DJ Reec is the charismatic on-air personality lighting up the airwaves middays on Atlanta’s No. 1 hip-hop station, WHAT-FM Hot 107.9. He is known as much for his sultry voice as he is for hosting events across the metro area to benefit area youth.
As part of his community work, DJ Reec — whose given name is Reec Swiney — serves as the spokesman for Positive American Youth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people make better choices. He is also the author of a series of children’s books based on the organization’s anti-bullying campaign and its mascot “Ice The Bully.”
Where are you from, and how do you feel about the city of Atlanta?
I’m from New Jersey, but I’ve been in Atlanta for a while, so Atlanta is definitely my home. I even went to elementary school here.
When did you officially make Atlanta home?
I originally came to Atlanta for a basketball scholarship at Atlanta Metropolitan College, and I ended up loving the culture and loving the city, so I had to make it my home.
Atlanta is often referred to as a Black mecca. In your opinion, what about Atlanta makes it a Black mecca?
I love how [there are] so many ways to elevate, especially for a person of color in Atlanta, like innovators, entrepreneurs or business people. It just feels great to be around [that type of] energy, and it makes you want to elevate your company as well. [There are] a lot of ways our company can help people here, too, with the programs and events we do.
How do you feel the city has evolved since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996?
Black people getting money [and] a lot of ways for people to elevate. There is no ceiling, so you can start off mopping floors and then end up [with a business in] a building that you used to mop floors for. That’s kind of what makes it a Black mecca.
If someone is visiting Atlanta for the first time, what would you encourage them to experience?
This is a city that provides great parties, great atmosphere, great places to eat, but at the same time we kind of welcome [visitors] in with the Southern hospitality.
Just go visit the people [and] Black-owned businesses because you’ve got to get the feel for what it is. You may want to move down here for yourself after that because you are going to see all that opportunity.
This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com.