Today – Get To Know Niyat. Tomorrow – Get To Know K-OTIX. (Trust me, you don’t wanna miss tomorrow’s episode.)
The story of my history with the Niyat takes us way back; about as far back as I can take it. It was our first public show as a group. We weren’t even going by “K-OTIX” yet – we were still “Guess Who”. (That’s a story for another time.) The show took place in a spot that epitomizes “hole in the wall”; it had to have been an abandoned home that had floodlights brought in to light it. There were no working utilities, but it was filled with people. Looking back on it, the “Soul Shack” was probably in violation of every building and health code that existed. But it was that show that introduced us to most of the people that we’d be working with throughout our careers, including two members of The Niyat – Snap and D-ology.
Back then they were part of a larger collective called the “Psycho Ward”, which rivaled Wu Tang in its size, scope, and talent. They basically had a lock on the scene at the time. Snap was a member of a subgroup called “Poetic Souls”; D-ology was a part of “Darkside”; Synato Watts started out with “Alphabet Soup”. (I’m pretty sure that I remember all of this correctly. If I need any correcting, please let me know.)
After that show, we chopped it up with everybody there; it was our first real introduction to the scene. As we were heading out the back we bumped into D-ology, who was just kind of freestyling to himself in the middle of the street. His freestyles sounded better than anything that we’d ever written. We stood there for about 3 hours, late into the night, watching him freestyle flawlessly about any and everything that came to mind. Wow.
A few months later, we were in the studio recording our first collaboration with them, on a track called “Up Next To Flex”, also featuring a young DJ Cozmos on the mic, as well as the cuts. If I can find a presentable version of this track I’ll share it someday, at great risk of public humiliation. Don’t get me wrong – the song goes hard, but it’s very early 90s.( I think I used the word “representing” at least 3 times. Yikes.)
As the Psycho Ward started going through its transitional period in the late 90s, the members began to splinter off and form other groups. One of the crews born from this was The Niyat. Their story is the same one that can probably be repeated in every city of this country: artists with limitless talent that eclipses who most people consider the greatest. Yes, we grew up listening to Rakim, KRS, Scarface, Nas, etc – but the lyrics that these guys were spitting at home rivaled anything that was being broadcast on the airwaves. They actually became the standards by which we would gauge our skills.
And we tell them this. It’s no secret. When I’m in a room with them I feel wack by comparison. I can listen to verses that they recorded ten years later and finally catch what they were talking about a decade before. It’s not fair.
They characterize themselves in the video, but these are my observations as an outsider:
Synato is the emotional center of the group. He’s the one that more or less dictates the direction of each sound and provides the emotional backdrop. Snap is a rapper’s rapper. FWMJ describes him best when he says that Snap makes the English language sound like a fun language to learn. His wordplay is sickeningly intricate. D-ology is the most ominous and enigmatic lyricist that I’ve ever worked with. He has a presence that humbles most people. The room shifts when he enters, and people cling onto his every word.
I’m not going to say too much more about them now, because they’re prepping a body of work right now that will support everything I’m saying about them – and more. Ladies and gentlemen – my favorite MCs of all time…
“Aintcha?” featuring D-ology, Snap, & K-Rino
“The Science Pt. 1” featuring D Rose, Big Mon, Synato Watts, and Snap)