By Dylan Deprey
The art of rap has been a story telling outlet for artists around the world. With an emphasis on “story,” the bravado that runs parallel with rap artists can skew the truth of actual happenings. While some artists flaunt their money, cars and drugs habits, their life may be a giant leap from what they actually live.
This was not the case for local rap artist Reggie Bonds, or his mother for that matter.
One of the only stipulations Jamesetta Bonds had for her son was that his music would be 100 percent accurate of his life.
Heads bobbed and walls vibrated as bumping bass and rolling hi hats echoed through Trusted Kicks sneaker boutique in downtown Milwaukee. Bonds’ shared his debut feature length album “From The Norf$ide W/ Love” to a sold out crowd at his private listening party Saturday June 4.
Bonds said that this project had been a yearlong process in creating the album that he wanted to best share his life growing up on the north side of Milwaukee. Bonds dropped his first mixtape the “Miseducation” in 2014. While working on “Norf$ide W/ Love” he also managed to drop singles and visuals for songs “Mad Scientist” and “Menace II Society,” as well as several others in 2015.
“We are artists at the end of the day and we give this 100 percent,” Bonds said.
Bonds may have recently moved to Chicago, but his album is strictly about his life in Milwaukee.
The album art is a window into his life on 44th and Locust St. He stuck to his word on telling his story by separating the 14-track album as if it were a novel. It is labeled Introduction, Body and Conclusion.
“If you know me, you know you are going to hear my deepest darkest secrets,” Bonds said.
The first song of the album, “Stream of Consciousness Pt. II,” he also spoke about watching his parents’ relationship and the struggles his mother went through with drug addiction. Even in harder hitting songs like Locust St. Freestyle 44, Bonds littered bits of his life through lyrics like, “When I was 17 I lost my dad.”
Bonds said that his album takes different turns where there are dark moments on one song and “turn up” on the next.
“We put everything we had into these tracks,” Bonds said. “All our emotions and everything we feel can be heard through these songs.”
Some may find it weird to even swear in front of their parents, let alone play your whole rap album to them. That was not the case for Bonds. Jamesetta Bonds was dancing next to the speakers, sporting a black shirt with her son’s name.
She said that nothing her son does not fake when it comes to his music and that is what she is most proud of.
“That is what makes me feel good about his music is because it is real, it is really real,” Bonds said.