A Baltimore Love Thing
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!