Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rec Riddles' Rise Is St. Louis Hip-Hop Scene Is No Puzzle

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rec Riddles' Rise Is St. Louis Hip-Hop Scene Is No Puzzle

Article excerpt

Rapper Rec Riddles was making his name on the Newark, N.J., hip-hop scene before moving in 2014 to do the same thing in St. Louis.

And he considers it the best thing he could have done professionally, ditching the more high-profile scene back east. The move was prompted by his wife's job transfer. They live in Glen Carbon.

As far as Riddles (Kyle Wright) is concerned, St. Louis has the preferred hip-hop scene.

"St. Louis' scene is more widespread," he says. "In Jersey, the guys are mimicking Atlanta and trap. They're chasing something rather than being themselves. But here it's more wide open and well rounded. Here they're themselves. St. Louis' scene allowed me to get centered."

Riddles, 27, found that back home, his producer side was getting the most attention.

"The only people feeling me were rappers looking for production," he says. "But my heart is in rapping."

Before relocating to the Midwest, Riddles researched the St. Louis hip-hop scene, becoming acquainted online with names like Tef Poe, Rockwell Knuckles and Indiana Rome, and events like S.L.U.M. Fest.

"I saw those guys on MTV and all these things," he says. "Those were the guys I needed to be in contact with."

The city's scene has been good to Riddles. Though he has only been here two years, he managed to nab five S.L.U.M. Fest Award nominations: artist of the year, hip-hop artist male, producer of the year, album of the year for "Omega March" and hip-hop group for ReAcK with Ackurate.

Last year, he scored a nod in the freshman class category.

"This means I did my job," says Riddles. Describing his sounds, he says: "What if Talib Kweli did a song with Jadakiss that was produced by J Dilla? That would be Rec Riddles in a nutshell."

Since arriving, he also has opened for veteran New Jersey rappers such as Joe Budden and Redman, opportunities that were not there when he lived in New Jersey.

It'd be hard to not notice the moving and shaking Riddles has done on the scene in a short time. …

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