TRUE Magazine talks with the Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme better known as REKS. REKS discusses the issues that still plague the impoverished communities, the importance of knowing our history, and how music can expand our minds. He is a very creative writer and brings his passion for art and literature to his music. Make sure to check out his album Straight No Chaser on April 24th 2012!
TRUE: Tell us your name, where you are from and a few things about how you grew up
REKS: My name is REKS the Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme; I grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts just north of Boston. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood and I grew up with my Mom because my Pops left early. He died very young due to complications with AIDS. So from that I dealt with a broken home an impoverished neighborhood. Facing those hardships early on molded me and how I write my songs.
TRUE: If you could go back to your years as a child, what year would it be and why?
REKS: if I could go back it would maybe the moments when I first found music. First getting on the cardboard and breaking with my cousins. So basically I would go back to my pre-adolescent years
TRUE: At those times did you see yourself taking on Rap as a profession?
REKS: I never looked at it back then as something I would do as a career. Music was more like a hobby. I was also into art, I was a writer always. I was into literature and English.
TRUE: Where there any other professions you were interested in pursuing?
REKS: Yes, I was into Fashion and Marketing and just being artistic in regards to illustration. I was also very interested in human services. Whenever I punched the clock I was primarily working in group home settings or programs for individuals with mental diseases. So maybe a social worker or counselor would have been another profession.
TRUE: Do you do any work with an organization now?
REKS: What I don’t do is connect myself to a specific organization. What I do is, I stay in touch with a lot of the kids that I have worked with in the past and I still assist them in any way that I can. Schools in Massachusetts have me come up and talk to the kids. Soon I will be going to Dorchester and talking to the students about coming up in impoverished neighborhoods and the proper directions to take our lives to the next level.
TRUE: How did music keep you from getting into trouble?
REKS: I didn’t do badly in school I wanted to do well and my focus was never the streets. I’m not going to say I was a saint or anything because I did do my share of dirt. Between music, God, and family, we didn’t have much but my family was there. I had older cousins and uncles that directed me. For the most part I didn’t end up going down the wrong path because I had a strong family nucleus.
TRUE: Who are some artists that you listen to and how have they inspired you?
REKS: That list is countless I am a strong follower of music. I would say KRS 1, Ice Cube, Scareface, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cook. I’m just a big fan of soulful music and music that resonates with a message.
TRUE: Who are some artists that you listen to currently?
REKS: Big Krit, Kenrick Lamar, John Conner, there are so many dope cats out there.
TRUE: How do you pick what life experiences to turn into a song and what to keep personal?
REKS: I don’t think I try to keep anything too personal. I am an open book to my music. I feel like it is self healing to reveal those parts of me and to be that real with the public. There are individuals that can attest to the same struggles and hardships. Because of that I am the people’s people. I feel like we are one in the same and that we are all equal in the struggle. If I can help anyone else heal through the music then I want to do that. So I speak on every issue.
TRUE: Who is the Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme?
REKS: He is an artist that stands for his culture and the foundations of what this culture represents. He always gives a salute to the artists that have paved the way for us. So I represent that in this modern era where it is frowned upon to be dedicated to the elements of Hip Hop. Now its gimmicky rap and I am none of the above.
TRUE: How do you view your career now opposed to when you started?
REKS: When I first started there were more opportunities for underground rappers.
TRUE: You said that Straight No Chaser touches on issues that still plague our society, what issues were you talking about?
REKS: Black leadership has failed us I feel there has been a lack there of of outspoken individuals speaking out and helping the issues that our Black youth face. We are also failing ourselves with all that we know is going on and all that has gone on within our history we tend to allow things to be repeated. We don’t study and understand our history and the struggles that individuals had to go through to get us where we are now. We continue to degrade our women. We continue to degrade ourselves through drugs and crime. I am not saying this is all individuals I am saying this is a major part of our community. We cannot continue to point the finger elsewhere. We have to start looking in the mirror and learn how to respect ourselves. If we don’t start respecting ourselves and respecting others more then we will continue to go down a terrible path. In the music it is none more true because in the music we are not raising the kids the right way through the messages.
TRUE: How do you want your music to motivate your fans?
REKS: I want it to allow them to start thinking more about the choices we make and the rules we follow. Music has the tendency to do as the movies do. It kind of shows people things and draws them in by negative images and imagery. There needs to be an alternative to that. Not saying my music is Christian Rap but everything I say is positive. We do need to give kids an option outside of just guns, drugs, money, and women. If that is all the media outlets are giving us then what do you think the kids are going to listen to? What do you think they are going to gravitate towards?
TRUE: Can you give a brief description of what your song “Regrets” is about?
REKS: I wanted to talk about the fact that we all make mistakes. We all have done things that we are not the happiest about. I don’t have pity on myself when I start talking about the negative things that I have done. I just look at is as no regrets and I am happy about my life. Some of these negatives have led to many positives. At the end of the day I am not going to live my life regretting every step I take.
TRUE: What else would you like to say to your fans?
REKS: I’d like to thank everybody that has supported me and I hope that everyone will take the time to go out on April 24th and get Straight No Chaser. Also to look at garglegrenades.com , gargle grenades is the evolution of the revolution. It is where we are not going to allow you to dictate what we can and cannot say. We will say what is on our minds and speak freely.
Follow Reks on Twitter: @Therealreks
Interviewed by Brittani Blackwell