Rec Riddles is a Producer/MC from New Jersey based in St. Louis, MO. Rec Riddles, whose persona is derived from the classic DC Comics villain, The Riddler, lives up to his moniker. He leaves hidden messages in his music that listeners must decypher to fully grasp. Puzzles of view points constantly changing and brain teasers of sonic intellect. Rooted in vintage, yet leaping toward the future. His beats are laid with harsh drum hits, growling bass lines, melancholy chords all meshed together with dirty sample loops and little nuances of live instruments. He has been featured on four iStandard Producers Showcases, including 2014’s Beast of the Beats 8. But it doesn’t stop there. Rec accompanies these compositions with tongue twisting wordplay, tales of life both reality and fantasy, delivered with smooth tenor cadences. He has performed at St. Louis Underground Music Festival 2015 and St. Louis’ Freshmen Class XIII. Rec Riddles has also been nominated for the 2016 Slumfest Hip Hop Awards in the “Freshman Class Artist of the Year” category. Rec Riddles is not a beat making rapper, he is a producing MC. Rec recently released his debut project entitled “Omega March” March 14 2016. His 2 singles from “Omega March”, “The 4th Kind” and “Rec Room Therapy” have been receiving airplay on online radio and have been place on some popular hip hop blogs. Rec Riddles just released his newest album “Brilliant but Disturbed” on June 29 2016 to much acclaim. So the question still remains, who is this guy and where did he come from? Riddle me that
Where are you from?
I’m originally from New Jersey but I currently reside in St. Louis.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since about 10 years old. I learned how to play the bass by taking lessons in school and started rapping at about 7 years old. I’ve been pursuing a career in music for about 3 years now. I started off focusing more on the production side of my artistry while still continuing to rap but as of early 2015, I decided to focus on both rapping and producing.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
I have released 2 projects to date. I released my EP “Omega March” on March 14, 2016 & I released my first album entitled “Brilliant but Disturbed” on June 29, 2016.
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background and inspirations behind it?
My latest release “Brilliant but Disturbed” is an album about honesty, setbacks, social issues, race, politics and how all those things have effected me. So I mainly talk a in first person on this album but there are songs like “Rich Man’s Struggle” where I talk from the perspective of a rich white male. The title comes from how something that is pure and a gift from the Creator can be corrupted, mislead or tainted by what is going on in the environment.
What do you think of the music industry in 2016?
My thoughts on the music industry in 2016 are that for most artist coming up in the industry, it’s hard to be original because most music that is marketed on a mainstream platform all sounds alike and most hip hop artist play it safe and don’t really break new ground. On the other hand the industry is also in a great space because of what the internet has allowed artist to do. We’re at the point where you don’t need a record label to distribute your content and you can be completely in control creatively as well as in business.
Who do you think the most influential artist?
The most influential artist in any genre would have to be Michael Jackson. I don’t think there is any artist, alive or dead that hasn’t been impacted by his art. He was groundbreaking, in all aspects of his creative output. From his music, videos, live show, style of dress, he was a complete original. R.I.P.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?
So far in my career I have collaborated with a MC by the name of Reks from out of Boston. He’s an elite lyricist and ever since I heard him on Statik Selecktah’s first album back in 2007, I always wanted to collaborate with him. He appears on the song “Red or Blue Pill” on my album “Brilliant but Disturbed”
How do you think you differ from other artists?
I think I differ from other artist because of my sheer creativity and ability to think outside of the box. I market and promote my music myself and I have had success by engaging my fans with giveaways and things of that nature. My music is based on my life, the lives of people around me and my ability to use my imagination. I producer 100 percent of my music and I don’t think there is any other MC/Producer of my caliber out there.
What is your favorite aspect of being an artist?
My favorite part of being an artist is being in the studio and creating. To me, being in the studio is complete therapy for me, it’s my sanctuary. The place where I can get out any and all of my thoughts and emotions. I feel completely free when I’m in the studio.
You self produce all of your music, will you be collaborating with other producers on future projects?
Yes I’m actually shopping for beats now, I have a few producers in mind from the St. Louis area that I’m very interested in collaborating with.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would have to be a tie between 3 artist & that’s Prince, J Dilla & Nas. All 3 of those artist are like the pinnacle of what it means to be a great artist, create your own lane and master your craft. Honestly, if I could just hold a conversation with those 3 artist I would be content with that.
What was the first album you bought?
The first album I bought was Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album.
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
My favorite song at the moment is from my brother Ackurate “Growth pt. 2”
If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?
I could never sell my music collection. I have an extensive collection of CDs & tapes, I have about 900 vinyl records. The only way I would sell my music collection is if the money I received would help my family.
Who are your Top 5 Favorite MCs of All Time?
My Top 5 Favorite MCs of All Time are 1. Nas 2. Black Thought 3. Andre 3000 4. Rakim 5. Rec Riddles
Who are your Top 5 Favorite Hip Hop Producers of All Time?
My top 5 Favorite hip hop producers are 1. J Dilla 2. RZA 3. DJ Premier 4. Pete Rock 5. Rec Riddles
What is your favorite saying?
“Do it now, Get it done”
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I’m a big comic book head, my comic collection is almost as deep as my music collection. I’m a really big movie buff as well, mainly horror and sci-fi. Another big hobby of mine is record collecting. Even though I am mainly a sample based producer and I mostly sample from records, I collect records just to hear really good music in its original format. My biggest hobby at the moment is learning to play new instruments and expanding my playing. Outside of that, I’m just an average guy with above average thoughts
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Yes I have 6 tattoos. I have a microphone on my right shoulder. “Hope” on my right forearm, “Faith” on my left forearm. My “Rec Riddles Logo” on my left arm and my initials on my right and left tricep.
What’s in the pipeline after this project?
After “Brilliant but Disturbed” I will be releasing 2 more projects this year. The next project is entitled “Notes from the Underworld” which will be dropping in September. I’m really excited about the next 2 projects because they are completely different from my previous projects sonically and I’m looking forward to how my fans will respond to them. I will also be performing across the U.S. making stops in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis and Kansas City so be on the look out for that.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making great, fresh music.
Thanks so much for the opportunity, God bless.