The New Breed Trapper tells all.
Three years ago, RXK Nephew sat down with Millan Verma for his first-ever interview. By this point, Neph had been an upstart online curiosity, nichely notorious for his hilarious honesty and deadpanned delivery. The following text was originally published in 2020, on the blog Creative Hustle USA.
Rx Nephew, aka the Slitherman, aka the New Breed Trapper, is the first rapper I’ve ever worked with who has no contemporaries. He is part of no scene and is biting no sound. Some people think his music is funny. Some people think his music is scary. But most people who are hip to him whole-heartedly agree that he is the rawest man in rap right now.
Just imagine that the Notorious B.I.G. and some ancient Vatican gargoyle had a child. That’s as close to a comparison to Rx Nephew as I can make.
He resurrects the struggle and brutality of 90s crack rappers like Clipse and Jay-Z but somehow adds a comical spin to topics like back-alley murders and paper-skinned junkies through his infectiously sadistic sense of humor. He’ll say that he treats his elders with respect, then say that if your grandma messes with him he will kill her, then wrap up the verse by saying something about how his baby’s beautiful smile brightens his day. He doesn’t just say stuff like this because he’s in the booth. He says it because to him, there isn’t anything else to say. His writing process couldn’t be imaginary if he tried: “If I was to make some imaginary story up it would be hard for me to make a song. I would get writer’s block. I’m not creative enough to write a whole story. All I can do is tell you current events. Like if I don’t know what to say, I would just look at my phone and say in the mic ‘I’m checking my phone.’”
A lot of rappers love claiming that they’re real; in fact, a lot take pride in it. But Rx Nephew is so removed from any sort of rapper culture or ego that he doesn’t even bother to mention that he’s real—he just is, so much so that it hurts. But the pain of his reality is something that he is completely aware of, and something that he is working diligently to change. He is as independent as an artist can be and works as hard as a man can work. In the middle of our interview, he casually mentioned that he had been awake for three days straight and had just finished recording three songs and editing one of his videos. Later, on his Instagram story, he explained just how much work he alone puts in: “From videos, to promo, to media marketing, to [finding] beats, to finding new producers. I engineer myself, do the artwork, distribution, Google ads, website, EPK bio, Travel dolo, struggle dolo, I even make my own funny memes!” On top of all that back end work, his musical output is as rapid as Young Thug in his early days, almost impossible to keep up with. Within a week of completing our interview, he had released two more tapes, Slitherman 4 President and I Forgot What I Was Thinking.
With his charmingly stoic personality, unreplicable life experiences, nonchalant lyrical ingenuity, and unmatched work ethic, there is no doubt in my mind that Rx Nephew will become a sensation. This may happen next month, this may happen next year, but it will happen. This is coming from the guy who made the same claim about 645AR and RMR months before they signed massive deals and became consistent voices on your social media feeds. I’m not the first one to say this. Rx Nephew cannot miss because he doesn’t shoot. He just expresses what he sees and lives through daily in ways that only he can, and he doesn’t give one shit about what you think.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up on the East side of Rochester, New York, in Monroe county. Zip code 14609. The area that I grew up in is near the Public Market, so there’s a lot of traffic and hustlers of all kinds, but mostly crack dealers and robbers. I was a jack of all trades. I did everything I could until I went to jail. I went through that a few times before I realized I had to change, ‘cause that jail shit wack as fuck. Plus I got 2 daughters I gotta put on for! But the moral of the story is my neighborhood was full of opportunities for criminals.
What was your family situation like?
Momma Love had me at 17 so there wasn’t too much she could do, so Grandma Love took me in. Grandma had to raise other grandchildren too, because she didn’t want any of us to go into the system. So we always had a full house. Every other day I was meeting new family members who would come to my grandma’s house for shelter. I got fed up early and wanted to make a way for myself and my grandma too. Far as my father, I’m not sure exactly who he is, but fuck him! By the time I was 12 my mom tried to play her role as a mother but I was too far gone… the only person I really had respect for or would listen to was my grandma.
But don’t get me wrong, mom was always around. It’s just that I did not live with her. Sometimes I would go [to see her] on the weekend, but I had to get used to it ‘cause my grandma would spoil me and my mom wasn’t with that shit. She all the way gangster. My mom so gangster that during my time in prison n—s would recognize me like, “you Kim son?” Then they would go into detail about how she used to put in work and beat n—s up. I used to just laugh because yeah, I’m the same way. But I have a lot of respect for my mother, because now I understand that without her there wouldn’t be no Slitherman or Rx Nephew—Momma Love taught me at an early age to never fear anything in this world. She told me every time she seen me that “n—s bleed just like you son,” so never be scared of none of these n—s! If I lost a fight or got my bike taken she would take me right to the ppl who did it and say, “you better whoop his ass.”
