Not so long ago, Lloyd Harold looked in the mirror and decided he had to take KidSyc, his alter ego, down a peg.
Savannah’s most prolific rapper had started to believe his own hype, started thinking that because he was what he calls “downtown famous,” he was the most talented guy on the planet.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Harold’s friends and family had pulled him aside and said Lloyd, your ego is getting out of control. After thinking deeply about it, he gazed at his own reflection and sighed. “I don’t want to be the Kanye,” he told himself.
Then he wrote “Stares & Screams,” a starkly personal, downbeat hip hop song about all the praise he’d been receiving, and how it had almost turned him into someone he didn’t recognize.
As a lad, this is attention that I craved but never had/I was Aladdin with three wishes and a vision of a Jasmine who declined my carpet rides/And made me want exactly what I couldn’t have ...
“Nobody really talks about the fact that, yeah, you get the big head a little bit,” Harold says.
“When people that you don’t even know are telling you ‘Man, you are great!’ After it happens a few times it’s like ‘Well, hey ... maybe I am.’”
This song will be part of KidSyc’s Friday night set at the Art March Independence Day Festival in the Starland district.
Harold, who’s been an art teacher, counselor and mentor, is a sensitive man who takes things seriously. So when the shows he did with the band Brandywine started routinely filling up—with people transfixed by his rapid-fire wordplay and charismatic stage persona—a not-so-nice change in his personality emerged.
“If your spirit’s a little vexed, and you’re not necessarily ready to handle that attention, some issues come up,” he says. “It’s almost like a journal entry—I can see that this is changing me, for the better, but I’ve noticed that I’m putting on theatrics a little bit.”
When someone would call him out on his inflated ego, he was ready. “I would say ‘I’m just enjoying the fruits of my labor; if that makes you uncomfortable, fine,’” Harold explains. “That was my excuse.”
It affected his relationship with the four musicians in Brandywine. The quintet stopped performing a few months ago. “I needed to check myself a little bit,” Harold says.
“I knew that some of my actions at the time were a little bit toxic. I did know that I wanted to protect the sanctity of the band. And everybody else was going through life stuff as well.
“We’re not calling it quits. We were like ‘Let’s go and get life together, and then come back with renewed energy.’”
In fact, there’s an all-new, almost-completed KidSyc@Brandywine album in the can, which the band will tout at its July 18 show at Congress Street Social Club. “Stares & Screams,” meanwhile, will be included on the upcoming solo release Really Cool. Watch the video at connectsavannah.com.