Rap and electronic music have a long history in common, and it is a complex one. It is both conflictual and incestuous, and it had many episodes. The very last one, though, is special. It is something quite different. For several years, indeed, the incredible prolific RXK Nephew, a rapper from Rochester, delivered at an insanely fast pace a multitude of releases and freestyles. And quite often, to support a flow visibly propelled by the use of alcohol, Kristopher Williams – his real name – leverages house music and techno beats.

RXK NEPHEW - 'Til I'm Dead

Released by the beginning of 2023 - a year he dominated with his multiple projects, a year when he's been one of the rare satisfactory rappers – 'Til I'm Dead is presented like his first official album. Produced for once by just one beatmaker, Rx Brainstorm, recorded for the first time by a sober RXK Nephew, it is undoubtedly his most accessible work to date. With this umpteenth album that twists Biggie's Ready To Die cover art – it was released on his death anniversary – the rapper confirms what his musical position is.

The fantastic single and hilarious ego-trip "Critical" and the well-named "Dance Song", two of the best songs, have indeed house music beats. There are also adjacent styles: the ethereal synthesizers of ambient music, the frantic beats of drum'n'bass, the sophisticated arpeggios of IDM, or some good old electro music on "I’m High". Neph, however, uses any means necessary. There are also a lot of trap music beats, and at times Auto-Tuned raps, like on "TwoTone".

As far as lyrics are concerned, it's also all over the place. This rapper doesn't care about hooks. He shares his thoughts as they go, very quickly. He practices logorrhea and goes from one subject to another. His main alter ego, that Neph with incomparable dance moves, gives way at times to another one, the enraged and howling Slitherman. Sometimes he changes his tone, or suddenly he imitates OJ da Juiceman, or Mike Jones. He likes it when it is absurd, like with the long rant around the verb "to do" that is "What Im Doin".

RXK Nephew is a street rapper, and as such he talks about drugs, Glocks and money, and he gets high with alcohol and other substances. He is a mad dog who bites with no warning producers such as Mike Will, DJ Mustard and Young Chop, on the epic and conclusive "Love Song" – he also says that Benny the Butcher is not really a butcher… But he can be an introspective rapper like when, on "All I Had Was A Bean" and other tracks, he talks about his childhood, when he was abandoned by his mother and raised by his grandma.

In these boring times, while we wonder where rap music will go next, RXK Nephew found a way : he goes back to the basics, when rapping was all about elucubrating on discotheque music; like Lil B, to whom he was often compared – and whom he mentions on "Frames" – he sets no limits to his fantasies, he gives them all he has. Even if this is inedible, even if this is too much, something great will come out of it.

Listen to this album