Good day dear read­ers and wel­come to your fa­vorite en­ter­tain­ment col­umn in the land. This week, we re­view South African young­ster A-Reece’s sopho­more al­bum ti­tled ‘From Me To You And Only You (FMTYAOY)’

The Pre­to­ria-born young­ster re­leased the 15 track al­bum on the an­niver­sary of his award-win­ning de­but al­bum ‘Par­adise’ which he re­leased whilst he was still with for­mer record la­bel Am­bi­tious En­ter­tain­ment, and in this project the young­ster is out to re­de­fine and prove his musical prow­ess.

As I lis­tened to the first track ti­tled ‘The Promised Land’, I re­mem­bered words from his in­ter­view with us a few months ago where he men­tioned that to him mu­sic was ‘ther­a­peu­tic’ and with this first lis­ten of this project, I could lit­er­ally feel him, his hunger, the burn­ing pas­sion and the as­pi­ra­tion to be the best.

The sound is warm with a melody that hasn’t been heard be­fore in the South African hip-hop mu­sic scene. On ‘Promised Land’, he is ef­fort­lessly do­ing what Reece does best –

sto­ry­telling. He ba­si­cally talks about where he comes from and where he is at the mo­ment. This is the in­tro­duc­tion of the al­bum, where we also get to hear of Jody’s in­flu­ence on him be­com­ing who and what he is to­day, and how he is grate­ful that his older brother didn’t lose his life when he was shot. “Re­mem­ber back when I heard Jody spit a verse I was amazed, God knows I re­late, I just wanted to be great/Too bad you didn’t know I said this on my first tape/here I am again, aint a darn thing changed/, Fast for­ward eight­grade, to the first time rap­ping for a crowd on the stage, right on to the time I heard the stu­dio/right about the first time I hit the stu­dio wave back 2013/far from be­ing drake, but look at how far this nig­guh came/got a long way to go/I’m a work in progress and a work that will show/ I made you a prom­ise more of me you yet to know, From Me To You And Only You, you bet­ter lis­ten close.”

The sec­ond track ti­tled ‘7 Days af­ter, he is still on the very same theme as the first one. He talks about where he is from and how he is amazed at the progress he has made, hence the cel­e­bra­tion verse.

“S a y con­grat­u­la­tions, b o y you’ve f ina l ly made it. Last year, I used to trip at how they used to m i sp ro - nounce my name, now it’s bucket’s full of cham- pagne a nig­guh aint even got to pay.”

He fea­tures fel­low Pre­to­rian, Zooci Coke Dope who also pro­duced two tracks on the al­bum, and he comes with a very strong verse that com­ple­ments the first one.

“I al­ways knew that I would make it/I had a dream and then I chased it./Now, my name in con­ver­sa­tion/Please don’t kill my ded­i­ca­tion/I’m gonna be the great­est, be­cause I came out of nowhere like a wet dream./ What fur­ther makes the al­bum ex­citi ng is how

prop­erly ar­ranged it is, be­cause it’s hard it to jump to the next song, even the ones that may be re­ferred to a ‘trappy’, like the third track ti­tled ‘Rio’ fea­tur­ing fel­low Wreck­ing Crew star Flame. The beats all carry a sim­i­lar vibe, and there’s a cer­tain ‘aura’ about them, and the team de­served a props for that.

“I got me a new girl now, she Fuego, she got hair straight from Rio De Je­nario/Bad one, Only pop­ping if a ‘young­ing’ say so, it’s tra­di­tion when we love we got a J rolled. On ‘Cheque,’ ‘Rar’i, ‘Un­til I RIP’ and On My Own, he talks about his hunger and how he is not con­tent with what he has at the mo­ment.

The two most notable tracks that stand out for me are ‘Pride’, and ‘About the Dough’ where Mash­beatz just ‘flexes’ with his mad sam­pling game – how­ever, t he y oung­ster although makes sure that he is not over­shad­owed and that the mes­sage is passed across. What a t a l e nt Mash­beatz is!

The fea­tures on the project are kept to a min­i­mum to peo­ple that Reece is close to, and com­ple­ment the artist he is at the mo­ment. That’s why he is sup­port e d by mostly his fel­low crew mem­bers from The Wreck­ing Crew (TWE) which in­clude Flame on ‘About The Dough’, ‘Rio’ and ‘Feel­ings.’ Ecco jumps in and makes a great fea­ture o n ‘Cal­abasas/Ful­fill­ment’, Louw on ‘Un­til I RIP’ and Enkei on ‘Cheque.’ He also has gawdly vo­cals from Ayanda Jiya on ‘Starlights’ Row­lene also makes a great mark on ‘Pride’ with her ma­jes­tic vo­cals. With, FMTYAOY, some­thing is very dif­fer­ent from ‘Par­adise’. From his flows, his crazy hooks and to his word-play. He is more at ease; but don’t mis­in­ter­pret it for com­pla­cency though!

He is no longer on the streets hus­tling and try­ing to break though, but now, it’s about es­tab­lish­ing him­self as a force to be reck­oned with.

I can go on all day about the dif­fer­ences from the ‘Par­adise’, but what stands out is that the ‘Baby Boy’ has grown more as a mu­si­cian. His ap­proach to­wards ev­ery­thing is more ma­ture. He sounds sin­cere yet very raw.

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