Studio Time
Words: Kemet High
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Reason prides himself on being the best lyricist on Top Dawg Entertainment. His forthcoming album, Porches, which is produced by esteemed beatmakers like Hollywood Cole, Supah Mario and Boi-1da, among others, are evidence of why Reason’s confidence is impenetrable in that regard. Here, the Carson, Calif. native, 31, previews four records from his junior effort expected to be released in the coming months.

“At It Again”

It’s an anthem. It gives you that victorious feel. When you hear it, this is the part of the Rocky movie where he’s running up the steps and he’s trying to overcome that struggle. He done lost a couple of times. But he’s getting ready for that last fight. This is the parade at the end.

“Winter Break”

It sets the tone storytelling wise and [it’s] speaking about a kid that comes home from winter break. And that [kid] actually being me myself, that was raised in the hood, raised in certain environments and with certain mentalities. But when he comes home, he’s different now. But his friends are still on the same shit.

“Too Much”

[This is] probably, in my opinion, the most detailed storytelling record on Porches. It’s about a close friend of mine. He had his future ahead of him with a scholarship and all of that. One of the best players in the nation. And something happened that altered his life forever. Even during that altering process, every time I asked him how he was doing, he said he was good. That’s what we’re taught as Black men is to always say we’re good, we’re fine. We don’t express nothing. And so, it’s speaking on that.

“Gang Shit”

I feel like it’s gonna be a topic of conversation. [As far as] the things that are being talked about. I don’t really hold back unless the label tells me to hold back or unless a family member tells me to hold back. This is probably the most honest record from a personal place in the album.

Read Reason's full interview in the 25th anniversary issue of XXL, on newsstands now. Check out additional interviews in the magazine, including our cover story with EminemBobby Shmurda, Yung Miami, JIDYvngxchris, Sleazyworld Go, Styles P, Jim Jones, Symba, GloRilla, singer Jessie Reyez, actor Trevante Rhodes and music executive Katina Bynum. The issue also includes a deep dive into a narrative piece on the U.S. court systems' battle against rap lyrics, rappers’ longstanding connection to anime, the renewed interest music supervisors have in placing 1990’s hip-hop in today’s lauded TV series and the 254 past covers in XXL history.

See XXL Magazine’s 254 Past Covers

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