Rekstizzy is an interesting artist within the hip-hop genre. He carries his own signature both in his artistry and style. I’ve been listening to his music for a bit and I thought it would a great time for Rekstizzy to introduce himself and his brand of hip-hop to the Korean Indie audience.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hello korean indie world. My artist name is Rekstizzy but all my friends call me Rek or Rekky. I like music, chicken wings, and currently, I’m trying my best to spend more time on the phone with my mom since we live on opposite coasts. My high score is three hours when I was quarantined in Korea.
How would you describe your music as a Hip-hop artist?
If it’s a serious topic, I have to sprinkle it with jokes. And if it’s light-hearted, there’s gotta be some seriousness to it. You have to kind of be a silly person to like my music. Production-wise, I love melodic beats with that anime OST feel. But I’m also from New York so I also like dark, grimy stuff. Gemini shit, I guess.
Where did the frog mascot come from?
I’m honestly not sure but frogs make me happy. My dream is to meet other people with large frog collections around the world. It’s crazy how many there actually are. I want to know their answer to this question so I could understand my own.
I remember that my first introduction to you was from the documentary Bad Rap and your music video for “God Bless America.” That might have been most people’s first impression. Did your participation in the documentary help your career move forward?
It doesn’t hurt being on a Netflix documentary but wouldn’t say it’s changed my life. I do think a lot of people walked away from the film understanding me a little better.
Your music has been evolving from release to release, adding and dropping elements. 2020 was a heavy year in singles and features. Do you think you will ever want to stick to a signature style or keep experimenting throughout your career?
I don’t really go into the studio with a plan. When I collaborate with a producer, I usually ask for their more obscure beats and try to adapt to it. So adding or dropping elements kinda happens naturally. Making music should be both work and play.
Experimenting is a good example of that even though what you create might end up getting slam dunked in the recycle bin. One of my favorite things of 2020 was learning to edit in Adobe Premiere and creating the “Young Adult Fiction” music video. I just shot hours of random footage and tried to piece it together into something cohesive while watching Youtube tutorials and wiping away tears. Worth.
You also started streaming on Twitch streaming games and IRL content. What was the inspiration to start?
I was playing games like Persona 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Very long, story-driven games that take like a 100+ hours and I felt horrible about it. My compromise to myself was to at least turn it into content. Since then, my stream has expanded from gaming to hanging out, doing interviews, drinking, and spending time with my fans.
A lot of freestyling too, of course. People think of Twitch as just a gaming platform, like I did, but it’s much more. IRL streaming is like doing a travel show but you’re also the camera crew and host. I felt like going to Korea was something I could do for my viewers who were stuck at the crib quarantined and not able to travel.
Twitch has been having its own growing list of problems, but the DMCA response has been particularly garbage. What are your thoughts as an artist and a streamer? Should streamers be allowed to stream music?
As an indie artist and streamer myself, I seen the value in giving away content or music for free and getting blessed by the audience directly. So I can’t really understand what these major labels are thinking. But it seems backwards that these platforms do a lot to promote their artists and the labels seem to be standing in their own way.
What’s your goal with Twitch? Is it another way to connect with fans more directly?
I have a lot of regulars that come to my stream so I see them more as friends than just fans. That’s kind of a cliche thing artists say but it’s to the point where I play games with them off stream or be having actual arguments with them like friends do at times.
I haven’t thought too far about my goal on Twitch aside from the initial promise of guilt-free gaming. But I do want to get to the point where I can lock in some endorsement deals. H-mart, please hit me up.
Has Twitch extended your reach as an artist?
I’ve made a lot of great friends on the platform that will share my music videos to their community. Always grateful for that. But it’s also a little nerve wracking because they’re reacting live and you can see the comment section as it’s happening.
Thankfully, it’s been mostly dope. It’s also influenced me to adapt new slang and aesthetics which are exclusive to the Twitch audience. A good example is my “Run.exe” music video. You won’t fully appreciate it unless you’re coming from Twitch.
You spent an extended amount of time in South Korea in 2020. Was that a planned trip or a quick decision to take a vacation from the U.S.?
I was always planning on coming to Korea and even Japan but just as I was getting ready to go, coronavirus hit. After being couped up for months and seeing my friends in Asia living out regular life, I finally pulled the trigger on the trip in July and ended up staying for four months. Best thing I did.
Kirin is my favorite person in Korea. Just somebody I respect artistically and just overall as a human being. I first became a fan when my friend and manager at the time, Jaeki, put me on to his Love & Happiness album and showed me his merch.
If there’s one thing that’ll win me over is an artist’s merch, it’s so telling. We’ve been close friends since then and he’s the only dude that’s a year older than me that I address with the utmost respect. You know, gyopos pick their hyungs. Really dope to meet meenoi, SFC.JGR, and the rest of the people on 8Balltown while I was out there. Going to Jeju Island as a sausage party unit is a memory I’ll cherish forever.
Did you record any other music there? Like new solo tracks?
Blessed to be putting a project out with 8Balltown in 2021. It’s my favorite label in Korea because I think they’ve established a brand of ‘take the music seriously, not yourself’ which is what I identify with.
Got to collaborate with a lot of my favorite artists and producers from the Korean scene, so I’m really excited about it. The first single and music video has a pretty great feature, look forward to that. Outside of that project, I will also be putting out loosies, as much as I can so please follow on spotify and youtube.
Any big releases or plans for 2021?
Some things outside of music hopefully but don’t want to talk about it yet.
Where should people go to follow you for the best experience?
Twitch if you want to hang live. Youtube for music videos. Spotify for music. But I’m most active on my Instagram. Thanks for tapping in with me, Korean Indie, I appreciate your continued support and the music suggestions you put me onto.