Review: Reason: There You Have It

The 28 year old Carson, California native puts his best foot forward on There You Have It

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment

Executive Producer: Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith

Producers: Swish, Kampo, Yondo Beats, Nikko Bunkin, Tropical Gameboy, Deaph Beats, Classic Beats, Theopolis, DMusic605, Marquelle O’Conor

Featured Artist: Xian Bell, D Beezy, Space 600

Highlights: Thirst, Colored Dreams/Killers Pt. 2, F**k With Me, Situations

Rating: 8/10

Reason got a chance to fly under the radar which is a position most TDE artist can no longer claim. Since Top Dawg announced signing Reason to the juggernaut rap label in early August, he saw his first release There You Have It a little over a month later. Within the same week of his release, Lil Wayne’s long awaited The Carter 5 was released. Logic and Kevin Gates saw projects released as well amongst a few others. There You Have It certainly is not lacking in comparison.

There You Have It, billed by Reason himself as an appetizer to his proper debut, feels more like a proper debut itself. It runs like a coming-of-age story without the personal vignettes that you’d expect from one. Hailing from Del Amo, a neighborhood in Carson, California, Reason spends most of the 12-song project telling those Los Angeles tales that we’ve all become familiar with. Gang banging, set claiming and the destruction it can leave behind. These themes are not original by any stretch but that’s less a measure of success than how authentic it comes across. Reason does not lack in that area.

The middle of the project focuses on exploring those gang themes. “Thirst” is a well-executed story of how a night of partying and chasing women turns violent quickly when gang signs are thrown. As he raps in the song, “…My niggas we know the drill, this shit done happened too often”. The thrill comes to a crushing halt when “Thirst” ends with a hail of bullets that transitions to the soul crushing “Colored Dreams/Killers Pt. 2”. TDE artist must have a gift for conveying despair because I was having flashbacks to what it felt like when I first heard “Sing About Me/Dying of Thirst” by Kendrick Lamar in 2012. Besides the similarities in pure sadness, the two songs are similar in how the concepts are executed. Instead of Lamar rapping from the perspective of 2 different people, Reason raps from the lens of the same person writing letters from jail to 3 different people. First verse is a letter to the girl of the man that he murdered, 2nd verse to his younger brother whose been killed following his example, 3rd verse to his mother who he writes about disappointing by being a failure. The song ends with a similar refrain to Lamar’s song where a life is taken before the song ends. “Colored Dreams/Killer Pt. 2” is not nearly as sad or as good as “Sing About Me/Dying of Thirst” but it is not that far apart. It’s the highlight of the album.

There You Have It covers most basis in a seamless matter. “Situations” covers relationship strife’s and infidelity through a masterful sample of Usher’s “You Don’t Have to Call”. “Fuck With Me” and “Bottom” are the trunk rattling bangers that every Hip Hop album needs in 2018. It is worth mentioning that the title song, “There You Have It” could have been stronger as an album opener, and Reason’s remake of Drive Slow by Kanye West is a valiant effort that just slightly misses the mark. These are just small blemishes on a piece of art that will leave you very satisfied.

In the end, like his rap moniker suggest, There’s plenty of reasons, that TDE’s newest signee has a very bright future ahead of him.