White rappers don’t have a great reputation in hip-hop. For every Eminem, it seems, there’s a couple of Vanilla Ices.
North Andover’s Nick Cincotta has been turning heads with his rhymes on YouTube and iTunes, however.
The 17-year-old recently released his second album, “Undefined,” a collection of songs he wrote and produced himself.
Cincotta, a junior at North Andover High, spent a year working on the album. He called it “Undefined,” because he felt the term aptly describes the disc, which mixes various subjects and types of hip-hop.
“It speaks to every person who enjoys music,” Cincotta said. “Everyone can find at least one song that speaks to them.”
As for Cincotta, he is proud of the song “Together We Move Forward,” which encourages teens to think about how the decisions they make today can affect them for the rest of their lives. His YouTube video of the song (1,697 viewers at press time) illustrates the story through a cautionary tale about drinking and driving with awful consequences.
“All the Time” focuses on a boy who thinks about a girl, all the time. Midway through the tune, his feelings change.
“It’s not from personal experience,” Cincotta said. “But that is something everyone deals with, at least once.”
Cincotta doesn’t try to rap about the inner city, or subjects he admittedly knows nothing about. His topics are drawn from his life in suburbia and the experiences he and his friends have here.
“Not all rap music is purely gangs and violence,” he said. Though be warned, he does curse on occasion.
His approach is getting a lot of attention: One of his YouTube videos has been viewed more than 16,000 times. But he remains humble, just a kid following his dream, telling the stories he wants to tell.
He knows he’s facing an uphill battle to make it in the rap industry, but plans to persevere. He took the subject head-on in “Introduce Myself,” for which the video shows him passing out his album in Boston, then seeing it immediately rejected without a listen.
“It shouldn’t matter,” he said. “Look past the person, at the music. All that matters is the music.”
If you go :What: Rapper Nick Cincotta, and others, performing in concert. When: 7 p.m., Monday, May 20. Where: Middle East, downstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. :How: Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 day of the show at mideastclub.com.