An Interview With RXK Nephew, One of the Internet's Strangest Rappers
He lost his teddy bear at the airport and claims Lil Reese pooped his pants
Rapper RXK Nephew is probably best known for his 2020 track “American Tterroristt” — a nearly 10-minute stream-of-consciousness rant that’s better heard than explained, but begins with the line “they say Jesus was a nephew” and ends with Joe Budden telling Migos they’re ass. The intervening bars are a manic barrage of slant-rhymes or overt non-rhymes on a beat lofi enough to study/relax to. It’s a solid intro to the Nephew extended universe: a blend of hyper-specific celebrity beefs with theological diatribes, random confessions, multiple hammer-related threats against Santa Claus, a long aside about Will Smith’s dog dying in I Am Legend, and a steady stream of paranoid message board theories on everything from dinosaurs discovering lightning to the government rigging American Idol.
That’s all just a partial list, like basically any attempt to summarize Nephew’s output. He is the kind of prolific that draws automatic comparisons to Lil B or Viper. Crunching the numbers on his discography is borderline impossible, and not just because the major streaming platforms have multiple Artist pages for him, each with slightly different spellings of his name. Since 2019, RXK Nephew — real name Kristopher Kevon Williams — has put out at least 34 albums, 20 mixtapes, and 19 EPs, with another studio album on the way. In 2021, he dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of 440 songs.
The bulk of those, and the other 250+ tracks he released this year, live on Nephew’s YouTube page, which he uses like a personal blog. In a 2020 interview, he told Creative Hustles that he raps about the minor details of his life to deal with writer’s block. “I’m not creative enough to write a whole story,” he said. “All I can do is tell you current events. Like if I don’t know what to say I would just look at my phone and say in the mic ‘I’m checking my phone.’” There’s some truth to that; or at least, it helps explain why he has songs called “6 Hour Layover in Denver,” “Hennessy Kicked in Just Now When the Beat Started,” “I Forgot the Beat,” “Forgot Where We Parked the Audi,” “I Forgot What Time It Is,” “I Forgot My Day,” and “I Forgot My Social Security Number.”
It’s also not true at all, in the sense that RXK is rattling off insane stories all the time, some arguably too insane. There’s an uncurrent of basic 4chan edging and Fox News-core red-pilling to some of his theories, though for any claim he makes you can find another undercutting it (occasionally in close proximity: “Vaccine got us mutatin' / So fuck it then, I'ma go take it.”) More often than not, Neph’s conspiratorial thinking is less straightforward than it is overtly goofy and ridiculous. He has a running bit about Lil Reese pooping his pants; a running list of rappers with fake dreads; and a hoarse-voiced alien alter ego named “Slitherman” who he claims is on the run from Area 51, killed Reagan, and is Jesus. For most of the past year, he’s been carrying around a camo teddy bear named SlitherTed, who gets his own seat on airplanes and in interviews. It’s hard to take him wholly seriously, mostly because he never seems to himself.
At least that was the case this month, when I talked to him over Zoom while he was visiting his hometown of Rochester, New York. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Neph: One sec, I’m going inside the house. Can't let them do me like MO3. How you doing though, what's up?
I'm good, how’re you?
Neph: I'm having a good time. My daughter’s birthday just passed. I just bought some Jordans that came out yesterday. She’s turning five. She is so smart, happy. It's exciting. I get to pick her up from school every day.
What kind of Jordans did you get?
Neph: The ones that just came out. They're black and gold retros. I've never had Jordans when I was younger, so I really don't know every number that comes out. I'm just buying them, but I'm happy that my daughter gets to have them. She got Balenciagas and Amiris on. I'm gonna spend it on her, no matter what I got, whatever. I'm gonna do whatever for my daughter.
What were you doing today, have you been recording?
Neph: Yes, I recorded. I'm shooting the video. I'm on the second video. I shot two videos. I got the bros here. Got the camera man. I'm in the hometown too. Rochester, New York. That's where I was born. I've been here about four days, four or five days.
Did you bring Slither Teddy?
Neph: They took Slither Teddy at the airport, because they said he was trying to traffic.
What, they took him?
Neph: They said he had some weed on him. I missed three flights, and one of them was because of that reason. But he just smelled like weed. That's all. Because he's just soaking it in. You know, because he's so fluffy and cuddly. I tried to fly with him, but at the airport they took him. I had to get up out of there.
Are you gonna get him back?
Neph: Let’s just say, rest in peace, Slither Ted.
Well to start, you recorded almost 450 songs last year. This year, it's been more like 250, but you’re still recording almost every single day. What's your schedule — how are you getting those tracks up?
Neph: I record every day. I engineer myself. So I wake up, record. I record before I go to sleep. I have songs that I don't drop all the time. If I record eight songs in the morning, I'm not gonna drop all eight songs. So I sit on them. They keep stacking up every day. So my schedule is: get up, record, shoot video, go to the mall, get fresh. I just keep trying to do this rapper thing.
