E-Reece’s music is the kind of hip-hop that’s usually classified as a throwback to a time when conscious rappers received major label support. His current single, “Success (Keep On Rising)” with Jimetta Rose is an anthem for the go-getter. He’s worked with Oddisee, Mayer Hawthorne, DJ Rhettmatic and Kev Brown. His music has appeared in TV show’s like MTV’s The Real World, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, 2K Sports’ College Basketball ’08, and Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club. Los Angeles is his current home base but he grew-up outside Maryland soaking up jazz, R&B and hip-hop. He talked to Kick Mag about his creative work, Rachel Dolezal and the reception to his music.
“It’s important for the youth to know the importance of getting an education and being respectful to their elders”
What’s your take on the Rachel Dolezal situation?
I honestly don’t understand why she got all of this attention. There are much more important issues going on right now and stuff like this is just a distraction. She obviously has a lot of issues and self-hatred. She doesn’t know what it’s like at all to be black and it’s kind of a slap in the face, especially to black women. For anyone to be dishonest and deceptive about their identity shows that they’ve got some deep-rooted problems. She says she strongly identified with black people, but she seems a bit confused – a lot, rather. Her civil rights work is to be applauded, but she can still contribute to our community while being white.
Do you prefer rapping over sample-based beats or live instrumentation? Why?
If I had the choice it would be live instrumentation. There’s just a certain feeling that you get when live instruments are involved. Since I grew up playing jazz saxophone, the vibe of a band is something that I’m used to. It’s hard to explain, but there’s just a feeling that comes over me when I’m rocking with a band. I formed my former band back in 2007 and released a couple of projects with them. I just love the entire process of coming together to form an idea with other musicians. There’s a lot more freedom with live instruments and more creative options of things you can do.
Lyrically which rappers do you gain the most inspiration from and why?
It depends. I get a lot of inspiration from a lot of different rappers who have diverse styles. I guess it all depends on the music and how that rapper is fitting in with it, their style and what they’re saying and how they say it. I like artists who are a bit more lyrical and have distinct wordplay and delivery. People think that since my music tends to be more positive and “conscious” that that’s what I prefer to listen to, but I like a lot more hardcore material as well. It’s just the feeling of the music. If it triggers something in me, then I tend to draw inspiration from it.
How do you think the average listener reacts to your music, keeping in mind that most of the music they listen to these days is not as positive?
Most people tend to appreciate the music that I make and can feel the authenticity and truth in it. I hear often that it’s a breath of fresh air and that I should keep doing what I do. People tend to get inspired from the messages within my music and feel that I should be gaining just as much commercial success as the popular rappers out there today. I just make music that feels good to me and most of the time people are feeling good right with me.
What’s your favorite song in your catalog apart from “Success” and why?
If I had to pick I would say that it’s a track from my ’07 LP A New Breed entitled “B U.” I wrote that track in one sitting and it kind of just flowed through me. It speaks to the youth particularly and, really, to everyone. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Be happy with who you are. At the time, I was hardcore against commercial hip hop and the images that are portrayed. Kids really look up to these rappers and tend to be blind to the things that really matter in life. I still believe that this is true, but am less judgmental with that sentiment these days. It’s important for the youth to know the importance of getting an education and being respectful to their elders and to just be good people in this world who do the right things for the right reasons.