ABLT reviews John Regan: Sorry I’m Late

Written by Wil

John Regan, is a 24 year old Bal­ti­more native releas­ing a fresh­man effort enti­tled Sorry I’m Late with record label Cul­tureVI. Truth be told this album hardly feels like a fresh­man effort. With mul­ti­ple star col­lab­o­ra­tions, amongst those being Joell Ortiz, Sky­zoo, and Mar­sha Ambro­sius, the young emcee still man­ages to cap­ture your atten­tion. His con­tent, and flow are con­sis­tent, and com­pli­ment both slow and fast instru­men­ta­tion from heavy­weight pro­duc­ers such as 88 keys, Needlz, and Nottz. Great pro­duc­tion from Cul­ture VI go to pro­ducer YZ also sets the scene for some awe­some tunes.

The sec­ond track “Breath Of Fresh Air”  gets right to it fea­tur­ing a bold elec­tric gui­tar, and a rock vocal sam­ple. Regan spits hon­est lyrics about the mim­ic­k­ing nature of Hip-Hop cul­ture rap­ping “Every-body’s scared, scared to be orig­i­nal. Everyone’s a hus­tler, a crim­i­nal, but me I’m just a breath of fresh air.”

The sec­ond sin­gle on Sorry I’m Late, “Yes­ter­day” fea­tur­ing Joell Ortiz and singer Meylin offers the emcees trad­ing heart­felt verses reflect­ing on rela­tion­ships of the past.

One Day In Heaven” with  brook­lynite Sky­zoo is  a smooth soul­ful jam. Singer, Jaiden lays a jazzy foun­da­tion for the track.

Some of John Regan’s most enlight­en­ing verses are about the stresses of an upcom­ing rap­per. For instance, on “9:57 inter­lude” he declares  “I got to go pay these pro­duc­ers, who only get paid cause of who they pro­duce for,” and on “All I Got To Give” fea­tur­ing songstress Mar­sha Ambro­sious where he laments on the strug­gle of hold­ing down a 9 to 5 as a rapper.

Pro­duc­ers, Nottz and 88 keys  col­lab­o­rate on the banger “Nobody’s Some­body”. The tribal sound­ing drums set the stage for both Nottz, and Regan to bring their best to the table. Nottz pro­ceeds with a stel­lar verse “ I don’t want to be that nobody for some­body to hate/ I’d rather be that some­body that nobody denies that he’s great.”

On the song “Sui­cide edi­ciuS” dubbed after a sui­cide in reverse, John vividly describes his own hypo­thet­i­cal sui­cide, and the sec­ond chance granted within. It’s metaphoric for how many come so close to the edge, and find redemp­tion.  The pic­ture he paints make this the most thrilling track on the album.

“Paint The World” is a great con­cept that is an ode to John’s past life as a graf­fiti artist named Poizun run­ning around the streets of Bal­ti­more. PackFM on the hook, and the pres­ence of the turntable cuts, give this track a clas­sic hip-hop feeling.

It’s obvi­ous Regan has been rap­ping for a while. His feel­ings are thor­oughly expressed, and his words are felt espe­cially on tracks that fea­ture melodic gui­tars like on “She Loves Me…Not”.

On Some of the rock/rap mash-up tracks it’s hard not to think “Linkin Park”, but his lyrics hardly denote some rocker wannabe rap type. The heavy rock tinged pro­duc­tion add to the raps help­ing to  illus­trate the feel­ing behind them.

John Regan makes it clear in his debut that he’s got some­thing to say. His best trait as a rap­per is reveal­ing things about his life, fur­ther build­ing own space in Hip-Hop cul­ture. He’s def­i­nitely not late. More like right on time.

Lis­ten To The Album Below,  and Pre-order it at Fat­Beats!


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