Somewhere between Chief Keef and Daddy Yankee, between the aggression of drill and the smacking gloss of reggaeton, are rap crew and label Sie7etr3. Led by Chucky73, 22, and Fetti031, 24, the Dominican-born and Bronx-raised crew mixes hard-nosed productions with excitable rhymes. On the debut EP by Chucky73, born Adel Mejia, and Fetti031, born Emmanuel Medina, Sie7etr3, Chucky and Fetti, along with appearances from crew members Dglo73 and Youngkilla73 show off another side of New York’s undeniable drill scene. Carrying their swagger and slang, the buoyant raps of the Sie7etr3 rattle speakers and stir our spirits.
Everything about Sie7etr3 feels wonderfully homegrown. They still shoot their viral videos on the block with all the homies bounding about with endless energy. Even the cover of their EP carries with it that homegrown feel—the pair on their corner, managing their careers.
“The style present on their debut EP, the appropriately titled Sie7etre3, sounds nothing like the pop-wise sung rap prevalent on the charts right now,” writes Gary Suarez for Rolling Stone. “Chucky and Fetti’s respective deadpan flows draw upon New York’s burgeoning drill scene, of which they have become their borough’s strongest representatives.”
As Chucky and Fetti tell me over the phone—me in Philly, them in New York—their goal is to know where their money is coming from, bring the Dominican flair to the hip-hop culture, and to sign more artists and make their names known in the Bronx and eventually the mainstream world. There’s something beautiful about seeing young artists privilege ownership with their music, taking the right steps to make sure their money’s right. In an era where we see more and more artists coming forward exposing predatory contracts, it’s exciting to see Chucky and Fetti circumvent that fate.
Chucky and Fetti met the same year Fetti recorded his first song. It was a “Dominican fest in 2014 or 2015,” and the two decided to link up, simple as that. There’s so much to be said for those precious, seemingly innocuous decisions. Think of how we choose to come together, and the magic that occurs when like-minded people summon a collective spirit and make something bigger than themselves. Think of Chief Keef’s collective bouncing about and toting their personalities in the “Love Sosa” video. Think of BROCKHAMPTON’s breakout video for “Gold,” and how each member of the boyband had a star moment. For Chucky and Fetti, all of Sie7etr3 is their star moment.
The EP opens with “Kili,” which has both classic Latin head-spinning horns and the rattling percussion that denotes this moment of trap music. The bellowing deliveries from Chucky and Fetti underscore their effortlessness, and it’s at the 53-second mark where they both go into an ad-lib spree. Suddenly, we realize rapping is the most natural thing for the pair. The sparse and menacing keys of “Didi” stack up nicely against the duo’s charismatic back and forth overtop shattering percussion. There’s breathless energy to every, “Aye, bitch!” I played these two songs for my Latin trap-loving dad over the phone, and he pronounced them hits, saying “Very good” in his thick Russian accent. This music transcends.
“People should know that hip-hop from the Bronx has always had and will always have great talent coming from here,” Chucky said in a recent interview. “We all come from different ethnicities and have different heritages, which allow us to learn from different music, develop different flows, and have different lingo. So when we become involved in music, it’s easy for us to adapt and to learn from others.”
You feel Chucky and Fetti’s penchant for homage in their videos. You hear it in their stunting and their tricking flows. My girlfriend’s apartment has three gorgeous windows that spill onto the busy Girard Avenue in Kensington, Philadelphia. All day long, cars whir by with the music of the times spilling out. You can always tell what’s hot based on how many cars are playing the same music. When we first met, Bad Bunny reigned supreme on her block. Lately, Colores by J Balvin has been the winner, with his rainbow arrangements transmitting from sedans and trucks alike. I wish outside were open if only because Sie7etr3 would have their moment in the sun, would take over all the cars in Philly, would play at every backyard gathering.
As I write this piece, cars keep barreling down the street, playing a smattering of Latin trap hits. None of those hits sound like Sie7etr3. As Suarez begins in his Rolling Stone piece, the crew’s skirting current understood Latin trap trends is a very good thing. Latin trap deserves to have multiple sounds, multiple lanes for which artists of all subgenres can exist, thrive, and get their money.
To that point, in January of this year, Matthew Ismael Ruiz penned, “Meet Chucky73 and Sie7etr3, The Bronx Crew Bringing Latin Trap Home.” Ruiz writes, “While some of the more interesting Latin trap being made right now mixes hints of Dominican dembow or bachata guitar with booming, Atlanta-style hip-hop, Sie7etr3’s distinct twist on trap draws heavily from drill, the aggressive rap style pioneered in Chicago and currently exploding in Brooklyn and the UK.” Standing at the epicenter of this explosive mixture, Chucky and Fetti prove we should celebrate the ever-broadening definition of hip-hop.
In any other era, the Sie7etr3 collective would be massive. The Sie7etr3 EP is home to party-ready and street-ready hits meant to be played loudly and to the final seconds of noise ordinance time. But, at present, we live in an isolated indoor era. From the back deck of my girlfriend’s apartment in Philly, I see people straining against the quarantine. I see people sitting outside doing nothing—no smoke, no hookah, no drinks—just taking in the air for long stretches, likely wishing for an end to our unfathomable nightmare. At the same time, I hear cars whizzing by with the stylings of Bad Bunny and J Balvin. I know Chucky, Fetti, and the rest of Sie7etr3 are next. Their fanbase is present. They’re going to be huge. Our quarantined summer can’t hold them back.