Ryan Hyde doesn't come off as nervous, worried or scared. In contrast to his chosen stage name, Anxious, the MC actually seems pretty confident. So much so, in fact, that he says he will battle anybody, anytime -- and win. So far, he has the record to prove it. He's won every battle he has entered and made it past the local judges in the tryouts for NBC's America's Got Talent (he's still waiting to hear if he gets an audience with the bigwigs).
What started off as a love for drawing a crowd while playing sports turned into a solo show pulling rabbits out of hats. When he was twelve, Hyde took up magic, turning up at parties and events and performing for whoever was willing to watch him.
Hyde moved on to music in high school, playing in a punk band. When that band broke up, he turned his attention toward hip-hop. A natural performer, he began drawing small crowds outside of East High School with his creative rhymes and off-the-top punchlines, and he's been perfecting his craft ever since.
When he's not working as a paralegal, he's spitting rhymes and trying to make a name for himself in the scene. We spoke with the MC recently in an effort to find out a little more about this promising up-and-comer known as Anxious.
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Westword: So why the name Anxious, anyway?
Anxious (Ryan Hyde): It's just the way I am. Anxious is like the feeling you get before the best things in life. I am anxious and excited to do music. Music creates a feeling, and I want to create the same feeling.
How would you describe your style?
My style is different from everybody else's. I rap about Michael Jordan and green chile burritos, but by the time I'm done, everybody's going to want to listen to it. I can speed it up, sing a little with autotune, and it's diverse. When people think of a rapper, they don't think of me.
Who are your influences?
Rise Against and the Flobots, because they have shown me that I can follow this dream all the way 'til it comes true, from a garage show to Red Rocks. People say I sound like Bizzy Bone or Ja Rule. I think my delivery is like 2Pac, my speed is like Bizzy, and my punchlines are like Eminem -- the old stuff.
Which would you rather do: battle or rock a show?
A show, for sure. Sometimes you have to prove yourself in a battle, and that's cool, but shows are more popular. You're on stage, and an entire room full of people is watching you. When I'm stage and I get to share my songs that I put my heart and soul into, there's nothing like it. Doing shows is like a reflection of myself. When I'm on stage, my personality will shine all day.
What's your earliest memory of hip-hop?
You remember that song "Crossroads"? Yeah, I loved that song. Dangerous Minds had that song by Coolio, too. I remember walking by some lady and her kid on a stoop, and she was playing 2Pac from a stereo. She was just chillin' with her baby and seemed so relaxed listening to his words.
If you could do a collaboration with anybody, who would you pick?
Maynard from Tool and Christina Aguilera... that seems like a broad spectrum. Locally, I really like Lunalilo DaVinci, True Ali, Working Class, Johnny Denver and Hunit.
Any last words?
I got a whole new world of stuff for people to listen to. And I will battle anybody.