Reason, one of South Africa’s most respected lyricists, is about to drop his fifth album.
Entitled Girls, the concept album’s name is both simple and self-explanatory. Although not intentionally pejorative, the title will likely raise the ire of those who recognise the problem with calling grown-ass women, “girls”.
In an interview I had with him last week Friday, Reason revealed that, “The album is about my different experiences with different types of girls – happy girls, sad girls, blessed girls, the other girl, the new girl, good girls, the girl upstairs…”
Turning to his intention with the album, Reason explained that, “The album’s supposed to start a conversation. I feel like hip-hop albums don’t do that anymore, beyond ‘Have you seen his whip?’”
In The Sobering podcast – one of the best hip-hop podcasts around right now – Reason recently treated listeners to a first listen to selected songs from the album. One notable thing about the tracks he played is that he sings most of the songs’ hooks. Despite this, Reason still delivers solid raps on a variety of different subjects, all layered between the album’s slick trap production.
Perhaps the most promising song on the album so far is ‘Blessed Girl’, a song that features Potchefstroom hip-hop artist, Ginger Trill. The track is powerful, with both Reason and Ginger Trill rapping like their lives depend on it.
Other rappers and vocalists featured on the album include Kwesta, Monoea, Nomoozle, BK, Mr Beef, Gemini Major and Melo B Jones.
Interestingly, Reason also includes monologues from women like Loot Love and Ms Cosmo on some of the songs on Girls, broadening the theme of the album. Production is handled by The Boyz Upstairs – a trio which consists of Mr. Instro, Noyas and Hopemasta – producers Reason has worked with before.
Two singles are already out: ‘All The Time’ (featuring Gemini Major), and ‘Molly Cyrus’. On both songs, Reasons sings the hook, with the subject matter revolving around Reason’s various relationships with women.
Reason’s last offering, 2015’s Audio ReDefinition (Reason Season), was the third in the Audio trilogy, which also included Audio High Definition (2012) and Audio 3D (2014). His first album, The Reasoning, was released in 2010, before he moved to join Motif Records, the label that put him on the mainstream.
Reason’s life and career has certainly been eventful – his highly-publicised divorce and eventual departure from Motif Records certainly impacted his music in some way. It will be interesting to see him releasing music as an independent artist. Also, without the guidance of his Motif boss Tumi Molekane, who contributed to his creative work on Audio High Definition especially, it’ll be interesting to see how Reason strikes out and asserts himself with his latest offering.
Listen to the whole episode of The Sobering below. Or, if you are just here for the songs, jump to the 20-minute mark for the introduction; to the 28-minute mark for ‘Dangerous’, to the 41-minute mark for ‘The Blessed Girl’ featuring Ginger Trill, and to the 1-hour-mark for ‘The Bad Girl’.