Lee Hawthorn

Review: Rex Regis and Brainfeeders – Fairy Tales

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Rex Regis

In the last two weeks, Newcastle rapper, Rex Regis has roadblocked his Soundcloud page with a barrage of new releases. The regional Hip Hop artist has unleashed collaborations with fellow localists Mista Breeze and Suus for Talking Like, and three of the uploads have come courtesy of his Brainfeeders group, not least of which is Fairy Tales.

Thematically, Brainfeeders are reminiscent of D12. Although there is no stand-out emcee in the form of Eminem, on the flip side, they’re equally talented and none of the members of the collective seem out of place from a talent perspective either. Just like Shady’s Dirty Dozen, Rex and his Brainfeeders bring controversial lyricism, attempts of singing, that are far from perfect, but provide an extra personal touch to the authentic essence of their style. Spinning off from the Shady comparisons, the track itself is somewhat reminiscent of Royce Da 5’9’s collaboration with Hackney’s Professor Green, with the constant reference to Nightmares – but brings a higher level of conceptual skill with the extensive name drops of various Fairy Tale characters and darker flips on their conventions.

The one criticism I have of Fairy Tales is the production. It’s not necessarily poor, but it is very generic for the low-budget, independent artist, and it’s hard to expect more from a local up-and-comer who isn’t yet financially dependent on music and yet, if Rex hopes to break the glass ceiling boxing Geordie rappers from national attention, the beat choice needs to improve and better fit the vocal style of Rex and his collaborators. While I’m fully aware of the difficulties to ring up Splurge Boys, DJ Mustard or Dr. Dre for one of their soundboards, it’s been proven time-and-time again that emulating beat types isn’t overly difficult by competent producers and something alike 1 Train or Purple Pills’ instrumentals would have worked wonders with the dulcet tones of each contributing emcee, and the lyrical content weaved within their often multi-syllabic rhyme schemes.

The output of the current crop of records being released from Rex are consistent in their quality, not quite threatening into breaking into a national limelight, but maintaining a respect as one of the top-tier talents from Newcastle. With the past few cuts being throwaways not meant for any particular project, once Regis puts his focus onto an EP or mixtape, he has enough talent that with just the right thematic approach, he could easily emulate the success Jister has seen following the Absurdism EP, and perhaps even beyond that.

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