Check out the new song from Rex Mac – Caesar
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
Originally I’m from San Francisco. When I was 10 my family and I moved across the universe to Hyannis, Massachusetts. Drastic, right? That year, my mom bought me a keyboard from Radio Shack for Christmas and from there I just taught myself how to make beats by ear. I remember trying to memorize the melodies of the songs my parents would play in the car so I could impress them by playing it on the piano by the time we got home. They had wide range of tastes in music: from Blue Magic, to Dr. Dre, to Earth Wind and Fire, to America, to Roger and Zapp. But to this day, I still can’t read music. But I produce all the beats for my own records. It’s against my religion to do covers.
I picked up rapping in the sixth grade. I would freestyle with my friends at the lunch table and shit just took off from there. All of our free time from there on out was dedicated to recording when we went over each others’ houses. One of the kids I started with is still ridin’ with me. Our alternative hip hop duo, Mind Trip, has been going strong since 2007.
Now, I got a studio and a state registered production company, Stars And Roses Entertainment, opened for acts like Matt & Kim and K’naan, and am finally letting loose some material. My first EP drops next month.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
“Caesar” is the first track off my debut EP, Kingdom Power Glory, which drops on August 3. I wrote the song last fall while I was studying across the pond in New Cross, London. It was very much inspired by all of the Greco Roman architectural designs and paintings I had come across in my Euro travels. I was on sensory overload absorbing all of the art over there, so the song ended up being extremely visual. I wanted listeners to see gold and feel as if they were in a palace, which is why the intro to the song sounds so majestic. In my performance set out in London, I tested the song out on stage and people enjoyed it. I was pretty happy with the response so I’m using it as the first track of the EP. It sets the tone for the rest of the songs after it. It just carries a big, powerful sound – hence my EP’s title.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?
Right now, I’m working on booking gigs for the fall season. And promoting the new EP. I have been and will be dropping new songs every week for free until the EP is out. As for the EP itself, just expect a hodgepodge of sound. It’s emotional. It’s colorful. There’s a common theme streamlining through all of the songs that touch a little bit on humanist philosophy. There are only seven tracks, but sound wise, it’s all across the board. You’re going to get a bit of house, rap, fuzz rock, and there’s even a jazz interlude! I can’t wait for it to drop.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
The hardest challenges are occurring right now. This goddamn hump before the fame is a killer that hemorrhages money when you’re your own graphic designer, studio engineer, and booking agent. Also, landing hip hop gigs, in a rock oriented city as Boston is an objective that requires a street army behind you. But, at the same time, I have faith in Boston. It has its fair share of heroes. I just hope that my generation gets to see some of its own receive recognition on a national scale.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
Well, when I’m in my early 40s, with five records certified diamond, cleaned up from a meth addiction, and a proud survivor of some celebrity scandal, I’ll answer this question with pride. For now, I’ll just smile and say life has been good so far.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Artists need to make sure they retain all creative control. Fuck how big a label is. If they can’t accept you for your creative choices, then abandon ship and build a new one. You see what Jive did to Clipse and how Atlantic did Lupe. And of course, you already know industry rule 4080. ATCQ is my shit!
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Do you. Enjoy the creative process. Live with spectrum. And have vision. Can’t emphasize that last one enough. Abandon your ghostwriters, producers, and creative directors, and embrace the holy DIY attitude. It’s the only thing that guarantees that you’ll survive the industry these days.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Tumblr is pretty clean. And of course, Facebook. I’m not really the Twitter type though. Maybe one day I’ll cave.
Where can people visit you?
The main site is www.up-set.net. You can get all my free music there as well as the music by other Stars and Roses affiliates.
For my Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/therexmacfanpage.
If you’re a rapper in need of beats reading this, head to www.soundclick.com/starsandrosesentertainment.