Reason – “New Beginnings” review

This is the official full-length debut from California emcee Reason, whom I first caught wind of a couple years ago when he signed to Top Dawg Entertainment & reissued his 4th mixtape There You Have It. The project was cool, but I feel like he could grow as time went on because we all know TDE‘s lineup of artists are mostly all-stars. But with a slew of singles throughout the year, Reason is ready to make New Beginnings.

The opener “Something More” talks about his deepest desires in a significant other over a cavernous instrumental whereas the next song “Stories I Forgot” talks about not missing over a flute-tinged beat. The track “Pop Shit” with ScHoolboy Q finds the 2 talking about riding with their hoods over an instrumental with a murky atmosphere to it while the song “Show Stop” flexes over a druggy trap beat from !llmind.

The track “Favorite N***a” talks about money not changing him over a weary instrumental while the song “I Can Make It” with Rapsody sees the 2 getting romantic over a moody boom bap beat from S1. The track “Fall” talks about the difficulties of being an artist over some keys & occasional drums thumping away while the song “Slow Down” talks about needing to appreciate ones’ process over a boom bap beat with an alluring sample hanging in the background.

The song “Flick It Up” with Ab-Soul finds the 2 bragging over a spacious instrumental while the track “Sauce” with Vince Staples sees the 2 talking about being bosses over a trap beat with some somber keyboard melodies. The song “Extinct” with Isaiah Rashad & JID finds the trio talking about a “doorbell dumb” vixen over a calming boom bap instrumental while the track “Westside” is another romantic cut like “I Can Make It”, but the vibe on this one is kinda eh. The penultimate song “Gossip” claps back at those who be saying “fuck him” & then the closer “Windows Cry” addresses the elephant in the room over a melancholic Wu10 beat.

Reason could very well be the underdog of TDE & this album only goes to show it in my opinion, because there are some notable improvements in comparison to his previous mixtapes. The pen-game has stepped this time around, a good majority of the features are on point & it’s a bit more well-produced as well.

Score: 3.5/5

Reason – “There You Have It” review

Reason is a rapper from De Amo, California who I first caught wind of on the Black Panther soundtrack. He just signed to Top Dawg Entertainment last month & now, he’s releasing his full-length debut.

After the “Rufus Collection” skit, we go into the title track. Here, Reason talks about coming from the streets over a moody soulful instrumental. The track “Kurupt” talks about seizing the moment over an uplifting beat with punchy drums while the song “Fuck wit Me” gets braggadocious over a gloomy beat. The track “Bottom” talks about coming from nothing, but the Xian Bell feature is obnoxious. The song “Drive Slow / Taste Like Heaven” talks about the advice from his grandfather over a boom bap beat, but then it transitions into a something more jazzier.

The track “Thirst” is a club banger with some quirky synths while the song “Colored Dreams: Killers, Pt. 2” recalls a murder case he caught over a boom bap beat with some beautiful piano chords. The track “Better Dayz” is a solid cut taken from his 2016 mixtape The Free Album while the song “Situations” talks about a failing relationship over a moody beat. The penultimate track “State We In” talks about his newfound fame & the closer “Summer Up” returns to the braggadocious tip over a bass-heavy beat.

Overall, this was a solid debut. The production is much better than Jay Rock’s latest album Redemption & Reason sounds very passionate whenever he’s on the mic. If you wanna hear one of the hottest labels right now showcasing an up-&-coming star, give this a listen.

Score: 3.5/5