ITSOKTOCRY changes the narrative, challenges expectations and defies the label of Emo rap

ITSOKTOCRY changes the narrative, challenges expectations and defies the label of Emo rap

- By Ramon Gonzales

For Denver-based genre bender ITSOKTOCRY, the world ended in 2012, but that was just the beginning.

The year 2012 was especially pivotal for Denver-based artist, ITSOKTOCRY. Prior to that time, Cry, described himself as a “brick in the wall,” traversing the rigors of high school while battling social anxiety and struggling for some sense of acceptance. He grew up in a Catholic/Christian household, he was a youth fellowship leader at school, he admittedly was a “good kid” that never really felt like he belonged.

That pursuit of acceptance inevitably led to some experimentation with drugs. The fallout from his decision to dabble would become a story that is difficult to wrap your head around. “My parents signed over guardianship to a rehabilitation center and sent me to the middle of the Utah desert with a bottle of water and wooden backpack.”

What sounds like hyperbole, isn't. Cry went from good kid navigating the growing pains of high school with very real mental health and self-confidence issues, to trekking the Utah wilderness with kids that did actual, criminal things. “I was around kids that had done some bad stuff. Stabbing people, shooting heroin. Being in that environment made me realize that I wasn’t a bad kid. It made me resilient and from there, I learned how to finesse the system.”

After a 3 month stint in the wilderness-based rehab, Cry toed the line just long enough to convince the powers that be that he was ready to be back in the world a changed young man. And that he was, just not in the way that people thought. “I had grown up in this Christian bubble and after that experience, I developed a whole new perspective. I came back different and started really becoming me.” Though Cry found a new self-awareness, he would soon realize that the few people in his life prior, were no longer sticking around.

Skip forward to 2020 and the most recent visual for ITSOKTOCRY’s “I Wish The World Ended in 2012”.

Revisiting such a personally transformative time, Cry taps into creative fodder in the juxtapose of finally achieving a level of self-awareness, only to sacrifice any semblance of camaraderie he had as a result. Cry explains the track is about the “duality of what people see me as versus what actually is,” and though he is referencing the single, the notion of duality is something that has permeated throughout his evolution as ITSOKTOCRY.

The genesis of Cry as an artist was spurned by a sense of necessity rather than opportunism. In sharing his personal struggles with Bipolar Disorder and crippling social anxiety, Cry said that he turned to music as a tangible therapeutic. “I had actually made 50 or 60 songs before I ever uploaded anything. I decided to not say anything and upload one track. The people that heard it started telling me I needed to keep pursuing it.”

Though the content of his music has been unfiltered from the start (in fact, Cry shared that to this day he doesn’t write anything down - everything is spur of the moment for authenticity), the creative began to see the adverse effects of his sometimes dark emotional release. “I made a song about wrist cutting because it was something I had struggled with. But then I started getting Snapchats of kids cutting themselves to the song. I decided then and there this had to stop. I couldn’t contribute to that and selfishly, I couldn’t see it anymore.”

In terms of style, range, and versatility, duality doesn’t scratch the surface. Between the span of 2018 to the present day, ITSOKTOCRY has produced 3 albums on Cleopatra Records - a label that on paper might not line up but given Cry’s unpredictability, totally makes sense.

Poshboy!, Destroy All The Monsters!, and the most recent Poshboy 2 cover a broad stylistic spectrum from from indie, metal, and hip-hop with a fluidity that makes usually polarizing opposites translate as cohesive. That kind of range is something that continues to fuel the Denver-based artist. “A lot of artists make one good hit then they beat that same dead horse by making the same song over and over. I can’t do that,” he confides. “My goal is to shatter the artist norm. My goal is to be the only artist in the Billboard Top 100 in every genre category.”

Fiercely independent, Cry is especially hands on with this craft. He’s conceptualizes and executes his own music videos. He is intimately involved with the music throughout the production process and maintains a work ethic that is consistent with the kinds of goals he has in mind, sharing that five to six songs a day isn’t out of the ordinary. “It’s like baseball. I’m not going to hit a home run every time but if I stay in the batting cages everyday, that gives me a better chance at hitting that home run.”

The dynamic of duality with ITSOKTOCRY is part of what makes his impact on the scene so intriguing. The face tattoos and the eccentric drip quickly position him as Soundcloud, Emo, goth rap - but to categorize him, limits him, and ultimately suggests someone isn’t paying attention.

His brand is mixed bag, pulling from the best of various genres and offers a unique glimpse into the mind of an artist still just balancing being a good kid while working through his personal demons on the track. As ITSOKTOCRY, Cry finds the balance in being able to express each facet of his enigmatic personality. From bravado and brash, to introspective and emotive, Cry's continued evolution as ITSOKTOCRY is definitive of the duality that his been his journey thus far. Punctuating that, Cry explains,"I don't even tell people I am an artist, I tell them I am a visionary."

Something definitely ended in 2012, but ITSOKTOCRY came out unscathed.

Watch the latest visual for the track, "I Wish the World Ended in 2012" from ITSOKTOCRY below

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