Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 3:18 pm
“The industry we now know don’t got room for creativity,” asserts Reks as closes the third track from his fifth album. In a time where many artists yearn for crossover success, Reks remains true to his craft, which somehow separates him from the pack. Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme doesn’t bring upon any innovations; in fact it brings listeners back to the essence. Reks, a Boston rapper best known for his rapid-fire flow, utilizes his latest project to give listeners a closer look at the man behind the lyrics.
At first glance, REKS has all the makings of a Hip Hop classic – production from legends like DJ Premier and Pete Rock as well as contemporaries along with a dedicated emcee who picks and chooses where to sprinkle guest appearances. Without looking at the credits, it’s apparent that “the 25th Hour” is a Premo production. Laced with an elegant piano sample and occasional scratches of Nas and Lady of Rage, Premier lays the groundwork for Reks to build a masterpiece. “I’m over your heads” the Boston rapper asserts as he caps off the song. Oddly enough, his words do not hold true throughout the course of Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme, as his laymen language and street-level narration lays the foundation for Reks’ brilliance to shine through. Reks follows up this offering with the low-fi “Thin Line,” produced by Pete Rock. Amidst claims of thrashing backstabbers, Reks takes an introspective approach, which is not the last we hear throughout the course of the album. On the beautifully tailored “Mr. Nobody,” Reks gets personal and reflects on the death of his absentee father at the hands of AIDS and further delves into his mother’s drug use. “Kill Em” is an imaginative track, in which Reks spits from the point of view of the industry, killing off underground rappers. While this could probably be misconstrued as a diss of sorts, it’s far from it, as it’s actually Reks paying homage to artists he believes are slept-on.
One of the highlights on REKS, “This Or That” is perhaps the most ironically ignorant song penned by the Boston emcee. Statik Selektah, who makes his presence felt throughout the course of the disc, proves superior with the instrumentals, flipping the same sample used in “Purified Thoughts” from Ghostface’s latest album, only this time it’s far more sonically pleasing. Of course, this track would be nothing without the star of the show who cleverly insists “if [Lil] Wayne is E.T. ish/tell him to phone home,” while once again criticizing the state of the rap game. After trading bars with Termanology over a sinister Sha Money XL production, Reks reflects on “The Wonder Years.” Riding a monumental Hi-Tek beat, Showoff Records flagship artist reminisces on everything from first touching the mic to being without a home. This track as well as the proceeding “This Is Me” is excellently written songs, proving that Reks is more than a one-trick-pony, capable of spitting until his face turns blue, while crafting a hook. The Blaze P produced “The Underdog” is another victory for Reks. While most rappers pay homage to casual weed smoke, Reks and guest Lil Fame take another approach on “Cigarettes.” Saying that they’ve outgrown the habit of inhaling contraband, but maintain their cancerous addiction for the sake of relaxation, the duo recline on the track.
Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme is worthy of candidacy as the sleeper album of the year. “The Limelight” is perhaps the only miss on REKS, although the Alchemist-produced “Why Cry” featuring Styles P isn’t nearly as captivating as a large majority of the album. Ultimately, REKS is a reflective piece, different than most modern rap albums that bash the new generation and long for the days of old. Reks doesn’t paint the past as being utopian and maintains that he’s faced his fair share of hardships to get to where he is today. Reks is a true emcee, constantly quoting classics like Illmatic and Life After Death, more concerned with lyrics and flow than an artificial swag. On “The Underdog,” Reks claims to be “the greatest rapper no one heard about.“ If Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme is any indication, he may very well be right.