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 Fort Myers 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 survived 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 at Texas Southern and University of Houston. 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 mentor. 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 his generation. 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. Reconcile represents a void for hip hop. Raw. Unapologetic. Meaningful music. Reconcile’s words champion the forgotten and serves as the rhythm hidden in the pulse of those getting by on hope.
Despite how heavy the cross to bear, Reconcile is willing to carry the weight until minds are set free. One soul at a time. Reconcile states “As I began seeking a real relationship with the Lord my life started to change and the value of everything else in my life began to decrease as my desire and passion to know Jesus intimately and follow him unashamedly grew.” “The gospel put my entire life into perspective through pain, failure and joy. I wanted to go and tell people about the one who has redeemed me and keeps me daily, I wanted to share this hope with those who are from broken homes, trailer parks, and the projects that Jesus can save them too.”
Reconcile, now 28 years old holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Sociology from Rice University. Reconcile is a husband and father, as of today he and his family live in inner city Miami, FL where has committed his time to community renewal, social justice and youth mentoring. Reconcile released a free project entitled Abandoned Hope, on March 23, 2012 while Reconcile was still a senior in college. The project received over 45K downloads and garnered the attention of producer Street Symphony. On May 20, 2014 Reconcile released his first album entitled Sacrifice. Sacrifice charted #3 on iTunes Hip Hop and debuted on the Billboard charts, landing placement on the Top Rap Albums at No. 20. Reconcile’s latest EP CATCHING BODIES debuted #30 on the Billboard Christian charts.