By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Even with the gap in mainstream success in Philadelphia from the 2006-2007 period until Meek Mill’s 2011 emergence, the city was always a hip hop hotbed. Every time Will Smith shows up in a movie, the city’s rap scene is justified. But, there are many making noise.
Reese Bangem has held Philadelphia’s mixtape scene down for the past few years. With his momentum growing, Reese Bangem is documenting his journey with a new EP. The name of his project is I’m In Gryndmode and he has a couple of new singles, on the way.
Hip Hop Vibe recently had the opportunity to speak with Reese Bangem for the latest On The Rise edition. During the interview, he spoke on his background, the support from his kids and the women in his life. He also explained how his new project is coming together.
Read the entire interview below:
You often mention the support of your mother, grandmother, and aunt. Do they support your music endeavors? For sure. My mom is like my biggest fan, her and my kids are battling it out for that top spot. My grandma is going to support me to the fullest, but she isn’t really with all of the explicit content, because she’s a church-going lady, so I play her the clean versions. My Aunt Lon has my back, right or wrong, no matter what, she’s got me and she understands.
Many up-and-coming artists credit a passion for music that drives them into rapping, but did the amounts of money these guys make motivate you at all? I’ve always been motivated by success, because I’ve never been a hater. So, when I see guys doing good for themselves, and the people around them, that definitely motivates me and the passion I have for the music. It keeps me going and I express myself through the music and I also want to change my people’s lives for the better, so the benefits motivate me, for sure.
What was the inspiration by your “Chuck Norris” record, are you a “Walker” fan, or you just believe he’s badass? “Walker” was a great show and Chuck was the man, but my inspiration for the track was the way Troy Ave originally killed it and his producer did that beat dirty, so I felt like I had to touch it and I hadn’t heard no one on it, so I hit my little cousin, G1000 and told him I had a track we could do and the rest was history.
Being a native of Philadelphia, what is your opinion on Meek Mill and his situations with Drake and Game? To be honest, I think it’s all entertainment. I don’t think you can really beef with someone that you really don’t know, or have a good rapport with. As far as Meek’s situation, with those guys, I really hate speaking on things I don’t have the proper insight on, or that has nothing to do with me and mine. I don’t know any of them, personally, so I don’t know what occurred that sparked the situation, so I like to mind my own business. Shout out to Meek, though, not throwing no shade, but like you said, I’m from Philly.
How do you handle conflict if you ever feel tension is beginning to rise? It depends on who the person is and what the conflict is about, but for the most part, I think conflict and tension handles itself. There are different ways to handle it, but I doubt you’ll ever see me entertaining rap beef. I don’t ever see myself dissing anyone for any reason. This industry is full of grown men and a grown man deserves a certain level of respect from another grown man and a man-to-man conversation is a part of that level of respect. If we don’t agree, we don’t ever have to speak again. But, a personal situation may get handled differently, because we know each other personally, so any form of disrespect is a violation, period.
Can you tell us more about your I’m In Gryndmode project? My project, I’m In Gryndmode is an EP and it is going to be crazy. It has about six songs, all bangers, different topics, sounds, and it is going to be a bar-for-bar game-changer, for real. I’m taking it back to the essence of hip hop, not taking anything away from anyone else doing it, but no one else is doing it like me. I’m In Gryndmode was the perfect title to introduce the project, because it’s the work I’ve been putting in. It’s the results of my grind and it’s time for the world to hear it and, I’m still in “gryndmode” every day. I also have a documentary coming soon, a little bit after the EP that’s going to show the grind and it is going to compliment the EP.
Is there another single you plan to put out before releasing the new project? I plan on dropping two singles just to show versatility. One of the singles is called “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” touching on all of the police brutality. The other single is called “Revenue” and both tracks feature my man, Kenif Muse, who also produces “They Don’t Really Care About Us.” Infamous Rell produced “Revenue” and they are both dope records I can’t wait to release to the masses.
Where can people find you on social media? The best way for the people to get in contact with me is through my website, Gryndmode.com and I want to say Rest In Peace to my brother, Dayo, we are doing this all for you, and thanks to Hip Hop Vibe for having me.
Watch “Slick Talk” by Reese Bangem below:
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.