Who is John Regan? That’s a good question. John Regan is a MC outta Baltimore, Maryland who’s a former graffiti artist and whose debut album “Sorry I’m Late” features a slew of hip hop and R&B heavyweights like Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Ill Bill and Marsha Ambrosius. “Sorry I’m Late” plays like reading through some one’s journal because when you’re done listening, you’ll feel like you and John went to junior high together. John Regan is a MC who wears his heart on his sleve throughout the entire album and the best part is that his lyrics don’t take a back seat to his honesty.
The album sets off with “Sorry I’m Late” which gives you your introduction to Mr. Regan’s life and serves as the thesis statement for the album. “Yesterday” with Joell Ortiz has John reflecting on thoughts of his fam and he sums it up perfectly with the line “It’s hard, God wanted to see what I was made of, see if I’m gonna fold, see what I’m afraid of.” “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” has a nice rock edge to it and tells the story of John dealing with a chick who’s insecurities attack him while he’s sleeping. “All I Gotta Give” with Marsha Ambrosius tells of his struggles dealing with life, death and everything in between and is my fav track on the album. “One Day In Heaven” featuring Skyzoo and newcomer Jaiden explains to the listeners what heaven on earth looks like. Skyzoo checks in with his 16 explaining how his moms was in the Twin Towers when 9-11 happened but he was relieved to receive the phone call that she was safe, which was like heaven to him. “Stars” featuring Nicole Howard tells us about the ups and downs of trying to balance this music game and real life. “My pen, I feel like I should just put it down, and quit music regardless of how good it sounds. Just concentrate on my 9-5, finally get that promotion”.
The bulk of the album’s production is handled by Culture IV’s in house producer YZ, and money holds it down nicely. Other guest production spots go to Needlz, Dub B and 88 Keys and Nottz who tag team the track “Nobody’s Somebody”. At the end of the day “Sorry I’m Late” give you a glimpse into a MC’s pains in his life as well as his successes. If more MC’s were this honest, the scope of hip hop as we know it would be totally different. John Regan’s rhymes, style and sound is definitely a breath of fresh air that hip hop’s been missing.
3.5 outta 5