Around this time last year, Kuttem Reese made his first song after only rapping for one month. Since then, the Orlanda rapper has inked a deal with Republic Records, linked with Lil Durk for a collaboration on which Reese applies the pressure and released his debut project. Not bad for one year in the game.

Reese jumped into rap because he saw one of his friends doing it. He spent some time learning his way around the studio and how to rhyme alongside that same friend. His novice skills then culminated in a feature that was never released, but he ultimately dropped his first song, “My Story,” last May. On the guitar-driven track, Reese lets his listeners know what their in store for with “they ain’t never seen this side of me.” He sounds polished and well-formed, switching between a couple flows and getting things off his chest, like his mother being a felon, getting evicted and other struggles. “They sent my mom away for two years, that shit that ended me/Now every chance I get I apply pressure so now they feelin’ me,” he raps.

After “My Story,” Kuttem Reese began to garner attention from major labels, but really wasn’t too interested into entering that world and dealing with the ups and downs of no longer being independent. During that time, the rap newcomer continued to drop music, such as “Madden,” a song about his incarcerated brother that caught the attention of NFL players, which he released in early January of 2021. Reese then teamed up with 448 Music Group, a local Florida label, leading him to his signing with Republic Records.

Once signed, Reese released the tracks “Be Here” and “No Statements,” the latter of which now has a new Lil Durk verse added to it. That version of “No Statements” surpassed 600,000 YouTube views in a week without an official video and now has nearly 400,000 Spotify streams. His traction is continuing to build, considering the video for “Madden” is three months old and has more than 870,000 views on YouTube.

In May, he unleashed his official debut mixtape, Kutt Dat Boy, featuring 15 tracks and collabs with Durk, Chief Keef on “All 10,” Fredo Bang on “Bout It,” Jackboy on “Shot Caller,” among others. Following the tape’s release, it’s time for the rest of the world to catch on to what Reese has been cooking down in Orlando. Get to know him in XXL‘s The Break.

Age: 19

Hometown: Orlando, Fla.

I grew up listening to: “Kodak Black, Chief Keef, those two really. Those mainly my two favorite rappers. I say Kodak Black because he’s from Florida, it all makes sense. Chief Keef because he plays a big role in our generation of music right now.”

My style’s been compared to: “Of course, I’m from Florida, they gon’ compare me to Kodak. That’s typical stuff, that’s all. I don’t really get too many comparisons. Wherever you from, you know they gon’ say the biggest artist.”

I’m going to blow up because: “I know I’m going in the right direction because it’s steady building, day to day, every day. I’m getting new messages like ‘Keep goin’, Reese!’ So i know it’s working ’cause I see the numbers. They not goin’ down, they just goin’ up.”

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: “I feel like that ‘Madden’ song. It’s not really slept on, but I feel like it’s slept on because the meaning behind it, everything that I’m saying on the song is real-life stuff. It’s not slept on from my position, but it should still be way bigger than what it is when people actually understand what I’m saying and can relate. But God got everything in his hands. When it’s time for it to go bigger and for people to understand, it’s gon’ be there.”

My standout records to date have been: “‘No Statements,’ ‘Madden,’ ‘Boston Celtic.’ Those are my biggest songs in my opinion.”

My standout moments to date have been: “Seeing people really know my music, rapping my lyrics, something that I’m thinking of in the studio, and then seeing people actually rap it, word for word, that’s one of my biggest moments. They actually taking the time to listen to what I’m saying and learning the lyrics. That’s a big thing that’s keeping me going.”

Most people don’t know: “I like playing games. Video games and mind games. Warzone, Fortnite, I don’t really play nothing else other than that. Those are my two favorite games on the PS5.”

I’m going to be the next: “Legend because that’s definitely what I’m gon’ be, a living legend. Yo kid’s kids gonna be tellin’ ’em about Reese from back then.”

Follow Kuttem Reese on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts:

“My Story”

“Madden”

“No Statements” featuring Lil Durk

“All 10” featuring Chief Keef

Kutt Dat Boy

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