A popular mainstream talking point (widely held by people who populated our recent political conventions) is that everyone in prison is an ill-spirited person who “deserves” to be confined. That there must be “a reason” they are in jail. This broad-stroking opinion strips the much needed nuance from the discussion of incarceration, painting everyone as varying degrees of “super-predator.”
Boston MC Reks set out to re-humanize with his latest track, “Kites.” Named for the prison system’s primary mode of written communication between inmates, Reks both pays homage to incarcerated activist Mumia Abu-Jamal and chastises the blackheartedness of Dylan Roof. Deciding to “write” to an icon of Black liberation as well as a domestic terrorist on the same track was a clever method of highlighting the dichotomy of just who’s behind the walls for what reasons.
Over minimalist, searing Alchemist production, Reks celebrates Mumia as a “voice of the voiceless.” He then picks apart the evils Roof committed before noting he’s just “tryna understand” why he did it. Who knows if we’ll ever get an answer, but Reks’ relative mercy and pity gave his track a respectable dynamism with racial tensions so high.
“Kites” is a track from Reks’ upcoming The Greatest X project, which is set to be released September 9th. You can stream below.