Rex The Rager
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Rex The Rager

Wilmington, DE | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFM

Wilmington, DE | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Hip Hop Experimental




"The News Journal"

This is underground?

If you’ve been to one of the alternative hip-hop shows in downtown Wilmington put on by the up-and-coming hip-hop collective Weird and Awful, the venue might not have been what you expected.

When the Newark-based group of rappers, bands, DJs, artists and photographers launched a couple of years ago, they started with alternative underground shows across the University of Delaware campus, whether it be in house basements, rental halls or fraternity houses.

The group founded by Rakeem Miles, 22, has been hosting shows at Film Brothers Co-op, which doubles as a video production house at Second and Market streets in the redeveloped LOMA district.

The urban space has large, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at downtown’s well-manicured main drag, just blocks from some of city’s best-known music rooms like The Grand and World Café Live at the Queen -- a far cry from the sweaty shoulder-to-shoulder house party shows from their past.

Weird and Awful's Divante Rodriguez, Ben Robinson andBuy Photo
Weird and Awful's Divante Rodriguez, Ben Robinson and Rakeem Miles (left to right) at the hip hop collective's headquarters in Newark. The group will hsot Mike G of Odd Future in Wilmington this weekend. (Photo: DANIEL SATO/THE NEWS JOURNAL)
It is at Film Brothers that Weird and Awful will host its biggest show yet on Saturday night. The concert features a headlining set by Mike G of Odd Future, one of the best-known hip-hop collectives in the country today – a group that has counted performers like Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt among its members since forming nearly 10 years ago.

The Weird and Awful shows are hip hop-centric concerts for all ages, something that’s harder and harder to find in Delaware.

“Even if we only have a few hip-hop artists on our bill, which covers all genres, most venues won’t have us. They don’t really understand what we’re trying to do and they just push it away,” says Miles, of Elkton, Maryland. “We let people know before they come in that it’s a positive environment and if they want to be negative they can leave. That’s how we run our events. We take pride.”

Wilmington rapper Dreemy Yoey will be at the first
Wilmington rapper Dreemy Yoey will be at the first Dirty Delaware show at Lavish. (Photo: Courtesy of Weird and Awful)
A pair of shootings a few years ago at New Castle County clubs that hosted hip-hop shows had a bit of chilling effect on hip-hop bookings across the county.

In March 2012, a man was shot outside of a hip-hop show at the former Mojo Main in Newark. The victim survived and for a while, the plug was pulled on hip-hop shows. The venue closed two years later.

In December 2013, four were wounded when gunmen fired at least 20 bullets after a Meek Mill show at the Moodswing nightclub in Prices Corner. The club moved away from hip-hop bookings for a while before changing its name and welcoming rappers back. The venue closed last month.

Weird and Awful promotes open-minded, youth-based alternative performances that veer away from some of rap’s more violent and sexist lyrics, melding artists of all kinds in each show.

With the city’s Downtown Visions group keeping tabs on the crowd outside and organizers regulating music fans on the inside, there have not been any incidents at the shows.

Teens play video games during a Plug Worldwide showcaseBuy Photo
Teens play video games during a Plug Worldwide showcase at the Chris White Gallery in Wilmington last month. (Photo: SAQUAN STIMPSON/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL)
Film Brothers’ Gordon DelGiorno says he told Miles and Weird and Awful co-founders Divante Rodriguez, Ben Robinson and Ben Rapkin that there were strict rules attached to using his space, including absolutely no alcohol or smoking.

Shows also start early, including Saturday’s concert, which starts at 6 p.m. and wraps up by 9 – a happy hour of hip-hop as DelGiorno calls it.

“It’s sort of tough love with our rules because one person can screw it up for everybody, but these are business entrepreneurs in the making and they have been very respectful. They have been great,” says DelGiorno, a filmmaker, who regularly hosts music and art at his venue, especially during the city’s monthly Art Loop.

While DelGiorno felt like he was taking a risk by opening his doors to Weird and Awful, he was willing to take a chance and fight against the stigma some have against live hip-hop.

And while he admits he could still get burned by bad behavior, it’s been a successful experiment so far with his studio filled with hip-hop hipsters every time they host a show.

“Why should I cut off these guys’ creative juices out of fear? Let it rip. Who am I to do that? I want them to have an outlet where they can get 150 people in a place and feel like it’s rocking, you know?” he says. “Plus, it’s good for the city. It’s all positive vibes.

“I’m not going to let what’s happening in other parts of town stop us from doing things like this. We’re not going to be held hostage by that.”

Mike G (rear center, blue shirt) of Odd Future will
Mike G (rear center, blue shirt) of Odd Future will perform at Film Brothers in Wilmington this weekend as part of a regular concert series by Delaware hip hop collective Weird and Awful. (Photo: Courtesy of Terry Richardson)
Rodriguez, 23, who lives in Wilmington and performs under the name Rex the Rager, was at the Meek Mill show at Moodswing when gunshots began to ring. He sees none of that night in what he does.

