Former X-ecutioners affiliate Mista Sinista is gearing up to release his debut solo effort, "Heartfelt," due in March.

Former X-ecutioners affiliate Mista Sinista is gearing up to release his debut solo effort, "Heartfelt," due in March. The rapper hopes to nab guest spots from Common and Talib Kweli for the album, which he promises will be genuine and diverse.

"Every track you hear is going to touch you," Sinista tells Billboard.com, "whether it's about my personal life, things that I've experienced at clubs, whatever. I'm trying to make the whole album well-rounded."

"Heartfelt" will also showcase rising talent, including Sinista's proteges Strip Poker and Porchelina. "I have a lot of different artists that I want to bring to the table," says Sinista. In an attempt to reach more listeners, he also experiments with pop, rock and R&B. "My musical taste is diversified," he says. "So I'm trying to mix it up and cover all types of audiences."

Sinista is currently working on a deal to distribute "Heartfelt" through Atlantic. The album will be funneled through Coalmine, the label that recently released his mixtape, "Break U Off."

In 1997, Sinista joined the X-Ecutioners, who were then named the X-Men. The group enjoyed mainstream success in the ensuing years, but Sinista exited in 2002 right before the release of their second offering, "Built From Scratch."

"This album gives me a chance to express what I want to people, whereas in a group, certain ideas are limited," explains Sinista. "It also gives [listeners] a chance to know me personally as an artist." According to the rapper, the X-ecutioners have discussed a reunion, but nothing has materialized. "We haven't decided on it yet," he says.

Sinista plans to hit the road around April or May in support of "Heartfelt." "A tour will definitely be in effect after the album. I'm putting it together right now," he says. "I'm actually trying to get this new [hip-hop] band called Automato to open up for me, and also Planet Asia and a DJ group."

Sinista also played the lead role as a club DJ in the pilot for the series "ESPIA," which could be picked up by HBO. The rapper, who has no prior acting experience, says that producers "took a chance" on him and even offered acting lessons. "That [role] was kind of a blessing, something that I really wasn't expecting," says Sinista. "Music is always my love but my real goal is to act and it worked out."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print