Label: Gracie Productions
Release Date: 7/24/12
REKS wastes no time between albums as he teams up with producer Numonics for the new LP REBELutionary continuing his “one producer” project series. With REKS and Statik Selektah’s collaborative LP, Straight No Chaser, having just dropped two months prior, the lyrical content and commentary on REBELutionary is extremely relevant. The project was inspired by current social issues which occurred during the recording process from 2011 to 2012. REBELutionary is an expression of the social and political views shared by the rapper and producer on topics including racism, terrorism, poverty, unemployment and corruption within the government, as the duo paints a vivid picture of the world we live in through the use of rhymes and instrumentals.
REKS provides a smooth delivery of strong lyrics over Numonics’ gritty production which includes powerful samples that add to the theme of the project and hold the attention of the listener. Although there is a recurring theme throughout the project, each song addresses a separate issue, which avoids monotony. Although there is only one producer on the project, REKS does enlist a few well respected underground artists including Jon Connor, Krondon, Termanology, Brown Bag All-Stars’ Koncept, and others.
Highlights of the album include “Shotgun,” “Unlearn,” and “Ignorance is Bliss.” “Shotgun,” the first single off of the project, is one of my favorite tracks both lyrically and on the production side. The sounds of REKS, Jon Connor and Atlanta singer Vanessa Renee on the hook complement each other well over Numonic’s saxophone sample-based instrumental, as the emcees trade off bars pertaining to senseless inner-city violence. “Unlearn” is a solo track in which REKS tells us to “unlearn” all of the lies we hear through media. REKS and fellow Massachusetts emcee Termanology join forces on “Ignorance is Bliss” on which intriguing word play compliments the song’s message of reevaluating values and living right.
The J Nics assisted “Bang Bang” is another standout, if not for the smooth guitar driven sample, then for the way both artists address the timely issue of gun usage, with an emphasis on how society should come together instead of turning against one another. Although “La Luna” seems a little out of place on this album as it is more of a love song it is a great track. with strong guest verses from Sene and Koncept. Striking samples and sound bites throughout the project include audio of Akue Njeri, girlfriend of activist Fred Hampton at the time of his death, describing his murder by the FBI.
REBELutionary offers highly relevant lyrics and offers a clear view of REKS’ insight on current events and issues. The socially conscious lyrics are educated and thought-provoking, making for a project that will undoubtedly leave an impression on its listeners. While this project will more than likely get slept on by the general public, it is a great throwback to the days of conscious hip-hop and can potentially inspire change in the lives of those fortunate enough to hear REKS’ message.