Interview by Louie Lopez
Photo by Chandler Easley for Cherry Collaborative
Over the last two years Reese’s name has been making a strong buzz, with his debut mixtape “REESE VS THE WORLD” which dropped a year ago, and tracks like “Molly” and “PSA” which dropped this year. Reese has been in the game way before that appearing as a feature on Casey Veggies “CG2” and Dom Kennedy’s “Best After Bobby” mixtape. Reese has been staying focused and working hard to prove that he has what it takes to take it to the next level. JENESIS got a chance to chop it up with REESE discuss his latest tape “REESE VS THE WORLD 2,” his upbringing, and his love for skateboarding.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your upbringing?
My upbringing, let’s see. I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I came from Pensacola, Florida. I lived there for the younger part of my life until I was 14. When I was about 9, I got into skateboarding really heavy. My first sponsor was Seraphim skateboards. It was a skate shop with one of my friends, Sierra Fellers. He’s a pro skateboarder now, he skates for foundation skateboarding. But from there I went to L.A., skated and stuff, then I came to Atlanta seven years ago.
Ahh man, I can go on for days. Antwuan Dixon, Nick Serpas, Brian Herman, and Andrew Reynolds, can’t forget him.
I tried skateboarding for like a year and busted my head and said I’m done with this. Stevie Williams made me want to skate back in the day (laughs).
Yeah, I’ve known Stevie since I was 16, I’m pretty deep into skateboarding. Like, I feel for music tough but I would always put skating before I go to the booth.
Is there anybody specifically who you can say inspired you to start rapping?
The first person that ever made me say, “Damn I want to write some raps” was Stack Bundles, R.I.P. The old Fabolous that used to be on all the Clue (DJ Clue) tapes and old Swishahouse like Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, way before Mike Jones.
I’ve always heard Lupe say that skateboarding helped him with his rap. Can you say the same for you?
Especially in this day and age where skateboarding is a huge part of the hip hop community, I’ll definitely say it does. It helps me get my raps because it helps me clear my mind. Before I hit the studio, I have to go skate. All the places I’ve been too in my life have all been because I was a skateboarder, so I definitely say it plays a huge role in my music.
Tell us about your Two9 crew. Who’s a part of it and what do they bring to the table?
Some people might try to compare us to Odd Future or A$AP Mob because there’s a lot of rap groups out. But, it’s not really a rap group, mostly like an umbrella or a team, filled with artists and producers. Two9 consists of my right hand man Curtis Williams, Key, he raps and produces. Fat Kids Brother, which is a group in Two9, then you have Retro Sushi, which is another group in Two9. Everybody was from all over Atlanta and we just cliqued up from skating and at ratchet parties on the Eastside in 2009 and we used to freestyle. Before Two9, the group was called Pilot Music, as corny as that sound haha.
You’ve been on the scene a lot lately. Besides yourself and your Two9 crew, who are some artists you’re fucking with right now?
Umm A$AP, I fuck with Rocky, shout out Yams, Yams is my nigga! I’ve known Yams for a very long time. Steve Rodriguez is my nigga! Also Rockie Fresh, that’s the homie. I met Rockie in New York. I remember him and BrandUn DeShay were shooting a video outside of Rockie’s job. I fuck with Rockie, and of course Two9. I also like Joey Fatts, I like him a lot.
What can you tell us about the difference between REESE VS THE WORLD to REESE VS THE WORLD 2?
Yeah, I’ve just grown a lot since the last one; it’s been a long year. I’ve experienced more and just bettered myself as a person. Its tremendous change from the last one but you’ll still have the same REE$E feel to it.
When I first heard your REESE VS THE WORLD I liked it but I feel like you could have came way harder , then you were under the radar for a while then when I heard Molly and P.S.A I like was “ man we need more!”
Yeah, the first one was more me experimenting you know; now I can really make records. Yo Dom Kennedy is the one who really got me into rapping. Him and Casey Veggies got me into it, I’ve know Casey for a minute. I did a song with Casey; it’s actually in Customized Greatly 2 it’s called “right here”. We did that years ago it was just some fuck around shit and on Dom Kennedy’s “Best After Bobby” mixtape, I have two songs on their, just little stuff but they really influenced me and told me I should take it serious then I was just like we’ll see what happens.
What can we expect on this upcoming tape?
It’s going to be tight ha! I’ve been working on it since I dropped the first REESE VS THE WORLD in December it’ll be two years. My first mixtape was just really just a test because Don Cannon and them bet me that I couldn’t do it, that I wouldn’t be serious so that’s how that first one came about . Then I just started writing and going to the studio, perfecting it over the last year and a half.
Any special features we should be on the lookout for?
I kept my features low on this mixtape because I wanted to show more of me on this one and not pull out the homie card on people you know. I kept it within the camp. I have production on with there from Will May, Cardo to T-Minus, some of the Two9 dudes like KEY and Curtis Williams. I also have Jerreau from Fly Union on the mixtape. It’s going to be tight man!
Download all of Reese’s released singles and links to social networks here: http://www.reesevstheworld.com/