By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Sincere Show is literally what his name embodies: a walking show. The Chicago native came to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of doing music over a decade ago, even joking about how he “thought he made it.” Soon thereafter, it became a full circus.
The King Show includes his ability to perform, sing, rap, act, direct, draw, throw parties, be a businessman… everything. Known to be one of the biggest hosts in Los Angeles, Sincere describes himself as “a one-stop shop for entertainment.”
Now, the “Handsome” rapper prepares fans for his forthcoming 6-track EP, The Greatest Show On Earth, arriving just in time for summer on June 18th.
AllHipHop caught up with Sincere to discuss his Chicago roots, his name, and friendship with Drake.
AllHipHop: You’re from Chicago, how does that play into your life and career?
Sincere Show: Aw man, a lot! When you grow up in a tough city like that — I’m from the inner city. It builds character amongst anything. You see a lot of stuff at a young age, you gotta process a lot of things. As you get older, you get jumpstart being from those type of towns.
It's still very segregated in Chicago, a lot of racial undertones till this day. Coming to California from there, it felt easier because you didn’t have those restrictions. There’s so much love out here, so much integration. It don’t feel like the same levels of stress you gotta go through when you’re from a city like Chicago.
AllHipHop: Who were your biggest influences growing up?
Sincere Show: One of my favorite was Nas. I know it’s probably not the best time, but R. Kelly was a big influence for me growing up. Kanye West was a big influence. Then the greats. My mother would play the OGs: The O'Jays, The Isley Brothers, Patti LaBelle, Prince, Michael Jackson. I look to all those people for inspiration when I’m creating music.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Sincere Show: I always knew that. Always and forever. [chuckles] I was good at everything growing up, I was just better than everybody else doing music [chuckles]. Honestly, I can’t tell you. I was singing when I was in kindergarden. Singing at my kindergarten graduation. It was one of those things I always felt what was gonna take me out of the hood, take me out of poverty. Allow me to see the world.
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Sincere Show: It’s a funny story, Sincere is a name given to me by my mom. She wanted to name me that. She ended up naming me after my uncle who was murdered while she was pregnant with me. My grandmother ended up giving me his name, but they called me Sincere since I was a baby. My name used to be Sincere Music, then at one point I was doing so much more than music that I put the Show on it.
Because I’m a walking show. You gotta see this. It’s a movie. I was just sitting around one day like, “yo this s##t bigger than music. This a show, I do it all.” That’s why I made it a big deal. This when Twitter was poppin’, I made an announcement. “Yo I’ma change my name, my handle.” I changed it to Sincere Show, it’s been that way for 8 years now.
AllHipHop: Any features on your forthcoming album The Greatest Show On Earth?
Sincere Show: I got TMG Fresh on the project. That's who works closely with me, a part of my camp I work with everyday. I ain’t really wanna go out like “lemme get the Migos or these people,” I want people to see my worth and see I can stand on my own. Really just work with the people who support me and work with me every day.
AllHipHop: How did you and Drake meet and become tight?
Sincere Show: I met Drake through a friend of his, CJ who co-manages him. It was really just like “yo come to the house, we doing lil party vibes.” That’s how we start our relationship. I’d come around, bring a bunch of girls, and throw private parties with Drake. We just developed a friendship and relationship off that. We’ve been friends for over 6 years now.
AllHipHop: What’s your greatest memory with him?
Sincere Show: One year on Christmas, he gave me $10K and two pairs of OVO Jordans. They had just came out at the time. That’s one of my fondest memories with him, but there has been many. He’s taken me to Canada with him. He’s taken me to Houston with him for Houston Appreciation weekend. He’s done a lot of things that he really didn’t have to do, but he did it for me.