The remarkable emcee Sintax the Terrific formed The Pride
with Manchild and Recon which later evolved into the famed Deepspace5. He
has been celebrated for his humorous thought provoking rhyme style, and for
always leaving the listener with something to ponder as they walk away. His
debut LP Simple Moves was recently re-released and he also has an upcoming
album entitled Curb Appeal (TBD) on Illect Recordings. Sintax the Terrific is
just what his name says – Terrific and the only complaint against him is how
he blatantly outshines his fellow emcees.
What influenced you to become an emcee?
Let's see, in order - JC Penny sweatsuits, knock-off Japanese hoodies,
checkered vans, Eddie Rabbit, the NYC breakers, Michael Jackson, Slick Rick,
and then Rakim. The dancers just always did it for me. I was inspired by
the amazing things the Lord has done in my life. His many blessings and
insatiable mercy. Rap has always been ministry first for me. Nothing makes
me feel more complete. Emceeing demands my whole person.
How did you hook up with Deepspace5?
I didn't hook up with ds5, bro, I put those fools on. manCHILD always gets
the glory for making it happen, but I was living in the same low-rent
apartment that cracker was when it all went down. He acts like his armpits
don't stink. High-Tech was working the pawn-shop sequencer and the Dr.
Sample for us and the Pride had been building with Sev and the Labklik boys
for a minute. It was a natural progression to call them crew. And of
course it made perfect sense to call the 6 of us Deepspace 5 -- manCHILD had
thrice flunked remedial math. Dust the illusive, Playdiggy, Frederick B,
Rabbi, Siv, and Manuel followed. manCHILD was trying to get Killarmy to
roll with us but that would have put us at like 17 or 18. Plus we've had
our ear to the track for a raw, dance-hall singer to give us that
Jamaica-Queens street cred we desperately lack. Everybody has their place
and our union is nothing if not providential. I praise God that I get to
share music and ministry with like-hearted men.
Your newest LP is entitled Curb Appeal, what will listeners hear on this
Listeners will hear snares, kick drums, bass lines, a puerto-rican from the
lower east side, singing by moi, bodily excretions, sivion the facebreaker, continued
infatuation with Chucktown, the inaudible wail of a Ewe, a deluge of
rhyming words, a cheap reference to Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, my fist plunging
into Listener's soft underbelly, the sound of cash money washing over my
face from royalty revenues, R Kelly car-horn honks, and timeless belching.
They may also hear my most recent thoughts on life, rap, Bell Biv Devoe, and
mercy. I haven't changed the game plan. I'm one dimensional. There will
be end rhymes and some internal rhyme. No styles. Ultimately I hope it
will help the listener think on her Creator a little more than she did
in the second before.
What are the differences between your LPs Simple
Moves and Curb Appeal?
Primarily sonic differences. I have upgraded my recording situation and
have employed Elected Official to mix and master the record (with some
assistance by Fred B). Unlike Simple Moves, this next record shouldn't make
your ears bleed. It's still a little early to have a feel for the ultimate
character of the record.
I think it will feature more complete songs. Maybe not. Your first record
always sets an expectation (for better or for worse) and deviation from that
expectation is always a crap shoot. I don't set out to do a record the
"same" or "different." I stick to a style of song and lyricism that
emphasizes my strengths as an artist and focus on making music that
On Simple Moves you had a song called Got Beef; did you ever
get any diss responses?
Illtrip penned a scathing retort that called into question the legitimacy of
my license to practice law. Something about "needing to raise the 'Bar'."
That Tim Olsen, boy; one clever son of gun. He awoke with a horse head in
his bed the following morning. But you didn't hear it from me. I have it
on good information from Fong -- who has been in and out of trouble with the
law for years due to his continued and scurrilous involvement with organized
crime -- that one of the TRz did it. He said something about "300 pounds
plus of ground rush" but then his satellite phone went out.
Where do you get your inspirations for your songs?
Places, geography, the ocean/mountains. Good authors and good emcees. I
also spend a considerable amount of time thinking and praying about topics
that need consideration. I try to allow whatever spiritual issues are
important in my life at the time to bleed into my music.
How did you sign with Illect Recording?
Well, they originally courted Mars Ill, PC, Sev, Sivion, Manny, High Tech,
Labklik, Fong, and Rico Suave, but that they all said no. Apparently, illect
also propositioned the Young Black Teenagers to do a reunion record but YBT
also declined. After repeated rejections by King's Crew, MC RG,
Transformation Crusade, and Brian Austin Greene, my pager started blowing
up. Let's just put it this way --illect put the full-court press on Mr.
Terrific. Taco Bell dinners, taxi cab rides home, Harris Teeter brand Dr.
Thunder, that little chocolate on your pillow. Plastic, Jon, and Jae left
everything on the court. It was kind of embarrassing. Jon would leave
these romantic notes on my windshield. Jae got us matching "his and her"
t-shirts. Plastic was in his antebellum poetry phase. It was weird. At
the same time, I was considering like 12 other fairly lucrative deals with
some real hot "indie" labels, like Beats-from-My-Baby-Mama's-Basement
Records and "Dude I got a Dell"-So-Let's-Record-Raps Musicbarn. But Plastic
and I had been cool for a minute and I felt like I could do them a favor by
letting them handle my record. But don't tell them. In their minds, they
still believe they gave me a deal "he couldn't refuse." They think they're
the Poston brothers of the rap game.
Plastic has been supportive of my music for a long time. Our relationship
deepened during ds5's time with Uprok. He initially pressed "Simple Moves"
on the now defunct Sphereofhiphop Records. From there, it was an easy
transition to Illect. There is a mutual understanding between the label and
myself. Everyone's expectations and aspirations are on the same page. For
an artist in my position, who has a steady 9 to 5 (or 7:30 am to 8:00 pm),
Illect is the perfect home. They permit the flexibility to work your record
as much or as little as your lifestyle allows. I believe in these guys as
business persons and men of God. I'm thankful to be down with them.
They've given me an opportunity to share my music without substantial
sacrifice to my family or the other responsibilities the Lord presently has
placed in my life. But would it be nice if we all made a cool mill?? No
You are also a lawyer, which is interesting to know, what
type of lawyer are you?
A freaking brilliant one. I do commercial litigation (defend companies).
Often, work is too demanding on my family life and music. I enjoy the
practice of law though. But don't think I wouldn't walk in a second if I
could support my family in this here rap game. Buy the record in
What can we expect in the future from
Sintax.the.Terrific and Deepspace5?
Many more rap songs. Raps and raps and more raps. Continued entertainment
and edification all rolled up and smeared like chunky peanut butter
over pumpernickel. My record is coming; the Rabbi solo; the
Mars Ill joint;
some more Stu Dent; Fred B and Sivion's mystery records; illtrip, Listener,
and Labklik maxell tapes; and a Playdough Spring Break in Daytona Beach solo
record for the MTV heads. I also heard that Fred is doing a Trim Spa
commercial. manCHILD will continue puppeteering his master ds5 plan from
the heights of his newly furnished British-Columbia penthouse (courtesy of
one Toby Mac). Sev has lined up approximately 647 guest spots for '05, with
an emphasis on lesser-known international artists from Latvia and Peru.
Any last words?
I am thankful beyond any more words for all the people that support ds5
music. You have opened your hearts and homes to us wherever we go. You
express an appreciation for us that are more than we deserve. Thank you for
letting us do what we love for the One we love the most.
Oh and I want to give a shot to Gothsport. Check for the gear. Little
different but quality artistry. My man nevermore has been hooking heads up
for a minute and deserves some shine. One.
For more information on Sintax the Terrific check out