Slicky Williams Gives Acapella Freestyle and a Message to Lost Youth / by Alex Young

 Slicky Williams photograph by Alex Young

Slicky Williams photograph by Alex Young

Slicky Williams stands on pride rock speaking to InTheRough. This thing is huge, the rock sits in Pittsburgh's Highland Park. Walk down a path next to the picnic pavilions and hope to find it under a canopy of trees. Slick tucks away from his native Homewood neighborhood to smoke blunts back here. "It's a nice way to start the day," he says.

The blunt passes back and forth, and the 22-year-old R&B talent named Sh'mi White describes his music. "My music is just me. It's how I'm feeling. It's soulful. The only way I can describe it is like Bryson's shit, Trap Soul."

Which means sensitive and raw qualities of 'trap soul' present in Slicky's newest song, "Fake Moves" produced by WavinLane.

Further, balance is the key element to Slicky's music. Past tracks like "My Wrist" smash with stories of riding around in a Mitsubishi Lancer with rap friend Pk Delay. Though the tales of mobbin' around the city are fun, Slick shows compassion too. He touches on a romance with his songs "Fiend For You" or "Me You Us." Sincerely, Slicky tries "to talk about how I survive the situations that could damn near break people," he says.

Hardships in the city leave people stuck choosing between "the good and bad shit," Slick says. Right now he's pondering buying a gun 'cause "too many niggas out here dying I can't be another one," he raps acapella for ITR.

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I paint the picture for the troubled kids, the kids in the mix between good and bad who everyday have to figure out which way to go.

Purposefully, he speaks for lost youth, and Slicky also champions the 'Burgh's hip-hop community. "The scene in Pittsburgh is coming around. Artists need to support each other," he says.

In 2015, Slicky's mate in The Company Only rap collective, Joel Kellem (Pet Zebra), won The King of The 'Burgh rap competition. That title gave notoriety to everyone in The Company Only like Deem, Fat Corey, Pk Delay, and Seas. "Things started poppin' off" after the collective got their first headline called the "Hotbox" show in Downtown Slicky remembers.

Since then the trap-soul artist finds his sound. Great tracks like "Ain't Nothing" will appear on the Slicky Williams SoundCloud account and disappear months later if he's not satisfied. The substance is important to his messages. "I live life in between the music. This is a lifestyle," he says.

Altogether, Slicky wants his fans to know that regardless of the circumstance, "you're not alone."