Published in The Pulse of The Twin Cities
By Kandis Knight
This week I ventured into the world of the Trak Citi Allstarz, founded in 2003 by emcee Matther Renner aka Matt D and DJ Reeg. Although this crew is relatively new to the scene, they deserve your support. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on Trak Citi on a regular basis as my hunch is that they will be a respectable force in local Hip-Hop for years to come.
Here’s the catch: Trak Citi, isn’t your typical Minneapolis underground Hip-Hop crew. For starters, they hail from Stillwater, and their appeal isn’t underground, it’s commercial. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Midwest commercial Hip-Hop done right, just take a look at Kanye West. I’m proud to say, Trak Citi Allstarz make doing commercial Hip-Hop seem effortless. Probably because they have something some of these “new” crews around town lack.
So I wasn’t surprised to discover that Matthew D and DJ Reeg come from a long line of musicians, I’m talking generations deep. Matthew D., aka Matthew Renner, 22, is a third generation musician and the son of famed Minneapolis rock guitarist Steve Renner of The Renegades. The elder Renner has played with the likes of REO Speedwagon, The Commodores and Leon Russell. Renner has since gone on to form a record label called V-Records (V-Records.com), a move that I’m sure benefits the entire Trak Citi family.
DJ Reeg, aka Nic Regis, 22, is a sixth generation musician. According to their website, DJ Reeg “fell in love with the sounds and scratches of the turntable while listening to such artists as MixMaster Mike, DJ Hollywood, and DJ Kool Herc.” While listening to their six-song sampler CD, I had to agree with the crew’s description of their music. “Music that touches Hip-Hop heads and backpackers, street disciples and club goers, punch line lyricist with uncanny ability to speak the truth and relate to all types of people with different backgrounds.
Extremely talented DJ with an industry ear, witty lyricism with catchy vocals and hooks, completely unique and a breath of fresh air. Expect Trak Citi to put the north on the map, and Minnesota in the spotlight.” This isn’t just hype. Trak Citi are on a mission. Not only is their business professionally managed by V-Records, they obviously have industry professionals mentoring them every step of the way. Another thing that impresses me is the fact that they rep the Mini-Apple so hard that their logo for Trak Citi is a slanted Twin’s logo, TC, ya heard?
I’m sure Trak Citi will be around for a long time especially since the crew already has their game plan drawn out. With a growing fan base at each show Trak Citi has already performed at Bar Abilene, Escape and The Red Sea to near packed houses. The Trak Citi master plan is what they call the 15/5 Revolution. The 15/5 Revolution is a reference to a collection of mixtapes featuring Trak Citi and collaborations with other Minnesota artists and producers. DJ Reeg explains, “The 15/5 Revolution is this. We are going to release 15 tracks a month for five months.”
Their first offering is a 15-track mix CD,The Streets, that highlights each of the crews artists. All of the members of Trak Citi have star potential, especially the lady of the crew, Mari, who brings angelic vocals to the crew and the perfect Midwest b-girl flava. When they have completed the 15/5 process, they plan to release Matt D’s first solo CD, Different Sides. From listening to their music, I’m totally impressed with the quality of their production and each member’s talent. I also can’t wait until some of the other artists on their roster begin releasing music. Some of the Trak Citi Allstarz to watch out for include Will Fowla, Envy, Flex G, Zay, Kam, Mari, Young Rick, Yola Kain, A.C., J-Mega, Jazio Blaq, Strapp.