Review: REASON flaunts knowledge and success on ‘New Beginnings’

The TDE rapper looks forward to brighter days ahead on the LP

REASON Twitter | Photo Courtesy
This project marks the artist’s official major-label debut

While many of the most famed artists at record label TDE (such as Kendrick Lamar and SZA) have been relatively quiet for the past few years, up and coming signee REASON has been far from silent. After releasing several singles over the recent months, the artist has finally delivered his official debut album, New Beginnings.

The rapper is looking to set his priorities straight and clear his headspace with the project. In an Instagram post that was published alongside the album’s release to celebrate, REASON stated “I had to get rid of every fear, anxiety, doubt, and negative mindset to make this project.”

With the release of New Beginnings, REASON delivered on his claims that he’d set himself apart from the rest of the crowd trying to break into the mainstream scene alongside him. Clocking in at 14 tracks, it’s clear that the rapper has spent more time and effort on this project than any other mixtape or single he’s dropped in recent years.

While many TDE fans were hoping for a guest verse from the artist’s elusive labelmate Kendrick Lamar, it didn’t quite become a reality aside from assisting with a handful of ad-libs on the lead single “Show Stop”. However, that’s not to say that the album doesn’t come without its fair share of heavy-hitting features, as he’s joined by the likes of JID, ScHoolboy Q, Vince Staples, and Isaiah Rashad, among others.

While he’s often overlooked compared to his labelmates that are often considered some of the best in the rap music industry, the artist strives and manages to hold his ground and capture the attention of every listener. The artist is often known for rapping introspectively on topics ranging from issues in the music industry to the issues that he faced before he dove into music.

Standout tracks from the album include pre-release singles such as “Flick It Up” and “SAUCE”, as well as deep cuts including “I Can Make It” and “Slow Down”. In terms of introspective, lyrically deep tracks, look no further than “Fall”. On the track, REASON raps, “I know my demons never change / I know my heart should stay the same / Said I would never sell my soul / But I can’t seem to find the way.”

While he’s far from a force to be reckoned with on the project, a project with this level of lyrical depth and substance is nearly guaranteed to take more than one listen through to fully understand. The lack of a “love at first listen” that most chart-topping hits have may hold him back from breaking into the big scene off of this project alone, but there’s still a great chance that he’ll gain a decent amount of new, devoted fans from the project.

While New Beginnings may not have all the ingredients for success on the charts, it’s an impressive debut album, to say the least. With well-known featured artists, solid production, and ambition to spare, it’s safe to say that REASON has a respectable career ahead of him at TDE.

Review: 4/5

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