Reconcile aka Ronnie Lillard was born bound within the gritty landscape of chalked lines. In early adolescence, he suffered his first loss when he was abandoned by his mother and left to be raised by his father in various low-income neighborhoods in Fort Myers, Florida better known as “Little Pakistan.” Despair and poverty were bedfellows and gun shots were more frequent than thunderstorms. Prior to becoming a teen, the message was resoundingly clear. The soundtrack to his life then was “murder rap” and while No Limit’s artistic gold-embossed tank glorified its brand, Ronnie lived the culture. Unshaken by the harsh realities, of which he inherited by birthright, he succumbed to the lifestyle: dreads and gold teeth amidst fiends, felons and firearms. These were the norms.
Seventeen years his senior, Ronnie’s dad believed that the only outlet to overcome poverty was for his son to pursue football. This was plan A thru Z. Fueled by his own curriculum of sex and delinquency this behavior was in direct conflict with his father’s wish to stay focused and see the dream to its end. Unwilling to concede, at 15, fistfights ensued and Ronnie was kicked out in the middle of the night. Now free from his father’s expectations, he used his freedom to catapult himself into the nightmare his father tried to avoid. Inasmuch as his grandfather tried to provide him guidance, he let the streets guide him and soon found himself truly by himself. The death of his grandfather began the process of his awakening. Like most who lose someone they love, in the immediacy of pain he had immature words with God. Although the loss gave him pause, an unexpected encounter with Jesus had the greatest impact upon his life.
Having been forced to do community service while on probation, he sought for an opportunity to fulfill his obligation. At a church in his neighborhood, where he only frequented to play basketball, he met Pastor Estrada. Estrada was willing to give him the hours that he needed for the exchange of attending bible study. In the time shared, Ronnie was most struck by the cross of Jesus Christ. It inspired him to want to change his lifestyle and develop a deeper connection spiritually. Although he felt an immediate need for a change, his surroundings had not. The process to redirect his energy into getting out of his circumstances was not met without struggle.
He faced his demons, reflected upon his wrongs and began to do what was right. His renewed sense of focus and determination got him an athletic scholarship to Rice University. There he played football and began his entrance into hip hop as a DJ doing events on campus. Although he managed to turn his life around, by overcoming the trappings of an ingrained mindset, he understands the importance of helping others who are just as lost as he was. Despite being removed from Fort Myers he identified with the poverty and hopelessness that he saw first hand in Houston. Unlike those who attain success and remove themselves from the depths of which they came, he did the opposite. Compelled to do something, he moved into the 3rd Ward and began working with juveniles in Harris County as a counselor. He immersed himself in the daily struggle of the youth.
Encouraged by his passion for his people and the love of music, under the moniker of Reconcile he began crafting a message for hisgeneration. Digging into the recesses of a hardened heart and calloused hands he projected his pain with honesty and energy. Truth resonated and the images that he captured of his hood while telling his story over a frenetic beat caught fire. Amid a saturated field of feel good music, the authenticity captured the interest of Track or Die CEO, Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond. Having worked with a variety of artists, Esmond knew immediately that Reconcile represented a void for hip hop. Raw. Unapologetic. Meaningful. In Reconcile he saw the glimmer of potential he had seen come to fruition in the likes of Yo Gotti, Rick Ross and LeCrae of which he also has production credits. The two time Grammy recipient recognized his star power and immediately offered to work with him to propel his movement further.
Aware of his journey toward the changes he made in his life he is ready to die…for enlightenment, a cause, truth, inspiration or an alternative that will help heal the soul. His music champions the forgotten and serves as the rhythm hidden in the pulse of those left for dead. The hip hop microphone is used for many different reasons. Reconcile uses his to speak on behalf of those who need to be heard. Despite how heavy the cross to bear, Reconcile is willing to carry the weight until the minds of the youth are set free. One soul at a time.
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