King Reign Talks 'Sincere' LP and the Drake Collaboration That Never Was

King Reign Talks 'Sincere' LP and the Drake Collaboration That Never Was
After releasing a few EPs over the last five years or so, including 2009's The Audacity of Hope, Reign Music and 2013's Reign Music Vol. 2, Toronto rap stalwart King Reign is finally ready to release his debut full-length Sincere next week.

Ahead of the album's release, King Reign has offered up the single "Killer" with a video that provides a unique perspective on the controversy surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and frankly confronts stereotypes. Latest track "Promo" utilizes King Reign's gravel-voiced delivery to outline the former major label signee's frustrations with the music industry.

"I feel like I touch on a lot of different topics on the album," King Reign tells Exclaim! "I didn't really streamline it and say, 'I want it to be about this, I want it to be about that.' Sincere was another way to say 'true story.' Ninety percent of the stories on there I've been through or was close to."

Sincere features an appearance from rising Toronto R&B singer Shi Wisdom ("Already Over") and production work from Rich Kidd, Gameboy and Agile, among others. Agile was formerly in Brassmunk, a Toronto hip-hop group of which King Reign was also a member.

King Reign has also worked closely with Pharoahe Monch over the years and is also known for his collaborations with Toronto MC Saukrates. "Fades Away" was a Saukrates single that featured King Reign and Drake before the OVO MC became a superstar; it garnered a lot of currency and airplay in Toronto hip-hop circles back in 2008.

"I thought that he was ambitious, that he was talented, I think that he got better in time," says King Reign, recalling his impressions of Drake then. "He reminded me of myself, when he was that guy, he was just down. If you talk to artists like Promise and all these guys that worked with him, he just worked. He approached me on many occasions like, 'I want to do this together, I want to do that.' And this was before So Far Gone. [He was saying] 'I want to work, I'm serious, I really like what you're doing.'

"I respected him too and I was like I think we should do an album just about relationships, just about females. And I don't know how good that would have been. It just never came about."

In contrast, Sincere is a reality and will be seeing the light of day on Tuesday (July 14) via ClK Creative/Reign Music.

Read the rest of our recent interview with King Reign here.