Adam Vida, “Sifu”

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Bay-Area Rapper Adam Vida

In a figurative sea of MCs vying for the attention of consumers with ever-decreasing attention spans, re-branding in the form of a name change is a brazen move. That’s just what Bay Area MC Adam Vida—formerly known as A-1—is doing, and he’s going full reboot. When he dropped his “Tomorrow Land” track in early March, he called it his “first song” on Twitter—though he’s been rhyming as early as 2011.

Vida noted that the song (and name change) resulted from his self-perceived evolution “into something more worldly, more traveled.”

That evolution is exhibited on “Sifu”, the second track Vida has released under his new moniker. Over a loop of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man”, Vida pontificates on the powers he’d hold if he was a sensei. Displaying a lively flow over the boom bap drums, Vida offers to show a subject “ancient ways from Mozambique to Mogadishu,” and “the knowledge to decipher all the objects of oppression.” Taking advantage of the cheery beat, Vida manages to showcase his personal growth without giving off pretentious airs.

Vida says he wrote the song “for fun,” but still desired to “show people… that I have roots in lyrical hip hop styles, and that I can show that off when I put my mind to it.” Vida is currently touring and working on his first EP, to be released this spring.

You can listen to “Sifu” below.