“We strive for peace and to bring a community together of young creatives. We want to inspire people to do something better than going out in the streets and selling drugs,” says Rodriguez, before turning to that night at Moodswing. “When you look at that venue and the crowds – what we’re doing is completely different.”

Weird and Awful uses social media – a cheap and easy way to spread word of their shows – as their core marketing tactic, posting about upcoming shows in Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They also attend shows in the area and make face-to-face pitches.

Their goal is to help create a strong alternative hip-hop scene in the state and give young, outside-the-box Delaware artists a place to perform or showcase their work. With each event, they see themselves building an artistic community that supports each other and, they hope, steers kids away from the city’s sometimes-violent streets.

It’s already working.

A few of the Weird and Awful concertgoers, which generally range from teens to mid-20s, have already created their own hip-hop collective, Plug Worldwide, and have followed the Weird and Awful model.

Ken Masters performs during Plug Worldwide's NovemberBuy Photo
Ken Masters performs during Plug Worldwide's November showcase at the Chris White Gallery in Wilmington. (Photo: SAQUAN STIMPSON/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL)
Plug Worldwide was founded by Wilmington residents Duane Grimes, 18, and Justin Ellis, 17, along with Bear’s Phillip Harper, 17. They have teamed up with both Film Brothers and another downtown Wilmington Art Loop venue, the Chris White Gallery at the Shipley Artist Lofts at Seventh and Shipley streets, for their first two shows, starting in August.

Earlier this month, Plug Worldwide hosted its second event – a night of live hip-hop, video games and more with about 60 people paying $5 for the 6-10 p.m. show. The Friday the 13th-branded event featured nearly a dozen local performers, including rappers Rex the Rager and Ken Masters, both of which will also be at Film Brothers this weekend.

The trio, students at Howard High School of Technology and Christiana High School, have the same goal as Weird and Awful: provide a platform for young performers and build a music scene from the bottom up. And they plan on doing it the only way they can – by bypassing clubs for non-traditional venues like co-ops, art galleries and retail commercial businesses like Spaceboy Clothing on Market Street.

“It’s all about the scene, expressing ourselves, gaining exposure and being positive,” Grimes says.

For their part, Miles and the rest of Weird and Awful are welcoming the newcomers to their downtown hip-hop playground.

“I want the scene to be bigger. It’s not a thing where it’s all about us or one company. This thing needs to grow and that only happens if there are multiple groups,” he says. “If we get a big enough scene, then maybe club owners will be more lenient and open up their venues to us.” - DelawareOnline


Long before international entertainment behemoths like Live Nation and AEG brought Delaware festivals like Firefly and Delaware Junction, the First State's spring and summer was already dotted with homegrown music festivals.

And now, five years after the Firefly Music Festival first cannonballed into the Delaware music scene, there are even more grassroots festivals across the state, fueled by local organizers inspired to think bigger than ever before.

Some of the new festivals are a direct reaction to the big-time fests now in town, like Townsend's Raidfest, a hardcore response to Firefly complete with a bug spray reference, or Little Barrel Country Music Festival, filling the void left behind when Big Barrel Country Music Festival closed after one summer.

Raidfest is held the same weekend as Firefly (June 17-19) and Little Barrel will scoot into action on June 25 – the day Dover's Big Barrel was supposed to host country stars like Brad Paisley, Sam Hunt and Eric Church.

Other new festivals like Friday's Weird N Awful Music Festival at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington and September's 10,000-person Dogfish Head Analog-A-Go-Go in Bellevue, have organizers who were in part energized by Firefly. - DelawareOnline

"Weird & Awful Tour"

Mike G of Odd Future is on tour with Tri-State natives Rakeem Miles and Rex The Rager this summer. They will be at “Over Vibes Live” in Philadelphia June 24th with house DJ Henry J Stuart. Stevie Rogers, Freshz, Pedro Fresco and The Nelson Boys will all be gracing the stage representing Philly to the max. Bluntiq is backing the whole tour so you know it’s lit! - Early BBQ

"Wiz Khalifa"

Wiz Khalifa just recently expressed his interest in a familiar face of the Tri-State music scene. Rex The Rager‘s “Pacman” garnered the attention of Pennsylvania native and industry heavyweight Wiz Khalifa after the song was relayed to him through someone in his Taylor Gang collective. We all know who Wiz is but who is Rex?

Rex is an independent artist reining from Wilmington, Delaware who has consistently been dropping gems on us whether it be music, events and/or those trippy posters he has flooding the city. Besides dropping some of the most authentic music you’ll hear in the scene today, he owns a promotions company called Weird & Awful which showcases dope local talent of all kinds and is hosting their very first “Weird & Awful Music Festival” June 10th in Delaware. Sounds like we will be hearing a lot more from Rex The Rager in due time but for now listen to what Wiz is listening to right now!

