Motif Records signee Reason has been dropping freestyles every month since August 2013 and now we’re back to where he started it all. It’s the first anniversary of the freestyle series. Y’all thought we weren’t paying attention? This hard-working lyricist has been consistently addressing social issues – like crime, job creation, racism and poverty – that affect most Africans in a way no other artist has done. We take a look at how Reason has laid out his verses each month and how he has developed over the past year.
The first track of the freestyle series talks about how he wants to buy a BMW and not being able to because he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the payments considering his career at that time. He didn’t want to be that guy who’s balling but keeps borrowing money to pay for his expensive car. “To be real, I’m not ready to be caught in a “BM”/ ‘Cause being able to keep it is like another “BM”/ And I ain’t finna be him who balls when u see him/ Behind the scenes he is borrowin’ every weekend”
This song talks about how he’s always working hard and having to constantly be away so much that he missed his wife’s birthday. Reason says he feels that his girl supported him through his ups and downs only for him to neglect, ”I should be rapping ya gift hey /but instead am rapping for a mixtape.”
“Where… was… Steve Hofmeyr when Khuli was getting shot?/ Does he give a f*** or not? Cause Chana’s black and he is not?” In October, rapper Khuli Chana, suspected of being involved in a kidnapping, was shot at by SAPS. Reason raged with anger and dropped this food for thought song for the October freestyle. On this track Reason laid out the verses properly addressing the racial and economic divide in South Africa. “You think the majority, targets the minority, forgetting the minority, has more than the majority.”
On this month Reason didn’t drop a freestyle but he gave us something even better, “No ordinary Being”, the second official single from his upcoming studio album Audio High Definition. He featured label mate Riky Rick and Jamali member Mariechan on the hook.
“Everyone told me to write a Mandela verse/ Like how do describe that losing Mandela hurts?” The December freestyle coincided with the passing of former president Nelson Mandela so Reason wrote this track as a tribute to both Mandela and his late son Obakeng. The song got me thinking about losing a loved one, It’s very touching and along the way I became very uncomfortable with the lyrics as they went: “To everybody, have a happy new year! Half of you here should be happy you here! Lost some cool people now I’m nervous who next.”
Reason was flexing his lyrical muscles on this track, pronouncing himself to be the “illest” in the rap game. On this track the flow is on another level. It’s hard to catch up with Reason, especially for guys like me, this braggadocios banger goes on to say “I be that… brother that’s iller than these other brothers/ attempting to get at a spitter.”
This freestyle came during Valentine’s month and talks about the industry. That he’s doing all this for the love of hip hop but sometimes he doesn’t enjoy it but most of all he’s always for it because love is what it is for. This is also the same month the Marie Claire naked issue came out so Reason refers to it saying, “So where’s the love when people have to be naked to feed the kids? Matter of fact, how do I explain this to my kid?” He also refers to the Oscar Pistorious murder trial, “On Monday, a different Oscar will be televised/It’s not the ones with the awards, nah, but the one with the awards.”
Reason talks about the proud moment his mother had when he was on stage at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and she saw people going wild while he was on stage. Reason is definitely a hard-working artist and on this song he shares with us the struggle of putting in work after being from a performance: “I am fresh off that Boeing/ Straight to the booth and i go in/ 2 o’ clock in the morning, I don’t have to but I do it / Voice gone from my Jazz Fest and pop bottles performances/ Left Cape Town with some corpses, now I need a body bag endorsement.”
On this one he talks about how he’s more focused on getting paid and doesn’t care what people say about him behind his back “I don’t really care what another n*gga say/ Only give an ear if you say to my face/ Otherwise I keep it moving ’cause I’m trying get this paper/ ‘Cause for real, ain’t nobody outchea calling out my name.”
This song talks about cheating, I feel like Reason is trying to explain why he cheated or why he is not paying attention to whomever this song is written to. “I’m not the most innocent man in any manner or form/ But in any act of adultery I just want know that, I didn’t do it just because you lacking something at all.”
Reason was born on this month and apparently was born prematurely, “Doctor said it’s either her or me/ She told me I nearly died cause I came prematurely/ Personally considering her decision she means the world to me.” Reason expresses his love for his parents. We have been reserving free lyrical contact from this artist and now he as an album coming out soon, “By the way the albums ready and the single too/ Probably drop it when its quiet in a week or two/ Considering the love for these, I know you like it too/ I gave you all this sh*t for for free its time to buy to the music.”
For July Reason didn’t drop a freestyle, instead he dropped G.O.O.D Music signee Cyhi the Prince’s “Mandela” remix on the 18th, which is International Mandela Day. He’s featured on the song alongside Congolese-American rapper Well$.
In August Reason gave us “2CupsShakur”, the third single off his upcoming album. This joint turns up a club, I saw this personally when he performed it live at Zone 6 Venue. Even though the track had no buzz around it he killed the performance and the crowd received it well.
We caught up with Reason and asked him a few questions about the monthly freestyle series. It went as follows.
What inspired you to drop a freestyle every month?
“basically putting out a song for every month was just for practice and not to get rusty with the delivery of context and was to push when is the album coming out. Every song talks about personal experience ”
Why have you worked with Intsro on majority of the song?
“Me and Instro wanted to work with each other on an album so we decided to drop songs monthly, Instro is my friend we go way back . We understand each other”
With me being a curious, inquisitive person I couldn’t hold back so I had to ask this, Is the May freestyle talking about cheating?
“Laughed, well with the May freestyle I wanted to drop something people could relate too its not really about cheating, but relating to what other people go through and understanding the challenges they face. It could be about cheating, no matter how you relate to it, it can be about that”
Do you feel like you did mercy to the October freestyle?
“I had to address some problems in S.A as they also reflect into our lives, I don’t really know about that mercy part but i had to do it”
What can we expect from the studio album?
“Good music ! with HHP, Thandiswa Mazwai, Tumi, PAC DIV, M.I the list goes on.”
Reason has showed us why he’s the best lyricist in South Africa and we can’t wait for his 2nd studio album to drop. We are definitely looking forward to it and we know that he’s not going to disappoint, judging from the freestyles we expecting more flames and more edutainment from this motif record signee.
Follow me on twitter @itsKID_Darkness for more updates about this lyricist.
More on Reason’s monthly freestyles here.