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Daily DripMusic

Cykko’s Debut Mixtape Makes for Cathartic Listening During Covid

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On May 27, emo rapper Cykko dropped his debut mixtape titled Cykkosis. Blending the artist’s signature melodic emo rap and breezy pop, the five-song EP expresses mixed emotions that have gripped the rapper since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Released by Drink Entertainment, Cykkosis features three new singles, ‘No Sunshine,’ ‘Woah,’ and ‘Let’s Be Honest,’ in addition to two previously released singles, ‘Fall Down’ and ‘Morning_Blue.’

Tumultuous events in the artist’s life helped shape Cykkosis. For example, Cykko channeled his grief over his grandmother’s passing into the lead track ‘No Sunshine.’

“It was the first time I faced the death of a relative. I felt a deep sense of powerlessness,” said the rapper. Ravaged by grief, the artist locked himself in his room for days, avoiding the rest of the world.

“I didn’t want to face reality for fear that a ray of sunshine would peep in, revealing my fragility.”

Since starting his rap career in 2019, Cykko has released some 20 songs. Like many young Chinese rappers, the artist uses bilingual lyrics and alternates between Mandarin and English in his wordplay — a testament to U.S. hip hop’s influence on Chinese rappers.

Born in the U.S. in the mid-2010s as a fusion subgenre of hip hop and emo, emo rap is synonymous with melancholy lyrics, dark beats, and heavy bass. It is regularly used to address drug abuse, depression, and suicide.

In recent years, this music genre has also gained popularity among Chinese audiences and shaped artists such as Cykko, Bloodz Boi, and Psyclo.

All images courtesy of Drink Entertainment

Inès Forman
    Inès Forman is a trilingual French Caribbean/Israeli who lived and taught in Beijing. She wrote and edited pieces for Black Livity China - a platform documenting Africa-China relations and the Black experience in China. She holds a Dual Master's in International Politics from Sciences Po Paris and Peking University (BeiDa). She is currently working on a novel set in Beijing and Guangzhou. She's also part of a rock/soul band (@thechouxfleur on IG).

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