Twitter & Instagram
@rextherager - Early BBQ

"Bang Bang Chicken"

Rex The Rager has been a busy man as of late, from continuing to elevate the Weird N Awful brand that seems to get bigger and bigger as time goes by to having a continuous flow of quality music. Today Rex returns to EarlyBBQ as decides to release his latest track Bang Bang Chicken which features Lifestream and is produced by Kasei Ramu. This is Rex’s first song since announcing he’ll be heading out on tour with Mike G which will be stopping in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Ontario to name a few cities. - Early BBQ

"Rex Arrested at Own Event"

Rex The Rager was arrested after Saturday’s “Weird & Awful” event in Wilmington, Delaware; A company that he is the co-founder of. A fight had broken out totally unrelated to the event in the vicinity had attracted law enforcement from all over the city. The show had been finishing up and attendees were on their way out when the cops had sworn the area, notion that the initial conflict had started inside of the event. They ambushed the front doors ignorant as to what they were really after. Rex had used his knowledge of law and tactically rebelled against the police and urged them to leave because they were trespassing on private property. Rex and his company have a good relationship with the venue owner and have been packing the place out every month for half a year now, giving young talent a space to showcase their craft. Upon cuffing Rex, he was given a routine search. The officer found a wad of petty cash and assumed it had been illegally made through the heavy trafficked drug area thus taking his hard earned money, abusing authority to the max. Rex, disregarding his rising status, humbles himself by still working a weekday 9-5 job while running a promotions company and maintaining a venue in the popular business district of Wilmington. - Early BBQ

"California Dreamin'"

Delaware native and co-creator of Weird and Awful shows Rex the Rager, drops “California’ Dreamin'” a joint that’s about fantasizing about anything better than their current situation. Rex takes us to Cali in this track where he tries getting away from the fake people and negativity he’s surrounded by in real life.

When “Second smallest state but the murder rate is shitty,” Rex takes to “California dreamin'” at night where he sees bigger and better opportunities.

Another Delaware native, qoR gives this track a smooth production. Let us know what you think of “California Dreamin'” below. - NewSickMusic


We finally get to REVIEW Rex The Rager’s latest EP titled “Random Shit To Digest”. It’s truly rare for me to put all my work on hold to listen to a whole project from FRONT to BACK. It was the very first song “No Worries” Ft. Sunny Ray that really caught my attention for me to dedicate a few hrs to digest this EP. He lyrics, conviction and melody is super solid throughout this EP, spitting aggressively regarding his emotions and lifestyle in the Indie Hip Hop game. “Tropical” Ft. Rellamar is another track that was really enjoyable to listen too….maybe because at the time of this REVIEW I was smoking a Fat Blunt of some Blue Diamond OG for Cali!!! Anyways let get into this EP a little bit more.

Rex The Rager brings something completely different to the table with this EP, It’s really something I can’t describe and you would have to listen to this project to relate. With the song called “My Waves (Don’t Do It) Ft. Tra Muto“, he was able to completely change his style for all those heavy trap heads, and for “Gassed Up” it’s a totally different sound yet still embracing the Rex The Rager Brand. This shows his true versatility from track to track showing all haters out there he is a true force to be reckoned with.

Overall this is a super solid listen for a EP in 2015. Rex The Rager is THE TRUTH in this game!!! If you don’t believe me just listen to “On A Mission“!!!! Trust you will become a instant FAN!! - Underground Hip Hop

"Peace & Positivity"

Rex the Rager - Peace & Positivity
Follow @rextherager - Broke2Dope // RECPhilly


Still working on that hot first release.



Rex The Rager is an alternative Hip-Hop artist from lesser known Wilmington, Delaware. He rose to prominence in the north-east region after his song "Pacman" went viral. He is also known as the first artist to publicly come out about illegally downloading Kanye's TLOP album via PirateBay when it was released voiced in a song irrelevantly called "Bang Bang Chicken" . This isn't where the story begins though.

Rex has only been active for over a year & in that time span he has founded IMNOTDEAD; strictly a hat brand that stays true to the exclusivity of it's consumers. Co-founded a promotions company based in Delaware called Weird & Awful which created a platform for many aspiring musicians in the Tri-State area and also propelled his music to the next level. W&A has brought out many up-coming, along with mainstream acts such as A$AP MobMike G of Odd FutureBlack DaveMajor Myjah and Brandun Deshay to various events and festivals.  He has been featured in the newspaper several times through 2016 for his achievements including having his hit record "Pacman" used as the theme song for a highly trafficked documentary titled "Northwest Trees". 

Rex played SXSW, headlining alongside OG MacoCurtis Williams of Two-9. He is currently working with artists Wifisfuneral, Mike G, Curtis Williams and Goodnite for his upcoming project "IMNOTDEAD BUT YOU ARE" sleighted to release mid-September. 

Rex just finished co-headlining a six city international tour w/ Odd Futures Mike G and Rakeem Miles early this summer spanning all the way from Canada to Florida. There isn't much backstory on Rex except that he is inspired by the tenacity of creatives everywhere while he stealthily plays a major role in the independent music scene today.

Band Members