A young MC from the West Side of Chicago, Musa Reems is thoughtful beyond his years. Currently attending Columbia College in Chicago’s South Loop, he aspires to be a social entrepreneur; giving back knowledge and other resources to his community. He dreams of imitating the career arc of Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf. Wolf started his career as a DJ and used his relationships in the scene to launch one of the most successful indie labels in Hip-Hop. Currently working on his first full length project, Musa is primed for a breakout year.
I first came across his music about a year ago on Soundcloud, I was impressed by his rapid fire flow, not only because of the pure speed of the rhymes, but also because he possesed the measured delivery of a seasoned MC. His songs “Eclipse” & “Colt 45” were my introduction to what Musa had to offer and I was thoroughly impressed. Both songs are incredible displays of lyrical dexterity while maintaining solid song structure and poise.
“I really focus on punchlines, one –liners, creating different flows, and clever concepts. I take pride in lyricism. I think that I got that from listening to Big L. Listening to golden era hip-hop made me focus on the technicalities of rhyming and it helped my growth. The majority of the time I would sit in my room and listen to beats that sounded good to me”.
His origins in Rap are humble, he started rapping with his friends after his teacher Mr. Konny showed him MF Doom on the back of the school bus. From that moment on he was hooked and he started freestyling over Doom’s Special Herbs beat tapes with his friends that summer. From there he privately continued to hone his writing and could no longer contain himself after seeing Asap Rocky at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2012. He confided in his longtime friend that he had been writing, little did he know that within the next few years the two would band together to create their group Children of I.L.L.I.O.S.
Musa’s father played old Soul music in the house while Musa was growing up, his favorites included Minnie Riperton, Ronnie Laws, The Ohio Players, and Roy Ayers. He enjoys rapping over “dirty samples with hard drums” focusing on clever one liners and having an action packed flow.
This is apparent from his influences of anime and comic books.
“My favorite anime is Samurai Champloo. The music on it was mad dope. I found out about hella artists such as Nujabes, Force of Nature, and Fat Jon because of it. I ended up rapping on a lot of their instrumentals too. I even rapped over the theme song for the show. In terms of comics, I was really into Shang-Chi when I was younger. I loved Kung-Fu and I was a big Batman fan too”.
Musa is a dynamic individual who brings all of his varied interests into his rhymes. He takes his music seriously and his music business curriculum at school keeps his mind sharp. One thing people might not know about him though is his love for cooking. His west side roots are apparent in his music as well as his palette.
“Seriously though, I love cooking food and creating new dishes. It’s stress relieving and relaxing for me. Every time I travel I try to eat a meal that is unique to the city that I’m visiting. Chicago has a lot of fye food in general. If we’re talking about mild sauce, you already know I’m going to go with Uncle Remus. Jerk Taco Man is always on point and I love MacArthur’s. West side all day.”
Prepare for his debut “Where The Sun Never Rises”, I have a feeling it will turn a lot of heads when it impacts. Until then get familiar with Musas catalogue and follow him @musareems on Twitter for updates on his music.