It's been almost a week since you uploaded a track, that’s a relatively big pause for you. Is that because of your daughter's birthday, or are you saving stuff for the album?
It's because I'm really saving stuff for the album. I have so many videos stacked up. I got a lot of good music. I’m really getting business savvy, learning how everything works. I'm dropping so much, it's overwhelming people. I'm dropping 10 songs in one day. I had to be more strategic. I’m getting older and I got the family that depends on me, so I have to take the business more serious.
Do you have a name for it?
Yeah, "Till I'm dead." Back till I'm dead. I'm gonna be fresh till I'm dead. I'm gonna get money till I'm dead. I'm gonna smoke top shelves till I'm dead. I'm gonna be fresh till I'm dead. I'm gonna drop a few singles before the album. But I got some good records. I got dance records, goofy shit. Like fall back, we’re getting groovy.
Is it funny?
I swear to god, it’s having me dead. The album is funny. It's hilarious. We got dance shit on there. We got real shit. I'm talking about my real life. But I'm still making it funny. I'm talking about everything. It's got hooks on everything. It's not just rapping through the whole beat. I'm making real music, showing people I can rap and make a song. I can do a hook, verse, bridge, and I can really stay on subject and talk about a story. I'm talking about everything from — waiting outside for percs, for taking Unc to the grocery store to return bottles, to being homeless and the homeless shelter from coming to prison, from smoking, to doing parole. It's a lot. But I love it though, because they never heard me rap like that.
Like you were saying, you cover this huge range of styles and tones — a lot of it's pretty serious, some’s angry, some of it's just so sad — but if there's a through line across the 1,000-whatever tracks you put out, it’s these chaotic and funny bars you toss out, usually questioning something everyone takes for granted. You can stack up a bunch of tragic lines, and then undercut it all with one that's hilarious and slightly insane. Why do you think people have that reaction to your music? Do you think it's funny?
I think they have to experience it to understand it. I think if they never experienced it, they won't even nod their head to it. They’ll just be like “okay, this song is cool.” It needs to be like "Yes, cool, but what he's saying I can relate to.” You know, everybody comes from the same place — state to state, city to city, they all go through it. You need to put the real out there, but stay funny. A line I said in a video I'm shooting is “my girlfriend say the track is boring, but I'm having fun here." I still made it funny. Like "She like the trap get boring / I don't want to sit all day / the kitchen look like UFC / Aunty elbowing Unc in the face." It's funny, but it's real though.
I saw this interview you gave a while ago, where you said, "I can make any two words rhyme, I can rhyme 'car' with 'whale.'" And you actually do kind of do that, or just repeat stuff till it works. The obvious example’s "Slither Conspiracy," where you rhyme ‘King Von’ with ‘King Von’ like 10 times. Do you feel like you've done that, where you just had two words that do not rhyme at all, where it was a crazy stretch, but worked out?
Crazy two words, I don't know, I can’t think off my head. That's kind of deep. But I can say Aunty and Unc. I can make Aunty rhyme with Unc. [Talking to other guys in the room] Don't you think? I can rhyme Aunty and Unc, and it goes smooth.
A lot of people compare you to Lil B. You compare yourself to Lil B sometimes — you rap about Lil B. Was he a big influence?
Once I already was off the porch, I started fucking with Lil B. He influenced me in the way of being yourself and not caring what people think. Just being yourself, whether you got dirty sneakers, whatever you say in your music, he did that album called "I'm Gay." He influenced a lot, but we lead two different lives. I talk to Lil B every day.
You talk to him every day?
Not every day, but once a week. Regular.
What do you guys talk about?
Oh, health, development. We got songs together that we didn't release yet. But we talk about health, development, loving yourself, and getting the hatred out of your heart. You know how Lil B be. He's love and peace. I'm still figuring it out, but he's already there. So he's trying to help me get there. I still got a lot going on with myself.
I wanted to ask about your beat placements. When did you start telling people to send you their stuff?
When everybody in my DM kept talking about "I got beats." Every time I look at my DMs it's "I got beats, I got beats, I got beats.” So, I'm like, shit give me $20, $30, $40 and I'll rap on your beat. If I got 50 people telling me they’ll pay $30 to rap on their beat, I'm gonna go up on the price. So then it became a business, and it never stopped. I'm gonna keep trying to charge people forever.
Do you use them all? There's that one on “BlackBerry Touchscreen,” where you basically say you hate the beat. You said it sounds like he made it on his iPhone and his granddad just died.
I did, because I don't know why he sent it to me. I feel like if somebody's sending me a beat, you a fan. You listen to my shit. You fuck with my music. You're gonna send me a crazy beat where you probably want me to exercise my lyricism, or whatever. But I'm not a boom bap rapper. I'm a musician.
