King Reign Reign Music Vol. 2

King Reign Reign Music Vol. 2
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Ahead of an album currently scheduled to drop in early 2014, Toronto MC King Reign has returned to set the table after a lengthy absence. Perhaps cognizant of the time that has elapsed since his previous Reign Music EP, which dropped back in 2009, this successor includes the horn-flecked bubbler "Jason Bourne," produced by Lyve. Far from a flippant exercise in SEO rap like its title might suggest, the song is a low-key yet pointed statement on King Reign's ongoing relevance and longevity, which stretches back over a decade, and includes an appearance on Saukrates' "Fade Away" alongside a pre-superstar Drake. Those familiar with King Reign's past solo work and stint in Toronto group Brassmunk are already acquainted with his syrupy baritone, commanding delivery and penchant for poetic social commentary, and thankfully all are intact across the six songs presented here. "Grey," punctuated by a hook from about-to-blow Toronto singer Shi Wisdom, is an affirmation of strength emerging from a somber meditation on mortality, while acoustic treatments of songs like "Dear God" — co-produced by Pharoahe Monch — push King Reign's balance of frank introspection and innate yearnings upfront, giving voice to the voiceless while building anticipation for his imminent full-length. (Independent)