“R-Swift is a man of conviction, a man who loves his family, and a man who loves his people.”
Earlier this month Atlanta, Georgia artist R-Swift released an EP called You’re Welcome 2, a follow up to an EP with the same name that came out in summer 2018.
“I wasn’t finished talking. I’m a creative person, so I’m always in the mindset of creating.” Since You’re Welcome came out last year, he has wanted to release a second EP before putting out his next album, which is on track to be released later this year.
Describing the meaning of You’re Welcome in the context of his music, R-Swift explains that it has two different messages. “The first meaning of you’re welcome is welcoming the people into my world, my thoughts, and my ideas.” The second meaning refers to the response to someone saying thank you. He hopes that fans who have been keeping up with him as well as new listeners will thank him for the music he makes.
“I’m saying you’re welcome in advance because I feel like you’ll thank me later.”
The album art uses a photo from Black Wall Street, the nickname of the business district of a black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was thriving in the early 1900s. “Black people have a lot that has been counted against us, so I wanted to show black people in joyful times.” On June 1st, 1921, most of Black Wall Street and the neighboring residential community was destroyed by a racist mob of thousands of whites from the area. Over 1250 homes were destroyed, and between 100 and 300 people were killed.
Despite the injustices and violence black people have and still do face in the United States, R-Swift says that “there’s room for us to thrive. There’s room for us to push hard and be great.”
You’re Welcome 2 begins with “GLDN ERA,” the name of R-Swift’s business. “When we talk about the golden era [of] anything, whether it be music or film, it means a time when things were pure.” R-Swift wants people to know that his music comes from a pure, honest place. On this song, he sought to stretch his lyrical skills.
“I’m having fun rapping. On this side of things, everything has always got to be so heavy and so serious. Sometimes you just want to let your hair down and have fun on the record.”
His next song, “Open Season,” features Th3 Saga and was produced by DJ Mykael V. “Me and Saga have several songs together, but they’re not in the public eye yet. He is an all around good dude, and I really respect his talent.” Th3 Saga came to Atlanta to work with DJ Mykael V, and R-Swift met up with them. “I think [DJ Mykael V] originally just wanted Saga on the record, and I kind of was like, ‘Nah, it’s gonna be me and Saga.'”
The three of them were all together when they made “Open Season,” a collaborative style that R-Swift loves, especially in comparison to working remotely with each artist sending files back and forth.
“I thought it was a really magical moment to have all three of us in the same room with the music blasting. I think the best records are made like that.”
“Open Season” was partially inspired by the Christian rapper vs. rapper who is a Christian debate, a conflict that R-Swift does not care for. “What I do and what Saga does is as believers we are often times in secular arenas and spaces… I perform in a lot of clubs, and there are people who have something [critical] to say about that.” The song gets across the message that there will always be critics but what matters to R-Swift and Th3 Saga is that they are following God’s call for their lives
The EP continues with “King Me,” featuring KMO, a song proclaiming R-Swift’s hard work over the years that has gotten him to where he is now. He considers himself as someone who is not afraid to take unpopular stances. “Anything I say out of my mouth, I’m going to own that. I’m gonna own up to my words and my convictions.”
“The dope think about King Me is that we’re saying I’mma own where I stand, but I’m also doing it for my people. I’m doing it for the people in my hood and my community.”
R-Swift hopes to be a model for others, noting that if nobody stands up for what is right, there won’t be anyone to look up to as a leader.
Next up on You’re Welcome 2 is “Martin and Gina,” a song describing R-Swift’s relationship with his wife. “If anyone knows my music, they know I do not shy away from talking about my family.” It refers to the characters Martin and Gina on the 1990s sitcom Martin. “If you grew up in the hood, the show Martin was a staple to you. Everybody came up on that show.” He and many of his peers saw the relationship between Martin and Gina as one that they would like to have with their partner.
“It’s a song about love, relationships, and commitment… It was a dope way to talk about love.”
You’re Welcome 2 concludes with “Note to Self,” a song implementing the idea of self-affirmation and encouragement. “I wanted to make a song where I am literally talking to myself, but in a unique way… it was a reminder of how far I’ve come [and] how far God has allowed me to go.”
R-Swift expresses the thought, “don’t give up on yourself.” He wants listeners to keep their head up when their circumstances can bring them down. “There’s nothing you can’t accomplish if God has meant for you to accomplish it. If this is your purpose, it is going to come to pass.” The song features Jenna Wright on the hook.
“She’s an amazing singer: an artistic young lady from Michigan who is killing it right now.”
Later this year, R-Swift plans to release an album. “I can’t give away the title yet, but we’re working hard on concepts and ideas. You will be getting the album soon, but before you get the album, you’ll get a whole gang of new music.”
Outside of music, R-Swift enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and watching movies.
“I’m a movie buff. I like to go on programs, whether its pay-per-view or Netflix and pick movies that I wouldn’t normally watch and I watch them to see if they’re good.”
His top five favorite movies are Malcolm X, The Count of Monte Cristo, Friday, John Q, and The Notebook. “I’m an emotional guy, and I love movies that stretch my emotions. I love movies that put you there… When an actor or actress can play a role so well that it draws me in emotionally and keeps me there, that’s amazing to me.”
Get or stream You’re Welcome 2 here.