“Hip Hop for dummies/these are the ones that represent you…Due diligence/ yes, the year reminisce guess we’re in a bit of a bind benefit from being behind the times with my penmanship…” – “Due Diligence”
MC Athletics League. The league measurements of those who can really play. Have the complete breath control to master all levels of pacing. To have the power to battle holes in the field of the wrongfully acclaimed with sharp credibility. To have the daring to give insights from immediate perceptions to long thought-out understanding. All the topics from socio-political to philosophical and spiritual speculations. All the flows and word flips we could imagine. Who is going to take all the bars during the game and score these points? Now, who is in the top of the league?
In this Art of MCing, it isn’t that a brother can’t and shouldn’t boldly claim himself the best. It’s no how far Lamar intends to scar, those who know, know the real players are on a higher level. REKS is one of those MCs. He is an MC excelling in the facets of technical skill. His work isn’t an MC stylizing average writtens to short term obsessions. He is an MC that depicts the honorable and beautiful simplicity of being a strong Black man in a white man’s world. So he acknowledges his flaws, has heard the possibilities of the supremacy of the Black man (“Peace to the Sun, Moon and Stars on the steady revolve/he said he was God/I said it’d be hard to walk in them J’s/remember them days we was in the school yards mimicking Clyde the Glyde Drexler/designer lines let ya/paint upon canvas via lectures/the impressions of the impressionable/wanted to rep for you/Hip Hop I mean…” – “Forever Era”), yet focuses on the greatest feats anyone can achieve—being a great father (“Times change/gotta have swag/I cannot help that/I’m more concerned with legacy as a good Dad” – “Ahead of My Time”).
I propose that Reks, with this deep catalog amassing, may now be incorrectly positioned historically. If we don’t see the greatness of his abilities expressed in song collections as a continuing journal of a strong Black man leading a family making Art, then it will all be for naught. His theme his last album (Rebelutionary) overtly spoke of rebellion to conformity and the revolutionary act of continuing to strive righteously and make Art as great as one can. However, this is in line with all his previous work even as the LP titles past reflect the mere struggle (Grey Hairs; More Grey Hairs; Straight, No Chaser) and the dominance of the MC (Along Came the Chosen; REKS: Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme). Now, his work is revealing that this core of revolution is the rebellion in righteously succeeding daily.
Revolution Cocktail is a long journey as it started as a free wheeling mixtape, including all the quality material, cutting none of the excess. As an album, that is a fault but as a study of REKS, the artist of absolute skill, it becomes an intriguing study of his mind. Where albums as Straight, No Chaser, only have one song one each of his topics from bad to good women, daily struggles, battle raps, socio-cultural observations and critiques, Revolution Cocktail doubles the depth of this. The first half of the album is an amazingly violent assault on fake everything, rappers, politicians, women and nationalism.
It is a sealed proof of his skills as it begins with strong power through a mid-tempo’d internal rhymed “Revolution Is Here.” He then runs through “Molotov” with sharp pauses and great returns. “Mighty Mouse” ruggedly names the revolution in defense against the many enemies being empowered against us from Zimmerman to racist police. “Run DMC” does not slow the pace and accentuates his own empowerment as an MC able to share his ideas completely. On “Judas,” he rocks an exaggerated spoken flow to then dive into double time flow brilliantly to assault bloodsuckers that creep. Then with Bishop Lament adding on matter of factly ill, Reks reveals the effects of the hypocrisy of those in power trickling down to the ghetto oppressed day to day. The second half delves into these topics with greater intimacy from relationship songs (“Showoff Forever,” “Friends With Benefits”), biographical sketches (“I Remember”), his career as an MC (“Winners and Survivors,” “Poster Child”), straight bar destruction (“Melancholy”) and the struggle (“Caged Bird”).
The more Reks MCs the more he has more to say, the more his say is needing to be heard. His early works are applauded as perfect displays of techniques and championing the ethics of pure Hip Hop. Now, they must be applauded for a sustaining content. With Revolution Cocktail, we have another purge of insights from a gifted MC, the kind that is really scoring all the points in this league.