House of Renji Delivers More Heat at Cactus Club

Genesis Renji (left) and Maal Himself (right).

House of Renji hosted a show Friday night promoting the latest collab tape of Maal Himself and Genesis Renji, WHT SMMR, which came out last November. Their first project together had been BLK WNTR back in February earlier that year. Additionally they had Grey Genius, CT, and Renz Young onstage – all culminated into one hell of summertime hip hop spectacle. Music discovery startup LUM and clothing brand SayWerd had been present as well.

CT dropped his latest EP “From Auntie Basement” just two weeks ago, and you can find it everywhere.

“LeanBeatz, a well-known producer in the city…he’s one of my best friends. We used to work together at Boston Store back in the day and spent almost every damn day together – we’d get off work and go to his auntie’s house and it’s directly across the alley from where my house is at. We would go over there and chill out in her basement doing whatever. When he wanted to start making beats and getting his name out here, we would smoke and freestyle with the homies. The origin is from the memories and I kinda consider getting into rap cuz of that. I had hit him up and felt like it was time me and him had got together on some shit. We worked on a couple tracks on my debut project (“Not Bad For a Blogger”) and I felt I owed it to him to give my boy a whole project.”

He narrowed the project down to five tracks from eight originally, and made it short to increase the replay value. It took him about three months. When he is not cooking up music and on stage he works at General Mitchell Airport.

“Every day is a work day; I can’t say there’s a “regular” day,” CT said. “It’s always a fun thing working on the craft while trying to maintain that regular life. A lot of people feel we have superpowers.”

CT is working on a full-length album, titled “Just My Luck.” He is hoping to drop it around Thanksgiving time.

Grey Genius’ latest project had been her EP “Late Nights Cold Drinks” from April 2018.

“It was very therapeutic for me, like a release,” GG said about LNCD. “Prior to that I hadn’t released anything for like four years so just coming back had a lot of drive. The themes were love, hate, depression…kinda just releasing everything bottled up.”

Grey Genius is ready to enter the studio again and work on her new project, which she claims will be brighter and will show more sides of her creative edge.

“Everybody was definitely involved, kinda engrossed a little bit,” GG said about the show. “It always trips me out where I’m like “do you like it or hate it?” but tonight was cool.”

Renz Young has been dropping an array of singles in the last few months but Friday night he performed all new music. His latest single is “The Blessings” / “Pendants” released together as “MANTRA.”

“Right now, to keep it short, the project was gonna be really long,” Young said about what he is working on. “I decided not to do that so now I just have all these songs to choose from and I wanted to try them out tonight to see if they were as good as I thought they were. Seems like people were fucking with them.”

Renz Young is planning on dropping a ton of new merch and performing more this year. He likes to throw his own shows and is selective with where he performs. Nonetheless he is grateful for House of Renji.

“I’ve known Gen for a long time – like before House of Renji was a thing,” Young said. “To see his progress is always amazing. We call ourselves the mobile brothers cuz we are very minded in the same way. I’m always happy for anything Genesis and Maal do. I see their accomplishments as my own.”

Genesis Renji and Maal Himself performed with drummer Sam Kacala to close out the night. Renz Young did a ton of production on WHT SMMR and joined them on stage, as did Von Alexander for his new song “I Can’t Die.” They reflect on how the evening went.

“(Kacala) is the only drummer I will ever trust to play behind me with no rehearsal,” Renji said.

“To us this was about giving more artists the chance to be in the public eye,” Maal said. “Gen is going to be a superstar. When you get CT, Renz Young and Grey Genius they’re all just amazing man. When you get on stage after them you gotta bring it…when the audience has energy it’s so easy to pick your own energy up.”

He explains how WHT SMMR took departures from BLK WNTR.

“The thing was to stand BLK WNTR on its head,” Maal explained. “It was to flip that story of BLK WNTR – kinda metaphorically, with whatever relationship you have with your creativity, and make it not so sombre and more energetic and lifelike.”

“I don’t like sitting with beats too much; I just like creating whatever comes to mind,” Renji added. “I think when we work together we push each to do the opposite of what’s expected.”

“(Renji) just challenges me,” Maal said. “The writing process is always what we hear and what we feel and we just go from there.”

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