Maryland rapper Anthony Monroe Manco Jr., who goes by Silas, is looking to make his mark in the music industry by using more than just his talents on the mic.
The journey began on May 13, 1998, as Silas was born when DMX released his debut studio album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, making a career in music seem like destiny.
During his formative years, Silas was raised all throughout Montgomery County, Maryland, but considers Gaithersburg to be home. His childhood consisted of alcohol and drugs in the household, random people coming in and out of the house and he even raps about watching crimes be committed constantly.
“I should have become a product of my environment, but I didn’t,” said Silas. “I changed my entire life just by having a positive mindstate on everything that I was going through. Just knowing that there was a bigger reason for all of this.”
As he grew up, Silas started to realize he had an itch for music, thanks to his mother constantly playing hip-hop in the car. While he enjoys all genres of music, there was just something different about hip-hop.
“I wanted to be good at something, and I felt I could express myself through hip-hop.”
His mother often wrote poetry in her spare time, and his dad created hip-hop music, so all of the tools were there for Silas to become an artist. It was just a matter of time before everything manifested itself.
Artists such as Nas, Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and Tame Impala all played a role in Silas’s upbringing, but two other artists really stood out. Being from not only Maryland but Gaithersburg as well, Logic making it out really proved that music could work for a kid in Montgomery County. Along with watching Logic’s come up, Silas labeled Drake as the Michael Jackson of his time due to the artistry and impact that he has had on the world through music.
The Journey Begins
Silas began making music at the age of 11, and like many people that begin to test the waters of making music, Silas believed everything he made was a hit.
“When I first started rapping in 2009-10, I would wait until like three o’clock in the morning and grab a mic from the video game Rockband and whisper into the mic, rapping to the beat. That was me feeling like I could express myself.”
After not posting anything for about two years, Silas first started to release music in 2011. Truly believing everything he made was the best, he began to itch for traction.
“In the summer of 2011 I was talking to Logic before Young Sinatra came out, and he was like ‘Talk to me when you make a hundred songs.’ So I made 100 songs from June to July and showed him every single one. I was that annoying kid.”
Silas ended up dropping out of school in the ninth grade and continued to work on his passion for music. In 2015, he released his first mixtape, The Genesis, at the age of 17 despite “knowing nothing.”
Shades of Blue and SKiWALKER then followed up that first project in the same year before Silas took some time off.
“I took a break for a couple months and let myself grow up a little bit,” Silas said. “I continued to let myself grow into more of a man, and I learned respect and integrity. Honestly, I just learned responsibility all in that time.”
He then dropped Eastside Vol. 1, which contained a bunch of loose tracks he had been letting out since he had begun dropping music every week. V then followed in 2017 and was one of the most intimate projects by Silas up to that point.
ProdByPost has been an artistic partner and one of Silas’s best friends throughout life and decided to take a step forward by attending Omega Recording School in Rockville, MD. On top of refining production, Post learned the tools and trade of being an audio engineer which helped refine the music-making process for Silas.
The biggest thing about this break for Silas came away from the music, as he simply learned more about life. He took time to become a better man and learn how to lead a strong, positive life.
“It feels good when you’re a good person to people, you know? It feels really good when you know you don’t do people wrong and you’re a good person.”
Silas mentioned being the most depressed he had ever felt during that year, and even being suicidal. This dark time stemmed from caring so much about others that Silas wasn’t leaving time and energy for himself.
“I wasn’t doing what made me happy,” Silas said. “I was working 40 hour weeks at a job and I hated it. I wasn’t working on my music.”
Silas coincidentally worked at the same Wingstop Logic had worked at during his time in Gaithersburg but was not seeing any bright lights at the end of the tunnel. At the time of this break, he had been working there for nearly three years, was going to therapy, and just wasn’t fulfilling his life with his passion for making music.
In February of 2019, Post called Silas, who at the time was going through a tough time mentally, and came up with the idea of getting back in the studio.
A New Beginning
In March of 2019, Silas and Post began working on what would be his next project, which was a freeing experience for a man coming off of one of the toughest times in his life.
The “feel-good” project continued to materialize and Logic started to take notice. Despite opening his home to Silas for a bit in 2017 and seeing signs of an up and coming artist, Logic never quite gave Silas a confirmation of talent until March of 2019.
Logic had since started his own record label, at the time called Elysium Records, and saw enough potential from Silas to want to make a move. He pushed for Silas to come out to Los Angeles and talk business, and hearing that from an idol was all it took for Silas to overcome his anxieties.
After returning home to Maryland, Silas recruited Post and they packed up a car and headed west. The two drove out to Los Angeles with sights set on the future, and Silas would sign as part of what is now BobbyBoy Records in May of 2019.
“I love it out here because this is where the vibes are for me at least,” said Silas when talking about his new life in California. “I love that I get to wake up every day, make music, play video games, play chess and enjoy my life.”
This new beginning has refreshed life for Silas, who simply feels that his life is “good” for the first time ever.
Part of what drove Logic to make that executive decision and sign Silas was hearing the beginnings of what would become his debut project, 1998.
Silas remembers sending Logic “Def 2 Ego,” the first single, through text message. His reaction to that track was enough to ignite the process, materialize the signing and begin the refining of this project as a whole.
“I didn’t make the project with anything in mind other than why I loved music and why music saved my life a million times.”
After the release of “Def 2 Ego,” the next step for Silas was releasing “These Days” which featured Logic. It’s not often that a new artist gets to feature their idol on their debut project, and Silas understood that. He previously broke down the song with TuneDiary after its release and discussed the feelings he had around getting that feature verse:
“I was doing a shift at Wingstop (The same location Logic worked at during his come up), at the time I was an assistant manager or shift leader. I had to ask the main manager like ‘I think this is it… Can I take a little five-minute break?’ So I went out to the car, plugged in the aux cable and listened to it. I just remember crying my eyes out, with so much joy though. … I felt the magnitude of that song while I was sitting in the car listening to it.”
“These Days” helped Silas reached new heights, as the track accumulated over one million plays on Spotify in under two weeks. The battle between negative and positive attention is one Silas still has to get used to as he pushes forward.
Following that release, Silas dropped “1998 Freestyle” and announced that his debut project, 1998, would be releasing in August of 2019.
Work on 1998 began in March of 2019 and was finished up in May, as Silas and his team developed a roll-out plan to deliver this content to the world. Everything remains on schedule for this release, which is just the beginning for Silas.
Being a signed artist and having all the necessary tools at his disposal has set Silas up to release what he considers his most “polished” project. With more eyes on him than ever before, Silas truly had to give his all on every track.
“I just want to spread a good message,” Silas said. “I just want to be a good person, I want to be a good role model for kids and I want to spread the best message that I could possibly spread.”
Doing his best to live in the moment, Silas can’t help but look ahead into the future and set goals. On top of the typical Grammy dreams and wanting to be in the Greatest of All Time discussion, Silas has a wide range of hopes and dreams.
“I just want to keep pushing myself to my limit,” Silas mentioned. Finding happiness and remaining humble are two of the biggest goals for his future, but he plans on exploring new lanes as well thanks to inspiration from Logic as his mentor. “I want to act, I want to write books, I want to do comic books with my buddy Jose.”
The future is bright for yet another artist out of Maryland, and it’s only a matter of time before the masses want to be a part of the journey as well.