Local Metal Rapper’s Enigmatic Rebrand is Born Out of Hell

By Michael Charlebois

Although he could be a familiar face, the man behind the name of rising local rapper Blaqk Reign will remain just that: the man behind the name.

Blaqk Reign, who started doing local shows as a metal artist in 2007, has carefully rebranded, and it’s catching the attention of people around town. Despite the attention, he is as comfortable as ever cloaked in a dark layer of anonymity. “I hear people talk about [my music], and they don’t know it’s me. I kind of like that,” he says.

Since releasing music under the moniker in late November 2020, he’s garnered over 1,000 followers on Instagram, and over 3,500 monthly listeners on Spotify. The vocals sound like they scratch the surface of hell, his artwork is something out of a nightmare, and his style fuses downright devious trap melodies with horrorcore metal.

The end result is masterful; something from a meticulous artist who knows exactly what he’s doing from the time he lays down the first 808 until it reaches our smartphones. “I’m a very meticulous person. I try to figure things out three steps ahead,” he says, adding that the trap influence on his former “metal elitist” self opened up possibilities for his music he never thought to explore. “I’ve always been a rap enthusiast. I’ve always dabbled in making my own beats and trying stuff out,” he says.

The marriage of the two popular genres has only given him confidence in seeing his artistic vision through. “It’s always been taboo to go outside of a genre for inspiration,” he says. “I just tried to make music I want to make and not worry about what other people might think.” He credits Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and even Daft Punk for revolutionizing the idea of hiding your face and letting the music speak for itself.

By doing everything from production, to mastering mixes, to video animation, Blaqk Reign remains in complete control, even if his true identity is never part of that equation.

You can listen to the enigmatic artist on Spotify and YouTube, or catch his music videos on Instagram via @blaqk.reign.