“I want to do this music for one reason only and that is to exalt the light that has changed my life and inspire people from the music I put out.”
Word is a St. Louis, Missouri rapper and member of Dead Heroes, a hip-hop group also consisting of Json, Tory Stark, and Nico Wells.
He was influenced to begin rapping at a young age, six or seven years old he says, by listening to battle rap and DMX. “Battle rap was just another form of competition to me. My first love wasn’t music, it was basketball and music in the battle rap scene I saw as another competitive field.” When he heard DMX’s music, the rapper’s storytelling, passion, and aggression inspired Word.
Word estimates that he started recording songs at age twelve or thirteen.
“That kind of started from being under Json.”
Word went to the same church as Json, and as a teenager was discipled and mentored by him. “After seeing him [in the studio] in certain modes and zones and in sessions and stuff like that, cause I would go with him when he went into the studio or if he was at the crib working on a song, I would see the process of him making music.”
He was inspired by seeing Json recording and decided to record his own music. “At the same time I wanted to start rapping and my cousin [Dee on the Track] wanted to start making beats and producing, and ever since then, we have never stopped.”
Flexecution, Vol. 1 is Word’s new EP, and it is a reflection of his experiences in 2016, a difficult year for the artist. He dealt with financial troubles, but has since recovered and has “taken that idea of using a lot of things, going through trials and tribulations, going into the new year 2017 and claiming it’s my victory year.”
Word recorded Flexecution, Vol. 1 mostly in his home studio setup, and had producer Dee on the Track, who is his cousin, send him beats for the project. “I’m kind of flow-driven first. I kind of create a melody or flow, how I’m going to rap on it first in my head and then I go back and fill in the content.”
He usually writes to a beat, and never runs out of them due to the generosity of his cousin. “It’s a luxury,” he says about his relationship with the producer.
The first track, “The Inspiration,” serves as an introduction to the rest of the project. “You’ll hear me spill about the things I lost. You’ll hear some other people chime and and give their piece as well. It’s the most dramatic representation on the EP.”
What follows is the title track, “Flex Up (Flexecution)” which reiterates the concept of the album. “It’s a hype record. It’s probably in my [my] top three favorites on the EP… If it was a sound that you [would] know me by, it’s probably going to be something similar to Flex Up.”
Flexecution is a term that Word first heard of on Logic’s 2016 Bobby Tarantino album. Word says he is not copying Logic’s “Flexicution,” and his meaning of “Flexecution” has a different concept; he likes the idea of flexing physically and executing your plan to excel and work hard to attain victory.
“Thats whats displayed from 2016 and going into 2017 in my life story.”
“Littier” is a play on words of “lit,” a term that people use to describe how a person, place, event, etc. is energetic, hype, and fun. Word says that “Littier” means that he is even more “lit” and thinks that it will be a great song to perform in concerts.
The fourth and middle track on the EP, “Wavvy” is about how Word feels like he has arrived to a platform of being an artist skill-wise, artistically, and in recognition by others. It has a different vibe that the other songs on the project, and features Sacramento, California artist Mission.
“When I sent him that record he lost it. He was like, ‘Yeah, this is the record that I’m supposed to be on bro.’”
Word believes that this songs’ name matches the title very well, saying “this mug feels like wavvy.”
“Foreal (Movie)” shares the story of where Word is from and who has influenced him. “It ties in more like my city. What occurs here. The type of lifestyle that is here. The type of people that are here.”
“For The Win” is a testimonial of what happened to him in 2016 and how God brought him through it. “It’s the most detailed in how the Lord played out [happenings] in 2016 for me.” He had it ready early this summer and performed the song and says “it’s probably the most emotionally attached record on the album for me.”
The final song on Flexecution, Vol. 1 is called “Famous” and features fellow Dead Heroes member Tory Starks as well as J Roads. The track has a dramatic, dark sound and talks about the Christian artists’ struggle with fame and recognition. “I’m a person that struggles with pride issues. I could struggle with being upheld and thinking highly of [myself].”
“Sonically you’re gonna get 808s, a lot of bass, high energy [music]. Also you’re gonna get records that can have a real hip-hop type feel as far as like an East Coast type feel.”
Outside of music, Word loves to watch and play sports. “I attend NBA games live. We don’t have a team here in St. Louis, but whenever the season starts I do travel for games. I went to the Finals last year. I went to see LeBron in the playoffs.”
He is also a binge-watcher of TV shows. “I got on The Walking Dead maybe three years or four years after it had already been out, but I caught up back when it was season five before it kicked off. I had binge-watched that [first four seasons] over maybe four days.”
The group that Word is apart of, Dead Heroes, is working on a new project. “The concept of Dead Heroes, behind that name is basically we die to ourselves in order to shine the light on the real hero which is Jesus Christ. The more you die the more He is shown.”
One thing that Word wants to start is a podcast, and involved some of his fellow St. Louis artists, especially Tory Starks. “I feel like I’m a young, poised millennial that’s really with the times right now. I feel like he’s the more business-savvy type dude, corporate America. I even want to have a female on there to have the female voice spoken into.”
“Flexecution, every time I do a volume, it’s gonna have that same texture of music sonically. Even the concept may be close to what the original one is.”