Maurice Nesmith (born August 5th, 1985), known by his stage name Reese El Don is an American Rapper and recording artist of Afro American and Puerto Rican descent. He is most noted for being deemed the “16 Bar Cypher Champion” by Power 106 Los Angeles, which landed him a spot on a Converse Commercial. He was flown to New York City by Converse where he then wrote and recorded a song and score, including making an appearance in a commercial.
Maurice Nesmith was born in Philadelphia, PA. His father was a security guard and worked for a print plant shop, while his mother was a transportation worker. Reese grew up on 9th Street and Hunting Park in North Philly. The stage name, Reese El Don, was derived from his childhood as he always expressed the mindset of a “Don” or a boss, and his tastes in expensive and named brand clothing as well. One day, Reese’s mother bought him some clothes for Christmas that weren’t name brand, and he asked her to take them back. His mother responded, “You must think you’re a don, or a boss, or something…” This was a lesson to be understood down the line about the value of a dollar, for Reese El Don. Reese El Don is also a double entendre for Resilience, Excellence and Discipline.
In his youth, Reese El Don played in the Pop Warner football league for the North Philly Aztecs a number of years, as well as playing baseball and basketball. At the age of 13, Reese’s parents divorced which lead to his father moving the family from inner city Philadelphia to Abington, PA, a suburb outside of Philly, where Reese then attended and graduated from Abington High School.
Reese El Don also dealt with some hardships growing up. There was domestic violence and abuse (both physically and mentally) within his household. One night Reese had to bare with watching his drunken father abuse his mother both physically and mentally, and then had to console her. This particular night stood out in Reese’s memories since he was in his youth.
It is also good to note that Reese El Don’s first rap name was Dime Reese and also had this alias as his AOL Instant Messenger name during his days of rapping with his group, R. Dot. Reese took on his childhood nickname, [Reese El Don, as his stage name from 2004 to present day.]
In his early teens, Reese El Don was in a rap group called R. Dot… they were the attempted rebirth of the Wutang Clan, and consisted of 10 members in the rap group.
Reese’s official career began to thrive when he was overseas serving in the U.S. military – Navy Branch. He became more invested in his music during this time, because he didn’t have any other outlets or contact with family back home. Reese El Don simultaneously promoted his music, setting up and performing while touring overseas in 10-plus countries from 2005 to 2008 including Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Guam, Singapore, Korea, China, Japan, and more.
2009 – 11: Lum’Nati
Reese El Don formed a group in 2009 called Lum’Nati (Luhm-nah-tee) based out of Jacksonville, FL. The group consisted of Reese El Don himself, Benny Brasco (now known as Aaron Blck), and Monstarr, who was his fiance’s brother at the time (a short-lived engagement Reese was in). The group flourished while it toured in South Florida at a music conference where they were almost signed to G Unit, the popular label of hip-hop super star, 50 Cent, and his known affiliates. The group then disbanded, and Reese El Don moved back to the northeast section of Philadelphia, PA.
2012 – 14: Moving to California, Don’t Go, LA2PA and 16 Bar Cypher Champion
After moving back to Philadelphia, Reese commuted back and forth to New York City to perform at shows as opening acts for Vado, Cam’Ron, and various other acts. Eventually Reese fell into a depression. At the bitter end of that depression, Reese felt like the momentum of his career was not moving along nor in the right direction, so he gave away his furniture and all of his belongings, only keeping his car and studio equipment, and moved out west to Phoenix, AZ in 2012. After two weeks, Reese El Don noticed the community in music was little to none in Phoenix, so he thought to himself “I can go back east to Philly and accept that loss, or head west to California for the win.” He then proceeded to drive further west to Los Angeles, CA, never looking back.
Reese El Don released two singles; one in 2012, “Don’t Go,” and another in 2013, “LA2PA,” which received 100,000 views or more in only three day’s time. Around that time, Reese had met with both Compton artist The Game and legendary DJ Skee on separate occasions; receiving both co-signs after displaying his talents and performance that year.
The momentum of Reese’s career picked up when Power 106 and Converse Cons deemed him the 16 Bar Cypher Champion on February 14, 2014. In the event, Reese was judged by Artist, Sage the Gemini, and a panel of music execs on lyricism through the first few rounds, followed by battling technique and skill for the last rounds against various MCs.
Reese El Don also released a single, “No Fux Given” from his LA2PA project. The song and video titled “LA2PA” from 2012 would be released on the LA2PA project and retitled as “Rapped Out.”
2015 – Present: LA2PA, Jack’n for Beats and HipHop DX
Reese El Don’s website went public in January 2015, followed by a promotional campaign that would boost Reese’s buzz the first half of that year. In the beginning, Reese El Don participated in the Jack’n for Beats rap competition by Jack Daniels the months of January and February, setting a record-high for most votes in a Jack’n for Beats history in an online competition. He went on to perform live at The Turn Up in late March that year and released the video to his last single on his LA2PA album, “Niggaz Talk” just a few days later.