I do take beats though, especially for some money. I never had a job before. So you just send me any kind of beat right now. You can make a beat, yourself, right now and send it to me, and we'd probably make a hit. You'd probably think the beat was hot. You could probably be insecure about the beat — like "Uhhhh I don't know if this is hot, I don't know if I should send it to him." And maybe I'm like, "damn, what the fuck kind of beat is this?" But I'll still rap on it. We'll still do it and everybody in the world will love it. That's how new music gets created.
Have you gotten any really bad ones?
I used to feel like that. But I don't feel like that no more. I feel like everybody that sends me something is creative in his own way. I don't think no beat is garbage, because I don't know what it’s going to be. I might end up liking it. Maybe I’ll hear it for the first time and think "This shit is ass, this shit is garbage." And then tomorrow, I'm like "This shit it haaard. This shit is fire bro." I'm showing my dogs being like, "You heard this shit bro?" and we're all laughing.
When did you come up with Slitherman? On No Jumper, you said something about how you started doing that voice because of Men in Black.
I came up with Slitherman when I first started doing this. That was one of my first tapes. You know the dudes from Men in Black, [doing the voice] "I need sugar and water…More sugar, more water, more sugar." The first time I ever said Slitherman — the first time shit ever came out of my throat, my mouth — I was thinking about Slitherman needing more sugar and water — [doing the voice] "MORE SUGAR, MORE WATER, MORE SUGAR, MORE WATER.” And then [the alien in Men in Black], he turned into something different that she didn't expect him to turn into — he was an alien from the sky — and she was looking at him so crazy, and he's like "MORE SUGAR" and then she got the teaspoon, started mixing it, he drunk it, and it was over. That's just like me.
I’ve turned into different things when I get intoxicated. My New Year's resolution is to be sober and be myself that I actually am. I'm about to turn back into Kris from first grade. I'm turning back into him. Right now, I don't know what I am right now. When I'm sober, I'm a different person. The new album was really sober though. I wasn't drunk. I wasn't high. I wasn't doing nothing. I was going through something. I was thinking about my future. I was thinking about my past. That's why it's kind of an emotional roller coaster on the album. But it's fun. You can dance, you can laugh, then you can get emotional too.
You rap a lot about conspiracies — some of the common ones like flat earth and Illuminati stuff, but you put your own twist on them, like “the government wrote the bible” or “dinosaurs discovered lightning” or “Future never took Molly.” When did you get into that?
In jail. I read all the books. If you're in jail and you're not doing the right thing, you get the last books on the shelf. Everybody takes all the good books. By the time I get the book cart and go to the library, it’s the last set of books. I got the shit that nobody wants to read — history, some conspiracies, real estate. They took all the good books, where they're shooting people, fucking bitches, doing all that. I get books about science and everything about history. I read that shit and it made me start reevaluating a lot. Sometimes when I run out of things to rap about and I get writer's block, I just rap about the shit that I read.
What'd you read from that cart? I remember you said something about Behold a Pale Horse.
You want me to go into details? I don't want people to judge me. I don't want to be a kind of Kanye West out here.
Yeah, I don't think you would be.
I read so many things. Listen, Jack Reacher is my favorite character, by Lee Child. I'm fed up with Alex Cross like, but I read 20 of those. What's that dude's name? Edward Snowden. I ain’t been in prison for six years, but I've read them all — the first books I read in my life. I read Goosebumps before that. I'm really a jail person. I went from group homes to juvenile to maximum security juveniles to prison to maximum security prison, and came home and just started doing music. So I'm just self-educated. I hit seventh grade and never made it out.
I mean, it seems like Kanye actually believes that stuff. You never say anything that wild, and when you talk about conspiracies, it feels like at least half the time you're trolling.
I think Kanye is trolling too. He can't think that.
You think so?
He doesn't believe that.
Maybe, I don't know.
It's an attention thing, man. If you don’t got a father in your life and your mother's not still around, you're looking for attention. If you've been an only child, you look for attention. You need love. And when you run out of that, you just keep looking for attention. You're spoiled, and you just say things out of spite. That's why I'm there in my daughters’ life. That man is looking for attention. I could never put myself in his shoes, but I say a lot of shit too. But I think about what I say before I say it, and I know what's right. If it's wrong, I'm not gonna say it.
But some of the conspiracies you get into are just clearly goofy. You tweeted the other day about how you watched this hour-long YouTube video about Mrs. Puff from Spongebob.
I did do that! I forgot. I deadass did. That shit was deep. I can't believe I sat here this whole time watching it. That was crazy. I was just sitting there like — everything was in her head. She was just playing the whole time. It was crazy. Did you watch it?
I started, but I could not get through it. What's the gist, could you summarize?
