Berkeley’s Rexx Life Raj Makes Music For the Brain and Heart

Rexx Life Raj

By Jack Barnes

With his ability to shift seamlessly from rapping his ass off to singing his heart out, Berkeley, California rapper Rexx Life Raj has become one of Bay Area music’s most unique voices. From the land of the Hyphy where slaps are king and going dumb is encouraged, Rexx Life Raj stands out by making music for the brain and the heart that’s still pleasant to the ears. Today, Rexx Life Raj announces the release of his next album, Father Figure, due June 26th. Featuring contributions from artists such as Nef The Pharaoh, Mikos Da Gawd, Julia Lewis, ymtk, and more, Father Figure uniquely illustrates Raj’s awareness of being a young, black male while also maintaining a sense of humor and joie de vivre. “Growing up in Berkeley, we called each other ‘Dad,'” explains Rexx Life Raj. “I’m a Berkeley Dad. A father figure is someone who gives out game and knowledge to the youngsters and shows you the ropes. There’s no one you’re supposed to respect more than your dad. ‘What’s up Dad,’ it’s a sign of respect.”
Born and raised in Berkeley, Rexx Life Raj is the son of a church-going mother and a former Black Panther father. A talented football player, Raj earned a scholarship at Division I powerhouse Boise State University, playing on the offensive line. Despite his aptitude for athletics, football was not Raj’s true passion; music was. After graduating with a degree in Communications, Raj moved back to Berkeley to focus on music, releasing projects that have been featured prominently on the front pages of iTunes, TIDAL, Google Play, and in popular Spotify playlists. In the process, he has garnered accolades from press outlets such as The FADER, HotNewHipHop, Noisey, GoodMusicAllDay, and more. In December, Rexx Life Raj released Dreamland: Telegraph Avenue, which received critical acclaim.

Today, Rexx Life Raj releases the hypnotic video for “Moxie Java,” featuring fellow Bay Area luminary Nef The Pharaoh, who lends energetic autotuned ad-libs and a Young Thug-inspired verse on the track. In the video, Rexx Life Raj trips off cough syrup and marijuana, as clips of ’50s-style anti-drug public service announcements interrupt footage of Raj, Nef and others ignoring the PSAs’ advice. Premiered today by The FADER, the video is the first from Father Figure, which will be released on June 26th.

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