It’s seems like veteran Philly MC Reef the Lost Cauze is always cooking up some project or another — the Bear-One collaboration Furious Styles, the Snowgoons set Your Favorite MC, his regular Reef Radio podcast — but there’s something special about The Majestic. Arriving on the internet this morning, just 24 hours before his 37th birthday, the project is an all-encompassing survey of everything Reef is all about.
He’s on the offense, taking shots at superficial rappers who book studio time just to take selfies (an actual lyric, an actual practice as well), but he’s also reflective and sensitive, effusively showering love and affection on his family, spitting bars of eternal dedication throughout the project and focusing an entire song on his three-year-old son Manny.
At some moments, he’s both those things at once. On the single “The Hand That Feeds” (which has a super trippy video with Reef and collaborator Caliph-Now being force-fed various Philly food staples, pretzels to pasta — watch below if you dare), Reef talks about an increasingly low tolerance for sucka shit, whether it come in the form of fake rappers or opportunistic industry scumbags. He knows “there’s no one you can trust in this land of greed,” but he has a focus, a purpose, and as the hook concludes, “all I care about out here is my fam and me.”
The project later turns its lens from the industry to society at large, seeking an escape from an oppressive reality on “Giancana,” targeting Trumpian bigotry in America on “This is Us” (“a beautiful gumbo is what life’s about / how you wanna have gumbo and take the spices out?”), getting reflective and spiritual on “Faith,” and breaking down the legacy of a racist society that sics dogs on grandmothers because of the color of their skin (the brilliant Moor Mother / Kahlil Ali collab “Splinters”).
Reef has done a lot of different things in his 15-year career, but The Majestic takes it all, bottles it up, and pushes it to the next level. Listen below, and grab a download on Bandcamp. (It hasn’t even been out for 12 hours, and the physical copies are already sold out.)
Reef the Lost Cauze plays two Philly shows in January: he plays Century in South Philly on January 12th for Kahlil Ali’s tape release show (more on that gig can be found here), and then he headlines MilkBoy in Center City on January 19th for The Majestic album release party. Tickets and information on that show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Reef The Lost Cauze