I could summarize. She was a mental health patient. Everything was in her head. She came home from doing life. She was obsessed with SpongeBob. He was about to kill her every day and she still wanted to be around him. But she was still scared. She would wake up in her sleep and scream about it. And Mr. Krabs killed Pearl’s mom and he felt bad about it. That's why he wanted to be there for her. That's why he's the crab and she's a whale.
Makes sense to me. What kind of shows did you grow up watching? Did you watch a lot of SpongeBob and Rugrats. You rap about them a bunch.
A lot of cartoons. Rugrats was my favorite. Once it got into reality shit, I never was onto that. I hate reality shows. But the cartoons, I did love it. Rugrats. Ginger. I never liked Keenan & Kel or Cartoon Network like that. I like Ed, Edd, and Eddy. But I'm a fan of Nickelodeon. I used to watch Full House, because I think about having a family. Full House was a good TV show because I never had a family that was all there. But other than that, I stopped watching TV. Dudes be in jail watching Love & Hip Hop, thinking about bitches they never gonna fuck. And they got like, 10, 15, 25 years to go home, and they’re thinking about this bitch that's never gonna be the same age as them. I'm sorry, I'm probably going off.
No no, all good, did you watch a lot of Adult Swim?
Boondocks. And Family Guy. That's it. Robot Chicken. Aqua Teen Hunger Force. But that was it, because I knew they were starting to get weird after that. It was really weird, that whole Adult Swim shit. But the vice president follows me, bruh. I'm gonna have my own show up there. They might say my shit weird too, because I'm gonna get crazy on my show.
You rap a lot about growing up around Jehovah's Witnesses.
My grandma’s Jehovah's Witness. So I went there and did Bible study. That's what turned me into the person I am today. Because that shit was bullshit.
A lot of your lyrics are just making fun of the Bible.
Exactly. Before social studies, before anything, I learned the Bible. The Bible was crazy. The Bible is evil. I don't know why that's PG-13. They shouldn't make kids read that. The Bible should be rated R, like you shouldn't be able to get that at a certain age. You know what I'm saying?
I definitely do. What's the craziest part to you?
The craziest part? The craziest part is how they call it "Mother Earth," but they paint females to be the root of evil in the Bible. They paint women to be destruction, but they call it Mother Earth.
All right, yep.
They say Virgin Mary lied about being pregnant and she got raped, and the girl cutting Samson's hair. All the females lead men to destruction. They trying to feel like Eve made Adam bite the fruit, but this is still Mother Earth. But females reproduce and if it wasn't for the females, we wouldn't even be here to talk about it. Like the Bible, who wrote that, a pimp?
I mean, you said the government.
They said Mary sold pussy in the village for food.
Wait, who sold pussy in the village for food?
Mary was supposed to be a virgin. So when she got pregnant, she told everybody that she didn’t know what happened. It happened from sky. She was like, "Yo, a higher power entity got me pregnant." Bruh, what had that ever happened. You have to read between the lines. I read it over and over and over again, and from what I'm understanding, she was 12 years old when she got pregnant with Jesus.
I just got a timer that said we only have a few minutes left on the Zoom. So a couple quick things. What's the situation with Lil Reese pooping his pants?
Bahaha, I don't understand why he did that. They say he had Crohn's [disease]. They said my dad got Crohn's. If you have a disease, I'm not trying to make fun of the weak. If you have bubble guts, and you just get into a situation where your bowels just release, I'm not trying to make fun of that. But I'll just make fun of you. People around my way look up to savages, and not the ones that dookie on themselves. Not the ones that dookie on themselves, bruh. Reese is like 120 pounds. I can picture if you ate a lot that morning, it can be easier for you to want to get that out. He’s like 120 pounds. If he ate Waffle House that morning, and these dudes stuffed him in his shit? He’s about to shit on himself. His stomach’s wild full.
You tweeted the other day that you wanted Jeffrey Dahmer’s cell phone number. What was that about?
I did that, you sure?
You were like, "does anyone have Jeffrey Dahmer number I'm trying to see something real quick." But that man is dead.
Man, I read his book in jail, before everybody started watching the movie. That's what blew my mind. I read the book in full detail. The book is always better than the movie, documentary, whatever. They stretching his story and just making money off his name. That's just like if I died today, you're the last person to talk to me. Everybody who’s the last people to see me, they're gonna have a story to tell and sell.
I read his book in jail. And it's years later, five, six years later, and his story’s been out. But now they're selling it — that horrible story where he chopping a man's nails off, where he's fucking females and then just killing them both. It's crazy, but reading the book was more horrible. I was mad that I got that off the shelf. But that's the type of books that I had to read, because that was the only thing that was left up there. I was miserable bruh. But then I had nothing to do so I had to go back and read it. And I'm like yo this is getting more crazy and more crazy. They got the pictures when he was bringing the bodies out. And now to see that they have the Netflix series. I'm like oh my god, man.