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Reef the Lost Cauze will rap you out of the city in the video for “The Majestic”

Reef the Lost Cauze | still from video

I wouldn’t exactly describe Philly MC Reef the Lost Cauze as an old school rapper of the 90s vanguard; he came of age in the 21st century, after all, and just last month released what might be his most essential work — a full-length project called The Majestic. His sound doesn’t follow trends in either direction; some of the beats and textures he works with sound decidedly current, some are way futuristic, and some reach back to that classic boom-bap sound.

Reef the Lost Cauze has never been one to be pigeonholed, but what we can say is he takes a defiant us-v-them stance towards the modern rap industry, taking it to task for putting too much emphasis on fashion and branding and not enough on, like, just being a good rapper. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Reef the Lost Cauze

The first time I encountered legendary Philly MC Reef the Lost Cauze, it felt like a whirlwind. The year was 2010, the occasion was an album release party for producer Dumhi’s latest project The Jungle at the ultra-hip Slingluff Gallery in Fishtown. The celebration was in full swing when Reef arrived, right on cue, just in time to cup the microphone and spit fire on “Lions” and “Philly Cousins.” He paced the gallery with intensity, worked the crowd as they sipped their craft beer bottles, and then as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.

If that formidable first impression was not enough, the second time was even more intense. It was two years later, early on in my tenure at WXPN, and a group of us was set up in the studio filming a collaborative Key Studio Session with local hip-hop bog Philadelphia Music Magazine. A live band provided the backing for Reef and his friend and rap scene contemporary Ethel Cee; Reef had never played with a band before, was incredibly hype over their energy, and poured everything he had into a gutting performance of “This Is My Life” that left the entire room breathless.

Later on, in an interview with PMM’s DJ AfroDJiak, Reef gave some context for the gripping nature of his performances.    Continue reading →

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Reef the Lost Cauze emerges in top form on the all-encompassing The Majestic LP

Reef the Lost Cauze | photo by Reji B. for WXPN | rejibphotography.com
Reef the Lost Cauze | photo by Reji B. for WXPN | rejibphotography.com

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. Continue reading →

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Reef The Lost Cauze wants you to “Stay Golden” on lead track from The Majestic

Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

A slinky, descending bassline greets you on the cinematic new track from veteran Philly MC Reef The Lost Cauze, setting the tone for contemplation as much as vainglorious swagger.

Produced by frequent collaborator Caliph-Now, “Stay Golden” opens The Majestic, a new project slated to drop on December 29th, and in it, Reef plays a role he relishes: the hip-hop sage, the seasoned, wizened veteran who is confident that his skills set him a permanent plane above both his peers and the next generation. But he’s not combative; he wants to see solidarity, he wants to push his fellow rappers to collective greatness: “You should want for your fam what you want for yourself / don’t ask how you can gain, you should ask how you can help.” Continue reading →

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Rolled Gold flaunts his new skills on “Night Owls Theme” with Ai-Que and Reef The Lost Cauze

Rolled Gold | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly hip hop producer Rolled Gold just reworked and dropped a single called “Night Owls Theme” from an upcoming project, featuring local MCs Ai-Que and the revered Reef The Lost Cauze. The title “Night Owl Theme” is an appropriate match for the lyrics that deal with themes of hard work and the kinds of pensive thoughts you have at night time. Continue reading →

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Reef the Lost Cauze drops knowledge and throws strong lyrical punches on his new single “Righteous”

Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Reef The Lost Cauze | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

Hardcore Philly rapper Reef the Lost Cauze teams up again with Philly producer Bear One to drop some forceful bars on “Righteous”. Reef is no stranger to the Philly rap game and over the years he has garnered respect throughout the city for his brash rap style and uncompromising lyrical content.

Reef initially caught people’s attention as a successful battle rapper throughout the East Coast and went on to drop a consistent stream of critically-acclaimed underground death rap projects. With a sound similar to other death rappers like Ill Bill or even older gangster rappers like Scarface, Reef and his crew the Juju Mob & The Army of Pharoahs have created a strong underground following in Philly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sheer Mag at Union Transfer, Reef the Lost Cauze at Johnny Brenda’s, Queen of Jeans at Triumph

Sheer Mag
Sheer Mag | photo by Mariel Lin | courtesy of the artist

Philly five-piece Sheer Mag brings its mix of rock and roll and radical politics to Union Transfer tonight. It’s the band’s first headlining gig since the release of the awesome Need to Feel Your Love LP, which is racking up critical acclaim like nobody’s business. Tonight they’ll be joined by Purling Hiss, Haram and Dark Thoughts; details on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, see what you can expect in the revved up “Fan The Flames” video.
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Don’t miss Reef the Lost Cauze, The Bul Bey, and Hezekiah at Beyond the Bars benefit at JB’s

Reef the Lost Cauze | photo by Reji B. for WXPN | rejibphotography.com
Reef the Lost Cauze | photo by Reji B. for WXPN | rejibphotography.com

On August 26th, Reef the Lost Cauze, The Bul Bey, and Hezekiah will take the stage at Johnny Brenda’s for not only an amazing and epicly stacked local show, but also as a benefit for the Beyond the Bars organization.

Founded in 2015, Beyond the Bars is a nonprofit with a mission to bring musical instruments and instruction to incarcerated youth in Philadelphia. Since its inception, a press release states that the organization has guided sixty young adults in writing and recording their own music across a variety of genres, along with recently implementing a free music program for Philly youth with incarcerated loved ones. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gun$ Garcia at Ortlieb’s, Chill Moody and Reef the Lost Cauze at Johnny Brenda’s, Cold Cafe at Underground Arts and more…

gun$ garcia
Gun$ Garcia | photo via Facebook

Local DJ Gun$ Garcia headlines a free night of music at Ortlieb’s. The D.C. native honed her record-spinning skills while at art school here in Philadelphia, joining up with the Brick Bandits collective and getting tapped for sets at the Mad Decent Block Party thanks to her dance-centric style of DJing. Stream Garcia’s remix of “A Little More” by Ariana Grande below and get more information for tonight’s show here.

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