Syd delivers and she’s more confident than she’s ever been.
The Internet, whose music has evolved across several different hip hop platforms, from the group’s very first project, Purple Naked Ladies in 2011, to their impeccable comeback on 2015’s Ego Death, has toyed with individual projects since October of last year. “More than anything you’ll see what we all add to ‘The Internet’ as individuals,” Syd said when she stopped by Pharrell’s OTHERtone radio back in December. What we hoped for however, is that when lead vocalist, Syd announced she was working on a solo project, that it would undeniably be something great. Our high hopes skyrocketed when she dropped the very first single, “All About Me” accompanied with visuals. Syd’s feathery vocals parade over a hard bass line and dreamy synths that make it almost impossible to hate. The very braggadocios cut finds Syd singing about everything from keeping her squad close to her success as an artist. It’s more personal yet a little dark, dark enough for Syd to revel in the reality that she’s one of the stand-out players among current members Matt Martains and producer of the track Steve Lacy.
The opening track, “Shake Em Off” serves as the perfect introduction to Fin. Produced by Hit-Boy, it’s almost unrecognizable credit really demonstrates that the ball was in Syd’s court throughout this entire album. “Young star in the making/swear they sleeping on me,” she sings. Just in case you were wondering, Syd’s ‘I does this sh** and I do it effortlessly,’ attitude sets the tone for Fin and crosses unimaginable barriers as she plays with her sound, delving into futuristic 90s R&B, with hip hop twang and some pop influences. Syd is definitely in a lane of her own to create a new genre.
Playing off an Aaliyah and Timbaland styled production, “Know” is playful, sensual, and flirty yet maintains that innocence. “Keep it secret baby they don’t have to know/no more pictures baby/put away your phone/let em’ wonder what we when we’re alone/’cause I know how you like it babe/let’s do this in private babe.” We can only imagine that if Aaliyah were still alive she’d make a song very similar to this one. Nailed it.
After the short “No Complaints” interlude the bouncy “Nothin to Somethin” shows Syd’s confidence really skyrocket as the album continues to take off. “Introduce you to the new me/my life’s a movie/all I need is a Karrueche/these women choosing/hop your ass in this Jacuzzi and bring it to me/you know I’m the truth but you wanna see the proof/well you know what to do.”
Syd serenades right into “Smile More,” a slow lullaby that talks about taking a relationship to the next level. She sings, ‘Turn these lights low/turn these lights off/turn these lights low/se-cond thought leave em’ on/” a very repeatable track.
“Drown in it” a second interlude, just reminds us why we love Syd so much. She isn’t shy when it comes down to her sexuality and singing about those very intimate moments. But she does it with so much swag it’s almost effortless. Her breathy vocals ask, “Are you ready baby? Tonight I’m gonna swim in it/dive in it/drown in it/hide in it/babe, live in it/ die in it…” We can pretty much see where this playful take on exploring a women is going.
Tracks like “Got Her Own” and “Dollar Bills” featuring group member, producer and guitarist Steve Lacy are probably the most cliché tracks, the only cliché tracks to be honest, fair enough. The trap beat to “Got Her Own” is an ode to the independent woman while “Dollar Bills” is pretty self-explanatory. The MeLo-X produced “Body” and the second single off of Fin is one of the last “fun” songs before Syd concludes Fin on a more vulnerable note with “Over” tapping 6LACK for the feature. On “Over” Syd realizes the relationship has come to an end and is no longer holding onto something that is no longer there. She blames her insecurities for staying so long in a relationship where she wasn’t appreciated. “Insecurities” is the perfect ode to Fin. Beyoncé ‘s “Don’t Hurt Yourself” rings loud toward the breakdown while she mimic’s Solange’s softer approach throughout. The perfect inspiration for the grand finale.
An exemplary album to say the least. Syd invites us on a cohesive journey of love, romance, perseverance and independence. As an artist who battled anxiety and depression for years, Syd blossoms through this album with confidence, style and grace. She’s unapologetic but more important her lyrics and vocals prove she is indeed that star lead vocalist. Subtly downplaying her greatness she shared her hopes for the group last year in an interview with The FADER, “This is my descent into the depth I want the band to get to…For me, this is like an in-between thing—maybe get a song on the radio, maybe make some money, have some new sh** to perform.” It’s slightly upsetting but also admirable at how humble she is. With Fin I don’t think Syd set out to prove anything but she did. Crossing a multitude of musical platforms, separating herself from her squad and producing a solid body of work from start to finish. She called it an “in-between thing,” we’ll take another one of whatever she plans to call the next one.
While The Internet’s Ego Death will always be in rotation, I can break away from other love songs and can commit to having Fin on repeat for the next few weeks, months…
And shame on you if you haven’t heard Fin in it’s entirety, indulge below.