So what’s in a name? A few years ago, The Canon was “Waiting For Your Attention.” This time around, Reginald is revealing the “Man Behind the Mask.” Just like with “Waiting,” we’re presented with a young man finding his way through the world and rapping all about it – he’s a little bit older and seasoned this time around and it shows in his rhymes. Production on “Man Behind the Mask” is handled by the likes of Cam Osteen, This Is Sky, Kyle Clayton, Rollo Vasquez and Raymon Bueno.

From the onset, Reginald finds himself never wanting to write another sad song but readily admits that it’s tough not to do so when the odds are stacked so greatly against him. Problems like those are exactly why Reginald feels the lingering need to hop a “Red Eye” and just get away from it all. Not a care in the world. After snapping back to reality, “May Sound Crazy” shows Reginald’s dedication to always staying true to himself in both his life and his music, even at the cost of possibly coming across as being a bit off-kilter. As long as you feel him in the end, that’s all that matters. Our hero files his grievances with the treatment of the working class on “Brain Dead Slave,” likening it to modern day slavery, as he raps:

“I’m tired of goin’ through the slave shit
That modern day plantation
I know that I’m worth more than what I’m makin’
Plus it’s times when they don’t even give enough hours to make it
I’m tired, I feel like breaking, but no I will not allow it
I’m standing tall as a tower
Natural display of power
I’m takin’ mine back, I ain’t weak I’m tryna eat
But fuck the hand that feeds me, if it whips me to my feet
Force me to my knees, shackle me in debt
Harbor me with stress so I can ask them for a check
That shouldn’t be my life and I’m ready for a change
Millions more go through what I do and it’s a shame”

After reaching such a low point, things can only improve from there and that’s where songs like “Luxury,” “Hope In The Sky” and “Be Free” come into the picture. The latter of the three is a rallying cry for the listener to liberate themselves from the hurt, fear, pain and shame that all come with the trials and tribulations of life. This introspective look at the man behind said mask comes to a close with “Trainwreck.” All is well that ends well, so even if Reginald’s train of thought derails on its way to his hopes and dreams, he’ll still reach his destination. We all wear masks, whether we know it or not. We mask pain. We conceal our true feelings and sometimes keep our intentions unknown. The reason(s) for doing so don’t really matter, just as long as you can agree to acknowledge the fact that we do. Perhaps our hero is ahead of the curve. That remains to be seen, but one thing here is certain – whether he’s The Canon or Reginald, he’s still worthy of our attention and this project is the proof.

Reginald :: Man Behind the Mask
7.5Overall Score