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)