Sy Ari Da Kid and Paxquiao just unleashed their joint project 2 Sides of a Story, putting on for both sides of Atlanta (Southside & Northside). Having wrapped up a stint with Cash Money Records, Sy Ari continues to unleash his smooth, sultry R&B jams — as evidenced in his critically-acclaimed Heartbreak series.
Having been in the music industry for over a decade and bringing valuable game to anybody who crosses paths with him, Sy Ari found Paxquiao through doing video shoots with a mutual friend named Showtime, but he’s known Pax since he was a teenager. This was 9 or 10 years ago, and Pax wasn’t even an artist at the time.
Speaking on what made him become an artist, Pax states, “Just going through real-life situations. I’d use them as a journal and the music started coming out fire.”
AllHipHop caught up with the Atlanta natives at OG King Louie’s studio in downtown Los Angeles to discuss the new project.
AllHipHop: Congrats on 2 Sides of a Story, what’s one thing you want fans to get from this one?
Sy Ari: Both perspectives. Sonically and cadence-wise, the marriage sounds good musically. Our storylines, it’s bigger than me being from the Northside and him being from the Southside. Our perspectives are still different even though we’re both from some kind of the bottom coming up. The way I tell my story — we’re 2 totally different people. We just want people to get to know us through the music. How I am and how he is, we ain’t the same. A lot of people that collab, you hear the same s##t over and over. No offense to that! You see a movie where Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson are both great actors, but 2 different flavors. Either scene you get, you entertained.
AllHipHop: What’s the difference between the Southside & Northside?
Sy Ari: We better.
Paxquiao: The Southside more lit! We have more motion, all that.
Sy Ari: I feel like we on the come up. Our side’s always been the underdogs. People don’t even claim the Northside for real. Eastside, Westside, whatever. Everybody done moved to the Northside, they know that. It’s improving.
AllHipHop: Talk about getting DaBaby on “One Phone Call.” Was that done in the studio?
Sy Ari: We did that at 11th Street Studios, but he was locked up at the time. Pax did that hook and his first verse at Means Street Studios, then I did my verse at the crib. When I knew DaBaby was coming, we linked up. We know some of the same folks. I played some songs for DaBaby and he picked that one. Did it on the spot.
AllHipHop: What’s the dynamic in the studio?
Sy Ari: I like how he record, he gets right to it. His punching pattern was different — I didn’t expect him to record like that. Then seeing he keeps his ad-libs as loud as his lead. That’s another thing that makes him sound unique to me, even though the flow pattern is similar for today. The way he records is different, which is why he stands out. Chemistry was good though. We got in, handled business, got up out of there. It was a good vibe.
AllHipHop: “Where The Love Go” is super personable. Talk about the reality of the streets & turning to music.
Paxquiao: I ain’t even gon’ lie, I wrote the first half while I was locked up. That came from real-life experiences. You can tell from the lyrics. I gotta take cold showers, run extension cords across the hall when we need some more power, all that lame s##t.
AllHipHop: You said “I lost my dawg,” who’d you lose?
Paxquiao: My dawg Slim Dunkin, rest in peace. Long live. That’s dedicated to him.
AllHipHop: Sy, what did it mean to have your daughter in the shot?
Sy Ari: It’s funny ‘cause she was coming to town to see me, so I just put her in the scene for real. I was holding her up, her mama had just dropped her off. We were shooting on the Eastside in the hood, so I’m not about to let her walk around. I had her in my arms during my scene. He got his mom in the video, eating ramen noodles and s##t.
AllHipHop: What does mama think of the rap career?
Paxquiao: She loves that s##t. She already sent the video to all her friends, everybody on Facebook, all that s##t. She’s my biggest fan.
AllHipHop: Artists tend to have their own favorites on the project, what songs mean the most to you?
Sy Ari: Probably “Where The Love Go.” “Submissive” for real though, because I’m a little freaky. I love the ladies. [chuckles]
Paxquiao: That one, and “Rolling Loud” too. It’s just another vibe. Depending on what type of vibe I want to be on, it’s either gonna be “Where The Love Go” or “Rolling Loud.” “Rolling Loud” got that edge on it.
AllHipHop: Best memory recording the project?
Sy Ari: When we did “One Phone Call” because if you have a homie in jail, he’s looking for some type of good information to brighten his day while he’s in there. So when Pax called while DaBaby was doing his verse, I even told Diana “don’t tell him yet.” Then I’m like “damn, my n##ga sounds like he needs to hear some good s##t,” so I told him. That was one of the best memories of the project for real because we knew he was about to get bailed out soon. Every song had its moments, I love how everything came together for real.
AllHipHop: Pax, biggest lesson learned in jail?
Paxquiao: Go with your first instinct, your gut feeling. That’s really what I got from it. Everything happens for a reason so I ain’t really mad or nothing. Everybody always got that feeling, that little voice in the head to tell them something, but we tend to go against it sometimes. I know now to always listen to that voice and go with that feeling.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for yourselves at this point in her career?
Sy Ari: Getting back on the road. I love being on tour. When you come to the stage, not many can perform as good as me. I’ve been on stage with the dopest artists, they got all that production and dancers behind them — I ain’t really had all that yet. I’ve been on tours where people are like “you were the best on stage, and I just met you tonight!” Making sure Pax gets on the road, he ain’t been on a tour yet. Some of them accolades: Grammys! I’m done getting plaques from placements on other n##ga’s album, that s##t weak to me. I want that s##t for my project. It just don’t feel the same. It’s cool but at the end of the day, I want that s##t for my music. If the artist don’t have me hands-on with the project, it don’t really count to me.
Paxquiao: I have the same goals. I want some Grammys too. I really want to go on this road and start touring, get a taste of this tour life. I want to get into these festivals. I want to touch different genres of music, I’m ready to have fun with the music.
AllHipHop: Sy, are you still songwriting?
Sy Ari: I mean, I write my s##t. You know what’s funny? I never physically got a plaque for coming in writing. Every song I ever got a placement for, it was my song and I gave them the song. I don’t work for these n##gas. But you can call me over and we vibe, then you say “I like that song, let me get that!” That’s how I get my placements. These other n##gas, they ghostwrite. They like to get babied like that. But me, you can buy the song off me. It’s the only way I’ll do it. I’m not going through no A&R at a writing camp, submitting 100 songs. I’m more like “suck my d##k, come holla at me.”
AllHipHop: Anything you want to let us know?
Sy Ari: Two Sides of a Story out now! This s##t is just a preview. I might drop a secret hip-hop album, and I’m dropping the last Heartbreak.
AllHipHop: Why the last one?
Sy Ari: I’ve had a long series of them s##ts. I consider B4 The Heartbreak the real first one. It’s like when they had all the Batmans, and then Batman Begins. This is my third Heartbreak, Im’a call it the last one. I want to control the crowd, I could make another after this if I want to. I want them to feel “oh this n##ga might dip after this” type s##t.