Reain is a familiar face for longtime followers of the British hip-hop scene. First gaining attention through his battle prowess, then known as Whashisface, before entering the recording world in 2008 with his debut album ‘The Metaphorcast’, Reain has been showing his cleverly crafted lyricism for years. 2015 brings the ‘Educated Perspective’ EP, released through the Boom Bap Professionals label, and produced in its entirety by Steady Rock.
‘Fighting Talk’ is the opening track, and the simplistic, gritty boom bap beat provides the perfect backdrop for Reain to drop what at first glance might be interpreted as aggressive, violent lyrics. On repeat listen however, it’s clear that the London MC is delivering intelligent, socially conscious rhymes with historical references, heeding a warning about the perils of the life some choose to talk freely about in their music.
The textured and cinematic instrumental of ‘Reality Check’ allows Reain to spit about his personal experience as an independent artist, and it’s an interesting insight into his motivation. With well structured rhyme schemes, good wordplay and metaphors, as well as effective punchlines, his writing is sharp and his subject matter honest and relatable.
The EP finishes with the title track, and the sparse jazzy samples and crunchy drums provide a tense instrumental that Reain approaches with anti-authoritative themes, with a raw and precise delivery. Lines like ‘I wear my heart on my sleeve, but it’s not a fashion statement’ are hard hitting, and the politically charged lyrics are infused with punches and a consistently dope flow.
Reain’s clarity and the wealth of content in his rhymes make the ‘Educated Perspective’ EP thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s an intelligent, positive project that doesn’t sound at all preachy. Reain’s writing has always been impressive, and his craft remains as sharp and technical as ever. Steady Rock’s production is great too, with a consistent boom bap sound that makes the concise EP cohesive.
By Sam Bennett