Reese El Don made appearances and performed freestyles on most noted interviews during his promo run for LA2PA. Reese appeared on live radio shows, the B-Side Show hosted by Rabbit & Cece the Mamacita of K-Day Radio and Crisco Kidd Blockparty. Reese El Don has also made an appearance/performance on BREAL TV’s Heavyweights Radio hosted by DJ Truly Odd and Mike XXL where Reese featured two tracks from the LA2PA project as well as an extended freestyle performance towards the end of the show. Reese then ended his campaign run while making another appearance/performance on Firme Radio, hosted by DJ Choice One and Lucy Darling. At the end of his promo run, Reese El Don made a soft release on his website of his LA2PA album.
In October, Reese El Don was hired to HipHop DX, where he performed video production duties, and eventually transitioned to doing voice-overs, and various segments on-camera such as trending topics in hip-hop and the HipHop DX Year End Awards 2015.
Reese El Don was credited in the partaking of various interviews at HipHop DX in performing duties with videography and/or editing. The interviews conducted at HipHop DX consisted of known artists such as The Game, Jadakiss, Miles, Master P, and Planet Asia, just to name a few. Reese El Don is scheduled to debut his new show through HipHop DX called Organic Over Everything, which is also the title to his upcoming EP.
Reese El Don has taken parts of every artists he’s ever came across to create a full-package of artists within himself. Kanye West had a major influence on his career, DMX’s style of performances and energy, Fabolous’ smooth swagger, wittiness, and punch lines, and Jay-Z’s commanding power.
Reese El Don is universal when it comes to his styles of rapping. He’s known for his somewhat up-tempo flow on slower beats such as songs like “No Fux Given.” His love for the video game, Mortal Combat, also shows in his music as well, incorporating ad-libs from the video game in some of his songs and freestyles. Reese El Don raps about his life with much authenticity, touching on different subject matters such as life in Hollywood, overseas in the military, the hardships of his childhood, domestic violence, and being organic over everything in life.
His latest project, “Organic Over Everything” EP, features a more aggressive Reese El Don that has usually been seen in freestyle performances in radio and screencast interviews.
Maurice Nesmith a.k.a. Reese El Don was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He’s the oldest child of five, having one biological sister, a half brother, and two adopted brothers. He lives in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, and if he’s not shooting a video, or recording music, he’s most likely playing basketball or watching sports programs. Reese is personally known for staying positive and optimistic, and his willingness to share his resources with others to help them get ahead. “There’s enough ugly in the world, I choose to be a beacon of hope for humanity,” as Reese El Don would say.
Reese Attended and graduated from Los Angeles Film School with an “Associates of Science” in Film in 2013. He also attended the Music Business Program and received a Entertainment Business Bachelors Degree.
While enlisted in the Navy, Reese was personally responsible for the launching and recovery of aircraft (E-2C Hawkeye) on the Kitty Hawk CV-63 Aircraft Carrier based out of Japan. He was also a Operations Specialist (OS) in charge of the navigation of the ship.
Health and Surgeries
While in the military, Reese had a heart surgery. Reese was born with an extra passageway in his heart that gave him heart palpitations. The surgery took place in 2011. He also suffered a foot injury, which tore ligaments, resulting in permanent damage and surgery. This would end his military career.
Organic Over Everything Show
Reese El Don debuts his show, Organic Over Everything, a web-based hip-hop show. The show features guest appearances and concentrates and consists of all organic traits in hip-hop history. The Organic Over Everything Show debuts in February 2016.
The Rapper & the Geek Podcast
Set to debut in late February 2016, The Rapper & the Geek Podcast stars Reese El Don (the rapper), his business partner, Kevin Akins (the geek), and Christina Lorena, the female co-host. The rambunctious trio and their personalities clash as they give their personal point of views on topics of current events in music, celebrity gossip, and other trending topics.
Organic Over Everything EP
The anticipated EP, “Organic Over Everything,” is expected to release in the first quarter of 2016. It features songs such as the title track, “Organic Over Everything,” which is the 2016 version of “Keepin’ It Real (Being 100).” “It’s Mine,” is a polar-opposite song on the EP, which is a representation for humanity. Some of the elements of the song are depression, physical and mental abuse, being positive, and not letting your past define your future.
Novata stands for “New Beginnings.” Novata Productons is a production company and non-profit that caters to endangered youth from the ages of 13 to 21, teaching them film and music. “Life is not about your personal achievements, it’s about what you’ve done to help others and give back to communities across the world,” as Reese quotes.
Spiritual Guidance – July 29th, 2012
LA2PA – June 1st, 2015 (soft release)
Organic Over Everything EP – First Quarter 2016
Commercial Score for Converse Con – 2014
HipHop DX End of Year Awards – December 2015
Hollywood Freestyle for HipHop DX – Jan. 23rd, 2016
Reese El Don is credited for shooting, editing, and/or both in interviews for Jadakiss, Paul Wall, The Game, Krazy Bone, Silkk The Shocker, Steve Lobel, A$AP Ferg, Jimmy Hu$tle, Jay Dot Rain, MaZhe, Miles, Rude Jude, Planet Asia, Tiron and Ayomari, and Master P.