TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5: SYK SENSE

WRITTEN BY KHISZER BUTT

Joshua Scruggs, also known as ‘Syk Sense’ is a name that is not common to most people in Hip-Hop, but he may just be one of the best producers of the last 5 years.  His discography may not be as long as his counterparts and being known as Boi-1da’s protégé should give you a idea of what he is capable of.  The Nashville born producer has quickly risen to the top of Hip-Hop current generation producers. He is a producer that may not be everywhere but when you hear a beat by Sky Sense; it’s a track that will be special.  Here are his top 5 productions – picked by me.

  1. Let Em Know – Bryson Tiller – Trapsoul

It’s not Don’t or Exchange, but for me, it’s a standout from Bryson’s Trapsoul.  Coming in at number 5 is the opening track from Bryson’s debut has that unique Sky Sense feel about it. The sample itself seems to be reversed, making hard for us to pinpoint what sample was used; that’s if a sample was used at all. The sound used in this track is consistent throughout the entire album. The drum used by Syk are spaced out; with a high hat tying it all together. The beat seems like it was tailor made for Bryson; there is enough room on the track for Bryson vocals, yet the beat seems as if it has a lot more going on than there actually is. A mark of a great producer.

  1. Location – Khalid – American Teen

The introduction of ‘Khalid’, who’s album American Teen was a breath of fresh air. The beat of this breakout song by the Texas R&B artist actually went through a couple of produces; but the main melody for the hook was created by Syk Sense and is number 4 on this list. Syk has explained that he had made the melody for the hook in his house before Khalid sang the hook to it. The next day they went to the studio to continue to build the track. This beat extremely different from all of the other Syk Sense productions that I have heard. It moved away from the sound that help him put his stamp in Hip-Hop and has shown us he is capable of so much more.

  1. I Am The Greatest – Logic – The Incredible True Story

From the moment I heard the beat in the trailer to Logic’s sophomore album I knew this song would be special. Syk samples ‘Fine For Now’ by Grizzly Bear and uses a vocal chop of the famous Muhammad Ali quote saying ‘I Am The Greatest’. Another unique beat sounding very different from anything dropping around the time this album was released. This beat gave us a new side of Logic, which we haven’t seen much of. The beat just opened up the space for Logic to flex a little on his competition; which is a rare sight. Don’t worry, this song doesn’t have Logic explaining to us for the 1000000th time that he is in fact half black AND half white.

2. Backyard – Travis Scott – Days Before Rodeo

The beat for Backyard ended up being on Travis Scott breakout project Days Before Rodeo and has a special story with Syk. The song sampled the live version of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Distant Lover’. The Marvin Gaye record was originally sampled on Kanye West’s – Spaceship from his debut and Grammy award winning album College Dropout. Syk explained that in the process of building this beat, he would chop all the parts of the sample he liked and would piece them together like a puzzle. He did not end up getting paid for the beat but stated he was pleased with the respect he gained and wouldn’t trade it for some bread.

Honourable mentions:

6 God

Rambo

Draft Day

The Heart Part 4

  1. Know Yourself – Drake – If Your Reading This Its Too Late

This would my number one pick for Syk as this was the beat that has stuck with me since I first heard it. I feel like it embodied both sides of Hip-Hop; from a perfect sample flip to creating the opening Drake unique sound from scratch. Coming off Draft Day and 6 God this would be the defining moment of Syk Sense and Drake collaborations. With the original beat being labelled as ‘Views 2’, it took production from Allen Ritter, Vinyls and Boi-1da to produce the first part of the track and Syk original part to become the second. Looking back at this track, the first part of the track is as essential as the second; it acts as a build up for the second half which is all Syk. When we look back at Drake’s discography this song is sure to be a top 10 moment in his career. Syk explained that he was hesitant at first to send off the track Drake and almost didn’t. To think he was a moment away from robbing us from one of the greatest moments of modern day Hip-Hop. Be sure to check out the list of songs on Apple Music or if you’re on a budget,  YouTube should be fine.

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