Written by Thomas Herron
Why Reason is next up for TDE
An infusion of jazz-centric soul music and traditional West Coast bounce, Reason’s sound is refreshing to say the very least.
As far as debut albums go, Reason’s lone studio-LP There You Have It is a testament to how far solid structure and bars can take a piece of work, so much so that TDE felt the need to re-release it after his signing.
While Reason’s sound is removed from the melodic direction more pop hip hop is seemingly moving toward, he’s a spitter as true as they come - balancing a deceiving ability to flow with a consistent sound and in-depth storytelling and wordplay.
What points to Reason’s future success though isn’t just his ability as a pure spitter, but the consistency and structure behind his debut as well as his constant flow of singles and features since.
There You Have It is one of the best debuts of the last decade to put it plain and simple - to combine his undeniable ability as a rapper with the execution and consistency of the album, all while showcasing range and yet sticking true to an overall sound is something that even the greatest artists struggle with 20 years into their careers.
Since Reason’s signing, he’s been pumping out work and to much success, gaining a bit of a cult-following by staying in front of his fans with quality work.
The Carson, CA native’s biggest strength as an artist is evident on his debut - he knows his own sound better than most, not pushing his limits to go in any direction where he would do less than thrive.
Reason’s self awareness as a musician allows him to somehow ride the emotional and sonic spectrum while never abandoning his core sound, still relaying a modernized West Coast soul vibe through it all.
There’s a certain rawness to his music, and beyond the subtle jazz-soul influences in production, it’s the root of why Reason often refers to himself as a soul rapper.
To be able to share experiences and emotions while still presenting intricate detail AND never sacrificing flow or lyricism is the pinnacle of storytelling ability and should make even the harshest critics proud.
With tracks like “Better Dayz” and “Drive Slow/Taste Like Heaven,” it becomes more clear the greatest draw of his music is the rawness and inherent relatability of the emotion.
From “Might Not Make It” to “Pop Shit,” Reason keeps the intensity and energy the same despite a completely different context emotionally and lyrically in each song. His own rawness and ability to relay emotion on track with a commanding presence allows him to turn his content into more conscious tracks. Even on tracks where he clearly put more of a focus on sound than consciousness, Reason’s authenticity allows for every single track’s depth.
As his lone studio album is arguably unskippable, his potential to become one of the games true great spitters is undeniable - and to be able to hear the intense hunger evident early on in the career of a rapper with this level of potential is not something that comes by every day - think mixtape Cole days.
The seemingly unsatisfiable hunger and rawness of Reason gives his music a deeper hook into the listener beyond the superficial sound. But being able to relay that level of depth in music while still managing to stay consistent to sound is a testament to both the TDE artist’s effort and self-awareness.
Right now, the Carson rapper is easily the most productive member of the label and as TDE is one of the most talented rosters in the industry, he couldn’t be more primed for success and growth.
Fitting the mold of the new Death Row Records, Reason is bound to play a large role in the revival and redefining of the West Coast.
With a debut album as complete as There You Have It, as well as the team of mentors he has at his disposal, the potential for Reason’s growth has no limit and there are few rappers on the come up worth as much of your attention.