“If it were up to me, I would release a song every week. – SamIsDead
Multi-hyphen raised by Yonkers, SamIsDead, has traditionally musically balanced cultural parameters through identity. The first-generation Dominican American grew up listening to his parents’ Caribbean records. Over time, the boom-bap raps of his neighborhood helped to influence the artist-composer differently and to better build his Spanglish catalog.
“I represent a nuance of the culture. I grew up in Yonkers, but my family often sent me to the Dominican Republic. I kept one foot close to my island family and the other foot in New York. I include both aspects of my upbringing in my music,” confirmed the newcomer.
With the hip-hop co-architect of Latinx, SamIsDead’s proximity to the birthplace of rap, the bronx, fueled his love for a musical byproduct of the art form: reggaeton. Its one-minute debut track, “97′ Freestyle”, is recorded mostly in English, with trap elements veering into its follow-up, “Run It Up”. Yet how the MC’s initial cyberbuzz came to be was unlikely.
“My cousin, Just Chief, founded UPTOP! UP! ENT! – which I independently save as. He would still be in his studio. At the beginning, I came in support. One day Chief was rapping – he asked me to come into the cabin. I tried a rhyme and realized I liked the recording. So, I continued,” he said.
Subsequent rap offerings, “Wasted” and “Unlucky Samurai,” helped SamIsDead discover his cadence before choosing to pivot to trap in spanish. His 2018 all-Spanish premiere, “Die Yung,” elevated his wordplay with self-tuning riffs and replay value. SamIsDead has spent the next few months preparing for its summer rebrand in Spanish. “Listeners would be surprised. “Lento” wasn’t my first choice for a single. It is ironical. The track that I assumed would stream the least in 2019 is currently the best,” the bard explained.
The slow tune, “Lento”, launched what is now recognized as SamIsDead’s true debut in Caribbean markets. The bop’s push-back-on-it verses racked up over fifty-six thousand streams on Spotify before hitting US radio stations. “Through my Spanglish experiences, I try to mix and match what I feel my fans want to hear. The sounds of dembow, salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton filled my house. Now I make vibrant music – I’m not someone who aims to be a top lyricist. I want people to have fun and enjoy my music,” the artist said.
“Dile,” the supporting earworm, sticks to more traditional riddims, adding lively poolside artwork. Fans have become familiar with the budding star’s Kurt Cobain-inspired style. The resulting viral wave laid the foundational bricks necessary for SamIsDead to make his first appearance in a music video”Bendecido.” NYC’s optics cemented around the fanship produced by its playground with “UPTOP! UP!” the calls.
“I don’t stick to one genre, and that helps my music become more complete. You can’t deny good music. So I listen to everything. My favorite rapper growing up was DMX, but now I play a lot of Bad Bunny,” SamIsDead said. More than music, his finger is on the pulse of what’s next. The artist embraces his peers. While each country has its sonically ancestral segments, the nations of the Caribbean are more intertwined than divided.
The love SamIsDead had for the sound originating from a nearby tropical territory only inspired the renewed development of his own. In 2020, the singer built respect for his hometown and leaned into some Spanglish bops, “Freak” and “Brothers.” This exploratory chapter spawned some invigorating new visuals. Precursor “OLVIDARTE“depicts a love story that audiences wish they could erase. The final alien-led image,”OCCUPANT», shimmered a rougher poetics on the edges. The result? THE MUSAthe emerging 8-track EP — roar through the streets.
SamIsDead’s audience emboldens him. Ahead of last year’s intro release, one enthusiast said he heard the number “Bendecido” after recovering from a battle with cancer. “The listener told me that he had translated the title of the song, and he learned that it meant blessed. He went on to say that he knew ‘Bendecido’ was for him because he felt the emotions,” the penner claimed. Beyond language barriers, SamIsDead provides proof that authenticity and music are universally These aforementioned languages are supported with hundreds of thousands of YouTube views.
Spectators know that something special is brewing. “If it were up to me, I would release a song every week. Before COVID-19, my team was starting to have shows. Some pandemic limitations are lifted with vaccines. I will be connecting more with the fans on stage starting this month,” the rising voice confirmed. Uptown’s recent collab “Falling Off” with UPTOP! CEO and label mate – Just Chief – presents SamIsDead’s most stunning illustration of all he stands for.
Alongside UPTOP! UP! ENT!, the gritty troubadour has given taste to all genres. And it only gets better. From conceiving a bodega crates-meets-floral arrangements mixtape – to composing it bilingually – SamIsDead authored every aspect of his creative endeavors from start to finish.
“My goal is to get to a place where I can care for the people and the community that helped me come up. Recently, I was in the studio, and an artist asked me to help him write his music. There’s so much work to do. I just want to give back, and rock shows. I can’t wait to perform songs like ‘Tiempo’ for my followers,” he revealed. As far as tags go, all eyes are on SamIsDead’s next segment, but until then, the verse-maker’s story is still being written.