Reviewed By: Oz’el Varese
I must say, at first listen to B. Reith’s How The Story Continues Mixtape Vol. 1, I was caught off guard. It wasn’t exactly what I expected. I was never introduced to this dude or his music before, so it wasn’t that he came off different; it was more of the quality, variety, and maturity that resonated through the speakers. There are a lot of “rappers” out there who “rah-rah” on the mike, but confidence in one’s own skill cannot be faked. Reith is comfortable in who he is and it shows.
In this new world where mixtapes have strayed far away from their origin of mixing rhymes over industry beats to full fledged, studio mixed and mastered, original productions with liner notes and executive producers, this album definitely falls in the latter. Aside from that, the album is refreshing; Reith is no way attempting to mimic a presupposed formula of cookie-cutter rhymes over cookie-cutter beats. I love the different styles he delivers in his rhymes, enhanced over the variety of beats chosen to rhyme over.
Reith dives into a southern snap hop flow, with a little touch of the modern reverse simile punch line delivery on “After the Beep.” The 808 and claps are guaranteed to get ’em on the floor while his lyrics yield a brief introduction for those who may not be familiar with his journey from CCM to rap. Reith employs the help of Isaiah Tate as they give their version of “industry rules number 4080” educating would-be rappers on the jewels of the game.
There are a lot of “rappers” out there who “rah-rah” on the mike, but confidence in one’s own skill cannot be faked. Reith is comfortable in who he is and it shows.
“Life of an Artist” is a boom bap depiction of the struggles and compromises of one who has surrendered to the daily grind of their craft. Featuring Knine and Promise, the track delivers three candid perspectives on the hardships of the non-glamorous that come with this way of life, embraced only by those who are devoted to staying true.
The hypnotically beautiful voice of Lisa Gungor laces “Made For More”, where her cries for salvation from the pains of our human state of perpetual brokenness accent the strings and timpanis of the orchestra influenced track. Reith depicts the life of a young girl caught in the web of the confusion and lies that the dark side of this existence brings. Lecrae links up with him, and introduces us to Johnny, who has a more violent expression of his hurt. The record climaxes with the leading rhetorical question, “who can fix us now”?
Another thing that testifies to the mixtape aspect of the album is the collection of genres/styles revealed, showcasing B. Reith as one of the most versatile artists out today. There have been plenty of attempts to mix a collage of sounds and feels together, but they often fail in keeping a consistent theme while owning each deviation. B. Reith owns this album and proves he can hang with the best of them as he works with some of the best of them on this album.
By far the sickest record on the album is “Tippy Toe” featuring Theory Hazit, guaranteed to have you frozen in the “ugly-face” far after the 2:54 duration of the record. And that is all that I am going to say about that. Sick…
This isn’t an album for the masses, yet it’s an album for the masses.
This isn’t an album for the masses, yet it’s an album for the masses. Meaning, true fans of the art form will appreciate this album for what it is – a collection of art. Those who dwell in the force-fed, same ‘ol, comfortable familiar world of booty shaking, thinking-not-necessary rap will probably have a harder time embracing this album. That being said, the album has an evident pop feel to it, so not-so-die-hard-rap fans will enjoy the tracks also. Regardless of your taste, style, or bias, this album deserves a listen.