Emerging out of the intersections of being black and bi, Cin the Ciege is an eccentric 29 year old artist who valiantly embraces his unique identity and channels it into his craft. Cin is originally from New Kent, VA although he currently resides right here in the 804 -- Richmond, VA! Cin's self produced alternative sound and personable lyrics are what make him a cut above the rest. Additionally, Cin the Ciege is a signed artist and collective member of Grimalkin Records, who played a major role in the release of this project.
This week I will be reviewing Cin the Ciege's debut album titled The Gaytrix: Enter the Rabbit Hole, which dropped earlier this month on October 6th. The project itself consists of ten tracks and is approximately a 16 minute listen. Sonically, this project draws from genres such as pop-rock, electronic, and hip-hop soul. Some songs are light and meaningful, while others are hard hitting and assertive.
Drawing inspiration from personal experiences and societal issues, The Gaytrix delves deep into themes of self-discovery, empowerment, and the complexities of navigating a diverse world.
Keep reading to hear more about my breakdown and analysis of each song as well as some more words from Cin the Ciege himself!
Vy: What was the inspiration behind this project, and what message did you want to convey to listeners?
"I took the red pill. I finally saw things for what they were, not what I wanted them to be. My entire life, everything around me felt like a lie. I no longer wanted to live in that conundrum. I wanted to escape into truth. My truth. Welcome to the Gaytrix." - Cin the Ciege
Entering The Gaytrix...
Freeyah begins the listening experience with an ethereal and light feel. The pace is chilled and laid back, and I feel some of that hip-hop soul already! Cin's feathery voice floats over the song with his smooth ad-libs and optimistic lyrics. The beat is simple with the drums carrying the rhythm while Cin is carrying the melody with his own backup vocals.
This would be a great early morning listen/something to unwind to after a long busy day. I value the meaning behind this track as Cin talks about feeling free and embracing your identity unapologetically. I felt extremely relaxed and relieved after listening to this track, and I think this song is the most universal and relatable listen off the album!
Mugwort seems like the best mood setter for the concept of this project. The electronic sound makes it feel futuristic. Overall, it is a feel good song that is beat centered while Cin adds in some fun bars and ad-libs!
Ugly Ass serves as the lead single off this album and is Cin the Ciege's breakup anthem to the world. It is DnB heavy and can sonically compare to The Powerpuff Girls. I reviewed this song about a month ago and that chorus is still stuck in my head! This one is definitely an ear-worm.
Vy: Describe your album in one sentence!
Cin the Ciege: I'll do you one better. One word -- sincere.
Equity is the shortest song as it is only 35 seconds. To me, it feels sort of like an interlude. This song has many layers that are slightly off beat from each other. It creates a rich and complex sound that feels experimental and innovative. Perfectly on brand.
Finally some more of those vocals! Pressure also has an electronic feel, but it is much slower paced than the ones we've listened to so far. There's a nice bounce to it at the end with the hook. I've noticed that Cin always comes through with a catchy melody at the very end of each song.
After slowing it down, Raging Raving definitely ramps you up for some more. If the first "interlude" was mood setting, I would consider this the second interlude taking you even further down the rabbit hole. As the title suggests, this song is hard hitting and is definitely a niche track for listeners who enjoy a more aggressive listen.
"Pull up on my broomstick, casting spells, I'm such a witch."
Craving is no doubt my favorite song beat wise! The beat takes center stage and is clean-cut, mellow, and laid back. It's an easy listening experience on the ears. At this point, I'm starting to see more sides to Cin that I haven't seen before. The title track was typical with the vocals being on the forefront, but the majority of the songs on this project actually have the beat on the forefront. I admire how Cin is able to build his vocals around the beat, while the beat builds around this universe of the Gaytrix.
Meditate has to be tied with Freeyah for me, simply because of the feel and overall message. Considering the futuristic setting of this concept, I enjoyed the use of Cin's light autotune throughout the project as it helped to further set the scene. Vocals take the cake on this song and Cin is yet again talking about something relatable and meaningful for all listeners. It's an easy and light listen with raw lyrics that won't pass you by!
Vy: If the audience could only listen to one song off the album, which would it be and why?
Cin the Ciege: Meditate is my most vulnerable track. I feel like we all get so overwhelmed with worldly pressures that we need to just meditate. Reflect and grow. Levitate 🧘♂️.
Sunshine Sandbox has a simple and slightly nostalgic feel. I appreciate how the song titles are so fitting for these tracks. Cin has perfectly encompassed the feeling of coming to the truth and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in this one.
Cin! I can't believe you waited to put Benediction as the last track!
Cin shows off his arrogant rapping skills on Benediction. The beat itself is quite empty, providing a simple cadence. Cin commands this song by dropping witty bars left and right without taking a breath! This song is hands down my overall top pick and currently on repeat! Definitely a catered listen, but it almost reminds me of Tyler, the Creator's rapping style.
"Yeah that's what you did / You f*cked with the kid / The kid goin get rid."
We've finally come to the end of the listening experience, and I've honestly still not recovered from that last song. It was such a different vibe from the first track and I was pleasantly surprised to see that side of Cin. I enjoyed the seamlessness of this project as well as the storytelling that went into it. Each song was paired perfectly with its title. The order of the track list is easy to follow and provides a clean cut outline of the story that Cin wanted to portray.
Cin's versatility shocked me as he sang in high ranges, wrote purposeful lyrics, all while showcasing his high energy and confidence. It would be impossible to put this project into one genre. Cin the Ciege is continuously breaking boundaries by merging various sounds into one world. Be sure to stream The Gaytrix and stay tuned for more from Cin the Ciege!
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Written by Vy Truong, @avocavy on IG