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There are several adjectives that accurately describe this thirty two
native Detroiter. Sexy. Smart. Engaging. Imaginative. Entrepreneurial. But Krism Gooden, also known as “Essynze,” best describes herself as “The deal”. A “survivor”. A songstress and a rapper, Essynze has been a mover and shaker in Detroit’s music underground since the age of nineteen.

Barn Krismen Gooden on July 17, 1973, Essynze traversed between Detroit and
Holly, Michigan, as a child. Although she also lived in Atlanta, where she attended high school in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and DC., she admits that she “always ended up earning back to Detroit.” Her love of music began to take root in her at this time as well. Starting out as an alto and soprano in her father’s church chair, Essynze fell in love with the vocal range and stylings of contemporary musical greats like Phyllis Hyman, Regina Bell, Sade, Whitney Houston, and Detroit’s awn Anita Baker. This explains why this
multi-talented artist oftentimes declares herself to be “the diva of the crew”. .

She also has an undying lave far and loyalty to the rap scene. Citing oId-school
hip-hop influences like Run-DMC, Whodini, Doug E. Fresh, Big Mike, and Scarface, this “rap architect” envisions herself as a nationally-recognized artist within the next two years. Her prowess and potential are demonstrated in her grimy, hard-hitting and provocative rhymes on band mate Dice’s single “Down on the Block.” (She and Dice are also co-owners of the Detroit-based label Bighead Records.) As far Detroit’s hip-hop underground scene in general, Essynze describes it as a “nurturing” one, or an environment that will allow artists like her to grow and eventually escape the geographical and “ghettoized” boxes that stifle creativity and advancement.

Don’t get it twisted, though. Essynze is a grounded sister, and she has paid her
dues in full. The mother of two young children, Essynze also describes herself as
loving and attentive, one whose strides in life are the product of her relentless desire to create a better future for them to “do things so that when (they) get older, they will have same stability.” And, considering her evolving level of social awareness, Essynze now realizes that her love for children must not revolve around her family alone, but must spiral outward to encompass a love and attentiveness far the wellbeing of all Black children. This is why Essynze, a restaurateur and real estate salesperson, now aspires to provide affordable housing to unwed teen mothers.

Giving a big ups to reggae great Shaba Ranks, Essynze sees The Family’s fusion of reggae, rap, and R &B as a “trendsetting” move, a hybrid- with a gritty take-no-prisoners-twist that will elevate Detroit to the throne of the music world again. And you can rest assured that Essynze, with her new album Ghetto Ways and Conflicted Thoughts, slated to drop this Fall, is priming herself to be in the thick of things when that time comes.

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