Published Jul 11, 2014King Reign keeps his cards close to his chest. Most of the stories in his rhymes are either introspective or allude to things that have happened to people around him with circumspect detail. Yet, if you take the time to decipher the Toronto MC's lyrical poker face, his gravelly voice, poetic flow and laid-back demeanour infuse his music with authenticity and its listeners with empathy. The melodic, ambient and soulful soundscapes provided by Rich Kidd, former Brassmunk band mate Agile and Gameboy ensure the mood remains appropriately contemplative.
On "Promo" and "happylaidback" he deals with his own struggles in the music industry, alluding to the disintegration of the major label deal with Sony and maintaining a sanguine approach to life. "Oh No" and "Killer" are two sides of the same coin, tackling the stereotypes and perceptions that he navigates as part of everyday life as a black male and allude to the death of Toronto youth Sammy Yatim after he was shot by police on a streetcar. It's this eye for local yet universal issues that King Reign concentrates primarily on for the second half of Sincere. Tales of people caught up in drug abuse ("Chemical Romance") and bullying ("Pretty Girl Lost"), among other issues, are conveyed with context and without judgment, bringing the overlooked stories of those living precarious lives to the fore.
Read our recent interview with King Reign here. (CLK Creative Works/Reign Music)