Today, with 15 years under his belt, Slum's perceptions have changed. He says, "My aspirations have changed over time. It's gone from wanting the women, the fame, and economic status, to just wanting to have a better life for me and my son". Although his motives for being in the game have changed, his love for it is consistent and he is now aspiring to be Bigger Than The Game (also the title of his debut CD). Bigga Than The Game will be released through 2Hot Entertainment, a Philly based independent label, whose CEO is Sheila Adkins. This 19-track mosaic, lyrically illustrates Slumlord's life. He takes you through 13 years of ups and downs and ins and outs of the grind, and takes brief intermissions into life's mere moments of happiness. With lyrics that reflect thug poetry and hypnotic beats (produced by DJ Miz, Groove Control, Truth Management, Mad Maneuver's and himself as well), it's more than a crowd pleaser, it's a Peter Piper, A Biggie Poster, or a P. Diddy remix... simply put it's a classic.
Slumlord is not just a guy with a blazing book of rhymes under his mattress; he is a contemporary Langston Hughes. What makes him so special is his writing style. He gets up close and personal. This personal touch makes him more than a rapper, more than a lyricist, and a great storyteller. "Being a good storyteller is what this industry is about; being able to get personal with the listener. Everything I rap about I did, witnessed, or have been close enough to know about". In the beginning of 2001, he began to tell his story with his first novel, "Honor Among Thugs". Here he speaks thorough the voice of Eddie Doolittle, a struggling paraplegic trumpet player.
In Honor Among Thugs, Slum takes you by the hand and gives you a personal tour into the minds and souls of thugs. He does not necessarily want you too agree with everything in the book, just to understand it. "I wrote this book to make people think about and understand some (if not all) aspects of thug life. No, I'm not glorifying thugs; I'm just justifying them". He further states, "Thugs are another creed of people and this is my way of exposing the culture". Some people have said it is the male version of Sister Souljah's 1999 release "The Coldest Winter Ever." Having read her book, Slumlord, in response to that says, "It is truly a blessing to be compared to her. I think people say that because our style of writing is similar. We write about what we know and the intricate details make it believable".
This is a dynamic, realistic, soulful piece written with a sense of manifestation, strength, and clarity. "Honor Among Thugs" will be released under Amber Books Inc this upcoming October. Seven years ago, the graduating class of Clair Mohammed High School would have never thought that James Reese would be where he is today. Having 1 son, 1 book deal, 1 CD, and writing and producing, 15 years in the game! Check out Slumlordís Rap Round-up feature in Black Beat Magazineís February 2004 issue on newsstands now!