Houston, Texas, native Rellik JXB is one of those artists that would be easy to miss if you weren’t checking for him–his EP SE7EN has oddly unassuming cover art that does little to stand out, but it’s amazingly entertaining. Not only that, but his backstory is on some realness–and makes the music that much more appealing. The ‘grind in the face of adversity’ shtick of the super vibed out the first track “Who Would I Be” hit me almost off the bat, and had me excited to go through the seven-song effort.
How flow puts me in mind of Lil Bibby–albeit with a less bassy cadence. The record has few different vibes. “Fill Me In” featuring Krystle Meth is a super slow and sexy duet that could almost be considered his “Dilemma,” with a heap of radio-ready appeal. Keeping on the ‘love’ vibe, “Relapsed” is three minutes of apologetic hindsight about a lost relationship.
For me, he hits a stride with the [kind of] dark “Man Down,” which sees him at his most lyrical–also revealing to listeners that he has two kids driving his grind. The track is filled with jewels like: “my degeneration need a face lift/I’m the only one that dabs in the matrix.” He also bluntly proclaims “I’m the black Eminem.”
Shorty after starting his Don’t Panic imprint, Rellik’s his best friend Hailu was shot 17 times in Virginia by the police. He wanted to rush the music scene in his honor at this point, teaming up with Krystle Meth and Nyne, Rellik continued creating his empire. His hard work is paying off; this EP has done wonders for the Rellik, and to run with the ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ analogy that he uses in his biography, is a solid foundation for the kingdom, and more than enough to get me hyped up for whatever they have coming next. Although the name is Don’t Panic–naysayers probably should, because they aren’t anywhere.