How essential is Rezt’s voice to his craft? The Maryland rapper’s reply glides out of his mouth like it’s wearing velvet roller skates. “I want the tone of my voice to be valued,” he explains in a patient, aerodynamic purr — the kind of answer that shows and tells at the same time. “When you get people to love what you really sound like, they’re closer to you.”
Everything about “Murrlin,” the 10-song album Rezt dropped in April, feels up close and personal, with Rezt rapping into a microphone the way an air conditioner might whisper cool secrets across your ear. And although his tone can shift in temperature — from chilly self-possession to conspiratorial warmth — it’s always penetrating. During one of his most magnetic tracks, “Watch Your Back,” it’s as if he has found a way to replace the little voice that blows paranoid thought-bubbles in the back of your skull with his own.
Rezt says he’s trying to forge intimacy through spontaneity — “A lot of my joints are just what came out when I heard the beat” — and that he’s been an attentive listener since his childhood in Upper Marlboro, Md., where he first soaked up the saturated mood-music of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Silkk the Shocker, Parliament-Funkadelic and Sade. You can tell he listened closely. Now he expects the same of us.
Show: Sept. 22 at the Trillectro festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. $60-$199.