocio keeps the production firmly grounded in southern hip hop mixtape culture, while a few tracks, including the standout “Die”, could be a hit anywhere. On “Different” KidSyc challenges the listener to “Find a rapper you can call me worse than/With better flow, rhyme schemes, and awesome wordplay”. The flow is impressive, the thoughtfulness and substance of the lyrics even more so. In ten tracks KidSyc exalts, entices, entertains and shows rap the way out of a mindless booty beat wilderness into the twenty-first century.

Opener “Die” floats a cool brass loop over a breezy beat while KidSyc ruminates on mortality between breathy, haunting choruses. The tempo heats up on “Fire” and quickens on “Golden Void” as deft rhymes are unleashed with Mortal Kombat-esque velocity. Producer Alex Goose keeps the mix fairly clean throughout The K.I.D. Kidsyc’s flow doesn’t require a lot of fancy dressing; his mic skills provide all the fireworks. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the two tracks “Hold The Line Freestyle” and “Spaz_Freestyle”. The rapper turns his talent loose spouting off-the-cuff freakouts about yellow submarines, Salvador Dali, and supreme pizzas.

“Syc’s Back” and “Victory” busts out the braggadocio. The ‘comeback’ and ‘triumph’ themes have been tried-and-true rap staples since before LL Cool J’s “Mamma Said Knock You Out”. You can’t quite swallow “Syc’s Back” because he hasn’t been here for years. But The K.I.D. has got something special that could lift him up above an already exceptional hip hop scene. If Lloyd “KidSyc” Harold continues his upward trajectory, combing thoughtful rhymes with slick beats, he might be a lot closer to “Victory” than people know. - Kendrick Daye


Discography

6/7/2010 - The Rapper Next-Door EP
2/8/2011 - Live in Indiana (Available on iTunes)
1/7/2012 - The Capitol Records Sessions EP (Available on iTunes)

Photos

Bio

KidSyc@Brandywine is a live hip hop quartet from Savannah, GA.

Fusing elements of hip hop, jazz, reggae and rock, KidSyc@Brandywine produces music that’s infectious and intelligent. Breaking away from the standard arrangement of an MC and DJ, the pairing of Brandywine’s deft musicianship with KidSyc’s spitfire flows and engaging stage presence adds up to a brilliant live show that resonates with fans of all types of music.

The group first met in 2010, joining established local rapper KidSyc with a recently formed quartet of local musicians, Brandywine, who’d begun dabbling in what bass
player Charles Hodge described as “living hip hop:” a sound inspired by The Roots, J.Dilla, and the jazz-funk fusion of the 1970s that formed the musical foundation for hip-hop production.

What started as a one-off collaboration project between the MC and band, a 5-track EP titled The Rapper Next Door, quickly grew into a lasting musical relationship thanks to their quick success.

The band was a featured artist at the 2010 Savannah Urban Arts Festival, then went on to become Grand Prize Winners of the Sweet Water Gear Fest that year (which
resulted in the material for their Live in Indiana release; recorded in Sweet Water’s studio that summer). Soon after, the group was selected as finalists in the Georgia
Lottery’s All Access Music competition, and went on to win first place among hip hop acts from around the state. They performed on live TV as part of the contest’s
award show, performed at half time events for the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Hawks, and were sent out to record at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles (which, coincidentally, was founded by another Savannahian, Johnny Mercer). That session became fodder for the band’s most recent EP, The Capitol Records Sessions, which was released in January 2012.