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Reks, Rebelutionary

In Boston, MCs that aspire to the gritty New York sound of Timberland stomps have slowly—yet steadily—created their footprints throughout the hip-hop stratosphere. One of the more promising names to spring out of the early aughts was Reks from Lawrence, Massachusetts.

After returning from a long-lasting hiatus, Reks has made quite a name for himself in recent years, thanks to his critically heralded comeback album, Grey Hairs in 2008, well-conceived albums like Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme in 2011, and the more recent Statik Selektah-produced Straight, No Chaser. With the political climate warming up, Rebelutionary, is Reks’ second effort from 2012, in which the dexterous lyricist employs socially conscious verses to unveil fallacies and question various societal issues.

On “Bang Bang,” Reks satirically inquires the legitimacy of firearm usage, checking the authority’s rights, “Police gangbang ‘til we bleed, quick-blooded, blood fluid, bust ruger to maneuver the hellish slums.” Then he briefly turns to problems concerning capitalism on “Obedient Workers,” before culminating the details of inner-city violence and injustice in the highlight “Shotgun.” Undoubtedly, lyrics remain Reks’ calling card, but his collaboration with Numonics perfectly compliments every song on the album and is equally praiseworthy. Its sample-driven sound, hard-hitting drums, and overall solemn mood displayed throughout the entire project match the in-depth lyricism Reks’ attempts to enforce, and the message he tries to convey.

Every moment is praiseworthy. While the subject matters are nothing revolutionary, as many MCs have raised concerns of the issues in the past, the energy, and the timing of a project of such caliber is surely appreciated. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)

  • Word

    Only if “Summer on Smash” was replaced with “The Black Bond” and “Reach Out” had a more soulful beat, This would of really been a flawless album. XL.

  • matt

    I love the album, the only problem I have with this review is the first line. “Best since Stillmatic.” Did you forget Gods Son was after stillmatic… and better? Shit was top 2 with Illmatic

    • Bellcasus

      God’s Son was weak compare to Stillmatic

  • Mossi1

    This is questionable: “At this juncture—21 years and 10 solo albums in—no other MC has ever rhymed at such a high level this deep into their career. Not Rakim. Not Kool G Rap. Not Slick Rick. Not Big Daddy Kane. Not LL Cool J. No One.”

    If you want to pretend that Ghostface, Q-Tip and KRS-ONE are no longer crafting high-calibre lyrics then, fine, go ahead. I beg to differ…