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SICA on Keeping it Cool, Steady, and Street Smart

James Francisco

“The streets is the rawest form of hip-hop,” a testament hailed by Sica to local hip-hop’s abundance of stories and talents. The Quezon City rapper is only in his 20s but has been emerging as a solid staple in the local scene.

It was around 2016-2017 when Sica first listened to hip-hop through the EJAC and Buddha Beads’ project Balanse. The DNA of Filipino hip-hop rooted in street smarts and life tribulations resonated to him like some epiphany. From that moment on, Sica knew that it was the game he’s meant for.

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SICA by Gilbs Werbenjagermanjensen

For a young, fervent rapper like Sica, it’s easy to get lost in the noise and clamor of the underground scene. While his profound lyricism serves as his edge among the talents brewing here and there, he still longed for the solitude of good company.

“Finding where I truly belong is the hardest thing I had to do,” he fesses. “Your environment plays a big factor in what you'll become someday.”

As he navigated the scene, he gravitated towards artists that are breaking the mold of today’s creative spaces. He signed up as a member of Kartell’em, a 10-member collective of skaters, rappers, and artists that are trailblazing the future of local rap.

Coming in hot into the scene, the crew has since marked their names in local hip-hop. Some notable members include Waiian and Ruiijikun.

But with Sica’s rise, his cool started to take a hit. “I felt like I was losing grip of who I really am,” he shares about his tipping point. Sica’s artistic crisis had him sidetracked for a while until he met Gat Putch of GreenHouse Records in 2021.

That meeting reignited him to find his sound “[Putch] was the one who made me feel that I still have it in me,” he claims.

Under GreenHouse Records, Sica has successfully released solo tracks such as “Dark Out” and “PAMBIHIRA”. He’s hit a massive 3.4M YouTube views on his music video for “Choosy”. And in Spotify, he has a steady stream of over 600,000 monthly listeners. As he keeps it on the fast lane, his music remains fresh with melodic rap sensibilities and lyricism evolved through time and experiences.

This is most evident in his recently-released track “DND”, which grounded him back to his cool, steady demeanor.. But while he remains to be the unapologetic rapper he is, he humbles himself with his downfall to which he quotes, “you learn a lot by losing everything you ever wanted.”

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SICA by Gilbs Werbenjagermanjensen

At the top of his game, Sica is on a roll as a cool, steady, streetsmart artist. Finding refuge in speaking his truths with the right crew, Sica gets real with Complex PH on being in the scene for almost a decade, and what it takes to be in the long run.

Amidst the turmoil of varying personalities and artistic differences in the scene, what is your biggest takeaway in finding the right friends and crew?

Good people will only converse with you about your [or their] wants. But the right people will tell you the things that you need to do in order to become who you truly are.

Being in the game for almost a decade while still in your 20s, what is necessary when building your street credibility?

There is no such thing [as street credibility]. Moral principles are far more important than just being known in the street. That is what separates the big boys from the kids– ethics.

In the MV for Choosy, we saw a glimpse of your career highlights. You have always been surrounded by your crew and the energy of a crowd. Tell us what’s it like to be IN the scene?

It’s pretty dope. I've seen people come and go. Artists rose to their highest heights. And it's exciting what the future holds for me. Longevity plays a big part in any career because that defines a big entirety of your career. Longevity equates growth. And it’s one of the things you need in order to be successful.

Your recent track DND talks big on your doubters. How do you keep your cool against all odds?

I've been [in the game] long enough to tell all of you that it's not for everybody. Anybody can be good, but not everybody can be great. Greatness requires breaking boundaries, and having discipline and moral principles. DND is a [personal] reminder that I have come a long way, not just as an artist, but also as a human being. 

Having experienced the chaos of becoming an artist, what keeps you motivated?

Being in this position is enough motivation to keep pushing and growing everyday.

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