The candid, self-reflective vocals of MC E Reece embody true school hip-hop. Born in the Midwest, raised in Maryland, and schooled in the business in New York City, E Reece is more than your typical MC. His latest music video for “Success (Keep On Rising)”, produced by Stro Elliot and featuring Los Angeles singer Jimetta Rose, has been breaking down stereotypes of what a hip-hop single is supposed to be. We caught up to E Reece to talk to him about his refreshing take on music and the world.
E Reece, how do you balance the responsibilities of parenthood with your rap career?
Man that’s easy. Parenthood comes first! Everything else is secondary. I’ve pursued my music career since 2001, but when I had my son in 2009, everything changed. I took two years off. I didn’t write or perform at all. I didn’t really want to. I had gotten tired of the indie grind and needed to step back and re-energize. Being a parent changed my whole perspective on life. It’s not about just me anymore. I’ve got mouths to feed now and seeing as though I lost my father at a young age, I’m making sure that I’m present in his life and giving him that guidance that he needs from a male perspective.
I’m very involved in his life and with all of the responsibilities that come with having a child, I just make time or find time to create whenever I can. Sure I miss networking opportunities here and there, but that’s the sacrifice you make as a parent. When I started making music again in 2011, I came back with a perspective that music wasn’t going to be my be all, end all and that I wasn’t going to force things, but instead let things come to me without all of the expectations. I now just create and release music when I feel I have something to say and just let the music do what it does. Hopefully it moves and inspires people.
What do you think is the one thing people misunderstand the most about you?
Probably that I’m serious all of the time lol. That’s actually not true at all. My close friends and family know that I’m actually quite silly, but that doesn’t always come across in my music. I’m the type of person who has to feel others out first before I open up to them fully. Maybe its a defense mechanism, I don’t know, but its just the way I am. Once I feel comfortable with you, then you’ll begin to see the true me. You can say I’m and introverted extrovert haha.
How did you choose the producers who ended up remixing “Success”?
Well I’ve had a working relationship with all of them in one form or another for a while now. I knew that they would each present unique variations of the track and that’s something that I wanted. They were all available and down and we made it happen. The Beat Ventriloquists have done many remixes for me over the years. They’re a brother duo and I met them through a friend/co-worker/fellow musician years ago at a party.
I met D-Felic a few years ago here in LA when he was out here visiting through a mutual friend and we’ve done some tracks together as well. I met Wow Jones last year through a mutual friend and we’re both from Maryland so we kind of bonded on that. I’m now focusing a bit more behind the scenes these days and am doing a bit of creative consulting with him and his song writing partner JimiJames for Boss Academy. I think each remix is unique and reflects each individual producers style and taste. They came out dope!
What rappers were you listening to when you started rapping? How do you think they affected you?
Man I grew up with hip hop so I’ve been listening to the greats since day one. When I started rapping at the end of high school I was into Special Ed, A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Redman, Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, Ganstarr, Souls of Mischief and a lot of other people. I think the biggest influence of them on me was the importance of lyrical content, style, delivery and vocal dexterity. Obviously the beats have to knock and draw you in, but the lyrics and the voice and what’s being said and how its being said really affected me.
I learned that as a true MC you have to be original and have your own style and be nice with the pen! Also, for me it’s important to reflect the times and to use your music to reflect your personal views and to add social commentary, not in a preachy way, but just as a cathartic way to get things off of your chest, whether it be in your personal life, or things you see happening around you and in the world. Like Jeru said, “When you have the opportunity to say something…say something.”
I’d like to shout out Dunn Deal PR for doing their job. My family, friends, peers, fans and supporters around the globe who appreciate good music and help spread the word. Shouts to Jimetta Rose, Stro Elliot, all of the remixers, the director of the video Jason Frerking, and to my mom, LeeJames and to my son for their contributions in the video and to you guys for offering me the opportunity for this interview. Peace to all and be on the lookout for a remix EP from me and The Beat Ventriloquists coming out later this year! Much love!
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