Reks-Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme [Album Review]

“Reks’ third offering in the shape of Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme delivers to the underground fan with a range of subject matter, on-point rhymes, lyrical dexterity and Reks’ best selection of beats to date.”

The artist:

Born Corey Isaiah Christie in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Reks dropped out of college to pursue his dream in hip-hop. After taking the Boston underground scene by storm, Reks landed a deal with Landspeed Records who delivered his now decade-old debut Along Came The Chosen in 2001. The success which followed gave touring opportunities alongside respected emcees including Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Redman, De La Soul and his idol KRS-One. Reks’ second effort Grey Hairs (2008) is frequently cited as a classic amongst underground heads spearheaded by the impeccable Say Goodnight with legendary producer DJ Premier.

Reks is known for his razor-sharp lyricism and honest, conscious subject material which has garnered respect from not only production pioneers as Premo, Large Professor and Pete Rock but also underground rhyming counterparts such as Consequence, Styles P, Sha Stimuli, East Coast Avengers, M.O.P., Torae, Skyzoo and fellow ShowOff label-mate, Termanology.

Pre-release hype:

The In Between Lines Vol 1 and 2 mixtapes dominated Reks’ 2010 as he stepped up his promo push for R.E.K.S.’ March 2011 release date. Visuals for the opening Premo-produced cut 25th Hour assisted an aggressive online marketing strategy so often adopted by underground artists including engagement with fans through the ever-popular promotional social media Twitter. The album was kept under wraps until only a few days before official release, with bloggers gaining exclusive access before its eventual leak just four days premature.

Gut feeling:

Based on 25th Hour and album snippets, lyrical slaughter supported by strong production credentials.

On the mic:

Reks again proves that he’s one of the most versatile and listenable emcees the underground has to offer. Aside from his razor-sharp tongue and impeccable rhyme schemes, Reks mixes it up with brutally honest consciousness on joints such as the Lil Fame-assisted Cigarettes, This Is Me, The Underdog and Statik bonus-cut, Self-Titled whilst still taking time out to inevitably pop shots at the watered-down mainstream on Limelight, Kill ‘Em and This or That. R.E.K.S. is slimline on features with M.O.P.’s Lil Fame, Styles P and Freeway lending support with some well-timed vocals, and Termanology pushing his label-mate’s lyrical limits on the thumping Face Off. 

Behind the boards:

Not only does the DJ Premier produced 25th Hour act as the official driving force behind R.E.K.S. but also opens the album into Premo’s sparse yet trademark piano loops. In somewhat unintended order of producer greatness, Pete Rock’s violin-tinged progressive sits at number two before the disappointing Nottz’ Limelight at three. Most of the so-called ‘heavy’ board work is pushed towards the first half of R.E.K.S., almost as if Reks is building for his more conscious, honest and consequently vulnerable material for the latter stages. Although Alchemist’s offering is to some extent forgettable, all is forgiven when Sha Money XL steps up with an exceptionally solid, pulsating 2003-G-Unit heater which Reks and Term do their very best in demolishing. But just as the rhymes have room for varying subject matter, so do the beats. In place of the scratched choruses delivered excellently throughout, This Is Me at number nine serves as one of Reks’ most complete songs with subtle production and R&B-delivered chorus. The ‘softer’ approach witnessed here allows Reks’ introspective tip to shine through whilst giving the track considerable scope not only for its obvious replay value, but also potential single material.

In a nutshell:

Reks’ third offering in the shape of Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme delivers to the underground fan with a range of subject matter, on-point rhymes, lyrical dexterity and Reks’ best selection of beats to date.

Buy Reks-Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

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