You know what's great about Steph Curry? Well, there's a lot of things that are great about him — he's a team player, a great shooter, a nice dude, and a seemingly dope dad — but what gets us going is his road to success. Despite the fact that he's neither the tallest nor fastest guy on the court, he worked his ass off to be the best player that he could, and you know what? It paid off.
[jump] In Berkeley rapper Rexx Life Raj's new single, “Young Wardell,” premiered here on SF Weekly, he uses the phenomenal point guard as a metaphor for working hard and taking risks in life. “Young Wardell / Taking shots / Swish,” he sings in his characteristic laidback flow over a cavernous, ambient beat.
“Every shot is a risk. It's not a guaranteed bucket, but you'll never know until you shoot,” Raj explained. “I took this same approach with music. I invested all my money into building my own studio, acquiring a team of people, throwing events, selling merchandise, etc. Although it was a risk, with hella ups and downs, the pay-off has been priceless.”
Raj, who has already been written up by The FADER, Noisey, and Hot New Hip-Hop, learned to take risks from his father, a former Black Panther. Despite that fact that he never went to college, his father worked hard, juggling multiple jobs and ultimately saving up enough money to open his own business.
“He took a shot and it panned out,” Raj said. “He's been running a courier service for 30-plus years based out of Berkeley.”
The takeaway from “Young Wardell?” Well, there's two: 1) Take shots in life, or you'll never know what could have happened, and 2) Berkeley's got a new quick-witted, sick flow rapper on the rise. Look out, Caleborate.
Keep an eye and an ear out for Raj's upcoming album, Father Figure, out June 26.