TDE artist Reason is set to drop his debut album Friday, October 9, 2020. The Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times caught up with the hip hop artist for an exclusive interview about his upcoming release titled “New Beginnings.”
What’s up Reason, how are you handling the quarantine? Are you on lockdown?
Yeah for the most part just spending a lot more time at home, a lot more time with family and friends.
What’s your professional life like these days?
Man, really just spending time in the studio, and actually making a lot more new music. We’ve been shooting videos and what not, just got to make sure that we have testers on the actual set for everybody.
What did you do today? Just went out and record with your team, right?
Let’s see… I literally woke up, I have a studio at my house, so I’m actually in my studio right now. This is what I pretty much I do every day.
Growing up in Carson, how was it for your generation growing up? When guys were playing football, basketball and baseball; how did you make the decision to get into rapping?
I played basketball my whole life until I graduated from college. That is when I really started doing music. I had a contract to go over to Greece and play, but I ended up calling my agent and turning it down. I was just doing music for a therapeutical standpoint at first, and it just ended up being something I fell in love with, you know what I mean? So, I started around 2014 and was blessed enough that it just kind of took off. I haven’t looked back since.
Who were you influenced by during that time?
Well Ab-Soul was always definitely a big influence. I feel like anybody that’s in Carson could tell you that. I remember when Jay-Z tweeted about Ab-Soul that was like the biggest thing in the city.
How did you get hooked up with TDE?
When I wasn’t on the label, I had a show and about 300 people came out, and my guy Keem came to the show. He bought like 20 tickets and brought some people from TDE, one them was Top Dawg’s son, Moosa. So, after Moosa saw me at that show, he reached out to me; and we connected for maybe about a month or two. The plan was to wait six-months, but he just took it to his pops. And when he took it to his pops, we met, I played music for about an hour and about a week later, I was meeting back up with Top and talking about signing with the label.
You named your debut album “New Beginnings,” what inspired the title?
I just felt like this is a new beginning for me with the label. It’s a new moment in my life where I was leaving basketball going into music. I just felt like it was relatable for anybody that’s stuck in maybe a job that you don’t like or relationship that you don’t like but you can’t leave because you scared or too comfortable. It’s really that fear of starting something new. It represents like a rebirth or an ending, but all endings aren’t endings, they’re just new beginnings.
Do you have any features on the album?
Yeah, we got Isaiah Rashad, JID, Rapsody, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mereba, a young artist that’s coming up her name’s Alemeda, and also Vince Staples. Yeah, Vince is on a single we just put out called “Sauce.”
What type of advice would you give yourself if you could go back and just drop some knowledge?
I think I would just tell myself to be patient and to focus on the music. Like don’t get distracted by what people from the outside say looking at your situation. A lot of time we get caught up thinking about where we should be. It’s funny because when we finally get there, then we have another feeling of where we should be again, you know what I’m saying? So it almost feels like it is never ending. I would tell myself to focus on the moment and to enjoy the struggle.
What inspired the album cover for “New Beginnings?”
It was birthed around the idea of trying to starting new beginnings, and trying to get rid of old fears and anxieties, or anything else that could be stopping from going to something great. So, you see the fire on the album cover, and the pages that are burning, you know what I mean? So, we’re throwing those pages into the fire was like getting rid of those old bad habits, those old fears and anxieties and what not. You know, and finally walking away from the fire with a book in my hand, and that book is the new beginnings. I feel like that’s what life is, you grow and shed parts of yourself, then you add parts to yourself, so the cover represents that.
Top 5 artists dead or alive?
Top 5, dead or alive… I would say Wayne, Hov, Cole, Dot, and a lot of people wouldn’t expect this but Lupe Fiasco.
Dead or alive, who would you love to perform with?
That’s tough, but probably Beyonce. I feel like she’s the best performer right now, probably the greatest performer of our generation. If we had a crazy record or something, that’s for sure someone I would want to perform with.
Give the readers a reason; pun intended, why should they pick up the new album Friday?
I think they should pick up the new album because it is a breath of fresh air. I don’t feel like there’s been anything this year that’s dropped similar to it. There is a lot of emotion, a lot of heartfelt stories on there, and its fun. It has the up-tempo records, and there’s a lot of integrity in it. There is not another project that’s dropped this year that you would be able to compare it to in my opinion. So, I’m interested to see how people feel about it when they finally get it.