High Rhymes Vol 2: RXKNephew

Rapper RXKNephew discusses his new album, being drunk at Walmart, and breaking into the legal weed industry.
Courtesy RXKNephew

RXKNephew is smiling ear to ear, his face under a shade provided by the brim of his wicker sun hat and sunglasses resting on his face. He looks fit to go on vacation, perhaps a tropical island or resort. In reality, it’s a Wednesday afternoon and he’s drunk off nearly a whole bottle of Hennessy, in the midst of driving to his mom’s house after a shopping spree in Walmart. “Man, I filled my mom cart up to the tippy top, both carts. I’m letting her know that your son got your back. My mom don’t need no man, she got me,” he says with pride. 

“RXKNephew’s raps are a Pandora’s box of his darkest thoughts, channeled through unfiltered stories of selling drugs, late night hustles, and fake rappers. Neph, born and raised in Rochester, NY, broke brainwaves in 2020 with the 10-minute spectacle “American Tterrorist,” which feels like a Martin Scorsese film on a bad acid trip. The music exudes authenticity, every word an eyewitness account of something that’ll be later reported on the Citizen app. 

RXKNephew recently released The ONEderful Nephew tape produced entirely by DJ Rude One. It’s a project that puts Neph into the world of 90s boom-bap beats and golden age aesthetics. Like most of Neph’s collaborations, this was a money-for-service transaction. Neph acts as a mercenary, paid to rap on beats without any questions asked. “I first met that nigga in Chicago, I was doing a show. I met that nigga once. He paid me to do a mixtape. I don’t know that nigga like that. I get paid to rap on beats, bro. Once I see money landed in my cash app, that’s when I start rapping. Nothing is personal. It’s all business.”

Recently, Nephew has also entered the world of cannabis, dropping a strain distributed by the legendary Teds Budz and grown by an anonymous cultivator in the Bay Area. Ooze, Neph’s new strain named after Ivan Ooze and his ability to place individuals under a trance, is a lineage of High-Octane OG crossed with Lemon Cherry Zkittlez.

RXKNephew talks to High Times about the new album, recording his music sober, and taming his alter ego Slitherman. By the time the call finished, he finished the entire bottle of Henny.

Out of all these tapes that you’ve been paid to make, is there anything that sticks out to you as your favorite so far?

Every single one of them, man. Slitherman Activated, everything I pretty much dropped was people I just met through the internet, basically. Even the “American Tterrorist,” I don’t even know Boss Up. I’ve never met him a day in my life.

The amount of beats you use for him, you’d think there’s more of a relationship. 

Brainstorm, that’s my producer. Brainstorm is my producer. Brainstorm come to my house, he see I got bitches cooking pancakes. He make beats and we rap. Brainstorm is my nigga.

Staying on Brainstorm, Till I’m Dead, that’s your technical studio debut album. He did the whole tape, right?

Yep, he did every single beat.

Till I’m Dead is a little different because you did that tape entirely sober.

I did that whole tape sober.

What made you want to do that tape?

No, let me stop lying. I don’t know why I just lied to you. I just lied. I was so drunk. I was so drunk, I was about to fall on the floor. I was so drunk when I recorded that tape. I don’t know who came up with that conspiracy theory that I was sober, but hell no. Look at it.

Yeah, because if you go on Pitchfork, I read that review. I guess they go with the whole thing that you were sober making that.

I was drunk as shit, mad and depressed. I was depressed. That’s why I’m going to tell you one thing. I was very depressed, but I knew shit was going to go up. I ain’t have as much money as I got now when I recorded that.

What was probably your favorite track off that tape, if you remember?

“Till I’m Dead,” “Critical,” “Long Song.” Every single one of them songs is so hot that I can listen to them all day. 

Have you ever recorded a tape sober?

No, sir. I don’t do shit sober. I ain’t even have my kids sober. I don’t drive sober. I don’t fuck my bitch sober. Man, listen here, man. I don’t do shit sober. Listen, I be drunk at Walmart. That’s why I spent so much money because I be drinking so much.

You’re getting a lot of praise on the internet, more than usual. So one shout out that you got recently was from Rihanna because she was playing “I Love my Girlfriend.” What was your reaction to that shit?

I felt crazy because I know that’s a popping artist. Fuck popping, she put in work. She put in as much work as I put in. She probably got 1,000 songs … I love it, but big shout out to A$AP Rocky. I’ve been linked up with him last year. We did six, seven songs together, so everything all makes sense. I used to hear A$AP Rocky songs when I was in prison in 2012, ’13. Rihanna, I’ve been listening to Rihanna since I’ve been in group homes.

Your work ethic feels like a lost art. No one really seems to grind anymore, so that grind definitely gets you what you deserve.

It depends on the person. Producer is no different from rapper. It’s rappers out here that’s viral that don’t get paid, but they’re viral. They just don’t understand the business part of it, and if you don’t understand the business part, you’re never going to eat. You could have the best songs, best features. I know niggas who produce for Migos, Gucci Mane. In Atlanta everybody did some of everything. Everybody somewhere that did something, but they’d be still fucked up not getting their residuals. They’d be fucked up in apartments begging for weed, bust downs on cigarettes, Newports, asking for a couple dollars and they got hit records. You have a hit record and you asking me for $30. You don’t know the business aspect of this.

When did you first conjure up Slitherman? 

Slitherman is the old me, basically. That’s the old me that I don’t want to come out. When he come out, that shit … You know what I’m saying? But coming up with that whole thing is that’s just the alter ego, bro. I don’t want that to come out. Slitherman may be wanting to come out. I be wanting to rob niggas, slap niggas, punch niggas in they shit, dump, break neck. I want to shoot people’s house up. I be wanting to extort people, but that’s not me, that’s Slitherman. I don’t do that. RXKNephew, Christopher Williams don’t do that, but Slitherman might do that. So we don’t want him around though. We boycott Slitherman. Slitherman, stay away. That’s a demon that we don’t want here. Because when Slitherman still around, a lot of people was in trouble.

Lately you were in the studio with a number of producers. You have a tape with F1lthy coming out and you were in the studio with Harry Fraud as of the other night.

Oh, yeah. I fuck with them niggas. I fuck with F1lthy and Harry Fraud. Harry Fraud is a legend. He’s a GOAT. My favorite rapper is Max B. Boy, listen here, that’s a blessing to work with that. That’s like a dream come true. I’m blacking on every song. We create history, Harry Fraud is my nigga. Me and F1lthy about to be in France. I just went to the dentist, got my teeth right and shit. I’m about to catch this flight. We about to be out in Paris going crazy.

You also recently just broke into the weed industry, so tell me more about that. What was your original vision of doing that shit? Did you always want to do that?

I’ve always been selling drugs my whole life, but now we can do it legal, now we be doing weed. Big shouts out Ted Budz, man, because he brought the shit to my attention. It’s crazy because we sat down last year and talked about what we want to grow and it took a year to come out with this shit, and this shit is the best weed on planet Earth. You got to smoke it. Have you smoked it? That shit is top shelf, and this in all the stores, bro. It’s legal. We track it. I’m a hustler.

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