The New York born artist Reckle$$ has been making waves for the F.O.R. conglomerate Sicko Hive and his fans. Hailing from the hip-hop mecca, his robust slick talk over melodies instantly gravitates listeners to pay attention to the cloth talk he discusses. Last week Reckle$$ released the thirteen-track album Too Damn Good 2, which was covered by our Vegas writer H. Wadud. The deluxe album presents five more tracks that pick up right where he left off after the last track on the previous version of the album Fell Off.
Like his wrestling influences, Reckle$$ talks with the bravado of any of the New World Order members Kevin Nash or Scott Hall, and blends that with the Bret Hart-like precision on piecing features and tracks together to give a technical body of work. With his Cancun trip drawing a close, I had time to speak to the rapper about his clothing line and asked about his deluxe album.
Jay: Explain the background of the cover of the deluxe album.
Reckle$$: It's a homage to the Too Damn Good album cover which was my dad at twenty-two. I was twenty-two when I decided to drop the first album. I didn't do that for the cover art of the sequel which y'all covered last week, so for the deluxe, I had to make my dad the cover for it.
Jay: Too Damn Good 2 is a sequel to the 2015 album Too Damn Good. Can you expound on how different your approach was from the 2015 album to today?
Reckle$$: 2015 was the beginning of my production career. It was my first fully self-produced album. Due to lessons I learned from that body of work, I refined my producing ear to reach this higher level of production that's displayed with the sequel where I can say that I'm damn proud of my updated approach.
Jay: Was there any significance within the order of the tracklist? In the first two tracks, we have We Up, We Good followed by Still (Too Damn Good 2).
Reckle$$: We Up We Good had to lead the album off to let the fans know I'm back and still proves I'm better than ever.
Jay: It seemed like the perfect one-two punch to introduce the album. We Up, We Good had a sample of myself speaking to my old elementary school student with a chant to get their attention where I would say "We up" followed by them saying "We Good". Then the mood shifts on Still to further establish that you're all business. Prior to the release of the initial and deluxe album, the two leading singles were Wavy and Sicko Vibes, featuring Big Wirm and M.A.S.K., who were featured in both singles. How did they play a part in the album coming together if they did?
Reckle$$: To let people know even on the smooth shit, I'm still too damn good and to show them my production has grown. M.A.S.K. was definitely the cherry on top for the track. His voice completed the total package even though I wrote the hook for it. Big Wirm always sets the vibe as you can hear throughout the album, he adapts to the track and delivers EVERY TIME. Look at the songs like Salsa of him talking slick shit and how he fits the outro shouting about how wack these frauds can be on Issa Dub.
Jay: During the height of COVID, you moved out to the Inland Empire region of California. I know you worked with the likes of Sonnie Babble in the studio along with meeting some IE staples such as Jay Kasai and Joe Sweatpants. Please discuss the differences between the Inland Empire music scene compared to the New York Music scene. Do you think your perspective would change if COVID wasn’t a prevalent factor since your move out west?
Reckle$$: It's much slower out here. I feel like I have a stronger chance in the IE since the New York scene is super flooded. My response could be different if COVID never happened but that's something I'll see whenever all of this is over.
Jay: For those that don’t know, you’ve been rapping since 2004-2005. In that time frame, CDs were still the main form of digesting music alongside radio play and marketing was more under the control of a label. Now in the social media era, essentially, everyone can be their own marketing manager if they really wanted to. Do you feel like it’s easier to get recognition as an indie artist with the inclusion and evolution of social media? Or do you feel like the over-saturation of everything on social media makes it harder to get recognized?
Reckle$$: Social media makes it WAY easier to get reached out to others and to have your music heard by plenty of people. I be having songs played all over the world and it gives me much more motivation to keep creating content.
Jay: Outside of music content, you also have a clothing brand known as Lavi$h Lifestyle. For those that don't know about his clothing brand, you’ll find a really interesting fusion of trending styles and unique streetwear. Whether you’re here in search of shirts, jackets, hats, hoodies, bookbags, cell phone cases, tee shirts, or more, you can always find something new. Most everything you’ll find at Lavi$h Life is limited, which means you probably won’t see other people wearing your favorite gear. I even had a customized iPhone 8 case from the business when you were only making phone cases for the iPhone XR and newer. So I have to ask you this: what’s next for the Lavi$h Lifestyle brand?
Reckle$$: We have some new designs coming for the fall. There is going to be a total rehaul of the site and we're designing our first custom basketball shoe.
Jay: I'm sure that when I have my pair, I'll hit a reverse windmill, say "BOOMSHAKALAH" while doing so and tell people that it's the shoes. As an indie artist yourself, who are some indie artists that you would like to shout out?
Reckle$$: The Whole Family*Of*Royalty. Who are my guys Ac3, Black Magik, Tone Nyce, A.R.T, Deejay Kross, Remifa. My Bandithouse niggas in Jersey, and my Sickos all across the world. All love to the Sicko Hive.
You can follow Reckle$$ on Instagram @reckworldorder and follow him on Twitter @2DmGood
Written by: Jay Guevara. @justinhisprime on all social media.