Rek mixes well-crafted verses with a “class clown” sense of humor and is carving out his own flavorful niche in the industry.
How would you describe your sound/music?
Focused but random. I know what my mission is but I’m drawing from a lot of influences so you’ll hear me reference something only hip hop heads would know about and then I’ll mention something from Napoleon Dynamite in the next. I think a lot of people in my generation are like that and it’s a good time.
What inspires you?
Everyday people. People are funny. Mad stupid, mad smart, cruel, and compassionate. Nobody knows what they’re doing or what it’s all about, myself included, and that inspires me as an artist.
Tell us about your album Whatever you Say and your tracks!
Whatever You Say is an album about living in America. As a minority, I think it’s important to let people know where you stand, so I’m saying things like “I was born in the US, this (is) my motherland, diss my motherland, I’ll go to war for the US”. At the same time, I’m poking fun at a lot of the same things I’m celebrating. I tried to capture the attitude of right now.
Your favorite song from your album
Man, I love “Come At Me Bro”. It’s aggressive but it’s funny and I got one of my favorite rappers to guest on it. Whenever I perform that shit somebody ends up dying. Not literally, but sometimes.
I know you just did a release party in NY. How was it?
We actually didn’t plan on doing the party this time around but there were a lot of fans and friends asking us about it because we always throw parties where everyone gets turned the f**k up for no reason. So we put it together and me and rapper homies Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, and Sonny Bonoho performed a couple songs and people got turned the f**k up for no reason. There was also this one random old white lady who was at the venue just to eat and if you look at the event photos, she looks SO MAD.
Are you proud to be an Asian American artist? What is it like?
Meh. I remember I tried to book a gig a few years back but the last Asian rapper they got was so terrible he cockblocked that opportunity for me. That s**t ain’t make me proud, not one bit. It’s something we gotta deal with because we haven’t had our real breakout artist yet like an Eminem or a Big Pun so we gotta work twice as hard for a limited number of opportunities. I’m proud of my heritage but that’s a different question.
Any Asian artists in the states you admire?
I’m in a crew with Dumbfoundead and Awkwafina called Saturday School. We don’t have any plans to do any projects or nothing like that yet but they inspire me with how they put their rhymes together and their sensibility is closest to mine. Also, Cool Calm Pete is pretty amazing. I’ve been waiting on his new album for years now and I hear it’s almost done.
Who is your favorite artist?
I think right now, it’s gotta be Pendleton Ward for creating Adventure Time. Everything from the stories to the character designs is amazing to me. I mean, LSP got lumps yo! If you mean in hip hop, it’s probably Kanye. I’ve been a fan since he had like one freestyle on Napster and I love how he continues to challenge himself and his listeners. Yeezus was dope.
Any passion other than music
I have other passions but I don’t think it’s really worth talking about until I have something to show for it. For a long time in my life I’ve been one of those people who just talk about things they want to do. I think after you finally complete something for real, you start to talk less and do more.
Who plans and manages your projects and how does it work?
It’s a collaborative effort between my manager Jaeki, myself, and my engineer Marcus aka Avec Plaisir. We get a lot of things done because we know how to communicate, we don’t take things personally, and we trust each other’s taste. It’s my project and my voice, but if they tell me I should try it another way, I’ll try it. Anyone who works in a creative field will tell you how valuable that is.
Your future plan? Goal?
Man, it would be nice to own a yacht and like a Wendy’s franchise or two. Musically though, I’m trying to get this album into more ear holes but I’m always thinking about what’s next.
What do you think about the Strength in Numbers project?
Man, Chops made a lot of folks sound better than they ever have with his production and direction. It’s a real testament to his skill and experience. For my contribution to the project, I actually got to record with him at his studio in Philly and learned so much from that one session. Anyone supporting the project is saying, ‘yeah son, reach one, teach one’. Salute to the big homie. My favorite joints are the Rocky Rivera “Mary Lou” and the Ann One joint with Chops rapping, “Come Go With Me”. Fiyah.
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Check out Rekstizzy’s MVs!
Come at me bro
God Bless America
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