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Bay Area hip-hop artist Rexx Life Raj talks new album, tour and going to school with G-Eazy

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) — Music is therapeutic — not just for the people who listen to it, but for the artists who create it.

This is certainly the case of Rexx Life Raj, who have just released their new album “The Blue Hour”.

Raj was born in Berkeley, California and raised in the East Bay. The title of the album is based on a photo shoot he did in the Bay Area, but on a deeper level, it’s mostly about coping with grief.

Raj lost both parents in 2021. He said he wrote most of the songs while his mother was battling cancer and until his father died.

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“It’s just about the feelings and the grief and the thoughts and emotions that go with it. I often feel like it’s not discussed the way it’s supposed to be discussed because people hold it back, host it and they don’t want to throw this stuff at other people,” Raj said. “So I try to open up as much as possible so people can kind of live through me when it comes to that.”

Raj’s Bay Area influence is everywhere, in fact he went to school with rapper G-Eazy.

Naturally, the question had to be asked: Who was the coolest? Raj laughed, then said without hesitation, “That’s hilarious. I was definitely cooler.”

“G was cool. I think we were all cool. We were just young and rapping. I think in high school, especially early high school, how cool can you really be? You try to figure yourself out, to understand the world,” he continued.

The two reconnected a few years ago to make music.

“G was one of the first people to reach out to me. That’s why I’ll always respect him, and he always has my love and admiration. He’s so good at coming down to people who want to come up, especially from region and provide them with a platform for their talent. I have so much love for him,” Raj said.

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After high school, Raj played Division I football at Boise State, but said he absolutely knew he would never make it to the NFL and that music was his top priority.

Well, it has worked so far. Raj has over 65 million streams on Spotify and has just announced a national tour with the release of his album.

So in the end he went “pro” – the only thing that changed was the scene.

See the full interview in the video player above this story.

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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