January 9, 2016 in Editorials, Interviews, Music by

Reckless & Keith Canvas Discuss Making Music As Teenagers

Every so often I’m reminded of just how deep the Portland rap scene actually is. My recent push to locate young new artists has been a real eye-opener for me, and I really didn’t realize the following that some of these rap kids have.

Take Reckless & Keith Canvas for example. The duo from Portland – 18 and 19 years of age, respectively – are old enough to enlist, too young to drink, and popular enough to have a song with over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud. With a sing-song style that’s urban enough to appeal to rap fans and clean enough to appeal to a mainstream audience, the youthful duo is certainly onto something.

The pair, scheduled to perform at the TNO Records x WOHM Present event alongside D3, Drae Steves & Chris Lee, released a new song yesterday and it already has over 1,000 hits. They were also cool enough to sit down and answer some questions for WOHM, and it seems like these guys are on the right path. Read on to learn about one of the more promising and unique young groups on the Northwest.

Tell us where you’re from.

Reckless: Born in Maryland but spent my older years in Philly where all my family is, then left to move to Portland freshman year of high school.

Keith Canvas: I’m from Long Beach, California. My dad didn’t really want me growing up in that environment so he moved my fam up to Oregon where my mom’s uncle was already living… I don’t know, I guess I’m grateful for it now that I’m older and can see what paths I could have gone down that my siblings went down staying in Cali. I miss California though, we’re moving down to LA in a couple months. Everyone tells me I act like a Cali nigga so I guess it hasn’t left me.

How/when did you get into music? Why hip hop?

R: Around 7th grade, living in Philly, I was around such an aggressive rap sound: Meek Mill, Young Savage and a lot of other artists. I always loved it, and I started off imitating Jahlil Beats and got used to the sound, but then flipped it and found my own. Always loved rap.

KC: I’ve always been into music my whole life, music is just so powerful man, I can’t go a day without listening to it. The sound that Reckless has built just happens to fall under “hip hop” but I wouldn’t really call it that, it’s really it’s own genre and because of that we are creating a whole new wave.  I appreciate all music. You’d probably be surprised at the artists and bands we listen too.

Reckless

I’ve listened to your music and you seem to be paving your own lane lyrically. What inspires your songs?

R: Girls truthfully inspire the stuff I write, like, the only thing that I constantly write about. Situations with girls. It just works.

KC: I talk bout everything I go through… Reckless’ beats are very happy. We definitely are trying to push a happy sound. But if you really pay attention the majority of our lyrics are sad, so that happy sad mix is what we go for naturally. We mainly deal with girls all the time so you’ll notice the topic is love. I just recently broke up with my girl so expect a lot of sad-sad music… *laughs* Just kidding! The cool thing about music and writing your own stuff is that you can talk about what you’re going through and being young, we always are growing and going through new things in life to talk about.

The singer/rapper combo works for you guys. How did this working relationship come to be?

KC: HAHAHA it’s actually a long story but I’ll try to keep it short.. So I met Marcus two years ago through my brother and sister; they all went to a church, and at first Reck and I were cool, but then some out of control things went down between us and we stopped messing with each other. *laughs* Then on my birthday, we re-linked and kept a relationship. The first time we really kicked it was the night we made music. One of the kids that ran events at his school hit him up asking him to perform at the assembly the next day, but at the time he only made beats… So we just randomly that night decided to make a song and the next day performed it in front of the school of like 2K. People liked it so we kept making music, and now we got a song at 20k (plays).

You guys have seen significant movement on SoundCloud. Any tips for fellow up-and-coming rappers?

R: Talk about yourself, post your links. That’s truthfully how we get out plays, some friends with bigger accounts repost to help out and build us a new audience sometimes. But the main thing (is) just find a cool way to network.

KC: Honestly just keep it real.. Most people like Marcus and I before it’s even brought up that we are artists. Networking is very important.. I’m super thankful for the progress we’ve made in such a short time. Also shout out to our friends and fans that push our music. We have some great people around us. I’m so thankful… you have to stay humble and open to criticism.

Keih Canvas

What do you do when you’re not rapping?

R: When I’m not making music I’m probably watching Netflix or hanging with a girl, or just playing Call of Duty with Keith to be honest.

KC: Finessing!!! Nah I’m just kidding… When we aren’t making music? Hmmm when we aren’t making music we are probably chillin’ with some girls, shopping, or hanging with some of our close friends.

You guys seem to emphasize NOT doing hard drugs. Is there a story behind that?

R: The drugs thing isn’t really something I think hard about, it just comes out because of the situations I’ve had with girls. If you do hard drugs that’s cool, I don’t necessarily need to be a part of it nor hate you for it. They’re just lyrics that fit.

KC: I don’t know, our generation is weird man… Don’t get me wrong, I love the time we are in. Drugs are just a huge influence on the youth, it’s sad. I think we’re just at the age that everyone’s experimenting and really figuring themselves out. I just feel like the generation we live in now is a bunch of youth that want to be happy but are so sad on the inside. Everyone’s just trying to adjust and figure life out, man. It’s so different now from when our parents were our age. Some people choose to turn to drugs, blasé blah…

What can fans expect from your set on Jan 22nd?

R: Fans can expect a happy vibe, a happy sound, calm energy from me, and cool songs.
KC: They can expect to have a good time and hear a lot of new music that isn’t out yet.
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