Reggie Edwards describes himself as a “Jack of all trades master of none."
The Soldan International Studies High School graduate merges his passion of rap, battle rap, and comedy into his burgeoning career.
Battlerap, also known as rap battling, is a type of rapping performed between two or more performers that incorporates boasts, insults and wordplay.
“They complement each other because they have very similar dynamics,” Edwards said.
“I tell people all the time rapping is different from actual battle rapping. They’re more closely related to comedy than actually rapping and making a song.”
He admits taking delight in his popularity as a class clown in school because he was a source of entertainment. His humor and personality followed him to St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, where he majored in mass communication, but didn’t finish his studies.
The thrill of making people laugh was something Edwards genuinely enjoyed, but didn’t know how to get his foot in the door. It was a classmate who hipped him to the now closed Lola’s , which hosted open mic nights.
Edwards was only 20 at the time, meaning he didn’t meet the age requirement. An exception was made by St. Louis comedian Jovan Bibbs, who was there that evening. Edwards wasn’t allowed to sit at the bar and Bibbs chaperoned him.
Edwards said, “I didn’t kill it, I got some good jokes off.”
He categorizes his jokes as abstract, with plot twists and reflection about life and current events.
His music acumen began when he was five.
“I’d listen to my dad’s tapes and CDs, then I’d start writing music to it,” he said.
“I would listen to songs and replace the words by changing up certain lyrics to where it
it was the same song but with different lyrics.”
Last year, he released the world’s first-ever double disc hip-hop and comedy album on New Year’s Eve.
“The first half of the disc has 27 tracks of my music,” Edwards said. “The second half is comedy tracks recorded in front of a live audience at the Funny Bone.”
Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud channel on Sirius XM has picked up his hip-hop comedy album. Edwards is hosting and performing the first battle rap event to grace Caroline’s on Broadway soon for the New York Comedy Festival.
“As long as I'm in my element of entertaining people, it’s all the same for me,” he said. “I’m a performer, I enjoy making people happy and anyway I do that is what makes me happy. That’s what I thrive off of.”
Edwards believes St. Louis is home to many talented people and calls it a good place to start and hone your skills. But he he felt a move to New York was needed to expand his talent.
“It's a good growing space, you could really blossom and then once you hit the ceiling it's time to go in search of more opportunities, exposure, and expansion,” he said.
“I had to leave the nest and just go. I saw life happening before me, saw everybody’s life changing. Everyday I was like ‘Where do I see myself in the next few years if I don’t move?’”
He drove 15 hours from St. Louis to the Bronx with $4,000. He landed an apartment through Craigslist and immediately began networking with other comics.
His first year was not easy.. He paid thousands of dollars to receive specific licenses and take an UBER class because driveshare services are regulated like taxis.
“I didn’t have a place to stay out there for a bit. I would sleep in my whip,” he said.
“The last thing I was gonna do was go back to St. Louis. I looked at it as it was all part of the process and I had to do what it takes to make it. I endured it and would eventually find a way.”
After five years in New York he says he is happy and grateful to have overcome obstacles.
Edwards is accessible on all platforms as Reggie Edwards.
Edwards is headlining six shows for Westport Funny Bone, Oct. 27-30. Purchase tickets here: