This past July, Adam Reverie was one of several emcees to drop bars when Sway Calloway brought his morning show Sway in the Morning to Detroit. It's debatable who had the hottest 16 bars, but Reverie's emotion and energy — he kept spiting well after the beat stopped — defiantly made his presence felt. Even legendary Detroit emcee Royce da 5'9" was impressed. "He went for it," Royce says. Reverie's new EP, Soul Ties, has just been released online, and it's clear this poignant emcee is one to watch.
Metro Times: How long have you been involved in music and hip-hop?
Adam Reverie: I began perfecting my craft as a songwriter in 2005, I believe. I was a sophomore in college at Clark Atlanta University. I transitioned over to being a hip-hop artist around 2009, and released my first mixtape, Love the Way I See It, in 2011.
MT: Who are some of your local and non-local favorites?
Reverie: My favorite local acts are Acapella, Eli Myles, and Jaye Prime. But there are a plethora of other artists I believe appreciate the craft and I respect their musicianship as well.
MT: Your cut "Untitled" is a political, soulful joint about trying to make it as an artist and a man. Is that your reality?
Reverie: Yes, that's the reason I called it "Untitled," because it touches on so many aspects of being a black man in America while trying to make it as a musician. Both variables require a lot of responsibility and sacrifice. At times it can be overbearing.
MT: The track "Emancipation" feels very personal. Tell me more about it.
Reverie: "The Emancipation" is a dear record to me and yes very personal. My father was sentenced to life in prison unjustly my freshman year of college and I began to sleep with an excessive amount of women to try and heal my pain. Obviously that solution wasn't the best, and ultimately it only created more hurt and pain. I've been through a lot and "The Emancipation" is symbolic of a freedom from those burdens, hurts, pains, or soul ties if you will to certain people and situations.
MT: What are other topics you like to explore in your music?
Reverie: The content of my material has always been broad as far as topics go and I usually create depending on my current experiences in life and how those experiences have affected me. So depending on what life throws my way [it] will dictate which topics I explore in the future.
MT: How has your music grown over the years?
Reverie: Well, I recently decided to refrain from using profanity in my music, so I guess that's the biggest growth measurement in my craft. I promised my father once I had a solid following I'd refrain from cursing in my music so I'm keeping my promise to him. Also I recently discovered Rakim never cursed in his art, so I wanted to elevate my craft and do the same.
MT: When you went on Sway, Royce said you "went for it." You did seem to have some extra fire inside then. What was it like for you?
Reverie: Yes, I'm naturally a passionate person and on a platform like Sway in the Morning, it only elevated my passion. It was definitely my chance to even the odds with other artists who may have a bigger name because of who they know or are affiliated with, no more favorites, just skill and it's recorded and seen by thousands of people so you can't deny the end results. My fire was definitely ignited on that day.
MT: How do you feel about Detroit hip-hop? Where it's at and where it's going?
Reverie: Again, going back to the favoritism in Detroit hip-hop. It plagues us, but I do believe there is a shift approaching; although we may never become this allegiance of Detroit hip-hop artists, I think we are heading in a direction where artists will openly respect and give credit to those who may not be in their immediate circle, yet still mention those artists as the top tier.
MT: Let's fast-forward to your newest project Soul Ties. What was your initial vision for this EP?
Reverie: Honestly, I slept with a woman from my past that I had no business being intimately involved with again, and I felt sick to my stomach about it, so I wrote the song "Remain" which sparked me to create Soul Ties as a complete project.
MT: The production from Shocker G, Ace Boogie, Rokk Mass Entertainment, and Niles Mack & Orlando Wade all feels very melodic and leaning more toward R&B. You also have a lot of Anthony Hamilton-isms to go along with your usual foray of honest lyricism in this project. Was that the goal?
Reverie: Yes, those guys did an amazing job of creating the palette for me to express myself. I wanted Soul Ties be something you sit to and ponder on, even ride in the car late night when you're deep in thought, and I believe they did a great job of providing me with the perfect canvases. As far as an Anthony Hamilton influence, that's an honor. But I just create from my soul. I guess we're synonymous in that.
MT: You really bare your soul in "My Lord" and "Soul Ties." Has your spiritually always been a part of your music?
Reverie: My spirituality has and always will be a part of my artistry. God is the one who's given me my gifts so I must be mindful of that and share my spiritual journey as well.
MT: Are there any more projects planned for this year?
Reverie: I have a full-length project I completed a year ago, but I'm not sure I'll be releasing it this year. I want to make sure I give Soul Ties my everything before releasing another body of work. I can say that it is heavily influenced by black issues, and it's my favorite body of work thus far.