My grandma was softer. She would never want me to fight, but I respected it. But don’t get it twisted, grandma wasn’t soft and none of her kids were soft. They all put in work. Before my mother had me, she would rep the hood that my grandma lived in and I was raised to rep that same hood. We all the same way over there. Snitches get shot, tough n—s run into tougher n—s, and everybody got a point to prove. We never really cared about getting fly because if my mom can’t afford it then I can’t either. I’d rather buy work or a new gun, then make a plan from there. At the end of the day, even though my family is dysfunctional, I love them and I’m grateful and I would never trade them. I used to think I would…but I love my family, even the crack heads!
When did you first start rapping?
I been rapping since birth, ‘cause my mom thought she could rap and every time I seen her she was bumping Biggie Smalls’ album. She would sing “Ten Crack Commandments” word for word and I knew it too, ever since I can remember. My grandma bought me a piano and a karaoke machine and it was lit from there. I thought I was a gangster rapper! I would take my grandma’s old-ass tapes—Marvin Gaye, Berry White and shit like that—and I would rap over it. That’s why I remix so many oldies these days! It brings back memories and all my old heads love it. When I went to juvenile they had a music class with a booth there, and they gave us Ipod Nanos for Christmas so I recorded some shit to a Ciara beat and would listen to it every day even at night until I fell asleep.
When did you decide to take it seriously?
I never thought about taking it seriously until last year! I didn’t even have a rap name. I just wanted to be that n—a who was feared and respected like a godfather. When I would come home on the weekends from group homes there was this guy from my hood who had a studio and one day I went and recorded. I didn’t write anything. I just started talking about selling crack and robbing people. Then I made an Instagram, bought my own studio, and started dropping 8 songs a day. People started catching on and liking it so it was basically over from there. Then my right hand man went to jail for murder…I said oh hell nah, we all can’t go out like this. So now I’m Rx Nephew with my foot on all necks.
What keeps you motivated to continue rapping?
The only thing that keeps me motivated is the opportunity to change my daughters’ life. Music is the only positive thing that I have going on that’s outside the streets. So if somebody asks me where I do work I got my streams to show for. It ain’t much but I get paid legally on the books like everybody else so don’t judge me.
Who are the New Breed Trappers and what makes y’all different?
New Breed Trapper is something aunty used to say to boost my head, ‘cause I was always on time and I would give her credit and I never hounded her about a dollar. So she kept saying, “you just different, you’re a new breed trapper.” She never called me nephew, she says “new breed!” So it stuck, then I dropped a New Breed Trapper album and started making Merch. I wouldn’t call it a label or anything cause it’s just us!
Can you explain Slither Family?
The slither family is a demon cult.
Can you talk about your relationship with Rx Papi?
My relationship with Papi? We eat food at my grandma house on Thanksgiving, then we go to his grandma house and eat too. That should tell you it all.
One of my favorite things about your style is that you deliver vividly violent, and seemingly traumatic lyrics in an extremely casual manner. Do you think you do this because you have become numb to the situations that you rap about?
Damn… I never thought of it like that, but you’re dead right. I say what I want with confidence because it’s true. I’m just telling you me and my family’s story in my music. If I was to make some imaginary story up it would be hard for me to make a song. I would get writer’s block. I’m not creative enough to write a whole story. All I can do is tell you current events. Like if I don’t know what to say, I would just look at my phone and say in the mic “I’m checking my phone.“ That’s my first bar, then I would probably look to my left and see my shawty in the kitchen cooking rice and beans so I’d say that too and the list goes on. Then boom” I got a slithery ass real funny but true ass song.
You know, far as rhyming the words, I don’t know how I do that. I force them shits to rhyme. I’ll make car rhyme with whale. That’s enough sauce for the fans though, once that bag come or I get a deal or something I’m gonna make a documentary ASAP cause this story too crazy. As I’m writing this I been up for 3 days, I just got done recording 3 songs. It’s 10AM and after I’m done with this I’m editing a video and writing lyrics. Man, I’m acting like I want dat bag!!! My own bag!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that you often mention your Auntie. Are you referring to a specific Aunt? And if so, can you tell us a bit about her and why she is so present in your songs?
Lol brah, I’m dead. To be honest… any female over the age of 21 who smokes crack is auntie! And most crackheads from my hood are older so they probably been smoking since the 80s—I do treat the elderly with respect. When you call a crackhead uncle or aunty you make them feel comfortable, like loved in some kind of way. You can hear it in they voice and see it in they eyes that they appreciate you being there for them, cause 95% of crackheads are only loyal to getting high so they have no family to help them…all they got is they nephew! If auntie say her check coming in 2 days I’m gonna chill with her until it comes, especially if I ain’t got shit else to do. But usually these SSI checks are about $8-900, so you know nephew sticking around, and during them 2 days you done heard her whole life story of how she started smoking and how her husband beat her.
If you were to make it in rap — like if you accepted a high 6 to 7 figure deal — would you leave the trap? If so, why? If not, why?
If I was to make it in rap would I leave the trap…put it like this: if I don’t get a deal, they putting me next to El Chapo.
What’s something the people need to know about Rx Nephew?
Everybody needs to know that death can’t even stop me. I will live forever and I will leave a legacy. I will break records and do what they said I can’t. A lot of people say I’m too real for the radio. I can bet on everything Rx Nephew will make billboards one day and be on every radio.